Wow! It is hard to believe that the Moonwalk was over a week ago! 26.2 miles of walking was much harder than I ever anticipated both physically and mentally.
I want to highlight for you the good, the bad and the ugly of this walk.
- The Good: I walked for a good cause and I finally completed my goal of a marathon!
- The Bad: It was physically painful from mile 17 until the end.
- The Ugly: Many of us were covered in rashes from the humidity and heat. I had rashes on both my legs, stomach and chest. They hurt and took almost a whole week to go away.
This was certainly a night I will never forget and although it was painful, as I look back on the walk it doesn’t seem as bad now. At 10:30 pm last Saturday night I started my 26.2 mile journey with Crystal, Margo and the rest of the Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Team.
The walk started and finished on Randall’s Island. The first three miles we walked along the water and the highway, we received a ton of attention from all the driver’s on the FDR. It was hot and humid, all the weather reports called for rain and then a cooling. It never rained and it never cooled, it was basically hot and sticky from start to finish.
The views were gorgeous! I got to experience NYC in a way I never have and probably never will again! The first 3 miles flew by just chatting with Margo, Crystal and George the photographer. Ohhhh, did I forget to mention George??? Empire had photographers taking pictures of our team for the walk, since me and my friends were the only ones doing the marathon, the rest of the team did the half, we basically had our very own personal photographer for a good portion of the walk. It’s a good thing that George was in shape, because he probably walked at least 15 miles with us that night.
Our first pit stop was around mile 4, we got some water, a kind bar and took a bathroom break. Using a porta potty in the dark proved difficult, plus the fact that my clothes were practically glued to me due to the humidity did not help matters. At mile 5 the marathoners split from the half-marathoners, the marathoners were pretty spread out leaving Margo, Crystal and I on our own for a good portion of the next 4 or so miles.
There were volunteers about every two blocks guiding us in the right direction. We walked down 2nd Avenue for miles 5-8 and this proved to be somewhat interesting with all the drunk people hanging out in front of the bars. We received a lot of questions, some high fives and unfortunately one walker got groped by a drunk guy. This guy picked the wrong gal to grope because she pretty much kicked his ass. She definitely showed him who was boss, I was kind of happy she was walking near me, just in case I needed protection.
After that incident miles 5-9 were pretty uneventful. Margo, Crystal and I walked pretty much on our own until George, the photographer, met back up with us around mile 8. Margo had decided to walk only 13 miles, but figured she’d walk them with us, rather than dropping down to the official half and then take the subway home at around 13 miles. I was sorry to see her go, but Crystal, George and I couldn’t stop for long, because our legs started to get stiff, and we still had over 13 miles to go!!!
After mile 13 it pretty much went down hill. We passed right by our hotel at this time and it was tempting to just go in, but I fought the temptation and I forced Crystal to fight it by holding our hotel key hostage. If we would have only walked the half-marathon we would have done awesome and felt awesome, but I never thought that walking could be so hard.
The rest stops only had warm water and I was starting to feel pretty sick. We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts, purchased some cold water and iced coffee to propel us through those tough miles. At the mile 15 rest stop around 3:00 am or so, George left us for awhile. Crystal and I trudged along, pretty much by ourselves walking down the West Side Highway. This was actually a pretty scary part of the walk because we couldn’t always see the volunteers, it was dark and I was wearing a bright pink skirt and bra which is not ideal clothing for walking alone in NYC at 3 am. I think they definitely should have had more volunteers along this path of the walk.
Crystal had a mental breakdown around mile 19 and I was feeling pretty sick, but I knew we had come so far and I was not giving up at that point. I gave Crystal permission to stop, but I also reminded her that we were NEVER doing this again and we were almost at the finish. She rested for a few minutes and decided to push forward. I was hurting, she was hurting, everyone was hurting. I kept motivating myself and others along the way.
At mile 21, George met back up with us and it was a blessing. He helped us push our way to the end, especially Crystal. The sun was rising at this point and thankfully the end was near. We crossed back over to Randall’s Island around 6:30 am and the views were absolutely gorgeous.
We had a false sense of almost finishing when we took that footbridge back to Randall’s Island. Instead of making a left to the finish, we had to make a right and continue through a few more loops which equalled about three miles of torture. Those last three miles felt like an eternity. Our saving grace was hitting mile 26!!!!
Crystal and I ended this walk as we started, together. Crossing that finish line left both of us with an amazing sense of accomplishment that cannot be described. We took photos and then laid on the ground!!!!!!!
I will save the Aftermath for another post!!!!
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