I decided back in January 2015 that I was going to enter the NYC marathon lotto. I asked my husband what he thought and well, he said what were the odds of getting in so that I should sign up, mind you, for this marathon, one of the top 6 marathons in the world, millions of people sign up, literally. I was convinced my odds were minimal.
Fast forward to 3 months later, and the day where it would be announced who was running came, people I knew had heard already if they were running or not, it was 8:30pm and I still didn’t know if I was in or not. Finally, at 9pm I logged in to see if I was in, I looked for several minutes without realising the big sign that said I had been selected.
I was in shock and beyond happy to be so lucky to get my name drawn on the first try.
After this, months and months of training came. Much sacrifice was made, which is usually what happens when training for a marathon. My training was usually very early mornings because in Panama it becomes very hot at 6:30/6:45am and makes training possible but strenuous.
In September almost 2 months before I had to leave for the NYC Marathon I got injured training. I didn’t pay attention to it, I rested a couple of days and continued to train. October came and I realised I had to get help because the pain was not going away.
My coach managed to help me heal my ankle and I was up and ready to run again just weeks before the marathon.
The day came and I was ready to go to NYC. That Saturday I went to the Expo. It was such a thrilling experience to see people from all over the world sharing the same excitement. I had never seen an Expo as big as this one, it was overwhelming but so much fun at the same time.
Race day came. I woke up at 5am, showered, prayed, had breakfast and was ready to leave by 6am. I walked to the meeting point where the bus would take me to Staten Island to start my marathon. As everything done by Americans, all was perfectly organised so you knew where you were going. I got on the bus, slept and tried to relax for the hour we were there. Once we got to the camp, I had never seen so many people, all with the same purpose, so thrilling. My fab hubby booked for me to be in the United tent which was heated, had food and clean bathrooms. This was great since the other option was to wait for 3 hours out in the cold. Finally my time to run came, 10:30am I was in my corral anxious and ready to go.
We started running 10min after 11am, and here I was, thinking to myself, Oh lord I am running the NYC Marathon. I was doing a really great time, I was happy with what I was doing up into 21km, after that my mind started playing games with me but I managed to keep it under control until 25km. After that I hit the famous wall, which had never happened to me before, after that it was hard to get in my groove again. I forced myself to continue, then the most wonderful thing happened, I saw the Panama flag twice in 3km! It gave me such a push. I don’t know who was holding the flag or if they were panamanians but I was thrilled and that helped me through until 32km. After that, I saw my time and I realized I wasn’t going to hit the 4hr mark that I wanted to accomplish. I was in a mind battle of I just want to finish I don’t care about the time with I do care about the time I make I need to push forward.
It was hard to do because my legs and back hurt like nobody’s business. On mile 24 my hat fell off my head and trying to get down to pick up was beyond painful (hahaha) I should have left it but I love my Vitamin Shoppe hat.
Then on mile 25 I finally saw my husband and that was it, I needed to run and be done so I could be with him.
I ran and ran until my legs would fall off. Finally I made it to that desired finish line. I tried to smile for the picture, stopped my watch and started crying like mad.
It was a weird cry because, one I was happy that I had finally finished and two I was mad at myself for not doing the time I wanted even though I went down 25min (4:49:20).
This being mad lasted a couple of days, I trained like crazy, sacrificed so much and still didn’t make the time I wanted I was in disbelief.
Now a week has passed and I am not mad anymore. I am pleased that with such a hard race I managed to finish and better my time. My family and friends are proud of me and I am proud of me.
For it being my second marathon, the first was in Panama, it was a big accomplishment and now I am only left with continuing to work hard to better my time one km at a time.
I will forever be grateful with the people on and off my team for their support and advice, for my family and for the most incredible husband a girl could ask for. I am truly blessed.