So I've decided to participate in Mrs. MagMileRunner's Photo Challenge. This week's challenge was "Memorabilia from your favorite race."
My favorite race is difficult to pinpoint, because each one, short or long, has provided me with challenges and triumphs that could all qualify them for favorite. The 2002 NYC Marathon is one that I often think of, so it must be one of my top favorites! (Plus it has my favorite medal, and crystal Tiffanys apple)
I honestly don't know why my dad and I signed up for the lottery for this race. Maybe he can fill me in later :)
The lottery took place in April? and we didn't get in. No big deal, I wasn't running too much then after being plagued by shin splints/stress fracture. Then in July or August of 2002, we got an email from the NYC Marathon stating there had been a 2nd lottery (because many people had cancelled due to the attacks of September 11, 2001) and now we were ACCEPTED INTO THE RACE! We decided to run it because we never knew if we would have the opportunity again- especially for both of us to run it.
Sadly, I remained injured and actually went to the doctor for my shin problems (most likely stress fracture) and they told me to lay off running and take high doses of anti inflammatory. This is what finally made me lose my faith in doctors towards running injuries. I might have ran 50 miles the entire time before this race. No cross training. It seriously wasn't ideal.
I remember us taking the bus over to the start and waiting around.It was freaking cold! After a few hours of waiting in what looked like a refugee camp, it was time to run and my Daad and I got into our corrals. I had never run a race as far or as big as this one. It was seriously incredible! Soon, our wave was shuffling to the start while Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" was blasting. Thinking about that moment- the start of my 1st 26.2, still gives me goosebumps. Running over the 1st bridge, the Verrazano Narrows bridge was so crazy cool. Somehow, I managed to run the first half of the marathon in around 2:35. Then I immediately though SH*T I need to run another 13.1
(Not the actual race shirt, but another my Daad bought me)
I remember it even snowing (flurries) during the race at some point. I went to eat a power bar during the second half and it was rock hard from the cold! There were no GU or Chomps back then! At the time it was the most delicious cookies n cream flavored brick EVER! My feet felt like they had 20lb weights attached to them after mile 15, blisters, chaffing (I had no idea about body glide) my body was hurting. But, I made it a point to jog for a Little bit, and then walk, because at least jogging would get me done faster than walking. Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to give in.
Getting into Central Park was spectacular. When I saw the countdown to only a half a mile to go, I sprinted it in to the finish. It was such a thrill. Seeing all of the Burroughs of NYC, all of the ethnic neighborhoods, was so awesome. I could probably write a super long post about all of my NYC memories, because even after 10 years, the smell of hot dogs at mile 23 (along with 100 other memories) is still so fresh in my mind! (along with turning down eating at the Hard Rock Cafe post race, only to eat at Mc Donald's and climb the most painful flight of stairs in my life!)
On the plane heading to NYC from Florida, my Daad and I were looking at an NYC Marathon magazine that had been sent out. There, we saw a crystal apple made by Tiffany's commemorating runner's achievements from the marathon. My Daad said he would buy it for me if I finished. (I think he believed I had a sno ball's chance in hell of finishing) When I called him from my cell (with a few miles to go) his first thought was I had DNF'd. He was so surprised I was almost done!
Running and sharing this race experience with my Daad (he finished about 45 minutes ahead of me) ignited my love of running, but it wouldn't be until 2008, where I really started running seriously again (and thankfully much more injury free than before.)
This Wednesday I'm hoping to get the news that I will be running this great race again to mark the 10th anniversary of my first marathon, the NYC Marathon!