My husband and I woke up at 5 a.m. and turned on the television to find that the weather was in the 30s and windy. We quickly got dressed wearing layers of clothes. I ended up wearing my Nike pants and my Brooks Plum Jacket. Over that, I proudly wore my Team for Kids bright yellow tank top with my number on the outside. We threw on some old polar tech sweaters and hurried down Wall Street in search of the number 6 subway. (For those of you who do not live in the city, the number 6 is the East Side local line.)
It was exciting to see all the runners on the subway. Most of us were squished on one side of the train because someone who was on the subway before us threw up on the other side, and everyone was trying to avoid that area.
We caught the express train, which ended up being a local. When we finally got to 103nd Street, a group of us walked off the train, up the stairs, and headed directly to Central Park. With every step, I got more and more excited that this day was finally here and I was going to attempt to run it in three hours or less.
We were in the Brown coral. My husband and I had similar numbers and we stood together and waited for the opening ceremony. All of the runners were talking with us. Everyone was friendly and looking forward to the race. I turned on my Nike app on my iPhone and started to listen to the music.
When the bullhorn blew, we were off. I was determined to get through the park. The park was an eight-mile loop. I was told that if you don’t get through the eight miles within a certain time frame, they would take you off the course.
I didn’t want to stop. So I didn’t. I kept running. Then suddenly, my iPod stopped working. There was no music. Could I possibly do this without music? Then I realized that I didn’t need music. The crowds, the environment, and the entertainment on the streets were my music. I was just determined to concentrate on making this run happen. I repeated to myself, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this!