The finish line

This is the last time I’m going to have time to write before I run the NYC Marathon on Sunday. Yes. After a gentle three miles on the treadmill this morning I decided I’m going to give this thing a go. No, I will not have my head checked. All they’d find in there is a few pennies and some Skittles anyway.

Actually, I probably should have my head checked because I’m starting to do really stupid superstitious shit. Like, so stupid that it’s embarrassing even for ME to admit. Like, clicking the lock button on the car key fob three times. Not once. Not twice. THREE TIMES. If I don’t click it three times then someone is going to break into the car, and then I won’t be able to run the marathon.

I know, that’s a diagnosable disorder. Whatever. Add it to the pile I already own. Yes, that is a very large pile. Hoarding is in there somewhere if I could only find it.

Yesterday the Every Mother Counts team hopped on a conference call to hammer out some final details before the race, and here’s where I know my brain is going to get even more screwy. Screwier. More screwier. The most screwiest: we have to be in a van at 5:15 AM that will take us to the start of the race on Staten Island. EXCEPT, we don’t start the race until almost 10 AM. WHO THINKS THIS IS A GOOD IDEA? Runners are crazy, and here you’ve given them five hours to sit around and contemplate, what? LIFE? The innumerable ways one could hurt oneself while traversing 26.2 miles WITH ONE’S LEGS? I imagine that every cult on earth was started by a runner whose brain collapsed in on itself during those five hours.

I’m also supposed to be carb loading and avoiding fiber, and of course I was the one on the call who was like, so you’re telling us that we should show up constipated? Because GUESS WHAT. I will never be the valedictorian of marathons, but I am the God of the planet Constipation.

Thank you for coming along with me for this experience. Many of you have sent me such helpful advice that I know I wouldn’t be here, three days before the race, confident enough to say that I’m going to attempt it had you not offered your insight. Also, I really want to thank everyone who donated to the cause. We raised over $6,000 in my name, and almost $82,000 as a team.

I want to be reverent because of the importance of the work that Christy’s organization does, but PEOPLE. That is really effing amazing. EFFING!

As much as I want to run this for my own sense of accomplishment, I want to do it even more to honor your generosity and the women whose lives will be improved because of it. Thank you so much.

So, please. Hip? Groin? Ankle? Work with me. I can’t do this without you. (See? I’ve started talking to body parts. I’m anthropomorphizing body parts. And all the runners reading this are like, what? Is there something unusual about that?)

I’ll be posting updates via twitter throughout the weekend, and if you happen to be in New York along the course, look for bib number 50891. She’ll be the one hobbling along, her face half eaten off, chanting, “BRAINS!”

  • cgreene

    Have fun Heather! It will be awesome!

  • The Dalai Mama

    You can do it Heather. I know how you feel. I felt this exact same way three weeks ago on my way to ride my 3rd century. But I did it–just keep moving. One foot at a time.

  • Zannah

    Good luck! I’ll be cheering for you! If you can, and I know it’ll be hard, remember to look around you every once in a while. Pretend for a few minutes that you’re not in total body pain and try to enjoy the fact that you’re running in the streets of New York. ‘Cause that’s so COOL!

  • Hakiva

    Have a great time! My piece of unsolicited advice? Remember that Rihanna adrenaline surge that had you flying? Multiply that times ten and that will be coming off the Queensboro bridge onto 1st avenue. Enjoy the rush, but beware the ankle!

  • Schmutzie

    You are obviously an insane person, but I am behind you 100% :)

  • mostlymuppet

    You’ll do great!

    I just ran my first half marathon last weekend (1:41:46!) after spending most of the month recuperating from a nagging Achilles injury.

    I didn’t die, but I’m sure I need to seek therapy.

    GOOD LUCK, HEATHER!

  • AJS721

    You will be AWESOME. Love every minute of it :) Even the hard parts. And yes, all runners are insane so welcome to the club!

  • Tricia

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD LUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!

    (P.S.~ pretty please, would you change back to the old font? The font you recently switched to is not as easy on the eyes, plus the commas look like periods. My brain keeps tripping over what it thinks are periods in the middle of your sentences. Have mercy!)

  • Daddy Scratches

    Good luck, Heather.

  • ljnelson

    Updates via twitter during the race for extra valedictorian points.

  • annecat

    Instead of “BRAINS!” please chant “Keep. My. Own. Pace. Keep. My. Own. Pace.”

    You’ll be great, Heather. Wish I could be there in person, but we will all be thinking of you Sunday and cheering you on.

    All the best,
    Anne

  • uvula_envy

    Good luck. I have downloaded the NYC Marathon app. I’ll be tracking you and other friends who are running on Sunday. I won’t be in the city, but I will be wishing you well!

  • ochampion

    I am so jealous, it’s going to be amazing! I promise the crowd support of like 400k strong will carry you to the finish. Can’t wait to follow you on twitter, good luck!

