Post Halloween Sunday=lazy day for Lauren. November 3rd for thousands of other people? The New York City Marathon. And while I’m sitting on the couch with my second cup of coffee, wearing a spandex and sports bra but DEFINITELY not running, ESPN was showing live footage of the elite races. I kid you not, I was invested in this race. I couldn’t tell you a single racers name before today, but I found myself rooting for the girl in the lead who got over taken with three miles to go and couldn’t get it back. These women are SPRINTING. Like they are running faster than my pace if someone told me to run a single mile, and they’ve been running for two and a half hours. The woman who crossed the finish line first was too exhausted to even crack a smile, and she just won half a million dollars with her title!
The woman who crossed second, who had a substantial lead for a chunk of the race, looked devastated. Turns out, it was back to back NYC Marathons she had crossed second. That just struck an emotional cord for me. The image of her crouched on the ground in front of her husband, flag around her shoulders but head hanging, was such an honest sense of the word loss.
Buzunesh Deba, the Ethiopian woman who came in second, is my new woman crush. Let’s discuss a moment of her lead here- there she was casually booking it through the streets of New York, when I see her spit. And the announcer, just casually, says “Oh, yup, she just threw up.” Are you kidding me?! That is. So. Bad. Ass. This woman is sprinting through the streets and doesn’t break her stride for a second to THROW. UP. THAT is evidence of how bad you want something. That is giving an event your 110% effort to achieve your goals, and putting everything on the line just to see the possibilities. That is an inspiring performance.
I know someone out there is going to think “while she should be proud! She still came second!” While this kind of thinking makes logical sense, I find it infuriating. It’s like earlier this year when my goal was to make top 8 at Big Ten’s, and came ninth. Twice. By a point and a half combined. People were saying “well wow, coming ninth is great,” and while you can smile and appreciate the compliments it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. Coming second was not this woman’s goal. She wanted the win. She didn’t train all year, thinking of the last moment she came second, envisioning anything less than the lead. The loss she felt was real.
To conclude, congratulations to all marathoners today, and those training for one in the future. Set your goals today! No need to wait for a birthday or New Years :)