For the Rest Of My Life, I Can Call Myself A Marathoner

Back in 2016, I ran my first half marathon with a good friend of mine. After finishing, we made a pact to run our first marathon, the NYC Marathon, together the following year. I finished the year completing 8 more NYRR races and volunteering at 1 to gain guaranteed entry through 9+1. 

Over this journey to gain guaranteed entry for the 2017 marathon, I was let go from my job and found a way out of my running funk by finding November Project, a free, grass roots community connecting people by getting active in the morning. Running and working out with November Project helped me mentally get through my job search struggles. I PR-ed a few races, but the downside was I got a stress fracture.

Throughout 2017, I worked hard on strength training with my physical therapist to help get the green light to run the marathon that year. Once training began, the first few months were hard, but I felt okay. Then one day, I wasn't and subsequently found out I had another stress fracture. Same place, but worse. 

To say I was upset and discouraged was an understatement, but I tried to push through mentally. I kept saying to myself, "Marathon or no marathon, you need to get stronger and healthy so you can at least workout/run again for fun”.

For the entire winter/spring, I worked with my new PT, Jason, at Finish Line Physical Therapy to help work on my strength and flexibility so I could get to the start line healthy.

Once training started again, it definitely wasn’t easy. I was slower than I was before, new aches and pains appeared (nothing major), but I was pleasantly surprised that my shin was feeling ok. As I got closer, I was afraid that everything was too good to be true, and that I wouldn’t make it to marathon Sunday. I tried to stay positive and relaxed because I made it to race day!

Race day was a whirlwind. I felt all the feels leading up to that day: Excited, happy, anxious, nervous, terrified....the list goes on. But I got on that ferry to the start village and said to myself "Here we go..".

To say it was the most incredible day is the understatement of the century. The weather was perfect, the crowds were amazing, my podcast playlist was on point. My parents, boyfriend, and all my friends were there to support me in person, plus all my amazing co-workers and friends who supported me from afar with amazing texts of encouragement. I cried every time I hugged/saw someone there supporting me, walked when I needed to, used the much needed Biofreeze when my lower back would not stop hurting, and I definitely cried crossing the finish line.

Overall, the marathon was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, but I am so proud that I did it! I did not care how long it took me (5:58:05!!) because I finished with no new injuries. My shin did not hurt once and for that, I am sooo happy! Now, and forever, I can call myself a marathoner! :)

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