Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Marathon Diaries, Part 39: The NYC Marathon 2013, Miles 23 - Finish Line!

picking up where I left off in the second installment...

After crossing the Mile 22 marker, I tried to run for a little bit. I lasted a very short distance. Everything hurt. My quads the most, but really everything from my quads down had some element of soreness or pain - especially my stupid useless pinky toes that I need to have amputated.

I thought it was funny that despite being slower than I expected, I kept pace with the 5:30 pacer. That was my goal time and obviously this guy was having just as rough a time as me. I wasn't going to finish in 5:30 and neither was he.

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From this point on the course, it was all mental. My body had given out long ago. I didn't like it, but I had admitted to myself that I would be walking the majority of these next 4 miles. So I did whatever I had to do to make sure I got them done. I continued to enjoy the music, the crowds, the signs, and despite my physical pain and disappointment in my fatigue, I kept a smile and a good attitude. I was not going to let anything get me down. I had worked too long and too hard to get here and this experience - a first marathon - only comes along once in a lifetime.

To pass the time in my head I thought about a lot of things and made sure to keep it positive. I thought about my Grandpa Frank, Grandma Margie, Great Grandpa Mario and Rasha, all of whom aren't alive anymore but would all be so proud of me. I thought about all of you on many occasions - some of you specifically, things you've said or ways you've inspired me - and I thought often about the fact that there were people all over the globe at that very moment that were cheering for me, many that I never even met. That's a surreal and beautiful feeling. I don't think many people have that kind of support and I consider myself very lucky.

When it got especially tough out there I reminded myself of 2 things:

1- Amy is waiting at the finish line with my medal
2 - My Dad is waiting outside the park to drive me home

I knew that no matter what happened between now and then, and no matter how long it took me, those 2 things were true. I had both of them waiting for me and was so looking forward to seeing each of them.

I passed the BGR girls, always full of excitement -

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Yep. Still keeping pace with the 5:30 pacer.

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At this point I was freezing. Although it was still light out, the streets were dark in Manhattan because of the shadows cast by the tall buildings. I couldn't feel my hands and I couldn't get warm since I was just walking. I wasn't even walking as fast as I normally would because I was so sore. I fantasized about that poncho we were going to get at the finish line. I dreamed of a time when I would be warm again.

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I knew it was only going to get worse too because I could see the sun was very close to setting.

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Just before Mile 23, I ran into a friend of Janet (who I started with). I never met Beverly before but she knew me from Facebook. She joined me and walked about a half a mile with me. I was thankful for the company and the distraction.

Mile 22: Friend Beverly

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Mile 23!

In the distance, through the trees in Central Park, I could see that building I like and photograph often -

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As I made my way down Fifth Ave I thought back to that amazing Fifth Ave Mile I ran not long ago on this very street - when I ran the fastest mile of my life at a 9:21 pace. That was a spectacular day and unforgettable run.

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The crowds were getting thinner, but I was thankful for anyone that was still out. Surely they had been there for hours and it was cold and getting dark now.

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Though the crowds were smaller, the thing is, from this point forward, it seemed every person cheering knew exactly what I needed to hear. Every cheer seemed so perfectly suited for this incredibly tough portion of the run.

I remember a young healthy looking woman on the right telling us how awesome we are, telling us that she couldn't do what we were doing and she kept repeating how awesome we were to be doing it, to be marathoners. She looked like someone that could do it if she wanted to, but she insisted we were awesome - even though none of us were running at this point! She insisted on our awesomeness - because we were doing something she could not.

Then I saw someone smiling at me and photographing me. It was Christina, who I recently met on the Tour de Bronx. I was so happy to see another familiar face.

Mile 23: Friend Christina

I think I told her how awful I felt and she took a few photos of me. But I didn't stick around long. At this point I really wanted to finish. We were so close to entering the park!

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We entered at 90th St, I posed for one of the professional photographers and blew Frank Lebow's poster a kiss.

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Once inside the park, I went to the port-o-potties for the 3rd and final time on the course. A woman bystander offered to hold my heat sheet while I went in. She could see I was in pain, too. When I returned to retrieve the sheet, I was just so thankful for her kindness, I thanked her repeatedly. She told me it was the least she could do for me considering all that I had done today. The least she could do? All I had done today? She made me cry.

