this may be a bit long and possibly sappy...i''ve kind of been writing it for the past week...but it is my first marathon...one of the biggest marathons of the world...they say that the marathon isn't just the race. it is a journey. and the part of the journey is in the training...so, this is my journey and my expression of appreciation to those along the way...because i have thought a lot of those who have helped me along the way!
MY JOURNEY TO NYC...thoughts I have had in the past few weeks getting here...
tomorrow is the big day!!
a little over six months ago, on a whim, i entered the NYC lottery. Jeff & Corey were saying it's just $11. the odds are so slim and it at least starts the process for getting into NYC (if you're rejected 3 years in a row, you're in on the 4th year). i was not sure i wanted to run a marathon. but then, i got in. such a shock! and next thing I know, I am training for a marathon.
as each day had gotten closer to november 6th, i have thought a lot of how i got here. it astounds me at times that here i am, in new york city...about to run my first marathon...and not just any marathon, but the NEW YORK CITY marathon...THE largest marathons in the world. i still find it hard to believe.
two years ago, i was not a runner. i could barely run a mile. i didn't like running. and, i thought people who enjoyed running were crazy! also during that time, i was going through a rough patch in life. i will say i was somewhat a broken person. not all days were bad but they often exceeded the number of good ones. and, all sorts of things would easily unravel me. also, my weight gain was getting disconcerting.
at the end of 2009, i came to the conclusion that i needed some sort of goal to focus my attentions to. as a goal for 2010, i would train for a sprint triathlon. i remember back then, i did not believe i could ever run a marathon. i didn't even know how long a marathon was. all i knew then was i could never run that far or that long. but, i thought i could at least manage a sprint triathlon.
originally, i thought doing a triathlon would just be something i do. just be something to check off the bucket list. you just do it so you can say you did it (kind of like when i went skydiving). and maybe that is the case for some people. but for me, it was different. it changed me to some degree. also, what i did not know when i started was that after i finished, i would want to do more.
my first triathlon did not completely change me. but, i know somewhere between then and where i am now, most definitely during my marathon training, i changed. i have changed as a person. i have changed the way i live my life. i see and experience the world in a different way. i am no longer dark and twisty. somewhere between then and now, i became a runner (and a little later, i became a cyclist and swimmer as well...or at least a swimmer-to-be). i also became a happy person...completely crazy...but a happy crazy person...a happy, crazy person who feels such immense love and appreciation to all of those that have gotten me here....who i will think of as i run my 26.2 miles of NYC!
i did not know when i started is that i would befriend some of the most extraordinary, inspirational people to come into my life...such wonderful friends who have fixed the former broken me...such wonderful friends that push me to be better than i am and bring out the best in me....such wonderful friends who inspire me to do even more crazy things than i set out to do...such wonderful friends who allow me to believe that i can do all those crazy things...such wonderful friends who make me such a happier and healthier person than i was...such wonderful friends who i have come to love so very much that words cannot express enough...
I just want to give a BIG thank you to those to helped me get to here and helped me get to NYC...and to all of those that have send me their support & encouragement!! though i may not mention you below, i still thank you for those positive words to me! i could not be here without you all and would not be able to do the race tomorrow without you all!
NOW, A FEW SPECIAL WORDS TO A FEW SPECIAL PEOPLE...OKAY, MORE THAN A FEW WORDS...MORE LIKE A MARATHON OF THINGS TO SAY TO MANY SPECIAL PEOPLE!
