This Sunday at 4 am my alarm will sound and I will wearily begin making my way to the Staten Island ferry. I will have quite the long wait until the 9:50am start.
A lot of time to think and reflect.
- Did I train enough?
- Can I achieve my goal of a sub 3 hour marathon?
Sometimes I find these pre-race moments of waiting harder than the race itself!!
Once the gun goes off though it becomes easier to focus my attention on my breathing, running form, and race strategy. Things within my control.
When things get tough in races (and in life) I like to think of the people who inspire me. The family and friends who give me strength and motivate me to be the best version of myself I can be.
Each kilometer on Sunday will be dedicated to someone special in my life. The people who I am grateful for….
#1 Gratitude for Helena – Kilometer 1 – 5 Crossing the Verrazano Bridge
I am the luckiest man in the universe to have a wife like you!
Crossing the Verrazano I will be thinking of all that you have done and continue to do supporting me. Especially in all my running.
The 1st bridge is symbolic of you. Without you I couldn’t reach all the other things in life.
During these early miles I will be smiling and taking in the beauty of NYC from the beautiful view. Just as in life I smile with the thought of you and continue to take in your beauty everyday.
#2 Gratitude for Emma – Kilometer 6 – 10 Early in the race
You arrived early in the race too Emma.
I can still look back and remember asking myself if I will be the father you deserve. All the excitement, doubt, and other emotions that came along with becoming a parent.
It’s similar to the same wonder early on in a race about how things will go further down the line. I know that you believe in me as much as I believe in you! I will draw on this knowledge and get strength from it for later in the race.
#3 Gratitude for Friends (you know who you are!!) – Kilometer 11 – 15 Getting into a groove
I have a number of friends from work and from my life that have helped me to “get in the groove.”
Their support and belief in me has helped me stay true and helped me stay on track. One such friend is even toeing the line for his very own marathon this weekend!!
I’m grateful that we continue to inspire each other and I feel especially lucky to have such wonderful friends who want to see me arrive at the finish line!
#4 Gratitude for Aiden – Kilometer 16 – 20 Middle miles
Being the middle child I felt like these are some appropriate miles to dedicate to you Aiden.
Around this time I will begin humming an AC/DC song to myself and smile, thinking of you. Watching you push hard in your basketball matches makes me so proud.
I will push equally hard here in the middle. A tough time in any marathon!
#5 Gratitude for Mike – Kilometer 21 – 25
Big brother! It has been an amazing week visiting with you here in NYC.
I have been such a lucky guy to have such a loving and supportive brother as you. All my life you have always been there for me, never judging or criticizing.
I want to make you proud as I pass through your borough! I remember years ago telling you that one day when you walk down the block to watch the marathon pass by….I will be there!
#6 Gratitude for Amy – Kilometer 26 – 30
I know that you would do anything for me and our family. There’s not a shadow of a doubt. I watch how much you sacrifice and give to your own family now.
I’m gonna think of you during these miles and draw upon your endurance. You have more than you realize!!
#7 Gratitude for Mom and Dad – Kilometer 31 – 35
There have been many moments in my youth that I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through to the other side.
Around this point in the marathon I’m betting I will be wondering the same thing.
I will think of you both and the undying faith and belief you have always shown in me.
#8 Gratitude for Felix – Kilometer 36 – 40
My little buddy! If there is anything I want to do on Sunday it is to make you proud. I hope that I can draw on this during these final miles and keep on moving!!
#9 Gratitude at Kilometer 41 – Finish Line
The final mile is dedicated for ME. The reward of crossing that finish line couldn’t feel any sweeter.
It’s a gift that I know I will want to keep giving to myself as long as I possibly can.
When I get into Central Park for the final miles I will reflect back on all the hard work I have put into training for NY. All the early morning or late night runs.
All the tough track sessions and hard tempo runs out on the gravel roads in the woods.
I have been thinking of these final miles during these workouts. When I cross that finish line I want to make sure I have given it all I can!!