It's those little gestures that were so touching. Because, I mean, I didn't do anything - I decided to enter this crazy event, train for months just so I could wake up super early today and push my body well beyond what it has ever done and clearly beyond what it wants to do. No one made me do this. I did it to myself. It's not like I'm not out here helping society in any meaningful way or doing anything to benefit anyone but myself. Yet she treated me, and all the spectators treated me, like I was magnificent and special. I don't know what it is about a marathon but people really do treat each other so beautifully. It should be like that every day, but I'm happy to take it this one magical day.

I was so glad to be in Central Park - knowing the finish line was truly close now. And though I knew I wasn't going to be finishing as strong as I would have liked, I wanted to appreciate the simple joy of being in Central Park in the fall. It is absolutely beautiful.

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Despite all of my discomfort, I was still smiling. I really hadn't stopped smiling since I began this crazy journey hours ago and boroughs away.

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I can't tell you what a beautiful sight this was - Mile 24!

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a blurry Mile 24 marker

Not only was I thrilled to see I had completed another mile but was looking forward to seeing my final friend on my list, Marcus. His running group, the Front Runners, was manning the next water station. I gave him a hug and told him that I was in so much pain but was so happy to see him. He understood and offered me encouraging words. He has one of the most pure and beautiful souls of anyone I've ever met.

Mile 24: My friend Marcus
Love you, Marcus!

I remember coming up on this sight and saying out loud "Mother Effing Cat Hill!"

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there's the cat statue on that rock. She's blurry, but she's there!

I thought about something I once told Jenn from work and that I often tell myself, "Take advantage of a downhill". Yes I was sore but I know I can get longer strides by running on a downhill, so I did it. I ran for that brief down hill. And as the road inclined again by the 72nd St transverse, I walked again.

From this point forward, there are very few pictures because it was officially too dark to get a clear shot while I was moving, so I will recreate the last 2 miles with mostly just my words...

As I had mentioned earlier, I really hadn't stopped smiling since I started this run, despite the pain and  the few emotional crying outbursts, I had a smile on my face all day. But that all changed between Mile 24 and 25.

It was at that point on the course, on my left, where I saw a spectator. It was dark in the park but I saw her. She had a wide smile on her face while she cheered her heart out for us. She told us how great we looked. She was as excited as any of our other spectators had been all day except...

She was in a wheelchair.

I briefly wondered why she was in the chair - was she born that way? Was it an accident? An illness?  - but mostly I was just filled with amazement that she was not bitter about it. She was out here cheering for us, the able bodied people, and she was doing it sincerely with a smile. I was moved to tears just absorbing and processing it all.

I always remind myself how lucky I am. I'm always so thankful to have been born with everything in tact and functional. And when I run past someone who is differently advantaged I remind myself again how very fortunate I am. I don't ever want to take that for granted because I'm aware it can be taken from me at any moment. I like to think about that fact when I run, because I'm guessing there are people who would do anything in their power to be able to run or even walk. I'm lucky enough to be able to do both, though walking was about all I could muster at this point. I know how fortunate I am and I'm extremely thankful for it. Seeing her there reminded me of 2 things: 1) It's all about attitude and 2) Even  though I had nothing left in me to be able to run anymore, at least I could walk. At least I could walk.

And then we crossed Mile 25.

With every step I take, I know I'm getting closer to the finish line. I have no more smile. I have only tears. But they're tears of "Oh my God. I'm seriously about to do this. I'm so close to finishing the New York City Marathon!"

But before we can get to the finish line, we briefly exit the park at 59th St -

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As we are leaving the park, there is a young woman chanting at us: "You. Are. Amazing! You. Are. Amazing! You! Are! Amazing!"

I can feel my internal excitement and the external excitement of the crowd mount even greater as we get closer and closer to the finish. I'm crying even more now.

I'm walking as quickly as I can across 59th St, still crying. People are still cheering for us. A cop tells me I have half a mile to go - HALF A MILE TO GO! - and high-5s me.

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My heart is racing. My blood is flowing. I want desperately to be able to run but I'm in so much pain. I tell myself that when I get into the park at Columbus Circle, I will try to run.

I'm already crying thinking about what is about to happen, and a woman bystander shouts at us: "You're about to become marathoners!" Oh my god, she was right! This was really happening. It was once again exactly what I needed to hear at that precise moment!

Another is telling us "You're so close! Just go into the park at Columbus Circle!!!"

