OH MY GOD I DID ITTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes I think I'm SuperWoman and don't think about resting and this was the case for the week before the marathon (I'm nuts). Monday after work I had dinner with my two girlfriends, nothing crazy. I was still walking every day to work (40 min) but I opted to take the subway anywhere else which is what I did that night to meet up with them. I figured I'd give my legs as much of a break as I could attempt to.
Tuesday I ran a 4 miler in the morning because I had the amazing amazing amazing John Legend concert after work. I knew in advance when I had booked the tickets that my week was going to be crazy but I didn't care because there was no way I was missing him in concert and I'm glad I didn't!!!!! I've seen him one other time in concert and I can easily say it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. He is hands down one of the best live performers out there, it was absolutely insane.
I knew I wasn't gonna wake up early to run on Wednesday after the concert and Wednesday after work I dedicated my night to packing up the rest of the things in my apartment because Thursday was moving day!!!!!! I got everything done I wanted to and was in bed by about 11:00. Unfortunately I slept like crap that night and didn't wake up early to get in the short 2 mile run I wanted to and good thing I didn't because my parents were at my apartment at 7am to get the moving day started! I used my one day off that I've accumulated at my new job for moving day!
Although I had a very small room in my old apartment and not that many things (so I thought), moving took foreverrrrrrrr and it was really just my dad and I moving everything most of the time so we were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. It was a crazy day but thank god to my amazing parents for moving me in. Next time, I'll be using movers!!!! Honestly though, only I would move three days before running a marathon hahaha but I had no choice!!!!!
I really had it set in my mind to not do much around my apartment on Friday or Saturday because I needed to rest and not exert myself and I was pretty damn good about it considering how crazy I am about wanting to get everything done ASAP! I worked Friday and then came home, stretched, foam rolled, made dinner, organized A LITTLE, and then relaxed (while icing) and went to bed.
Saturday was so nice. I slept in, made coffee, made breakfast (eggs with tomatoes, avocado, and toast). I relaxed (while icing) and watched tv for a good amount of time, stretched, and foam rolled. I had a mid day yogurt and granola with an apple and then left the apartment for a little just to buy some essentials for the apartment and some groceries to make dinner that night. I came back and started making my pre-marathon dinner! I made salmon and cut up a big potato that I baked with lots of peppers, tomatoes, and onions, and I had a nice big piece of avocado. It was the perfect dinner and something I knew would sit well in my stomach. I got all my stuff ready for the next day, pinned my number to my shirt, all that good stuff, before foam rolling, stretching, and icing one last time!!!!!!!! I still wasn't nervousat all for the marathon; just in complete and utter shock that it was happening. I went to bed at about 10:00 and woke up nice and early at 6am.
I was supposed to take the 8am ferry from Staten Island so I woke up early enough to make breakfast (eggs and toast) and mentally prepare before leaving the house at 7am. I got to the subway which wasn't leaving for another 15 min, so to avoid my anxiety (because the ferry station gets INSANE for races), I took a taxi to the ferry terminal and I'm so glad I did because I got to the insanely crowded station but jumped on a 7:45ish ferry. I zoned out on the ferry ride with my headphones on, taking everything and everyone in, trying to brush off the absolute shock I was feeling. I kept my phone off most of the morning but would go in and out checking it to find some amazingly supportive texts that just got me overly emotional (in a great way though). I kept on reflecting over everything it took to get to this point and couldn't wait to get to Staten Island to meet up with Kyndra and Lloyd. I got out of the terminal and moved onto the insane porta potty lines before getting onto the shuttle to take us to the starting line. That's where I met up with Kyndra & Lloyd and the excitement began! Still not nervous.
