for myself

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

UPDATE: If you weren't able to view the videos, I've since fixed it...Enjoy!
I am writing this post mostly for myself, and since I already know it will be a long one, y'all don't have to stick around to read it. The reason is I want to capture as much as I can from from Sunday, from marathon day. I want to simply list all the thoughts that I had while I ran, small snippets that I might want to hang on to, that might be forgotten if I don't record them now while they are still fresh in my mind. This way, in a couple of months from now, when that itch to do something weird, crazy, challenging and somewhat insane (like say, run a marathon?) hits again - because oh, you know it will - I can have good, solid facts to base my decisions on. Also, quite frankly, family and friends are getting a bit sick and tired or hearing me blabber on about the run, so this post is also for their sake. So here it goes, a list of things I need to remember from this run, both good and bad.
  • The giggling madness and excitement at 5 a.m. in the morning on the bus ride to Staten Island.

  • Forcing down a peanut butter bagel and coffee down without gagging.

  • 4 hours of waiting, in the cold, with constant butterflies in my stomach.
  • Porta-Potties... stinky, smelly, nasty, dirty, porta-potties.
  • Being asked by two girls to take a picture of them and finding out they are not only Italian, they are from my home town of Verona!
  • A surge of pride in my gut as I tied the race chip to my shoes (or as I watched Elizabeth tie the chip because my hands were too cold and twitchy)...
  • Snipers at the start line. Huh?
  • Final freak-out.

  • The sound of that cannon blast at 10:08am.
  • Seeing the first wave of runners on the Verrazano bridge, and feeling the crowd around me explode.

  • Everyone discarding the extra layers of clothes (don't worry, they are sent to charity).
  • Crossing that start line... finally.
  • The calm quiet on the bridge, with only the noise of thumping feet and breathing accompanying us.
  • Catching the first glimpse of the City's skyline, visualizing the route ahead and that finish line in Central Park.
  • Being surprised at how quickly mile 1-2-3-4 zipped by.
  • People along the route, holding up signs in memory of Ryan Shay.
  • Turning onto 4th Avenue in Brooklyn and being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people shouting and cheering us on.

  • Seeing Kari and then Matt on the sidelines on 4th Ave.
  • Constantly hearing "GO AMY! GO ELIZABETH!" being shouted by complete strangers and every time in completely different accents.
  • Seeing Gillian run by us with a great big smile on her face.
  • Seeing Mallory as we approached Atlantic Avenue and then nearly bumping into Ramin's giant lens.
  • Seeing Mom, Dad, Shamim, Sharim, Matisse, Ash, Naishon, Neda for the first time - TNT caps, cow bells and all.
  • Being totally surprised by seeing Sahba, Kapono and then Lucas in Clinton Hill.
  • Making the wise decision of turning on our iPods at about mile 10.
  • The odd feeling of running in a music video - loud music in your ear and people mouthing words at you around you, but you can't hear what they are saying.
  • Andrea Bocelli at mile 11 (sorry, the video is just cheesy, but it's just about the song really).
  • Bumping into yet another "Veronese" - running his first marathon at 60 years of age. He tells me "Now that I'm nearly half way there, I think I'll be able to finish". I'm inspired.
  • Feeling a sudden and unexpected bolt of pain in my lower back and knowing immediately that it would be with me till the finish line. It was.
  • Approaching mile 13 and the halfway point.