I enter the park and look to the left. I see the Mile 26 marker and make my way towards it.

I walk faster, psyching myself up to run, because I am NOT crossing that finish line while walking!

I start walking up that last and final cruel hill that leads to the finish line.

I'm staring at the finish line. It's in my sights and it's all I can see - The blue banner that is the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

I'm now 400 meters away. I think of the McCarren Park track where I did all those speed work sessions. 400 meters is one lap. I've done this a million times. This is what I've been training for!

I crumple up my space sheet and toss it to the side because I do not want it in my finisher photo.

I tell myself that I don't care how much pain I'm in, I'M RUNNING ACROSS THAT FINISH LINE!

At the 300 meter mark, I begin my pained run towards it.

As I run, I don't even feel my body. I hear and see nothing else. There is only that finish line.

My eyes are transfixed on it. I don't even blink.



And in those final seconds, I'm aware that every single long run, every single track workout, every sacrifice I made the for every running event the last two years, has all led up to this.

This.

One.

Final.

Moment!

The moment where I throw my arms up in the air and with tears in my eyes, I become a marathoner!

The moment where I cross the finish line of The. New. York. City. MARATHON!!

I crossed that line, stopped in my tracks and cried really hard. A man came over and hugged me and told me it was ok, and to cry it out. I break loose from his warm hug to tell him my friend is here with the medals and I need to find her.

Before I can even look for Amy, I hear "Sheryl!"

She spots me and comes running over to me. We're both crying. It was the best cry and best hug I might have ever had in my life. I was so happy to see her and so happy to be able to get my medal from her. I had her put it around my neck and we cried and hugged some more. It was one of the absolute most beautiful moments of my life and as long as I live, I will never ever forget it. I remember Amy's first ever run. It was in Central Park just a year ago. I made it a point to go to Central Park on that freezing morning and be there for her when she crossed the finish line even though I barely knew her. Today, she was there for me at the most important finish line in my life.

This is a selfie I took -

My friend Amy was waiting with my medal

Here's another great shot her friend took of us -

Taken seconds after crossing the finish line of the ING #nycmarathon last night. I was so lucky to have a friend waiting for me on medal duty. @theawesomemom was a huge part of my day and I couldn't wait to see her.   You can see the tears in both our eye

And that's it. That's the story of how I became a marathoner. Something I am so proud of and will never forget. Something I will think of very fondly for the rest of my life.



Since Sunday night, I've been bombarded with questions about how did I feel, what was it like. It is tough to put into words with a quick answer, because it is enormous. But I would sum up the NYC Marathon like this: It's not so much about running, as it is about love. To explain...

I have literally never felt so loved in my entire life as I did this past Sunday. I felt loved by people that know me in real life that were bursting with pride for me. I felt loved by so many of you that took time to track me that day, send me messages on the course, blow up my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and cell phone. And I felt loved by my city - the millions of every day New Yorkers that came out to cheer for mostly random strangers who were doing something as silly as running a marathon.

I've truly never felt so loved and it is for that reason that I am certain I will run the NYC Marathon again next year. I'll have to figure out how to train better so I don't fatigue as quickly but I have time to work on that. In the meantime, despite being sore for days, having had the experience, I can't imagine not doing it. It was probably the single greatest experience of my life (I can't think of another that tops it).

I'm absolutely amazed at myself. Not for finishing - I knew I'd finish come hell or high water - but for having the nerve to do it at all. And though it happened 3 days ago, part of me *still* cannot believe it. It still feels like a dream. But if it was a dream, it was the most beautiful dream I ever had in my life and I don't want to wake from it.

Thank you all so, so much. Thank you Melanie for helping me train, crazy runner Mary Harvey for always making me think I have more in me even when I don't, Amy for waiting for me at the finish and being the person I get my medal and first hug from, my Dad for being there with a warm car and my protein shake, to all of you who came out on the course to cheer for me, to all of you who followed me and send such heart warming messages of love and support, and to my running team North Brooklyn Runners for allowing a slowpoke like me on the team. I may have been the one on the course but all of you helped me get there! You were there with me and I did it for all of us.


