I ran my first marathon a little more than a week ago and to be completely honest it was a huge letdown. I was supposed to run the New York City Marathon and when that got cancelled I should have just called it a season. Instead I ran a marathon that I didn't want to and had a pretty miserable first marathon experience. While I think the Harrisburg Marathon is great, it was not what I wanted in a race this important to me.
I remember waking up that morning and not even one part of me wanted to run a marathon. Not a great start. Now that some time has passed I have fonder memories of that day but for awhile afterwards I felt disappointed about the whole experience. I didn't feel proud to call myself a marathoner because in my mind I quit on that day. I gave up when things got tough and I was ashamed. I'd had this grand imagination of how that day would do down but I was ultimately just let down. And it was all my fault.
After having such a rough experience I really didn't want to run a marathon this year. The only reason that I did was because it was New York and even that was a hard decision to make. Going into training all I wanted was to have a better experience than last year. I wanted to prove to myself how much progress I had made and that last year's race didn't define me as an athlete.
As you know I made it the whole 26.2 miles. I had absolutely no expectations for this race and I think because of that I finally had the life changing marathon experience I had so strongly wanted. During those miles in Brooklyn when I was high-fiving every little kid and dancing with every band, I had the most fun I've ever had during a race. And during those last few miles in and around Central Park I felt like the athlete I wanted to prove to myself that I was.
Somewhere over those 26.2 miles I found the strength I had been lacking over a rough past few months. My personal life has been a complete mess and leaving me question everything but for 4 hours and 35 minutes on November 3 none of that mattered. Actually from the minute I woke up until I went to bed my life was absolute perfection. I was reminded that everything I thought I wasn't, I am.
Running the NYC Marathon with 50,000+ other runners and over 2 million spectators reminded me how amazing life really is. New York is the city of dreams and it helped me remember mine. I never expected that a race could change me so much but it did. The New York City Marathon was the race that showed me that no matter how hard things may be I can always find the light and chase my dreams. They are worth it. I am worth it.