#ATHLETE? Not quite, but I did run the marathon.

I used to hate running.

About a week and a half ago (yeah, I know this post is late), I had the pleasure of running the 42nd ING NYC Marathon along with a few of my colleagues at Shelby.tv and a few classmates at Cornell.  Aside from the obvious numerical significance of the event, my 26.2 mile journey gave me a chance to think about what the whole experience of training, fundraising and running has done for me personally.

Unlike a few of my compadres at Shelby, I’ve never considered myself much of an athlete. I didn’t have a time goal for the marathon - instead my focus was on running the entire 26.2 miles and making it across the finish line.

Looking back on the day, I’m incredibly grateful that my legs held out and that I was able to finish the race.  Though my time wasn’t the best, I’m definitely proud of the fact that my splits actually got faster during each subsequent mile.  Some more experienced marathoners have told me that this is a pretty tough thing to do, so I guess that means I did something right. As many who have run marathons will tell you, the last six miles are brutal (at any pace) and in that final stretch, I discovered I had more mental fortitude than I thought to finish.

Aside from the mental (and obvious physical) benefits of running a marathon, I was lucky enough to participate in the Team in Training program, which is an extension of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. My grandfather died from lymphoplasmactic lymphoma a few years ago and I wanted to honor his memory and support a cause that is dear to my heart.  There were definitely a few moments during the run on Sunday when I spent a lot of time reflecting on how lucky I am to be in good health and to be able to run such an amazing race.  Thanks to everyone - family, friends and others - who took the time to support me in raising money for this cause.  I can’t thank you enough - you helped our team become the top fundraising family & friends team in the NYC chapter for Team in Training!

Over the course of my run, I ran into a bunch of people I met in NY tech this summer, family, friends and a few thousand new faces as well. Much like my experience in NY tech, I’ve found that my level of success and happiness is really tightly coupled with the awesome people I surround myself with.  With that in mind, thanks to everyone in NYC for coming out and supporting all of the runners.  Never thought I’d say this…but…I don’t think this was my last marathon.

PS - If you’re interested in donating to my Team in Training campaign (you still can!), check out my donation page.