It's been over 2 and a half months since this photo was taken and (uncannily) 9-months since my last post. I have been wanting to say so much, and yet have said so little.
Embarking on my journey towards the New York marathon was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It was like a giant mirror reflecting on patterns of my life. Obstacles that get in the way. Stories I tell myself to feel better and justify failure. And I was about to re-write a very well versed script...
I retreated into my shell and with each day absent from my beloved blog - the harder it was to write. So many demons reared their ugly heads and in September last year - I had hit an all time low. I was injured. Unable to train. STILL overweight. Full of self loathing and quite simply, felt like the biggest loser of all time - and not the "win $250,000 for losing weight" kind of loser.
Long story short - I altered my script and overcame a number of emotional and financial obstacles to get myself to New York, not knowing whether I was physically capable of even walking the marathon. My biggest breakthrough was to start something that I did not know whether I could finish. I've always had safe bets on myself so this in itself was BIG.
My first goal was to start. When I heard about the coveted finisher medals, I quickly established my second goal - to finish. In the plethora of information I remember reading that the marathon 'ended' at 7pm. So I had just over 8 hours to complete the course. This became my third goal.
When the gun went off, I started walking over the famous Staton Island bridge that appears on all the NYC marathon promo photos. I thought to myself "I am here. I am doing it. This is it. This is the New York City marathon... I have to AT LEAST run one mile." So I did. I continued to alternate walk one, run one (mile) till the 16-mile marker (25km), then ended up running the last 10+ miles (16.4km) to the finish line.
At the end of the day, I ended up running over 18 and a half miles (30km) over the course of the marathon. A total distance of 26.2 miles (42.16km) in my official time of 6 hours, 48 minutes and 59 seconds. Despite my knee hurting the entire distance, I learned to run like a fairy and just keep going. I was completely beside myself with what I had done - I more than exceeded my expectations.
Since returning home, I have spent time organising my life, clearing clutter and defining my direction in life. I still have my ups and downs but there is a quiet confidence in me. I have a lot to process and I am just allowing myself to move through it and look forward to emerging on the other side with a new challenge in sight.
So in case you were wondering... yes, I did it.
Until we meet again (don't know where, don't know when) ... keep your dreams alive by kicking goals and in between - give yourself permission to tie up loose ends, go through old boxes and put yourself back on course.
New York City Marathoner