  • An awful mile 14 in Queens - dead, silent, empty industrial area. No one cheering us on.
  • Looking for Alex and Shamim Maani as we approached the 59th Street Bridge and being blown away by seeing our family and friends there as well!
  • Getting rid of my camera.
  • The pitch black lower level of 59th Street Bridge - mostly uphill.
  • The madness of First Avenue.
  • Josh&Sophie spotting us in the crowd, screaming and running after us.
  • Seeing Shamim et al, again, eagerly awaiting us.
  • Mile 18 and 19 flying by thanks to the buzz on First Avenue.
  • The Bronx, the drums, the temptation of a pretzel and thankfully the quick return to Manhattan.
  • Stomach pain at the thought of another Gu, Marathon Jelly Bean or Fruit Gusher.
  • The physical inability of downing any more Gatorade.
  • A tingling feeling in my arms, hands and fingers that I just can't shake away.
  • The beeping sound of the check point as we cross the 35km post.
  • Finally being back on 5th Avenue and at the same time basking in the crowds and trying to drown out the noise from my head.
  • Being refused Tylenol at the medical station and consequently being on the verge of tears.
  • Hearing Elizabeth mumbling prayers to herself and me, praying silently in my head that I can make it through.
  • The excruciating length of miles 22 and 23.
  • Coach Christine running up to me, grabbing me a Gatorade, talking me through the rest of the course, telling me the entrance to Central Park is just a few blocks up and then, well then... "You're nearly home".
  • The curve into Central Park - tears stinging me eyes, and struggling to choke them back.
  • Shamim on the side line, walking as fast as we are running, shouting something about jacuzzi and slush puppies.
  • Seeing our cheering team on the side line -- Sharim, Neda and mom running beside us.
  • 59th street - an insane amount of people cheering.
  • Elizabeth speeding up, and me, begging her in my head to slow down, just please, for God's sake, slow down.
  • Re-entering the park at Columbus Circle and seeing ourselves on the jumbo screen.
  • The sudden realization that it's nearly over, that I can actually SEE the finish line.
  • The "100 yards left" sign.
  • Sprinting.
  • Crossing that finish line, stopping bent over and just sobbing because it's really, really over.
  • Realizing that both Elizabeth and I are smiling and crying and in shock.
  • Swearing on all things holy that I will never, EVER run a marathon again.
  • Walking ahead, getting our medal and blanket, posing for pictures and then starting the long long long walk to the trucks to collect our stuff.
  • Seeing coach Steve, getting a big hug and then walking some more.
  • And then, more walking.
  • Exiting the park, finally ... and seeing family and friends.
  • The long ride home on the subway.
  • The fully-clothed, teeth chattering, ice bath I had to take.
  • Food. Finally, real, good, proper food.
  • The excruciating pain in my back, legs and feet.
  • The fact that I made it to the end with all my toe nails intact.
  • The amazing feeling of accomplishment that is still pushing strong, getting me through the pain which is also, still, lingering. Can I have some more drugs please?
So, in a couple of months, when that urge hits, to do something mad, here is a list of alternatives that I might like to consider, you know, just because I do have options, and really, who needs to run 3 marathons anyhow? So I could, for example...
  • Learn a new language.
  • Make all the recipes in my cook books, like these ladies are trying to do.
  • Weave a carpet.
  • Watch all the Star Wars movies back to back (as you once did with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, extended edition).
  • Read and memorize the Bible, cover to cover. Or the Kitab-i-Iqan.
  • Do a triathlon (wait a second...?)
But these are just a few ideas...there are hundreds of other things I can think of.
For anyone still reading this - there are more pictures here and here.


Di said...

It sounds like a marathon!! We here in blogland are all so proud of you!! Congratulations on completing it and still remembering so much about it!!

Elizabeth said...

My questions is: WHY did I let you take videos of me at 5 a.m. in such a state? Clearly I was delirious.

laura said...

honey, you made me cry!

yasie_t said...

i LOVED reading this! thank you for sharing! it made me cry toooo! x

Natascha said...

I love this post.

Manijeh said...

i wish i could have been there to cheer you on. thanks for sharing. one day lets do the london marathon.

jajajun said...

nothing like a soggy keyboard! I am so proud of you, my love!

limonana said...

you're the BEST're the best writer, the best marathoner, & just the BEST.

Brikebrok said...

Great day, hein ?

Tifferbob said...

Wow, made it! I enjoyed the journey.

Behi said...


Very inspiring piece of writing...makes up for the fact we couldn't make it there to also cheer you on!

Very well done. :)

montague said...

thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for all the love and encouragement!

Marjan said...

Makes me want to run a marathon.

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