Sunday, May 1, 2016

New Jersey Marathon

This was probably one of the most difficult marathons I have ever run.  The weather was terrible. It rained almost the entire time, but along with the wind it was very cold and extremely windy.  I noticed that I ran faster just to try to stay warm.  I was only wearing my running skirt and a light T-shirt, although I did have one of those disposable rain ponchos to help protect me from the wind.  But it really was not doing a very good job.  By mile 17 I felt that I was getting into trouble simply from the cold. The wind had pretty much destroyed the poncho by then.  I started looking for anything that I could use for wind protection.  Finally I found a heavy fleece pullover that someone had discarded.  Of course it was soaking wet, but I grabbed it and put it on over my T-shirt.  It was very helpful because fleece tends to hold onto some warmth even when it is wet.  My number and my purple shirt were so covered that the Team In Training coaches were having trouble recognizing me.  There were only 14 of us who ran the full marathon and as usual I was last among our group. Finally the TNT coaches all ran with me and encouraged me as I shivered through the last 5 or 6 miles.  My feet were so cold that for most of the race I never even felt them.  But towards the end they started to thaw out and the pain was excruciating.  I was very close to tears just from the pain to my feet.  But I managed to make my way all the way to the finish line.  I kept remembering that no matter how miserable I was, it was not as miserable as chemo.  And after all, finding a cure for cancer was my motivation for running this race..  I did finish, and managed to stay well under the time limit of 6:30.

I greatly appreciate the help and support I received from the NJ Team In Training coaches.  They were wonderful and I know they really helped me make it to the finish line.

This race weekend greatly increased my medal collection. One for the 5K, one for the marathon, a TNT Alumni medal and a special one for the fundraising increase by doing both events.

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