Conditions: It was cold at the start. I took the bus from 5th Avenue. I waited on Staten Island for my start time for almost 4 hours. The weather was perfect as I was able to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Paul made my marathon shirt for me.
Summary: This was my first marathon. It was hard–really hard. My brother died 2 months and 20 days before this day. My training basically stopped for almost three weeks. Not only could I not run without my mind replaying my brother’s death over and over again in my head, I could barely get out of bed to go to work. The catatonic state of losing my brother has left a gigantic hole in my heart.
I had to make a decision shortly after August 17–do I run this marathon or do I quit. At that point in my life, I actuated ‘quitting’ to my brother. I decided to run. Running was hard. Getting out of bed was hard. Being in a public pace was hard. Riding the subway was hard. Dinner with friends was hard. Work was hard. Everything was hard. Every single thing in life, at that point, brought me into a spiral of tears. I learned quickly that I had to keep my mind moving at all times. Idle was not good for me. I’d have nothing to do, then be consumed by thoughts, then cry. It was so hard.
I ran the NYC marathon. I carried a picture of Michael the WHOLE way. I saw Paul and Steve at mile 8 and 25. I saw Raffaela, Paula and Stephanie at mile 17, and I saw Daisy at mile 21. Stephanie hopped in right at mile 24 with me and ran me into the park. This race was so emotional. I cannot believe I ran my first marathon and my brother was not here to see it. I shared my story with NYRR and they gave me a second medal for Michael’s grave. This is where I started the ‘medal for Michael’s grave’ journey.