Before I go, I want to mention Mrs Kim since she wasn't in the part 2 blog and a few of you asked about her. The day before the marathon I stopped in the shoe store. Her daughter was in there and since she speaks English fluently, I spoke to her. She told me they had to attend a family christening on Sunday and that Mrs Kim couldn't be there. I was, of course, sad. But obviously I understood. So on Sunday when I ran past that corner I thought about Mrs Kim, even though she wasn't there. I knew wherever she was, she was thinking of me. I stopped into the shop yesterday to show her my medal. She congratulated me and held my hands and apologized. I know how much she wanted to be there and how sorry she was that she missed it. I told her it was ok and that I had her in my heart when I ran past.

Finally, I'll end here and the next post will be post-marathon stuff; what I did that night and the following days.

Then maybe if you're lucky I'll stop talking about the marathon for 5 minutes. Maybe. :P

46 comments:

  1. Living vicariously through your posts here in Alabama. Proud of you and happy for you and have never met you. You ROCK!

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  2. Congratulations for being you, for braving any fears you may have had and running that race. You are an incredible woman. Thank you for sharing your journey to the marathon and your entire marathon experience with us!

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  3. Each day that you posted a "PART" I read it and cried. Today I balled my eyes out...and needed about 12 tissues. You not only ran for YOU, but you ran for all of those who can not....myself included. I thought of you as I walked around the mall the other day and barely made it back to my car after an hour. How a human being can run/walk THAT many miles amazes me! I am in awe of you. I think the world of you. And most of all I am so happy that I met you & you sat on my lap! :) hehe xoxo

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    1. LOL Tracey, I read the whole comment not knowing who wrote it and got to the part about sitting on your lap and was like "what?? who is this??" then I saw it was you. ha-ha Thank you so much. I'm just so sorry for what you're going through but congrats on your beautiful baby girl. Thank you again for such a beautiful comment! I'm glad I met you too. Hope I didn't hurt your lap with my big ass ;)

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  4. Oh Sheryl...I have tears running down my face as I read this. I followed your little dot around the computer screen off and on all day and when I saw your pace slow, I knew that you were having a rough time and I was mentally cheering you on. When I saw your dot getting soooooo close to the end I watched obsessively, annoying my husband with my constant, "Sheryl is in Manhattan! Sheryl is getting near so-and-so museum! Sheryl is almost to CENTRAL PARK! GO SHERYL GO!" Reading this is amazing...I wish I could have been there in person to cheer you on but I'm so glad you had a magical day!

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    1. You *were* there! Just before Mile 22!!!! I lost it when I saw that, thank you so much Stephanie! I was only sorry that photo I tried to get didn't come out, but I saw the message, followed by the photo!

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  5. You're not the only one who cried during this post! Thank you for sharing all of this!

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  6. "And when I run past someone who is differently advantaged I remind myself again how very fortunate I am. I don't ever want to take that for granted because I'm aware it can be taken from me at any moment."

    This just hit me like the proverbial load of bricks. Given my sister has MS, one would think I wouldn't take my own health for granted, but your words made me realize just how very much I do. It was so fun watching your progress on Sunday via Runtastic. Even as much as I was inspired then, these words have inspired me even more. Thank you. xoxo

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  7. Please, never stop talking about it. Your words have moved me to tears. Sooooooo happy for you. Just amazing! Soo, sooooooo proud and happy for you. Enjoy and THANK YOU for being such an inspiration...WOW!

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  8. Congratulations! You've been inspiring me for years and you are awesome! I never cry and this post made me cry. I've done a few half marathons and I'm not sure I could handle 26.2! I'm simply in awe of you. Xo

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  9. I'm already excited for 2014! I'm going to be spectating next year, or I might volunteer on the course. I can't wait to cheer for you!

    I loved reading your recap-- Congratulations, you bad ass marathoner, you!

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  10. Sheryl I am a longtime reader from Ireland who never comments but just have to tell you HOW FECKIN' PROUD I feel of you and this HUGE ACHIEVEMENT!!!!! I have been reading, crying reading crying big fat happy tears!!!. You are amazing and have been such an INSPIRATION to me. Well done WELL DONE!!!! Huge ((((HUGS)))) to you from Irelandxoxoxo

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  11. "Differently advantaged"...beyond meaningful. Huge congrats from a longtime reader/follower of yours in CA. I thought of you all day Sunday, wishing you a healthy, fun run. What I took away from your blog: Your bright red smile never wavered, and as you were tiring, you were ever more inspiring. In the end, through your blurred photos and your passionate writing, we, as readers were running in spirit, right along side of you. The photo of you crossing the finish line said it all...and you had me in tears. Sheryl, you are loved...never, forget that. But not because you are a marathoner, but because of who you are inside, who you've always been...who you always will be. Differently advantaged. Whew. Thanks for taking us along with you. Lisa

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    1. Your comment made ME cry! Thank you Lisa

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  12. I too am bawling my eyes out reading your posts. Sheryl, you are truly inspirational! That is such an awesome story and what an achievement. With a tear in each of my knees and no hope of running, I lived your dream and cheered you on and cried even though we've never met.

