The Night Before the Big Race

Wow! First, I want to start off by saying that I am a HORRIBLE blogger!  Okay, now that we have that out of the way.  I am t-minus 10 hours away from one of the biggest races of my life, the ING NYC Marathon.  I should be thinking/worrying about all the last minute things I need to bring/not forget, what to eat, what to wear, and I should probably be asleep right now instead of writing this.  But there are a lot of other more important things and people on my mind tonight.

Twenty-five has been a challenging year for me.  I won’t bore you with the details.  Just trust me when I say I have been trying to find my way.  Maybe that is part of the reason I have been reflecting so much.  I’ve said this before to one of my dearest friends, Kaelen, that the older I’m getting the more sentimental I’m getting as well.  I can read a book and tear up.  Watch a movie and tear up.  See a cute older couple in the airport and tear up.  Well tonight was one of those nights/moments that I found myself tearing up.  This time I was just THINKING about the race and why I’m running it.  I have been on this journey to this course, over all 5 boroughs of NYC, for the last year.  Actually, my New Year’s resolution was to run this very marathon.  It wasn’t until 3 months ago that this idea became a reality for me.

There are 4 ways to get into the NYC Marathon (there are probably more, but I’m giving a quick rundown of how it works to the best of my knowledge).

1.) BE REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY FAST (ummm that isn’t me, so I couldn’t get in that way.)

2.) Win the lottery  (Didn’t sign up for that in time and the odds were not in my favor anyway after Sandy caused the cancellation of the marathon last year resulting in fewer slots for the lottery participants, (I think)). Remember I could be lying about any or all of this, but I think this is factual info.

3.)  Participate in the 9+1 program. (In order to run in the 2013 marathon, I would have had to have ran in 9 NYRR (New York Road Runner) events and volunteered at one event.  NYRR is the organization that does EVERYTHING for these races.  The people there are awesome. AWESOME!  I just started my 9+1 program in 2013 and am trying to finish all of the races in order to run the 2014 marathon.  After this big race I’ll have 3 races to finish up this year.  But that option was out for me this year.)

The 4th and last way to get into the marathon is

4.) Running for a charity.  Which means raising a certain amount of money for a charity. Which is AWESOME! Because you are not only running for a cause, but you are actually raising money to donate to that cause.  Most charities have you raising $2,500+ to run the race. This was an option, but not a good option for me earlier this year.  Mainly because, I HATE asking people for money. (Although, I’m not feeling as guilty asking my parents for money these days. I’m a starving artist remember?) And $2,500 is a lot of money to raise.  If you don’t raise it, you pay for it.  I also didn’t have a charity near and dear to me that I felt I could really get behind in order to raise the money.  But that kind of changed. Read on.

Okay so those are the basics to getting into the NYC Marathon.

Let’s go back a few months when my grandmother, Betty, found out she had breast cancer.  WOW!  That was some tough news.  I know it has been hard for her and my grandpa with surgeries, treatments, hair loss, tiredness, and worrisome thoughts.  All you want to do is make it better, but I felt pretty helpless being the granddaughter living 1,241 miles away (according to my iPhone).  I couldn’t make it to treatments or bring them dinners or give them hugs over the phone.   I wanted to do something to show that I was thinking about her and my grandpa, and I decided running 26.2 miles in her honor would be my way to do it!  I know she’s had to endure pain mentally and physically.  Today, I will be enduring the mental and physical pains of running a crazy amount of miles.  I know I will love every minute of it and have the strength to do so because the finish line I’ll be crossing will be easier to cross than hers.  If my grandma can go through chemo and radiation and tests and dizzy spells and endure our crazy family get togethers when she would rather be asleep then I can run a little race!

So I’m raising $2,500 for Think Pink Rocks.  Did I mention that?  TPR is a breast cancer organization.  They do awesome stuff.  Nuff said.  I have raised $770.  That isn’t really close to my $2,500 goal.  Did I tell you guys what happens if I don’t raise it?  Ok just checking to make sure you’re reading this.  Anyway, this organization seemed like the perfect organization to run for.  Because of the whole breast cancer thing and grandmother and because I had a lump removed when I was 18.  It’s scary, but early testing can save your life!  So DO IT!

I will be wearing a pink ribbon and a pink tutu during the race (unless it drives me crazy or people around me cray.  Then I will be throwing it somewhere else.)  This race is for you Grandma.  I am also adding a purple ribbon for my uncle Butch.  He is fighting pancreatic cancer.  I love you both so much!  Let‘s kick cancer’s a$$!

This race is also a little bit for me.  I know, it’s selfish.  But I haven’t looked forward to something like this since my trip to Greece in 2009 (or was it 2008? Man I’m getting old)!  Running really has been my psychiatrist these last few months.  I get to think. And think. And. Think.  20 mile runs offer you a lot of time to do that.  Tonight, I’ve been thinking about all of the wonderful people in my life.  About my awesome family.  Most of them made it to NY to cheer me on and spend some quality time with me (hopefully, they won’t have to scrape me off the ground).  I’ve been thinking about my wonderful friends.  You know who you are.  I’m always so choked with emotions when you guys remember events like these or comment on my crazy acting adventures in the city.  It really does melt my heart. You know how much this race has meant to me.  You all mean so much more!

Ahhh I’m getting sentimental.  Running has that affect on me.  Races are special like that.  They bring people together.  For this marathon, 50,000 runners will be brought together.  That’s a lot of bodies.  I’m fortunate enough to be healthy and able to be out there and be one of them.  Running the 2013 NYC Marathon was one of my big goals for this year/my life.  In 9 hours +about 5 more hours, I will have completed that goal.  It’s never too late to do something cray cray!

If you want to donate please go to http://www.crowdrise.com/brittbowman.  Any donation will be appreciated.  You can donate all day Sunday!  Thank you for taking the time to read this and check out my story.  More pictures and videos to follow post race!

Love,
Britt

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