For 16 weeks and hundreds of miles, I ran alone. And I was ready to tackle 26.2 miles all by myself.
But then the big day came and I wasn't alone.
Far from it.
I had Jack -- the greatest boyfriend in the world. He dealt with my crazy training-induced mood swings like a champ and he didn't leave my side all weekend long, catering to my every need and -- most importantly -- making jokes. (Jack's jokes rule!) He always knows just what to say and I definitely would've lost my mind several times if it wasn't for him.
I also had some of my best friends on the sidelines -- cheering me on in matching "I'm Bianca and I Run" t-shirts, taking photos, and buying me post-race snacks. My glittering-in-crime friend Jennifer even made a fantastic hot pink sign (with GLITTER). They took their jobs as cheerleaders and photographers very seriously and having them in New York all weekend meant the absolute world to me. (Sorry Susan I stole your pics from FB!)
I had a ton of support from a far as well. So many wonderful people emailed, texted, tweeted, commented, etc. to wish me luck. Oh and I got some super sick care packages: cheetah print nail decals from an awesome pal in London and black and white cookies from the Style Foodie!
And then there was Emma.
We met marathon morning departing the Staten Island Ferry. She had a big smile on her face. I had a big smile on my face. So we said "hi" -- and then we continued to talk (and talk and talk and talk) through all five boroughs. Emma's phenomenal. I'm a very Type A runner and if I had been alone, I would've stressed about every hill, about every water stop, about every mile. With Emma, I just enjoyed running (and running and running and running). We chit-chatted about life, pointed out silly signs (one of my faves: 26.2 because 26.3 would be CRAZY), ate lollipops in Brooklyn, and high-fived NYC firemen in the Bronx -- all while averaging a 10 minute-per-mile pace. It was total fate that we found each other. And I'm so happy we did!
Running New York was an incredible experience made even more incredible by so many fantastic, amazing, and nice people. I still can't believe how lucky I am to have you all in my life.
So thank you (yes, YOU!) for making my first marathon one of the the best days EVER.
See you next year??