    Bhavani

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  13. I have been following your blog for a long time and as a runner you have inspired me no end with your posts. These last posts on your marathon journey have been so phenomenal to read. I have waited for each one and then sat crying as I read it. You are amazing! Its beautiful to read about what a journey this was and honestly thank you so so much for sharing xx

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  14. This was probably a labour of love for you to write, but for me, and perhaps the hundreds of others who read it, your post(s) have been uplifting, inspiring and motivational. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this day with us. I have never been to New York and I love it through you. You should be the 'real' mayor. :-)

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  15. Great job Sheryl!! So proud of you all the way from Los Angeles!!! You have gave me the courage to try running or as I refer to it Wogging (Jogging/Walking) Congratulations!!!
    You Go Girl!!!!

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  16. You did good Sheryl... I can't believe how many times I cried reading this and I'm a cynical biatch if there ever was one... xx

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  17. WOW! So moved by your post and your journey! HUGS!

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  18. What an awesome recap. I was glued to the television just to see if you would show up on ESPN. I was glued to the television just to see if I could spot you in the crowd. I to got teary reading all three posts. I can't wait for the post stuff. Great job!

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  19. Congratulations, Sheryl! You are always such an inspiration and it was wonderful to share your emotional journey to the marathon. Keep up the great work, and keep on blogging. We miss you when you're not around!

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  20. Sheryl I can barely read it for the tears streaming down my face. Grateful for your beautiful words that express so much love. I felt I was with you. And in spirit I was. Like Mrs. Kim, you will always be so loved and admired by me. Thank you for the years of blogs of pictures of inspiring stories. You have no idea how you keep me going. Renee Wolf Calvin.

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  21. I'm so glad to read I'm not the only one crying reading these posts! Oh Sheryl... what a true inspiration you are! Thank you again for sharing this amazing journey with all of us. Never stop talking about it... WOW!!

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  22. This post made my heart grow a little bigger. So happy for you. You are an inspiration!

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  23. I have loved every bit of your first marathon story! I only found your blog two weeks ago in the prep for my first marathon last week in Dublin! I love your story, I love your enthusiasm, I love your photos, I love your spirit.

    Amazing job & well done on finishing! :) We are both members of the 26.2 club!

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  24. Sheryl, I've been following your blog for years and have never commented. But you have always been such an inspiration -- through all your weight loss, the challenges you've faced, and now in becoming a marathoner. I couldn't help but tear up and cry as I followed your journey. You are so inspiring!

    I moved away from Brooklyn last year, and the marathon was one of my favorite events (I lived about a block away from Mile 9 on Lafayette Ave); I loved cheering for people, watching them accomplish something I have never been able to do. I miss the marathon, but its wonderful to hear that the time my friends and I spent outside cheering, even as the runners dwindled, could have helped someone get an extra burst of energy, strength, or knowing that they really could accomplish something they'd worked so hard for.

    Anyway - this became rambling, but I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS. You are truly remarkable.

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  25. Congratulations! From another long time reader, seeing that photo of you near the end, made me tear up. You achieved your dream!

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  26. Sheryl Sheryl Sheryl I just lost my SHIT at work lol. That picture of you crossing the finish line killed me! The look on you face...fuck! That's it...I'm doing it. There is a marathon here in November next year called the Road to Hope and I am signing up. I've never done more that a 5k but I want to feel the love baby! You rock and I am thankful to "know" you. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

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  27. Hi Sheryl,

    We don't "know" each other, but we're friends on facebook and I've been a huge fan for the past few years. Reading your marathon training posts and then the actual MARATHON posts have really inspired me.