|Staten Island Ferry|
I think I probably said AT LEAST 50 times before we started "I can't believe this is happening!" We all said how we couldn't believe we still didn't feel nervous, it just seemed to be complete and utter shock. There was an insane amount of people but there were shuttles constantly going in and out and it was extremely organized to take us to the starting point at the Verrazano Bridge. To shorten this a bit, we had about 1 1/2 hours before we were starting so we just went to the bathrooms, ate (I had a banana on the shuttle, ate my yogurt when we got there, and had a bagel about an hour before starting), and then we got in our corral when it was time (about 10:30am). This was about the time when the nerves hit but more than anything it was sheer excitement/anxiousness. We were amping each other up on the line and I kept on feeling complete shock (I can still hear Lloyd shouting over and over again - OWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! So awesome, he is great at getting people amped! haha). It was the COOLEST feeling seeing people starting and running across the Verrazano as we were walking to the starting point. When the start gun went off, I think I nearly peed my pants from the excitement. I had the cheesiest smile on my face because I was so so so happy and couldn't believe I had finally made it!!!!
|Crazy bathroom lines|
|Right before heading to the starting line!|
|People running across the bridge|
|Right before starting!!|
I worked my way across the bridge, and started the long journey into Brooklyn. I spent a lot of the time in Brooklyn taking my headphones out and just hearing the bands that were at each mile and the cheers from the crowd which was really freaking awesome (Us 3 put a piece of duct tape on our shirts with our names on them so people could cheer us on - BEST.IDEA.EVER). It was SO helpful hearing people cheer my name and support me - just so awesome. I actually did stop at every hydration zone (which started at mile 3) for a quick sip of water/gatorade which I'm so happy I did but by mile 4, I really had to pee! The porta potty lines were annoying though and I didn't want it to cut into my time! I stopped at mile 5 to have my first energy gel (I had a piece of bread at mile 10, another energy gel at mile 15, another gel at mile 20, and a half a banana at around mile 22) but the lines were still too long for the porta potty - by mile 7 though, I gave in and waited in line because I was about to pee myself - that probably cut at least 5 minutes into my time which was annoying but I had to! Even more annoying though that right after mile 7 there were a ton of porta potties without lines as I was approaching mile 8…WHATEVER.
One thing I couldn't believe is how the miles were just passing by and I wasn't really counting them or feeling like it was taking forever to get to the next one like I usually feel during races. It was just so enjoyable and the crowds were so awesome and supportive and helpful getting me through each mile. Which was great because MY DAMN LEFT KNEE HURT THE ENTIRE 26.2 MILES!!!!!!! NOT COOL - not only that but my right ankle was bothering me so that made things a little difficult but I did a pretty good job at pushing through and pushing it out of my head and just focusing on enjoying the experience - I think it was the cold weather that made my knee hurt more than usual.
All I kept focusing on and getting excited about was getting over the Queensboro Bridge to see my family around mile 17!! It was the most exciting feeling and I couldn't wait to get there. When I got to the Queensboro bridge I was getting SO excited and really emotional again and what better timing for "Fighter" to come on my ipod than half way through the bridge! Guys, there are no words to explain or to get you to understand what I felt when I saw my family and friends cheering for me as I was running up 1st Ave approaching them. My mom was literally standing on the railing screaming my name, my friends all shouting for me, my Dad with the biggest smile on his face, my sister freaking out....I lost it and was hysterical crying and hugged each and every person as we all cried together (except for the men ;)) of absolute happiness. When I say I have the most supportive friends and family ever, it's a total understatement. I will never forget hugging my mom first and having her shout "I'm so proud of you!!!!!!!" - unforgettable…and my friend captured an unbelievable video of it :). That really got me going for the next stretch of the race!!!!
|My cheer squad at Mile 17!!!|
|Their amazing posters|
I headed up through Manhattan, through Harlem, into the Bronx, getting so nervous for the "wall" I was supposedly supposed to hit at mile 20. All I could focus on was keeping my pace and pushing through because my knee just kept on getting more stiff with each mile. I hit the Willis Avenue bridge (supposed to be another up hill battle at "the wall") but I was so focused, I didn't feel a hill or the wall AT ALL - it was insane. This is not to say that this wasn't difficult or that I didn't struggle or have a hard time - no, this was the hardest thing I've ever done, the entire thing was a struggle (especially with my knee), but my mind was in such a good place that I didn't feel what I thought I was "supposed" to feel. The majority of people were walking but I kept running, not paying attention to anyone but me. I have never felt so focused or so strong in my life. Mile 21 was turning into a struggle with my knee but I just tried to focus on getting to mile 23 so I could se my family and friends again for one last shot of motivation.