Dave Friedman - thanks for being the organizer of the best running group ever! you are the heart & soul of java joggers! i could go on and on for all you have done for me....but, rather than go for pages, i will just say you really helped me become a runner when i was new (pushing me to run a little farther, giving me tips, encouraging me at my first events) and i am very grateful for that. though, i am most grateful for the friendship we have formed in that time, on our runs and java. and thank you for sharing your marathon experience...i was encouraged & inspired by it (even if you now possess my crazy crows!) :)
Cathy Tedesco - i have cherished all our runs and our many many laughs. i feel i am always laughing a ton around you. the recordings i have of you saying "oh geez" or just plain jabbering really put a smile to my face while i'm here 3000 miles from you. you, like dave, were great in helping me when i was a new runner (as well as a new cyclist). and, i am most grateful for the friendship we have formed in that time! i am thankful we did some of our marathon training together...especially those long runs or those pick up runs! i will think of you behind me silently cursing me as i try to push on at the pace you told to go at. ;-)
Diane Wurm - as i have told you before, you will always hold a special place in my heart since you are the first java jogger i ever ran with. but it isn't just that first run but you have been there for me ever since then. also, you were just the best at RTO, especially when i was stressing! i always think back to that first run. i am amazed as to how far i have come along since then and you are a HUGE part of that. you ran with me every step of my way to my first half marathon and have been there for much of my marathon training...especially for all those super long runs and answering all my marathon questions!
Theresa Lewis- i think you already told me to not make you cry. sorry, i can't help myself. earlier this year, you and Lora told me to try for a sub-2 half. i said you were crazy as i'd have to run my half 10 minutes faster than the last one. and then, i did it. i tell you, if you don't put these crazy ideas into my head, i wouldn't strive to do them. in fact, i think you were talking about how paul entered the lottery for nyc and that put the crazy nugget in my head. i am not sure you intended to create the crazy person i am now but you did and i am grateful for that. you have been key in my marathon journey. i loved our friday morning runs the past few weeks and appreciate you answering my marathon questions and shared yours (or paul's) experiences with me.
Fred Magana- i am glad you joined java joggers this year! you've been a great addition to our group and so wonderful in giving advice to me for my marathon as well as triathlon training! i am thankful that you always like pushing me a little bit to be a bit faster. also, i may be a bit stubborn and may not listen so well when it comes to tapering but i appreciate you getting on my case about my tapering. thank you for all you've done!
Lora Pittman -though you haven't run with me too much in the past couple months (you lazy cow! jk), you have always been there for me. i cherish all the triathlon advice you gave me when i was new to java joggers (and sac swimming enthusiasts). i think you're faster than you think you are because i feel like i'm always chasing you when we run together...but you've definitely helped me be a faster runner. like i said to theresa, that time you said we should try for a sub-2 half marathon, that really got me to push myself and discovery my running abilities.
Corey Langdale- I feel like we have grown together as runners and friends in the past year. you are one of the crazy ones to get me to enter in the NYC marathon lottery so i definitely would not be here had it not been for you. i appreciate you sharing your past marathon training experience with me (even if you're telling me how awful it was). thanks for getting me to start doing interval work too. that definitely helped me get a faster pace and even consider doing a sub-4 marathon.
Jeff Mah - I haven't seen much of you in the past few months but you are one of the crazy ones to get me to enter the NYC lottery. it's just $11 is what I remember you telling me. I also remember you being the first one to know i got in, even before I figured it out. I thank you for those runs we used to have together and for you always encouraging me to push myself...to keep on trying for PR's at every race! I don't think I would push quite as hard as I have without you there urging me on! I am sorry you couldn't be running with me here in NYC but ever so grateful for you getting me here to NYC!
Paulo Medina - when they call me crazy, i tell them that i am not as crazy as paulo! you are definitely one of the most amazing runners (and cyclist, triathlete) i know! you blow my mind away with all your athletic accomplishments! but you inspire me with your crazy ways! i love that you can still run with a measly runner like me. i am grateful for the friendship we have formed since we met swimming in folsom lake. and thank for giving me running, marathon, etc..advice and sharing your experiences with me!
Tom Petrie - while i am more grateful for how you've helped me as as swimmer, i am thankful we have been good friends in our triathlon adventures. i want to thank you for getting up super early and doing some of those really long runs with me! i think you ran my first 18 mile run with me and your company was definitely helpful in getting to that distance! (also, thanks to your wonderful wife Yasmin for feeding me from time to time and letting me occupy your time in training and races and such!)