  • MollyCT

    Awesome. Please remember though: THERE IS NO SHAME IN WALKING. All you have to do is cross the finish line, just run when you can. Seriously. Don’t cripple yourself.

  • jenwilson

    GOOD LUCK! You’ll do great!

  • Lily Hydrangea

    oh my goodness! In the name of womankind I am so inspired by you Heather. Way to go! No matter what happens it’s going to be great!

  • Lily Hydrangea

    PS
    & I am psyched you are tweeting!

  • ThePeanut

    Good luck! You’ll kill it!

  • ladygray

    rock it out! enjoy every minute… so many hours of them. :)

    no matter how you cross the finish line (running, walking, crawling while babbling nonsense) CELEBRATE it!

  • tokenblogger

    You go girl! Just go!

  • CourtneySue

    Don’t worry about the constipation! Running is a natural laxative, trust me.

    My only advice to you, from my half marathon experience, is don’t try to push yourself when you’re getting near the finish line. You’re not trying to make a certain time, you’re just trying to finish! Just try to do your best.

    I second the advice to walk when you need to. A lot of people do, and it helps. No one cares whether you cross the finish line running, walking, or crawling.

  • sarahdoow

    Best of luck! Whoo! Yeah! Go Heather! Etc!

  • Janice

    I hate to add to your list but don’t forget to enjoy it. Take a moment while you’re walking and just breathe and take it all in. You deserve it, you worked hard for it.

  • soba

    Good Luck! You are amazing! I found it helpful in my mind to “dedicate” some of the final miles to people in my life who helped me get to that point in life’s marathon…so I could think of a specific person and all they meant to me rather than the fact that at mile 22 I really wanted to stop and sit on the curb. And I love this sign a spectator had at a marathon…”The power within you is greater than the challenge before you.” I hope you have a great experience (savor it!). You have to be proud of yourself and your team for the money you have raised for Every Mother Counts. Bravo!

  • poopinginpeace

    Good luck!! Just keep saying to yourself ” I GO GUUURRRLL!!” It’s motivating and funny all at the same time.

  • Palesa

    Best of luck Heather! Hope you have a great run! Am so excited for you and your team. And MASSIVE congratulations on the fundraising so far, that is amazing… x

  • Pepper

    Best of luck, Heather. I ran the London Marathon in April, and had an injury (suspected plantar fascitis – excruciating foot pain) 5 weeks before the big day. Ended up with hours of physio, and headed to London taped up to the hilt. It was the 2nd hottest London Marathon on record, I reacted badly to the tape and got burn-like blisters all over my feet and shins, and my husband and baby weren’t at the cheering spot they promised to be, so (of course) I just bawled from Mile 18 to Mile 20 (when I finally found them). But I still finished, and nothing felt better than the final mile – I still well up when I think about that last mile, it was just the most incredible experience of my life, and it will be for you too! Focus on that mile and how incredible you know it will be whenever you feel yourself wanting to give up. Failing that, focus on the big glass of champagne you’ll be knocking back just as soon as you can get this damned race out of the way.

    My only tip? Don’t drink too much water while pacing the race village waiting to start. I lost 10 minutes to a Portaloo wait at Mile 11, I’m *still* so mad about it – don’t let it happen to you! :)

    Best of luck! x

  • Jutenhoop

    You go girl! I will be thinking about you! xxoo

  • Canadienne29

    You will do it, I just know it! So excited to hear how it all goes!

    Good luck! (I’ll be finishing a half-marathon while you are running your full and I am going to send happy and positive thoughts all the way from Toronto.)

    I really like the new font, FWIW.

  • Buddahkat

    You can do it!! I just ran 3 legs, with a total of 17 miles in the Las Vegas Ragnar. I had a bad knee and IT band. Biggest advice is to make sure you are HYDRATED. After that then make sure you have enough carbs/energy. Our van (we took first place in van decorations thank you) had those frozen pb and J sandwiches that thaw quickly. That would be a great “one hour before I start but I’m waiting” snack. I also exceeded the recommended daily dose of ibuprofen. Only once. Not a recommendation, but it worked and my kidneys are still rockstars. I didn’t take any within one hour of the race. You’ll be in a lower altitude but watch your speed!!! I paced myself between a 10 and 11 pace and was able to maintain it throughout. Even with the guy dancing around me in a speedo!!
    Cherish the memories! Best of luck!
    Kathee

  • bawb23

    I am so looking forward to reading about this. Are you going to have a camera along? Something small, just to document lost toenails and crazy people? Also, Live Tweet.

    Seriously, though – it’s inspiring and humbling that you’re even attempting this. Please don’t allow your competitive nature to hurt yourself too badly, and be sure to keep us posted.

  • stationaryrunner

    Good luck and have a great time. The crowd’s encouragement will help carry you along. It’ll be difficult, but fun.

    Runners are definitely a little crazy. It’s part of our charm. ;-)

  • willwheels

    I ran NYC two years ago and it’s amazing. The crowds are great and will help you a lot. Put your name in big letters on your jersey and people will definitely cheer for you.