I stopped at the bathroom again at mile 21 (my stomach was not happy with me) then continued…I had a half a banana, and pushed slowly but surely to mile 23 - the miles were dragging a little bit at this point. When I got to mile 23 I saw my family and friends before entering Central Park and I still felt that same amazing feeling I felt at mile 17 when I saw them - and I was just shaking my hands freaking out saying "OH MY GOD I'M ALMOST DONE!" and they were just shouting "GO DIANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" so awesome - I can't say it enough.
|Last round of cheers before finishing!!!|
|So excited to finish!!!|
I headed into Central Park for my last leg of the marathon. Again, I didn't feel the hills in the Bronx, or in Harlem, and I didn't feel them in Central Park either. I was just so focused on the pain in my knee and in my feet at that point (oh my goddddd my feet were exhausted and hurting so much)...but I knew I was almost done and that's what kept me pushing through. Again, my headphones were out a lot because people were really cheering us on at this point and once I got to 59th street and was out of Central Park, my adrenaline was really running and I was getting so unbelievably choked up because I knew I was almost at the end! I can still hear the police officer that said "you look great Diana, you're almost done!!!!!!" right before entering Central Park - and I almost stopped to make out with him out of sheer excitement hahahaha. I entered the park again, saw the finish line in the distance, and started crying/pushing myself to run faster because I could not freaking believe I was at the end! I was proud, happy, exhausted, shocked, amazed, and beyond excited - I literally felt every single emotion/feeling I could have felt as I was "sprinting" (it was a sprint in my mind) across the finish line. I had a huge smile on my face and I was in tears as the woman put the medal around my neck. I DID IT!!!!! I F*CKING DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I JUST RAN THE MOTHER F*CKING NYC MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Official Time: 5:50:57
I feel great about it, I don't care that I'm well over the 5-5 1/2 hours I had in my mind to run it. I felt so strong and so solid the whole time and felt like I did the absolute best I could do. No regrets, nothing I feel like I could have done better. I'm 100% happy with it!
I was so exhausted/so excited/so freaking cold!!!!!!! I just kept walking, got the bag that they gave us with little snacks and such in it, stopped and took a picture quick, I got wrapped in this foil type cape thing, and walked my way out of the park as everyone was congratulating us. I started eating a little granola snack as I was shivering/walking out of the park/texting my friends to let them know I was done and have one of them meet me at New York Sports Club with my stuff so I could shower quick and meet up with everyone at the bar. Just as I was fearing I was about to get hypothermia (so dramatic) this little NYRR angel wrapped me in a Marathon blanket/poncho type thing that was sweet heaven on my tired/freezing/aching body. It was definitely a painful walk down from 70 something street to 62nd street to meet my friends but I just felt complete and utter happiness.
My friends ran down the stairs and congratulated me, I showered quick, and then we made our way to the bar to meet up with my family/friends who were waiting for us (Kyndra, Lloyd, and I) upstairs! Yes, I had to not only walk down and up stairs at NYSC, but I also had to walk up and down stairs at the bar - not cool, not fun...I just had to take it one at a time. It was amazing meeting up with everyone and the support and love that they showed me was the best feeling ever and something I will never forget.
|With Lloyd and Kyndra!|
I had a beer (which I was only able to have a few sips of), I chugged water, and I just sat and talked to everyone and celebrated with Kyndra & Lloyd with lots of hugs and discussions about how proud we were of each other. When my food came (I ordered a sliders combo - half were burger sliders, half were buffalo chicken sliders, and a huge thing of fries) - I thought I was going to inhale them because I was starving but I literally had two sliders and felt nauseous so I had to get it wrapped up (which was heaven on earth the next day for lunch). Not only that but an hour into being there, I was SO beyond exhausted that we got the check and after saying thank you and goodbye to everyone, I got in a taxi and made my way back to my apartment. I'll never be able to explain the shock, exhaustion, and pain your body feels after running a marathon. For me, it was more exhaustion than anything else, besides my knee being in a lot of pain. I got home, got in my pj's and immediately got ready for bed but I really couldn' fall asleep that night even though I was so tired.
