My first marathon didn’t change my life

Today, November 1st, marks two things for me:

  1. Six-months since my first marathon, the New Jersey Marathon
  2. Five days till the New York City Marathon

I’d like to address first things first, the NJ Marathon.

I’ve spoken about it before — the weather was terrible, the crowds were thin, the body was in pain. I mentally fought through all those factors, battled with myself and the elements. I can’t honestly say I hated this race, but I also can’t honestly say that I loved it. At risk of sounding like a baby, I did feel like this race robbed me. I had trained for four months, I mentally prepared and invested with the promise of crossing that finish line with a new, amazing appreciation for the sport. I crossed the finish line with a new sense of respect for myself, but there were no tears of joy, no outburst of emotion. It was a very isolated, individual and mental experience.

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For days after I would get this wave of emotion realizing that the race was done, and it was what it was. It was in no way a failure, and I even am super proud of my time and effort, but it didn’t change me the way I was promised on the registration form.

Runner’s chase that illusive high — and some people associate that rush with crossing their first marathon finish line. I chase the one from my first half marathon. In my mind, thirteen miles (and change) were so much larger than its double. Crossing the finish line at the Brooklyn Rock and Roll Half Marathon last year, I had the overflow of emotion, the peak high and the feeling that I was a hero.

Looking forward, I’m five days out from the New York City Marathon. This race in distance is the same as the New Jersey Marathon, but in size 50 times larger. The city is electric and I feel honored and privileged to be part of the glorious parade that runs through 26.2 miles of our beautiful city.

Will this race change my life? I don’t know. I think so. But also, I’m not holding it accountable to do that.

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