Is it just me, or was it a little uncanny that my bib number for the New York Half Marathon was 13013? Just another occurrence of 26 showing up in my life this year (or 8 if you take it by single digits, but for this blog's sake just add 13 to 13 okay? Thanks!).
The morning came quickly and while it was cold in the starting corrals, it was nice knowing that the day after St. Patty's, two of my best friends, both beautiful redheads, were braving through this with me (Luck o' the Irish anyone?)
This is me at the end of it all, having finished at an admirable 1:48:51 which puts me in the top 28% overall. And while at first, I wasn't thrilled with being supremely average at 51% of my age and gender category, considering this is my first race ever of any type, I must say I am pleased. For those wondering just how fast that was, it's approximately 7.2mph.
This looks about right. Faster than a turkey, slower than a bear. But I have a feeling, had an actual bear been chasing me, I could have outrun it. Okay, that's a stretch, but at the very least outsmarted it and gone downhill. (I just deleted a great little anecdote about running downhill but not having hills in Manhattan, as well as a fun fact about the term Bear Market based on the previous statement. But alas, upon "binging" some bear facts to make sure you, my trustworthy readers, aren't being lied to, I found that all of that is one big lie. Bears can run downhill just fine and will kill you. Also, because of that lie, the Bear Market, by law of transitivity, is also a lie. Lastly to note, I have a feeling, just like "fetch," I should stop trying to make "bing" happen. It's not going to happen.)
Throughout my race, I actually thought about this very blog post and what I'd write. Much of it was going to include super inspirational thoughts about how everyone was being cheered on regardless of ability, how life would be better if we all adopted that mentality in our lives. I was going to write about my moments of weakness and how right around the corner I'd find just what I needed, like a water station, or this pretty lady who was at mile 10 to give me a much needed boost. There was going to be a great little bit about how when approaching the end, we were sent through a long tunnel and then relating that to our lives of buckling down and finding inner strength to finish when all your cheerleaders aren't there. And lastly, there was a great bit about being inspired by the route starting in Central Park, passing through Times Square, down the Hudson River, and passing the 9/11 Memorial - if I wasn't already in love with this crazy city, I just fell madly and deeply.
Now, that snippet is plenty without knowing my entire inner monologue (which went the whole time as I opted to not have an iPod and simply soak it all in). You don't need me to tell you how great it is to accomplish a goal, how challenging moments can be when you feel all alone, and most importantly, that inner struggle to even start something out of not knowing the end result.
However, I'll say this - I DID IT!!! Simple as that. I set out to do something and followed through. You know the rest, and you know it most about yourself. So tell me (seriously, tell me), what have you always wanted to do and just need a little push? What will you do today to make your tomorrow that much better? When things get ugly, where do you turn? If you could accomplish just one thing this year to really make a difference, what would it be?
Now, after writing to me, go out and JUST DO IT!