Believe it or not, i HAD to work the next day - like I said, I used my only day off to move and since I just started my job on September 30th, I couldn't take off another day for after the marathon. So yes, I worked the next day. How did I do it? I limped a little to the subway station, I took the subway stairs one by one like an old lady, and I made it to work a half hour late. It's pretty unbelievable though how strong my body is and how quickly I recuperate - I must say I'm amazed with myself - I don't mean that to sound conceited or like I'm bragging, but I just have to express that I was shocked at how well my body handled the marathon.
I only felt stiffness/pain in my left knee which I wasn't surprised about since it hurt me the whole time running, but the rest of my body was just sore, but nothing crazy at all - I thought that I was going to be immobile but I was totally fine besides my knee being in pain. I really just felt insanely tired at work that day, but nothing else too crazy. I luckily had a 75 minute heat massage planned for after work so that was sooooo awesome and perfect even though the points she hit on my hips and legs (which is where the pain in my knee is rooting from) were unbelievably painful where my immediate reaction was to start laughing out loud hahaha not normal. It really helped though and I think that was also a big part of me recuperating so quickly. But honestly, a week later, people are telling me they can't believe I ran a marathon - I think it has to do with how much walking my body is used to and since I never really give it time to recuperate, it bounced back extremely quickly after the marathon. I've been icing and foam rolling and I think I'll be ready to get back to the gym this week after taking the complete last week off and giving my body a rest. There is still a little stiffness in my knees and a tiny bit of soreness, but overall, I'm feeling great. PS, I also have to say that my feet do NOT look like I ran a marathon - I didn't even have blisters! My secret was absolutely covering my feet with layers of Tom's Natural Deodorant before putting my socks on - it literally avoided any brutality on my feet - so good!
So, what am I feeling after running the marathon?
-A true sense of accomplishment
-Excitement (that I did it, and that it's over)
-Excitement (to start my new life and not have to train)
-Excitement (to go to the gym again and enjoy different work outs again)
-Gratitude (to my family and friends and everyone who had such amazing things to say before and after I ran the marathon - on Facebook, through texts, in person - just so so amazing)
I can't believe I did it. Three years in the making and it's over. I'm not bummed at all about not having something to train for now, I feel such joy that I can enjoy my life and focus on doing what I want now. I'm so proud of myself for sticking to this. I'm so amazed at what I was able to accomplish and so amazed at how strong I am - people always say that I'm strong but I never really believed it until I finished this marathon. I am in awe at how amazing of a support system I have and I would have NEVER been able to do this without them, I swear.
It's over guys! I'm so glad I documented my journey. I'm so glad I shared this with whoever has been reading this. I'm so glad I accomplished this. And I'm so glad I can say I did it and will likely never ever ever do it again! hahahahahhahaha Time to start my life again and enjoy all of the newness and excitement that is happening right now with me! This has been a struggle, it's been painful, happy, sad, crazy...but it's all been worth it and I can honestly say the NYC Marathon was one of the most amazing and enjoyable experiences of my life.
Thank you to whoever was on this journey with me, to whoever read my posts, to everyone who supported me because your support helped push me through more than you'll ever know, and thank you thank you thank you to my friends and family for being there for me every step of the way and being my strength when I didn't feel like I had strength anymore!!!!!!!!
NYC MARATHON - CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I FREAKING DID IT B*TCHESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|It's officially overrrrr|