Sunday, July 7, 2013


Again.  Again.  And again. 

May 29, 2013.  I had tossed my running shoes, so to speak, into the lottery for the 2013 NYC Marathon and was waiting to hear if I had gotten in. I had only told a few people because I didn't want to have to  tell everyone if I didn't get in.  This from a girl who always insisted that marathoners were crazy, that she could never do it, why would anyone do that to their body, that running that far really isn't good for you.

However, I had run two half marathons in the past year and done a lot of other shorter races.  I had a wonderful training program through Fleet Feet in Montclair.  I had a lot of supportive runner friends.  And the races---I loved the energy of the races.  I loved seeing the spectators cheering for their friends and family members, and a whole lot of other people they didn't know.  I loved the funny signs and costumes I saw in some races.  In the first half I ran, I didn't feel like I was even running for the first 8 or 9 miles.  Of course when I hit Mile 11 I felt like I had been run over by a truck.  Those last two miles were unbelievably long and hard.  But when I was done, boy was I proud of myself.  While I didn't do so well in the second half, I knew it was more the fact that I had just returned from an overseas trip two days previously and made the mistake of eating too close to the start time of the race.  I felt physically ill most of the race, and ended up doing a run-walk.  I still made it, and my time wasn't horrible, but it was definitely not a happy run.  But still, I finished.  And somehow, I wanted to do it again, if only to prove to myself that I could have a better race.


I had started playing around with the idea of entering the marathon lottery a couple of months ago.  If I was going to to do a marathon it was going to have to be the NYC Marathon, because I didn't know if I would or could ever do more than one.  I have been to it as a spectator several times, once to see a boyfriend run, 15 years or more ago.  It was so inspiring.  All those people running through the greatest city in the world.  The spectators and the support they gave were amazing.  I'm sure there are many other cities where people feel the same way.  But, for me, it was NYC.  For me, this would have to be THE marathon.  Perhaps the ONLY marathon.  Perhaps not.  But I didn't want to risk perhaps my only marathon on any other city. 


Over and over I clicked on the refresh button on my email, willing one from NYRR to appear.  I had been told that sometimes you would see the charge on your credit card first, but I couldn't remember which credit card I had used, plus, I didn't have a computer at work so I only had my phone, and it wasn't easy to check three different cards. 

Email from the one friend I had told:  "Did you hear anything yet?"
It was about two pm.
"No," I replied.  "I am assuming if I haven't heard by now I haven't gotten in."
"Their website says that they are still picking numbers.  So keep an eye out, there is still hope!"


I ended up getting busy with some things after work and kind of forgot about it until I got home at about 8pm. 
I sat down to eat dinner and checked my email on the computer.

There it was, the email from NYRR.

Of course the subject line just said, "NYC Marathon."  Not "Congratulations!" or "Better Luck Next Time."
Deep breath.
Email opens.

"Dear Nancy Livingston:
"Congratulations!  You are IN!"


I have to run a marathon in November!  Oh my.  Oh my.  HOLY SH*T.  What have I gotten myself into?

However scared I was, however daunting the task of training for the Marathon, however clueless I am about what I would have to go through, I couldn't lie to myself:


I later found out that over 33,000 people applied to the lottery and only 4,500 were picked.  I think that is all the luck I have ever had in my life, all going into this one win.  I felt a little guilty that people who had been trying to get in for a few years hadn't been picked.  Some amazing runners didn't get in.  Someone I knew who had time-qualified last year didn't get in this year because they upped the time by 5 minutes. 

I felt a little guilty.  Not very guilty.  I deserved this chance just as much as anyone else. 
And whatever happens, I will be successful.  I may not be able to run the whole time.  I may have to walk.  I may have to crawl.  But barring any unforeseen injuries or uncontrollable bodily functions (I will spare you the name of the actual functions) that prevent me from being able to even crawl, I will make it.   I have family and friends and coaches who will support and encourage me.  I have this goal-oriented grit down deep inside of me that will get me there.  I will make it.

NYC, I will see you in November.  Looking forward to it. 


  1. Ha ha! I am the first to comment on the first ever post.

    Very exciting that you're running in the marathon, and doubly exciting that you're blogging! Can't wait to read more as you approach the marathon. You'll do great! I'm really proud of you!

    Chris (your brother)

    1. Aww, thanks!!! Yay! Thanks for the support!