Ã¢â‚¬Å“I came, I ran, I conquered,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that is what the finisherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s t-shirts for the NYC Marathon say and that is how I feel after meeting my goal of finishing the race on November 5th! When I approached the starting line with more than 38,000 other folks, I was moved by the fact that twice that many womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives are lost every year to preeclampsia. I was thankful to be there in New York City on a wonderfully sunny day with several friends and family also there to cheer me on Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and to make sure I crossed the finish line!
I did cross it about 6 and a half hours after starting off on the Verranzano Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. Although I was well behind other fellow runners (such as Lance Armstrong!), I was still able to enjoy the excitement, energy, and enthusiasm of the cheering crowds and bands along the course. When I reached Central Park, my Ã¢â‚¬Å“fan clubÃ¢â‚¬Â was there encouraging me and even Brooklyn was able to give me a smile and a wave! I had running mates on several spots along the course Ã¢â‚¬â€œ my husband ran across the 2 miles of the Queensboro Bridge with me which was the least pleasant stretch of the course (very dark!) and other friends and family ran from the Bronx into Central Park with me.
The weekend in New York was wonderful and I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a photo shoot and interview with RunnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s World magazine as they highlighted Ã¢â‚¬Å“survivorsÃ¢â‚¬Â who were competing in the race. All of the others there were cancer survivors and I hope my story will stick out like a sore thumb and bring more attention to preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.
I am grateful to an overwhelming number of you who have shown financial support and encouragement to me and the Preeclampsia Foundation as I prepared for the race. After my illness and all those weeks of full-time bed-rest, I struggled when I first started running again - my legs felt like 2-ton weights! As they began to feel lighter, I knew my body would never be the same again. Although, one-by-one, doctors were giving me Ã¢â‚¬Å“clearance,Ã¢â‚¬Â I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wrap my mind around the idea that I had Ã¢â‚¬Å“recovered.Ã¢â‚¬Â So completing the NYC Marathon became a huge goal for marking my Ã¢â‚¬Å“recovery.Ã¢â‚¬Â Even then, with the goal set, I was still struggling with long runs and came home in tears many days! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Foundation because once I began seeking sponsorships from friends and family to benefit the Foundation, I was able to re-energize my training Ã¢â‚¬â€œ always staying focused on the fact that hopefully what I was doing would help other families avoid a birth experience like ours Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or even worse. The support and encouragement that I got from all of you has had an immeasureable impact on me!
And, I am happy to report that, to date, I have raised nearly $11,000 for the Foundation. My experience was so rewarding that I would love to do another marathon (or at least a half-marathon!) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so fellow runners, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unite and pick our race!