“I’m really glad I did this today. But I’m good. 45 minutes to get out of the park in the freezing cold? Not doing this again!”
After the NYC Marathon ended, I made my way over to the volunteers handing out medals and got mine, and then got a mylar blanket. Then I managed to get through the crowds to the finisher’s bag of food and water. There was no wait by the finisher photos so I had one taken. And then as I continued in the freezing cold wind with just the mylar blanket covering me, too cold to even use my phone to try and get in touch with my husband, I heard a voice I know well behind me.
I turn around and my good friend Ellen was right there behind me, on the phone!
We snapped a photo, kept on freezing, I moaned and whined because my hip hurt and I was so, so, so cold. When would we get the warm cape we were promised when we chose the ‘No Baggage’ option? When would we leave the park? I thought we had a quicker exit because we didn’t have baggage. Why was this taking so long??!
Poor Ellen had to listen to me whine – not even words, just sounds – for the entire trip out of the park. But I am so glad I ran into her because she made that part bearable, and even fun.
We slowly made our way through the park. A few years later, we reached the exit.
But the struggle was not over! We still had to walk a few MORE blocks to get our warm hooded capes. Words cannot describe the feeling of having that warm insulated hood placed over my head!
I got on the phone with Andy and he told me where he was, and when Ellen and I departed I was basically dragging my right leg behind me as I walked down a long avenue to find him. My hip hurt and the hood fell off and I couldn’t get it back on and did I mention that it was cold?
Eventually I saw my boys (poor Larry was shivering all day!) and found out we had to walk a few MORE blocks to get to the car. Torture. It was pure torture. I was glad I did this race, I said, but never again.
I went to sleep. I woke up, I went to work. And I thought about the NYC Marathon. Rather, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. For days, for weeks, this race consumed my thoughts.
Because everything they say about the NYC Marathon? Greatest marathon in the world, one big block party, a race like no other, all that? It is all true.
I really thought I’d run the race, get the experience and be done. But no other race – aside from perhaps my first marathon – stuck with me like this. It haunted me, in the most incredible way.
Waiting in the cold before the start didn’t seem so bad. That long and painful exit after? Suddenly seemed worth it in the big picture.
And sure, I ran this race with an injury and spent the last 7 or so miles in a bit of agony, praying for the race to be over – and still, it was beyond anything I can imagine.
“I’ll never do this race again” turned into “How can I NOT do this race again?!”
More on my entire experience in my official TCS New York City Marathon recap. Coming soon. Promise.