    It is a long, long wait on Staten Island. We chilled in the ferry station for a bit before we sat outside. I’m sure someone told you to buy thrift store clothes to drop when you go to the start, they’ll be redonated.

    I waited in line for the bathroom at Mile 11 and then saw way more portajohns at Mile 13, so wait until then.

    Walking is definitely accepted, but much easier to do at the water stops. I was on a walk/run schedule to get over an injury and ended up changing my schedule so that I walked through the stops because they got so crowded, there wasn’t much choice.

    Have a great run, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    Good luck and remember, the Clif Shot Blocks in Strawberry are tasty!

  • jg

    Girl. You crazy. Good luck, and I hope you don’t poop your pants!

  • Mrs Squirrel Assassin

    I don’t know if it’s too late but an old marathon training coach who I still get training emails from suggested to the people running the NYC marathon to buy a cheap sleeping bag and take it with you to the start of the race. He said you might feel silly at first but you won’t when you are one of the few warm people. He also said that they collect those sleeping bags after the start and donate them to charities. So you get to stay warm first and then someone else will stay warm because of it later. Win win situation in my book.

    Good luck on the marathon. It is a fantastic and rewarding(although very painful) experience.

  • Love Hz

    Good luck! There’s nothing like finishing a marathon, especially New York! I know that I was a bawling mess when I finished in 2007, because I was undertrained for the hills. However, it was still an amazing life experience and I want to do again next year! Can’t wait to see how you do! The adrenaline from the crowd will probably carry you most of the way!

  • mysocksdontmatch

    If you hear someone screaming “DOOCE!” during Mile 17, that would be me.

    Good luck!

  • mybottlesup

    you’re entirely insane. BUT I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU! GOOD LUCK!

  • elozano

    You are so inspiring! We will be with you through every step of the way.

  • PrettyGirlMyers

    Best of luck!

  • Funnygirl78

    *Holds up “GO DOOCE!” sign*

    We will be cheering you on from across the river in da Bronx! Go Heather! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT!

  • megrit411

    Heather, you are going to kick this Marathon’s ass! Seriously, you are. I ran/walked a marathon two years ago in far worse shape than you and I made it, only about two minutes ahead of the Last Chance bus. If I can do it, YOU (with your muscles and workouts) can do it. Have fun and focus on what an awesome thing you are doing. You are going to come to a point where your brain is going to tell you you cannot go any further (I’m sure you’re heard this before). The best advice I can give you is to tell your brain to shove it and let your body take over. I can’t wait to hear ALL about it. GO HEATHER GO!!!!

  • wendyp72

    Have a great race Heather!!! You have totally got this!! Slow down…walk through water stops…Get in your head and think about people who are here and those who are gone who are proud of you…Always help me….Think about your girls…very empowering to them that their mom can run a marathon. You will do great.
    I’ve done a few halfs and have my first full in January 2012. I will be running 17 while you are doing 26.2. Black Cherry Clif Shot Bloks w/caffeine are AWE.SOME!!
    A finish is a finish. You do not have to be the valedictorian everytime. Give someone else a chance!! :) Take some time to enjoy the spectators and soak it all in. You are running a frickin’ marathon!!!!

  • LisaAR

    I wish you all the best, Heather. May your body support you and your mind not sabotage you. Your heart? Well, nothing to worry about there, because you’re already all heart! Run the race with perseverence, my friend!

  • pdkmdddd

    As a “sort of runner” who aspires to be a “bad ass runner” I’ve really enjoyed following your running progress, even though it’s been a rough road. (But truly, when is long-distance running ever a smooth road?)

    I’m running my second 10k next weekend, and while a marathon makes 6 miles look like a quick run to the corner store, it’s still a big deal for me. Lately I’ve been thinking about looking into half marathons, and YOU are majorly inspiring me to think a little harder about it. Yes, you’re probably crazy for running this, but I so respect the ballsy-ness and commitment.

    Come Sunday morning, I’ll be sending good thoughts of strength, stamina, and lots of ibuprofen!

  • shan.h

    *And the crowd roars* Gooooooo Heather!
    Best of luck!

  • MESR

    Way to go, you can do it!

    I just happened to log on now after not being on in awhile. You should be at the starting line right now ready to kick ass. And I just so happened to run a race today myself where I live in Korea, so I’m on the same high. While simultaneously cursing my ankle for almost giving out on me halfway through. So from one runner on the other side of the world to you in New York, go get ‘em!

  • Anxious Annie

    Very excited for you. I know I would have given up after the 1st injury. Tracking your progress online here and you’ve done over 7 miles already! http://trackmyrunners.ingnycmarathon.org/Map.aspx

  • love2stich

    I have been following along with you on the ING NCY marathon runner tracker and I am so proud of you… keep up the great pace!! Hope you are feeling well and not too much pain :) You just finished a half marathon… halfway there!! GO HEATHER!!!