Kenneth - through the summer, you were the guy to run whatever runs i needed to run. be it hill work at hinkle creek, intervals at the cavitt levees or getting up at 5am to do a 20 mile run, you were there for that and i am thankful to you for it. i remember during one long 20 mile run, the last 5 were tough and my brain was feeling fried, you chatted on and on about whatever with me and kept counting down the miles. that really helped me keep going along. you were a major part of my marathon training. thanks!
Wendy Niger - thanks for being the crazy stalker person that you are! bummer you've been injured but I know you're always watching...not just Cathy but me as well...;-)
Desiree Haight, Susie Maue, Allan D'Anneo, Ben Porter, Matt Sims, Steve Funder, Bryan Tully, Lhia Casazza, Gary Duran, Gerry and Rick Rucker (and other java joggers): thanks to you all for doing all those runs with me in my marathon training. Your company for it all was greatly appreciated and i love that many of the runs included lots of laughs!
Elijah Li - you've been there for me in swimming & cycling and sometimes running. you are always cheering me on in everything i do...and always giving me helpful tips. i am grateful for that and for our friendship! thank you.
Kim Woodward - my beloved dancing AND running friend! it's too bad we couldn't run more but you've been great in my marathon process in sharing your own experience with me and you cheering me on. i love being able to talk running and other crazy stuff while we're dancing. I love that you call me EB too! hopefully we can run together more when i return. i promise, we won't go off course and end up climbing up and sliding down rock mounds! :P
Paul Grimes - my fellow running friend running in the NYC Marathon! it's funny, last year, we only really saw each other swimming and this year, we only see each other running. i love how we have often run into each other at many races...no matter how big the crowd, by chance, we always manage to bump into each other. i hope to do the same tomorrow! it's been great running into you while we are out training and touching bases as to where we are in training. i look forward to seeing you at the finish!! i am grateful to having such an awesome runner as my friend! :)
Erica Knauff- one of my favorite triathlete gals! you're an amazing athlete but also one of the best cheerleaders! You are one of the most enthusiasts people i know and I love you for it. i love that we have become friends this year and i always look forward to seeing your warm smiley face for events that we do together! thank you for the support while i was getting ready for nyc! i'll be thinking of you!
Michael Baggett & Michelle Jones - you've both been great in supporting me along the way in triathlons & marathons! i really appreciate it. Michael, we were oh so helpful when i was a newbie triathlete & runner and i really appreciate all the tips you gave me when i was new & completely clueless! i hope you recover from knee surgery speedily and look forward to doing some crazy events together next year! :)
Javier Arroyo - though you're not a runner, i do appreciate all the support you've given me on my way to nyc. i am also thankful for how much you've helped me in cycling. you hosted the first ride i ever did with hammerin' wheels. i became a runner first but i think i finally figured out this cycling business this year and i have you to thank for that. and as i became a stronger cyclist, i too became stronger in running. so, you have helped me in my running. also, you always make me laugh...especially the comments you write sometimes. but, i really want to thank you for all the encouragement you've given me when i started feeling anxious as well as all the threats to me if i didn't taper.
Jeff Sanford- similar to what i said to Javier, though you're not a runner, i do appreciate the support you've given me on my way to nyc. also, i want to thank you for being the organizer of a super awesome cycling group! and, i really appreciate your support and willingness to help me with WAV. you took me up my first hill ride (to beals point) and got me to start my love & hate relationship with hills. though, i have found the hills (in both my cycling & running) have been the best thing for me in becoming stronger and faster. and, i thank you for being part of that. you also are another one who puts these crazy ideas into my head but if i didn't do these crazy things, i wouldn't discover what all i could do. so, thank for that....and when i return, we have a trip back to a hill in sf we must do. ;-)
Ralph Keith - thanks for cheering me on in all my craziness and for encouraging me to do even crazier things! after nyc, i look forward to an even crazier 2012...way to cool 50k, wildflower half im, and just maybe, the death ride...;-)
My Hammerin' Wheels' friends - thank for all the fun rides, times, and laughs! and though, i am doing a running event, i have been surprised by all the support from my cycling friends for my first marathon! i really appreciate it! i am glad this year that i was able to get more into cycling and really love that you crazy people have come into my life. Javier, Jeff, Mica, Todd, Alex, Craig, Sarah, Dave, Ralph and Nathan - all you guys always crack me up with all your ridiculousness! Jenny B, Kim, Laura, Daphni, Adrienne, Jinni, Kallie, Sharel & Michelle - you gals are just the sweetest! and, thank you all for your support to get to NYC! while i express a lot of & gratitude to my running friends, i am thankful to you cyclist folks as well.
