I don't know why I've had such a block about finishing up my marathon story here. Partly it's because I didn't run the race I had wanted. My time was 4:40, my PR is 4:29, and I had trained/was hoping for a 4:15-4:20. Not to be. I don't exactly know why but here are some guesses: that was always a stretch goal for me; I'm still not nearly comfortable with the marathon distance; NYC is a tough course with lots of hills; the crowds were thick and I got stuck behind people and the weaving in and out took my energy away, and being out in the rain at Staten Island for hours before my wave drained me pretty good. I remember feeling my hamstring sharply aching on the Verrazano and thinking, huh, that's not a great sign. It randomly hurt on and off the whole race.
So it was a tough day. I had to struggle my way in those last miles, and had some tough times where I needed to walk.
Here are some things I will always remember about my NYC marathon:
* Riding the bus in with Malcolm after standing in the world's longest weirdest pre-dawn line that went around and around the NYPL library
* Lying on trash bags reading a Lee Child pb in the rain on Staten Island. Having to throw away said pb when it was time to run.
* Seeing another BronxWorks runner (there were only five of us!) at around mile 3 and high fiving it with her.
* Brooklyn old timer on the sidelines who called out "Go, Jennifuh! You got it, Jennifuh! Is anyone's name out there Jennifuh?"
* Catching the big screen around mile 10 to see that SHALANE WON, which thrilled me.
* The bridge at mile 16 was actually nice because it was so quiet. I felt steady and calm, although working.
* Seeing dad at mile 17 on First Avenue, blowing him a kiss!
* Started raining more as we got into the Bronx, and here it starts to hurt. Stuck behind some Swedish or Italian runners. So many international runners, and most of them had their flags on their jerseys.
* Vaguely looking around for BronxWorks at the 138th/Grand Concourse turn, not seeing them, not really caring.
* On the struggle bus big time as I came down Fifth. Needing to stop and walk several times.
* The beauty of Central Park, wanting to connect with being there in the moment, despite all the pain. Running the NYC marathon!
* Dark and rainy when I turned for the finish. Seeing EMILY on the lit up screen above the finish line.
* So freaking glad to stop running once I crossed the line.
* Shaking with cold on the long painful walk to get my poncho and the tender way the older man who gave it to me put it around my shoulders and fastened the velcro.
* Walking out to Amsterdam to find Malcolm and Dad. Hugs and commiseration. Grilled cheese and fries and beer at a tiny place near Grand Central with dad before getting on the train. Calling home, hearing congrats from my family. A little disappointed but not really caring, just happy it was over. Loving the time with Malcolm and Dad. Sore as hell on the train out to Darien, couldn't even sit down.
* Giant brunch with Malcolm the next day. He's on his phone planning his next one, and I'm saying never again. We'll see.