So last week I was sitting on my couch flipping through Runner’s World (you know, the one I’m IN!!)…
For anyone that doesn’t know, that is a picture of runners going over the Verazzano Bridge at the start of the New York City Marathon.
I’m sure a lot of people look at this picture and think – “WOW, how exciting!”
I think – “HOLY CRAP.”
In an effort to keep from having a panic attack I tweeted the picture to see if anyone else felt the same way as I did…
…and luckily I found a kindred spirit in Nicole who clearly has the same (totally rational) fear I did when she saw it.
(I mean really, why do they even use that picture for an ad?? It’s terrifying!)
I think it’s safe to say that it’s no secret that I’m a little bit nervous about the New York City Marathon because my training certainly didn’t go as well as I had hoped between moving and starting a new job, and then of course I finished it up with the world’s worst long run (seriously, those hills are going to kick my butt!).
But unfortunately it doesn’t end there.
I am literally scared about having a panic attack on that bridge.
I may be just the slightest bit claustrophobic and that thing is PACKED.
And everyone is running.
And IT’S ON A BRIDGE!
A really really really reeaaallly LONG bridge.
I’d say there is about a 75% chance I’m going to get on that bridge, start hyperventilating, have a panic attack and you’ll either find me a) clinging to the side for dear life crying or b) trampled.
And before I even get to the bridge I’m scared I’m not going to be able to find my friends!
We had to choose our transportation to get to Staten Island way back in July and at the time I went back and forth between choosing the bus or the ferry.
I have a slight tendency towards motion sickness, and I know it’s just a ferry, but why chance it before running 26.2 miles?! The bus sounded like the safer option. My friends who I plan on running with chose the ferry. I figured we’d just meet up on Staten Island.
I mean how hard can it be to find 2 people among 50,000+??!
I know – cell phones!
But what if because the other 50,000 people are trying to find THEIR friends too the cell phone signals are all jammed and texts won’t go through and I never find them and I’m all by myself as I wait to get onto the Verrazano Bridge to have a panic attack and get trampled??!
What if I manage to find my friends, make it over the Verrazano Bridge, run 26.2 miles through New York City and then finish in Central Park and my phone is dead by then and I can’t find my family and I’m wandering around New York City lost and tired and hungry??
I know I should make a pre-determined meeting point (and I will), but I still need to actually manage to get to said meeting point when my brain isn’t working after having gotten up at 5am, sitting on Staten Island until I start at 10:30am and then running 26.2 miles…
There’s a good chance at that point you’ll find me sitting on a curb somewhere crying and wondering how the other 50,000 people are figuring this out without having epic meltdowns. (Hmmm…maybe I should put an “If lost please return to” sign on the back of my race shirt…)
I’m sure about half of you are thinking, “wait, didn’t Danielle used to live in New York?? AND work in New York City??”
Confession: Not only do I seriously dislike New York (which you probably already knew), but I am beyond overwhelmed by New York City. I’m pretty much intimidated by getting around the city to begin with, let alone when I need to get from Long Island to Staten Island at 5am, find 2 friends out of 50,000 people, run 26.2 miles (which I don’t feel well trained for) and then manage to find my family afterwards when I’m cold, tired and hungry. (**Note this does not apply to all cities, I’m perfectly fine navigating my way around Boston or DC. Heck, I even traveled cross country with a friend for a month years ago BEFORE GPS – we used MAPS!)
Yes, I recognize that I am totally over thinking this (right??), but this is what has been going through my head the past few weeks and why I can’t manage to muster up much enthusiasm for this race. (I mean how can one muster enthusiasm when all of ones energies are going towards NOT having a panic attack??)
Ok, well now that you all think I’m completely nuts – PLEASE HELP ME!
Have you ever been nervous before a race for NON running reasons??
Any tips for staying calm? (or finding my friends??)
Oh, and if you see me sitting on a curb in New York City crying at any point throughout marathon weekend please come help me! Or just give me a hug (sorry if I’m sweaty!). Or maybe buy me a snack…
P.S. – I’ll be wearing my blue North Shore Animal League shirt!
**NOTE: Please know that I hope this post doesn’t come out sounding whiny or unappreciative for the opportunity to run the New York City Marathon – I am beyond grateful to everyone who donated to my fundraising for North Shore Animal League, in fact, that’s what keeps me motivated to train – I really wrote it in hopes of getting some assurance that my race day isn’t going to be as disastrous as I’m imaging it to be!**