WAV Riders - sometimes, I am not quite sure how I ended up in charge of a cycling group but I am happy I am. you gals have been great in riding with me when i feel like riding. also, when i didn't feel very confident to ride with the boys, you were able to ride with me so i could gain the confidence. thanks to all you ladies who have encouraged me in my marathon process, even if my marathon training had me cut back in organizing rides. though, special thanks to those ladies who stepped up to help set up rides when i was in marathon training. EXTRA Special thanks to Lourdes for your support and all your help you've done with WAV! also, thanks Kathy for all the messages of encouragement you've sent to me along the way! i've only known you a short time but i welcome the new friendship!
Sacramento Swimming Enthusiasts - I didn't forget my swimming friends even though I haven't been in the water for a few weeks. The water petrified me when I first started but you all have helped me get over that anxiety. Though I am still slow as molasses in the water, I do love the swimming. The swimming has also helped me from getting too injured in my running (or cycling). definitely has helped in my recovery. Shawn, Mike Kim, Jin, Bruce, & Brad - you've all been so great to me and thank you for your support as i headed off to nyc....even if i am not swimming...and don't worry, i'll be back in the water when i return!
My brother & sister - to my sister Alice for getting me to think about trying a triathlon...who knew I'd get hooked like this?! you're an awesome sister for helping me find something I would have so much passion for. and to my brother Jimmy, you are an awesome swimmer and athlete and I am glad you've helped me along the way to becoming an athlete. I thank you for cheering me on as I developed as a runner (and triathlete). You are an awesome brother!
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAST...THE MOST IMPORTANT THANKS I GIVE...
TO ALL THE JAVA JOGGERS!
I would not have become a runner without all you Java Joggers (and Java Joggers family members). I just love love LOVE you all so very much! all the runs i have done with you all since april 2010 have been wonderful. i love the trails i have discovered with you. i love all the conversations and laughs we have shared together. and, i love that you have helped me grow as a runner and as a person! nearly all my marathon training has been running with you java joggers. i can only count a small handful of times that i did not run with another java jogger. thank you for coming out for all my runs and training with me in the past six months! it's been a tough training process but could not have gotten the training in without you all. i was anxious in going to nyc because i am so spoiled now...i don't know how to run without java joggers but i can still feel your support from 3000 miles away (and love you for that!). i will wear my java joggers shirt proudly and my java joggers road id you all gave me...and be thinking of each and every one of you every step of my way to that finish line! And, from the bottom of my heart, I really thank you all for all you have done for me and for all the wonderful words of encouragement as I head to the NYC Marathon! I cannot say thank you enough!
TO JOANNE LIU!I love that sometime during the 28 hour race of the RTO, we became good friends....I think somewhere between sleeping on a picnic table together to when we were sitting under a dining room table with a flashlight trying to figure out what time we had to get the van back on the road. I am grateful for the friendship has grown between us since the relay race. You really surprised me when you said you would go with me to NYC AND actually booked the flight to go with me! I am so grateful you are here with me in NYC...while I miss all the other java joggers back at home, I am ever so grateful that you are here with me in NYC! I love the adventures we have shared out here and look forward to more! And, I am most grateful you will be out there on the streets of NYC cheering me on and that you will be one of the first people I see (that I know) when I finish! to you Joanne, I cannot say thank you enough for being here with me!