Let me start this blog out with the email that I received on 2/28/18 at around 10:20 p.m.
You are officially in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon this November. This is the world’s biggest marathon—a life-changing race that draws runners from all over the planet. It will test you, challenge you, and above all move you. All of us at New York Road Runners are thrilled to have you with us!
Be on the lookout for regular newsletters to help guide you on your marathon journey. In the meantime, learn about how to book your trip to NYC, pick a training program, and ensure you have an incredible race week experience.
I’m not going to lie…this brought tears to my eyes. I entered with absolutely no expectations of ever getting in. I’ve read the stats over the past years and know that the number of runners that get into this race via “Lottery” system is very small. I’ll give you a rough run on some of those numbers. For 2018, over 105,000 people applied to take part in the Lottery to run the NYC Marathon. The number of open spots would be just over 15,000, and out of that you have to account for people being allowed in from International, the state of New York itself and then the remaining 49 states. They stated in the Runner’s World article that it would be easier to get accepted into the University of Notre Dame! #GoIrish
When 2/28/18 rolled around and these 105,000 runners became glued to their computers and smart phones for some idea of their fate for the marathon, I become one of the ever hopeful. #Nevergiveup is a hashtag I use often when posting. I’ve been told numerous times by my wife and family members to “take chances” and believe that “things happen for a reason”. Well, I took the chance and the running Gods shined down on me that day. Me, a very average runner that just won’t quit. I’ve been given the opportunity to stand at the starting line with some of the planet’s greatest athletes! I will make NW Ohio proud! I will run for my sister who’s fighting rheumatoid arthritis, I’ll run for my parents that have passed on, but never forgotten and I will cross that finish line!
It’s funny how life throws different things your way…both good and bad. I struggled with illness most of January this year. This of course has left me behind on training and out of shape. I’m back at it and hopeful to keep all the moving parts moving. I’ve signed up for the Black Swamp 15K race that’ll be this month. I’m shying away from some of the other races until the Glass City Half Marathon. That’ll be a training run for our 21-miler out in California just one week after. (Big Sur!) I’m hoping to relax on the West coast and recharge batteries. The course is absolutely stunning and the atmosphere is stellar! This will be a year of just really taking it all in!
While the NYC Marathon is not until November, there are so many things that I feel the need to get in place. I want to make sure my body is kept in good shape and have asked my massage therapist (Becky Koskinen) to set me on a regular schedule so that I keep everything stretched and working well. The next order of business is to find a place to stay! There will be 50,000 other people looking for a place to stay and I hate to wait until last-minute with that kind of crowd coming in. I’ve reached out to an old friend that lives in New York (Jolene) for guidance on where to stay to maximize what the city has to offer. I have a few places that are a must see in my mind. I’ll do what I can, but need to balance that with keeping legs from getting too tired. There’s also the New York food! You just know that I’d like to check out some Italian food there! I just know it’ll be the bomb-diggity!
I’ve been watching videos, reading articles and just breathing this race from the moment I found out that I was in. Learning everything about the course and what it has to offer, how to set a pace with the adrenaline pumping and trying to comprehend there’ll be thousands of people lining the entire course screaming and cheering for all the runners! I have no doubt that emotions will be running super high!
I’m hopeful that my bride Karla and my sister Patti will both be able to come along. It just wouldn’t feel the same if my traveling Zombies couldn’t be a part of this. There’s no better face to see at a finish line than that of the one you love the most. Cross fingers that her work schedule works out. If not, I switch to plan B and Patti goes along…maybe reach out to another family member or friend to go as well. Hell…anyone that wants to come out to NYC and spend some time is more than welcome! Reach out if you’d like to make it a group thing!
I’ve decided that after completing this journey, I must have a tattoo to celebrate. (Duh!) Prior to that I’ve gone and had my tattoo artist (Sailor Woody…a.k.a. Robert Woody) place the simple words on the side of my hand. (JUST RUN) It’s right where I need it to be when I struggle, when I need a reminder that when nothing else makes sense…Just Run! I tell you folks all the time that I’ve felt from the very beginning of my running career, I believe that “All things are possible through running”. I still believe that to this very day. When I’ve had a tough day, when I want to move through sadness, when I need someone to listen to me…I go to the road. The road understands us Runners! It gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. So to honor this, I now have this wonderful tattoo on my hand to reflect all of that!
I always want to put my shout out to Blackjack Animal Rescue. You know that I always think about my puppies! Still working with Sailor Woody to get a design finished for t-shirts. Stay tuned! I’d love it when we get closer to the marathon if you all could make a small or large donation to the rescue in honor of my journey to New York. The lives we can save would make the journey worth so much more! By all means feel free to reach out to the rescue at anytime and help with supplies or donations. Look through the puppies that are up for adoption or become a foster parent to one or more! Fostering saves lives too! If you take one in, that opens up a spot for another one to be pulled out of the High Kill shelters in the south. Stella approves of this!
Please, stay with me this year! I’m just overflowing with emotions this running season. I want so much to do well and help my pups. I promise to keep the blogs flowing! I’d like to thank those that have reached out to me with congrats for getting into this historical race. The kind words have kept me smiling daily! I’d also like to thank all the regular supporters and followers to this blog and my Run Zombie Run Facebook page. I enjoy the likes and comments…truly! Let’s keep this Zombie running…all the way to New York Baby!
I’ll see you on the Road!