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A Runner’s Diary: A Week Later…

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The day after the NYC Half Marathon, I couldn’t walk. I got out of bed and I felt as if my legs couldn’t support my body. I grabbed onto everything I could find to support myself to walk either into the bathroom or the kitchen, but that’s as far as I got. The thought of walking up and down the stairs scared me. I knew it would be painful.

I texted the women in my office to tell them I wasn’t able to come in. Could you imagine that I really thought I could go to my trainer the day after? I thought I would be at work getting a lot done and instead, I sat in my bed and worked all day, getting a lot done.

The next day I was able to walk a little more. The pain was starting to ease up on my legs but now my back, neck, and the muscle in my calf was bothering me. It was bothering me so much that I got a headache from it.

I had an appointment with the acupuncturist. She had me lay on a table on my stomach. She gently placed needles in the areas that bothered me that day. When she was finished, she said she wanted to try suction cups on me. Not having done that before, I let her do it.

That night when I went home, I asked my son to put mineral ice on my back.

“Oh wow,” he said, “your back is really bad. There is a huge black and blue mark on it! If I had that on me, you would be worried.”

I quickly went to the bathroom to check it out. He was right. In the spot that hurt the most that day, there was a huge black and blue mark, the size of a small plate.

Thankfully, when I woke up the next day, my back was feeling a tinge better but my shins started hurting again! I felt as if the pain kept traveling along my body looking for ways to get out.

The next day, I got on a plane to visit my Rochester office and was grateful that I hired car service to take me to the airport. Typically, when I go to JFK airport, I park in long-term parking and take the air train to the terminal. However, once it drops you off at the terminal, there is a good mile to go to get to the gates. By getting car service, I alleviated a lot of walking.

After we boarded, I sat on the plane and asked myself, was it worth it? Was all that anticipation, nervousness, and the pain after the actual event worth the three hours of running and completing a half marathon?

I thought about the run and the feeling I got as I ran through Central Park and then when we left the park and entered the streets of Manhattan. And I remember as I ran toward 42nd Street, I looked around and felt joy.

The journey and the destination were worth a little pain. Because at the end, I won’t remember the pain, I’ll remember NYC Half Marathon mile to mile.


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About Hilary Topper

  • Hilary Topper

    You are so right Lily! Thanks for the comment!

  • I was in intense pain after I did my first LI 1/2 marathon years ago, because I believe I stopped too fast as I bent down to hand someone my race chip. As I iced my knee at my friend’s after party, I also thought, was it worth all this pain? Long story short, the pain eased after a few days, and I ended up doing it again the year after. Liken it to having a baby; after the pain of childbirth eases into the wonder of new life, you forget about the pain, and some of us do it again!