I finished the Brooklyn Half Marathon…
and it was a miracle!
On Saturday morning, April 14th, I went to Brooklyn with five other Team in Training members, to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon, 13.1 miles. The run started in Coney Island on the boardwalk and continued down Ocean Parkway finishing in Prospect Park. This was where it all started for me…where I was born and where I lived as a child. It was very emotional for me knowing that this was the same boardwalk and beach I played on as a kid. Brooklyn is the same place where my Dad was born and had grown up, too.
I had injured myself a week or so ago while on vacation in Rehoboth, Delaware on a training run. The injury was on my left side, in my IT band, which many runners know as a group of muscles that run from your hip down the front of your leg. I took the past week and a half off from running to heal. After a couple of sessions of physical therapy and acupuncture, I felt ready to come back.
Saturday was gorgeous, cloudless, a picture perfect day. I felt great! The first mile down the boardwalk I thought I would make this my personal best day ever. There was something else in store for me. After about the first one, to one-and-a-half miles I was in pain. As I turned the corner to come back down the boardwalk the pain became excruciating pain. I thought “How could this be happening to me? Today? Here where I was born? Will I have to quit?” I was fighting back the tears as hard as I could.
The other marathoners were all passing me by and a bunch of Team in Training mates stopped to counsel me. They told me to walk for a while stop and stretch and see if I can work it out that way. Strangers were yelling at me to keep going and the pain would go away. It took me about 30 minutes to do the next mile or so…stopping, limping…”schlepping”…stretching…thinking I would have to quit. The pain was unimaginable!
Then I started praying like I don’t ever remember praying before. I was praying in both English and in Hebrew. Low and behold the pain traveled from my hip to my thigh where it was allowing me to do a slow trot without as much agony. It was still very uncomfortable but I could deal with it. I trotted down Ocean Parkway through all of the Chassidic neighborhoods. After an hour or so I felt the pain travel further down from my hip to my thigh where I could deal with it better and pick up my pace a little more. I stopped at a water stop and an older gentleman, who was familiar looking for some strange reason, pointed his index finger at me and looked me squarely in the eyes and said “I want you to know I am watching your every move!” I was taken aback and I smiled and said thank you quietly and went on.
I went on to finish the half marathon, all 13.1 miles, in 2:49:43. Now that doesn’t sound like a stellar performance to a seasoned marathoner, but I can tell you it was nothing short of a miracle. I have been crying with gratitude and joy ever since Saturday morning. I feel I had someone with me through every step of the way. Who knows, maybe it was my Dad! When that man waived his index finger at me and told me he was watching my every move, I know it was not an accident.
I once read that “When you squeeze an orange all you get is orange juice because that is what is inside. When you squeeze a person, the same is true, you get whatever is inside.” I was squeezed extremely hard on Saturday morning and I am so delighted with what came out of me and through me. Faith, determination, and an overwhelming feeling nothing in life happens randomly. There are no accidents.
I have been limping along since Saturday, bruised and swollen. I am stronger both physically and mentally today than I was yesterday. The Team in Training head coach told me that my training is complete and rest, rest, rest. So a little rest along with a couple of visits to my lovely acupuncturist Julia, and I am good to go on April 29th! I know I have the help and support I need to make it to that finish line!
Thank you for your continued support! Your notes of encouragement and the positive energy you send me truly help me every step of the way. Please know that this means the world to me!
All my best,