26.2 miles and a “few” months later…

On November 4th, 2018 I ran my first marathon. After months of training, it seemed hard to imagine that it all came down to just a few hours.

I couldn’t have asked for better weather that day or a better support system. I ran with Fred’s Team – a group affiliated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who trained and fundraised together the entire summer. I was so nervous (to the point of being nauseous) but my friends kept my spirits high and reminded me that I was ready for this.

The entire journey was exhausting but so memorable and rewarding. Through a series of emails, texts, events and more I raised $4,400 for pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering. With the help of a few friends, I finished the NYC Marathon in 4:25:56.

Physically, I was not at my best. My right knee had been giving me trouble since March/April before training even started. Ibuprofen, stretching, and a compression sleeve got me to the start and the finish line. Unfortunately, I was not able to take painkillers on race day. I had decided not to take the Ibuprofen at the start since I wasn’t feeling well so I saved my baggy of pain meds for mile 6, when unfortunately I accidentally dropped the bag while taking out another bag with my fuel gummies. It was not good.

I smiled through the pain (literally, all of the official photos are of me smiling). I think this affected me more mentally, than physically. I was afraid to push myself and cause more pain. I got into my head about why I was running the race, what was I trying to prove, and ultimately, if it mattered that I finished or not. I kept pushing through and really relied on the crowd, and they were phenomenal. It’s no lie – the NYC Marathon is truly the world’s largest block party. They got me through to the end.

After I finished, I meandered my way over to the Chargers bar to watch my team defeat the Seahawks 24-17. Of course we then had to follow that up with celebratory karaoke. It was a great day!

I don’t know for sure if another marathon is in the cards for me – I haven’t completely neglected the idea but it would definitely be a few years from now. I may have over-stressed myself with the training and and giving myself grief if I missed a run.

Since November, I’ve run two half marathons but have had difficulty feeling motivated to train for the races. It may be time to take a quick break from running so that I can find my passion and love for it again.

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