On Sunday, November 6, I ran 26.2 miles through the streets of New York City.
It was my first marathon. For four months, I strictly followed Hal Higdon's training program, running or cross-training six days a week.
When I wasn't working, sleeping, or eating, I was running. Training quickly became a part-time job.
On marathon Sunday, I had a knot in my stomach all morning — and rightfully so. If you prepare for anything for almost half a year, you should be nervous. It means you care.
To alleviate the nervousness, I approached the race with a mindset my college tennis team embraced during high-pressure, post-season matches: I thought of it as a celebration.
And that's what it was. After all, I had already done the hard part. I had put in the work, logging up to 55 miles some weeks and hundreds of miles in total.
All that was left to do was to embrace and enjoy the moment — to approach the race as a celebration of my months of hard work.
For just under four hours on Sunday, I savored the views of New York City and high-fived the fans lining the streets. I smiled the entire 26.2 miles. The next day, my cheeks were just as sore as my calves.