As I woke up last Thursday morning, three days before my 49th birthday, I was having a dream about running the NYC Marathon on my birthday. It seemed very real, so I checked my calendar and, having nothing going on, thought, "Why not?" A few emails later (plus a $2,620 donation to the NY Road Runners' charity), I was registered!
A few more emails later with my great friend, David Saltzman, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Robin Hood Foundation, one of my favorite charities, and I was signed up for the 100+ person team raising money for Robin Hood.
Then I had three days to: 1) raise as much money as I could for Robin Hood; and 2) contemplate the fact that I had done no training and, in fact, having never run more than six miles in my life! If I failed at this, I was going to cost Robin Hood a lot of money – and it would be a very public embarrassment.
Fortunately, my legs held up and I'm pleased to say that I completed the marathon in 4:03:10 – and, much more importantly, raised more than $76,000 for Robin Hood!
The whole experience – before, during and after the race – was an epic adventure (and one that was so emotionally, physically and mentally draining that I was in tears right after I finished)!
Below are the emails and pictures that I sent to my friends and family before and after the race. Enjoy!
The conversation I had with my legs went something like this:
Me (the first seven miles of the race), speaking to my legs: "Hey you guys are doing great! We're averaging 8:34 miles, which would have us finished in 3:44."
My legs: "Thanks boss. We're feeling great. This isn't any worse than one of your long Spartan or Tough Mudder races."
Me (the next six miles of the race, up to the halfway point): "Hey guys, what are these nine-minute miles?"
Them: "We're trying!"
Me (miles 14-22): "OK, now I'm getting pissed – you slackers are down to 9:30 miles and, at this pace, I'm at risk of not breaking four hours!"
Them: "Hey, shut the f**k up! We've already carried your sorry ass 3x as far as we ever have – and the pounding we're taking from this pavement sucks! Let's go back to the grass, dirt and mud at the Spartan and Tough Mudder races!"
Me (miles 23-26.2): "OK, boys, now we're in the home stretch – let's break four hours!"
Them: "F**k you! We're toast – you're lucky we don't quit on your altogether!"