Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional...
So the race is done! And the above quote from a book about marathon running best sums up the race. I won't lie - this one really pushed me to the limit! But a day to remember for sure. It took me half an hour longer than planned (yep, I totally lost the plot at 16 miles...but kept running, however slowly!) but at least I made it!
Bigger than this was the experience. Here are my top 5 moments (over and above all the lovely well-wishing texts received in the build-up):
1. Central Park (the finish!) - how beautiful, crisp, cold and sunny and the place was lined with crowds willing us to make that last gasp to get over the line.
2. Meeting the amazing fellow runners on the way round. I was privileged to run with a Marie Curie nurse for a short part of the early course. He was too fast for me but a few of his stories will stay with me...
3. The bands playing along much of the route be it Brooklyn or the Bronx....they even sing your name from time to time if they see it on your tee-shirt! They keep playing even though Paula had been and gone 3 hours earlier!!
4. At 20 miles, I realised after 4 miles of self-doubt and pain, that I was actually going to finish the race, albeit more slowly than planned!
5. The chocolate milk energy drink handed to me by my sister-in-law at the end. One of the best recommendations I have ever had - pure nectar!!!!
There were low moments (at no stage did anyone mention what a hilly course New York is!), but I have done what I set out to achieve. The woman who couldn't run a mile without stopping in January, ran 26.2 (without walking or stopping) and with all the help and support of great friends, made some small contribution to a very worthy cause.......
What's next?! Any suggestions...?