    I have run a few races over the past 2 years, my biggest one being my half marathon last year. I stopped after that, for a few reasons, one being that I am really overweight and it hurts to run! I figured I'd just be done with running, but after reading your blog and seeing your facebook running photos, I am inspired to run again. Maybe not another long distance, and I don't know if I'll EVER be able run a marathon like you, but I want to run again. On Monday I ran/walked with my dog and it was hard, but I guess that's what happens when you start over.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I just want you to know that even though we'll probably never meet (I live in the midwest), I was thinking about you on Sunday and also on Monday when I ran. You are an inspiration to many, myself included. I'm so glad I found your blog 4 years ago :)

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  28. You have every single reason to be so proud of yourself!!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences - as others have, I cried reading it, understanding what you meant about the accomplishment and the support. All good things to you!

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  29. Thanks for sharing your story and CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a marathoner! You worked hard, and even through your struggles, you did it!
    I may never run a marathon, but you have inspired me to get out and cheer for those that do! I might even look into volunteering for the LA Marathon. I have never thought how engouraging the crowds are to the runners. I am glad that you mentioned the lady in the wheelchair. My dad was disabled (I lost him this past April) so I am always extra thankful that I can walk and move after watching him struggle and become worse my whole life. Hope you are recovering well and feeling better :).

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  30. Sheryl I have to tell you that you are such an inspiration!! I have never met you but I've followed your blog for a long time now. I cried reading through all of your recaps. Thank you for sharing this very special moment with us!!!

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  31. Hi Sheryl,

    Congratulations on your Marathon!!! I've been a long-time follower/rare
    commentor. I will finally be running the marathon next year after
    being denied 3 consecutive years. I'm beyond excited and your
    posts are making me cry already! What an unbelieveable experience,
    thank you for sharing!!! Congratulations again!

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  32. YOU ARE A MARATHONER!! Good job, Sheryl! You did great!

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  33. Okay, okay, I made it through Part I and Part II, and most of Part III, but ya got me with Amy - then I got to explain why I was crying at my desk for no apparent reason at all. The happiest of tears, though, at your amazing race! You made it!! And you did it with your usual style and grace. You make me proud to be a runner, too, and I can only hope my first marathon is as amazing. WTG, Sheryl!!

    emma

    p.s. - can't wait for the after-story - your loyal readers will never tire of hearing ALL the deets!

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  34. Congrats, Sheryl!!
    YOU'RE EFFING AWESOME!!
    Proud of YOU!!! :)

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  35. Sheryl, you freaking rock, girl!!!!! I've held back from commenting until this last post, but have been devouring every word of your marathon recap. I think you're an absolute champion and am so impressed by your grit and determination. I got teary when I read about your feelings when you ran past a supporter with a disability. I too often get emotional when running and out of the blue can feel overwhelmed with joy at how very lucky I am. It's good to put things in perspective like that from time to time. Anyway, thank you for sharing...and now I have a burning desire to run the NY Marathon - a dream maybe, but one I'd love to realise...

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  36. Crying my eyes out here in Atlanta! I'm so proud of you and reading your experience gave me chills. I watched the marathon all day and was so excited when they let the 4th wave start. I knew you were in there somewhere. Please don't stop talking about it.

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  37. pardon my language BUT YOU FUCKING ROCK!!!!!!!

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  38. You are amazing and inspiring! I am crying right along with you!!!!!!!!! Thanks for this amazing recap!!!!!!! XOXO YOU ARE A MARATHONER!!!!!!!!!!

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  39. Congrats. I'm so proud of you for running the finish. I did too. Keep writing about the marathon and NYC running. I left NYC on Monday and already miss it. I'd love to be able to do a recovery run in Central Park today. Of course, getting to do my winter running in AZ isn't so bad. Come on down to AZ for a marathon and my wife and I will show you the town.

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  40. Sheryl, I can't thank you enough for sharing your marathon journey in detail. It has lit a fire in me to get back to running consistently again after a break.

    Last year, I got to my 15 mile long run in marathon training and quit because it was too hard and time-consuming...at that point I decided to NEVER run a marathon. But, reading your posts about how a marathon is about SO much MORE than running, I'm reconsidering that decision. It may not be in 2014, but someday I think I will tackle one.

    You truly are an inspiration. Congrats, Marathoner!!

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  41. You are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I actually almost started crying with you while reading it. It gave me goosebumps and inspires me to try running myself!

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  42. Thanks for shearing story and Congratulations for being you, for braving any fears you may have had and running that race.
    Brooklyn Fitness

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