The train arrived at 1230 at Pennsylvania Station in NYC. Hooray! First thing on the agenda? A hot meal! I had been up for 9 hours eating nothing but oats, fruit, and Clif bars! Where’s the delicious NY food at?! I found a deli right across the street. This was perfect! I was SO thankful to find something SO close AND get a GREAT seat inside, as well! I could watch the people hustle and bustle outside in the chilly rain and wind. I love observing others. People fascinate me. | http://youtu.be/J2yzj_x3GNY
After devouring the deliciousness that was their Chicken Parm Hoagie, I headed out to the expo to pick up my race packet and bib/number, and all that jazz. Woot, NYC! It was chilly. The expo was HUGE. THE biggest I have EVER been to. The convention center that it was in was entirely glass, an amazing piece of architecture. I spent a long time just hanging out and looking at things, purchased a jacket (I had predetermined that I was going to get a “souvenir” that I could wear longer than the race medal) and then got the coolest opportunity I did not even know I would have .. I got to meet Sara Hall. She is a professional elite runner who also is a believer. She was fantastic to meet, and upon signing my little card she was giving out, wrote Colossians 3:23 on it, “Whatever you do,
work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” When I was training for my first marathon in 2012, I clearly remember seeing a video on YouTube that her husband, also a professional elite runner, had done and posted the morning of the NYC Marathon. I was inspired. I never knew that only 2 years later I would be there meeting his wife and running the same race! Wow, how amazing God is. I really look forward to talking with her more again in the future!
And thus I was off to eat some carbs. The pasta dinner was in Central Park. They set up a tent. I was now going to embark on my first attempt at travelling the Subway system
alone. I was pumped! I got there just fine, with a little anxiety. I did not want to run all around NYC BEFORE the marathon even started! | http://youtu.be/mt8RO1hwCqo
Central Park is beautiful. One of my favorite places, because it is nestled within such a huge and bustling city. The pasta dinner was a big event! | http://youtu.be/rahBAU74Lo4
I had a cool and extensive conversation with a gal from Sweden. Her goal was to do the big six marathons – Chicago, Boston, NYC, London, Berlin, and Tokyo. She has already done 3 of them, and NYC was her 4th! I thought it was a great idea.
One of the neatest things I would say I enjoyed about this trip was meeting people from so many different backgrounds. The conversations that we shared were very cool!
Time to leave the dinner and get to the YMCA for rest. I was exhausted but relatively re-energized from the food. On my way to the Y, I got turned around on the subways and decided I would give up and hail my first cab. I really wanted to do this anyway, as part of my travel experience, so I was grateful for the frustration of dealing with the subway and moved on to check another item off of my non-existent ‘things to do while in NYC’ list. (I was making up the list as I went. This was most enjoyable. No stress. ☺)
I got into the YMCA and got settled and prepped for the morning. After setting all of my things out, I found some good praise music and dug into my Bible some. I have learned that preparation is not just physical, but mental and spiritual, as well. The Bible has much to say about ‘running the race’ and enduring. I was overwhelmed with emotion and thankfulness as I reflected. Sorry for the soggy appearance and tears. These were highlights of some of my revelations from the race and trip. | http://youtu.be/-kjyIGW7UHc | http://youtu.be/r9bqrHch9Yc
My sleep was light. The clocks fell backward. Thankful. I rested for about 8 hours. I woke before my 0345 alarm. I was pumped. Excited. Beyond excited. Ecstatic to be alive and to have the opportunity before me. I went downstairs and made my oatmeal (they had a full kitchen with pots and pans, so I was able to cook it fresh on the stove, hooray!) and met a gentleman named Pedro from Belgium. It was now 0430 and he was seated in the room eating a full plate of pasta, spaghetti, and drinking a diet coke. We had a great conversation. | http://youtu.be/WorokyoZSeo | This was his 45th marathon. I made my oatmeal, put my belongings up, and headed to the subway to make my way to the Staten Island Ferry. I was beyond Cloud 9. If there was a Cloud 10, I was on 11. So blessed. | http://youtu.be/lB-ikLm76aA | http://youtu.be/Bzu4sqe3SPA
The subway was packed with runners at 0545. I got to the Staten Island ferry terminal and hopped on the leaving
ferry. People everywhere were dressed in old sweatpants, sweatshirts, pajama pants, gloves, hats, everything. The majority of these articles would be stripped and thrown before the start of their race. Not sure how long the ride was, but immediately upon sitting in my seat, I nodded off. The guy next to me didn’t seem to mind too much. I was appreciative. We got to the other side and slowly shuffled out into the cold air, and the wind hit us like a slap in the face. Thing was, it was not even too cold, it was 42 degrees, but the wind gusts made it very cold, to the bones. I had my concerns about the wind, prayed about it, talking to God, and realized that it was still over 3 hours to my start .. plenty of time for the wind to die down.
Many people, upon getting to Staten Island, grabbed the next bus and went to the starting village. I had my concerns with that, because, that meant 3 hours sitting in the cold and wind. I already don’t do well with cold temperatures. I did NOT want to sit outside for 3 hours before the marathon and waste the energy that I had. There were many people seated along the walls in the ferry terminal, and thus, I grabbed myself a hot cup of delicious coffee, and planted myself along the side of a column, watching the people shuffle by to go to the buses. | http://youtu.be/xccrTdmwerk
I chatted with people. Met a guy from Alexandria, VA. He was face-time chatting with his wife and their child. It was cute! That made me smile. | http://youtu.be/rVD5_v0LTf4
I chatted with a girl that lived in Brooklyn who was running the race. A lot of New Yorkers were running! | http://youtu.be/mwpCeGCTcF4
I left the terminal and got on the bus at 0900, thinking that it would be a 15 minute bus ride to the start, maybe 20 minutes tops. Nope. 45 minutes, actually. Thus, I missed my 0940 start. I mildly freaked out. Really, truly, I could start in any wave, but I had just eaten my food to start the race with, also. Mind you, I had been up for about 6 hours now. Haha. So, we got off of the bus, which of course, was packed, it was amazing to me! So many people on one bus. Cool conversations. Random note, I met many people from California on this whole trip. Interesting. Upon getting off of the bus, we were wanded and checked by police officers. Due to what happened in Boston, security measures have been raised. I was annoyed but thankful at the same time. I got to my start village and could not find where to put my bag for after the race, so they would have my warm and dry clothes for me to put on. I wanted to make the 2nd wave at 1005, so when I realized I would need to walk far for the bag check area, I decided to chuck the bag check idea. I just wanted to start! It was cold. But, sadly, I missed the 2nd wave, also. I had to wait until 1030 to start now.
So, it was cold, very windy, I had no bag check with warm clothes for after the race, I was starting about an hour later than I had planned to, and at this point had also chucked my 2 layers of pants/sweatpants that I had been wearing to stay warm. I was now at the start of my corral, in shorts. My legs were cold. I cried. Some people consoled me. “Great,” I thought, “now I am the emotional girl. I’m THAT person.” But, whatever. I got over it and it was nice to have people that genuinely cared about me calming down and simply enjoying the experience. Lesson: none of us, no matter how far we get in life, are beyond the point of needing assistance from others. No man is an island. Humans don’t work like that. We work best synergistically. Period.