That night we went to the Team in Training pasta party which was fun and inspirational. Here is the whole Northern NJ Team. My teammates and coaches were all amazing
When we got back to the hotel after the pasta party around 9:00, I got all my stuff ready for the morning and went to sleep. I tossed and turned a bit but felt like a got a decent amount of sleep. My alarm went off at 4:00, I got right up and ready to go.
I met my team in the lobby at 5:00, and we were on our way to the start at 5:30. We were able to hang out in the host hotel right next to the start line until about 7:20 so we could stay warm and dry. This worked out well for bathroom stops. It was a 7:30 start which was delayed almost a half hour because of an accident that caused even more traffic than anticipated. When I made it to the starting line I found my family right away. They took some pictures and gave me some last minute advice (my dad is a 6 time marathoner).
Back of my singlet honoring all the people in my life effected by cancer. They were my inspiration
The 2nd half started off fine and then Kathy started having a lot of pain in her knees. We walked through a water station around 15.5 and she couldnt start back up. She stopped at the porta potty and told me to keep on going. It pained me to leave her (we did all our training runs together) but I knew I had to keep going. By 17 it started to pour rain (it had been drizziling up until this point) and I was starting to get discouraged. Once I hit the 18 mile mark I was lonely, soaked and scared because I was heading into uncharted territory. This was definitely "the wall" for me, although it was way more mental than physical. I knew my family would be around mile 19 so I focused on seeing them again.
Once I got into dry clothes I waited for Kathy to come in. She was well over 1/2 hour behind me. Poor thing was in so much pain and walked almost 10 miles to the finish. Such determination! I was so proud of her.
Such an amazing experience. I still cant believe I can officially say I am a marathoner. I would definitely do the NJ marathon again, it was a nice course and easy for my family to be able to see my 4 times during the race. I loved training and running with Team in Training. I wouldnt have wanted to do it any other way. The on course support with all the purple singets was awesome. I raised over $3600 for a great cause, met incredible people, and had the experience of a lifetime.