“The winners are drinking all the beer!”
One of my first blogs was “Life Lessons” from my first marathon. I just completed marathon attempt number 5 at the TCS New York City Marathon on November 6, 2016. I have completed 4 and have successfully run the entire distance the last two. Each attempt has been a unique experience full of lessons. While I continue to improve at each attempt I have yet to perform at what I feel is my “best.” Here are my new “lessons learned” from my marathon experiences.
“Pick up the pace, the winners are drinking all of the beer.” This was one of my favorite signs from the NYC marathon. It highlights both the celebratory atmosphere of the race as well as an underlying truth, the winners are already celebrating. Winning is not just in the result but in the attitude towards the experience of the race. At the start, many participants are celebrating. At the end, you see even more celebrations as people accomplish a goal or complete a run that benefits a cause. I saw laughter, high fives, and tears of joy among those that finished. And the celebration continued as they met up with friends and family. All of the runners faced adversity during the race. At mile 16, while I was trudging up the Queensboro Bridge and everyone around me had given up running, it did not feel great. I wanted to quit. It would have been easy to walk, especially when everyone else was. In a half mile, however, when I made the turn on 1st Avenue there were thousands of people encouraging us on in the “world’s largest block party” and a gentle downhill slope. I was glad I didn’t quit. All who kept with it and finished earned their celebration.