United Airlines Half Marathon l Where running, physical therapy and goals meet.
Some things never change. I have always hated the cold weather. I admit it. Yes, I am that person that bundles in layers even when I’m inside. Yes, that person that requests the heat be turned up ‘just a little bit more’ and eagerly begins countdown to spring weather in November. I have always been fascinated with the human body and the importance of physical activity- that was my true inspiration in pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. With that in mind, I tapped into my mindset of “can do it approach” which was a necessity, given the weather conditions for March 20th.
AccuWeather predicted a chilly March morning for the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half marathon… let me be more specific, 30-degree temperature!! I wasn’t thrilled, to say the least, especially after Mother Nature and I had been getting along so well with New York’s 60 degree temperature days of training. It was lovely heading into Central Park after work and training in spring–like evenings, but with all things in life, you have to adjust. I arrived Sunday morning at 7:30, began my warm-up and was layered with six layers of outerwear that I didn’t mind discarding as I progressed through the race. Added bonus, all apparel that we left behind was donated to charity by NYRR.
If you have ever been to a marathon, the excitement is palpable. Everyone is determined to run their best and cross the finish line. There are runners that are running for a specific charity, a person, or sometimes just because they really love to run. You can’t deny the overall feeling of a marathon-it’s incredible.
For me, the first five miles or so proved to be the most difficult. Those who frequent Central Park know that running up Harlem Hill aka “The Great Hill” can be quite challenging. But it’s all frame of mind, right? I tapped into my trusted reserve of inspiration and determination and kept running. After leaving the park, my spirits lifted and I became used to the sensation of sweating and yet still being quite cold at the same time. Around the 57th Street mark, I eagerly looked around the crowds to connect with the friendly-faces from friends, family and my patients that kindly came out to support me. They certainly gave me a much needed energy boast and kept me running.
My next favorite part of the race was when I reached Times Square. The roars and cheers from the crowd, signs of support, and hand-fists in the air were encouraging. I was invigorated to keep running and just like that, the sun began peaking out almost to say, “Keep going.” I also loved the music from the bands and DJ’s that were also set-up at Times Square.. Very impressive.
For this half marathon, the West Side Highway offers peace of mind for the runners since it’s a long-flat leveled stretch of running path. Did I also mention it’s where Gatorade and Energy Gel are served? My trusted Garmin sports watch decided to stop working, but luckily I attached myself to a brightly dressed runner and kept up with him for the remaining three miles of the race. After finishing the West Side Highway, we ran through the Brooklyn Battery Park Underpass and approached Wall Street where the 13.1-mile race finished.
I was so happy to see my co-workers Alvin and Sarah at the finish line- our smiles were ear-to-ear and our teeth were chattering in sync with one other. WE did it!!! We finished the race!! Now time to get inside :)
Guess what? Alvin finished the marathon in an impressive 1:46:33 (8:08 pace) well done! Very proud of everyone that ran this half-marathon especially in these less than appealing weather conditions. So what did I take-away from this race? First, we can always tackle any obstacle we may face (cold weather on race day) and put forth a mindset to get it done. Secondly, I learned that I have some catching up to do …Sarah has signed up for seven more NYRR marathons and rumor has it she wants us to run too.
So, until next race keep going, focus and aim for the finish line whether it be in life, finish line races, and of course your physical therapy goals. You can count on me to remind you of this at your next appointment at Midtown West… You can do it! We will do it together. #teamcynergy
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