What It’s Like to Run the NYC Half Marathon

As a ProMedica Wellness Champion, I try to encourage my colleagues and community to define what healthy means and how they can incorporate it into their daily routines. Sharing large and small fitness accomplishments is a great way to get the conversation started, so I’d like to tell you about my recent experience running the NYC Half Marathon last month.

Hitting the Pavement in NYC
Central Park. Times Square. Freedom Tower. Wall Street. All the experiences of New York City in 13.1 miles, from the start line to the finish, with 20,000 plus runners who shared a special bond with me on March 20, 2016. This was especially evident race day, as we’d all woken up at an ungodly hour, spent an unusual amount of time in the bathroom and sacrificed many hours in training to make the NYC Half Marathon a success.

Central Park welcomed us with below freezing temps, and the threat of snow persisted throughout the morning. I crossed the start a little after 8 a.m., with the sun peaking over the horizon of the skyscrapers surrounding the start. For the first six miles, beginning near 72nd Street, I journeyed up and down the bluffs of the park, until I finally exited onto 7th Avenue.

The sights and sounds of Time Square then in view, the crowds cheering, I got a giddy-up in my step on my way to 42nd Street. The iconic 42nd Street, Broadway, more cheers, and mile eight led me to the Westside Highway. The water on my right, and the Freedom Tower in sight, I pushed through the last six miles with the Battery Park underpass dishing up the last hurdle to the finish. Wall Street, the finish, I did it – 13.1 miles.

“The NYC Half Marathon was my redemption…”

Key Take Aways and Next Steps
While I’ve run many 13.1 races over the years, the NYC Half Marathon was my redemption as I’d run the past year, injured and miserable. My new philosophy became “quality or quantity” in training while working with my physical therapist to be smart, finish strong and to wear my smile from start to finish. This race was my selfish indulgence as I put this medal on knowing I earned it, and that I gave it everything I had through the streets of NYC.

The realization that running a half marathon is a challenge and finding the courage to start is an amazing feeling, from training to crossing a finish line. It’s moments like these that make a fitness journey worthwhile.

So, now that I’ve shared my challenging fitness experience with you, I want to hear what you have or plan to accomplish! Over the next few months, I’ll be blogging to motivate you in hopes you’ll join me on this journey and to encourage and challenge those in your life to be a part of a healthier community. Feel free to post your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Here’s to your health and well-being, and let’s lace-up and move.

IMG_1027Shannon Loar is the Executive Director of ProMedica Toledo Hospital/Toledo Children’s Hospital Foundation. She attended the University of Toledo, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She has three children and enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, shopping, and running.