I Ran the New York City Marathon
Training: Month 5October
By early October I had found people on the team like me who weren't natural runners and struggled through it. Sharing our stories of mutual disdain and pain made me feel not so alone. It became almost a social event, with running secondary. Our longest run yet happened 30 days before the marathon, a tough 23.4 miles in Central Park. I was starting to know every squirrel, tree, and piece of chewing gum. I groaned as my feet hit the pavement and had my usual three-mile meltdown, struggling and heaving with my voices and my body. Aren't you guys bored of this routine yet? I silently asked them. You know you're not going to win... Sure enough 26 minutes in, they were gone.
I caught up with the group of 8:30-9:00 minute milers from my team. As we chatted and laughed I realized that there is no way I could do this without these people and our coaches -- it really does make the time go faster. It was one of those spectacular fall days where the sky was bright blue and sun hit the leaves at just the right angle, making everything look magical -- and different. My usual trees became works of art and I found myself thinking how lucky I was to be running in Central Park. I nearly tripped over myself for being so positive. But that's the thing about running. So much of it is mental. And while I won't go as far as saying I had a runner's high, on that day, I definitely hit a runner's medium.
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