This past weekend was EXTREMELY emotional for me……I pushed my body to do something I never dreamed it would do. I ran my FIRST marathon!!! Now this is an extremely huge event for anyone but for me it was a breakthrough!!! I sit here thinking back on my life and tear up just thinking about how far I have come over the years……just a few short years ago I weighed 273 lbs and was short of breath just walking up the stairs to my apartment (which was one flight at that time). I was extremely unhappy with myself and my confidence was at an all-time low……now I’m gaining confidence and each day becoming more and more proud of what I have accomplished and more happy with where I am!!! But you all have heard that story a million times, so let me talk about the race!! I was super nervous about running this race, my first full…..two nights before I couldn't sleep!!!! I woke up race day, packed the car and went to work, and man that was the longest work day ever!!!! After finishing up at work I hopped in my car, took a picture of my speedometer for my little buddy and was off to pick up my travel partner, Anna. One last stop and we were on our way!!!
An hour later we arrived at the expo to pick up our numbers, now it was getting real!!! First thing we picked up bibs and shirts, then shopped the expo….being my first FULL I needed to get my 26.2 gear!!! And then one more photo opp!!!! Now off to the hotel for some dinner and R&R!!!
After some issues with SIRI we were finally at the hotel!!! It was amazing, what a great view of the ocean and finish line right from my room! After checking in I arrived at my room to settle and meet my Team In Training roomie!!! We arrived just in time for dinner…….after an amazing and inspiring team dinner it was time to sleep!! My alarm was set for 4am!!!!!
4 am comes earlier than I ever imagined!!! Now to get ready to run!! Nerves were running high, I was sweaty and nauseous and I hadn't even run yet!!! A got down the lobby to be greeted by 100 other runners all with Team In Training…the energy was outrageous!!!!! Shortly after we board our big yellow school bus and set off to the start line!!! We arrived at the start at 5:30am, the half marathoners began getting ready for their race (I wasn't starting until 8am), while waiting I had a chance to meet up with some amazing runner friends for a photo opp. (Love me a photo opp) Then back to waiting……..what do you do while sitting for that long?? The nerves kept building while I waited!!!!
Finally time to check bags and head to the start!!! At this point I thought for sure I would throw up, but that never happened!! We entered our corral all set to go and then before I knew it we were off!!!!
Everything was stiff at first but by mile 3 I was feeling good!! Ok, I've got this!! We had our team coaches and cheerleaders out along the way to keep us going…..amazing!! Nothing was going to stop me…….famous last words LOL. Around mile 11.5 I felt a pop in my hamstring……I kept moving, pushing forward but the pain kept getting worse….around mile 12 a team coach, Kathy came up and asked how I was doing…I explained the deal and she was amazing! She told me she was going to stick it out with me, we were going to do this!! Even with limping and having to walk here and there she stuck with me and crossed that finish line with me….I don’t think I would have finished without her amazing support!!! The race course was beautiful….huge beach houses, running on the Jersey Shore board walk, and seeing the beautiful ocean really helped!!! As I approached the finish I began tearing up just thinking about how far I have come! I had not realized how emotional this event would be for me! Not only was I running for me but I was running for a great cause (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and had dedicated my run to a few very special ladies who had suffered from the diseases…..after crossing the finish the emotion over took me….it still feels like a dream!!!!! Well at this point a very sore dream LOL
If you would like to make a donation to my fundraising page please click the link below and help me make a difference in so many lives!!!