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The Second Act

Act I.  2011 NYC Marathon


Act II. 2012 NYC Marathon

“I have a weird premonition that we are going to win the lottery again. I don’t know why but I do.”

I sent that text message on Saturday, April 21st to my friend Annabelle (my fellow 2011 NYC marathoner friend, aka my running soul sister, who also won the lottery last year). It was that mental telepathy talking to me, again.

(at the 2011 NYC Marathon expo with Annabelle)

I have always been a person who lives life on the edge, and I am all about taking risks. It is my nature. After all, I am quite the unique individual. I gambled big with this year’s NYC Marathon lottery.  I put all of my eggs in one basket and didn’t register for any other fall marathons as a backup. The chances of winning the lottery are less than 9%, but the chances of winning it two years in a row? That’s just borderline insanity.

I awoke yesterday morning, and I was a train wreck. I had a hearing in West Palm at 8:30. Traffic was unnerving. I got to the hearing and stood in line for 30 minutes waiting to sign in. It was like being at a bakery. Now serving number 25. Oh wait, yes, I am in the wrong line for the wrong courtroom with 50 other people. I ran through the courthouse. The judge was still there in her courtroom. I waited again. Then I was called.” Opposing counsel cancelled the hearing yesterday.” Say what? No one told me. Oh yes. Only me.

I arrived at work and found it hard to concentrate. Every 10 minutes, I was logging into my bank account from my iPhone. No charges. Nothing. Damnit.  To top it off, the website for the marathon crashed and no one could look up their names to see if they were selected.

Then I got a text message from Annabelle: “OMG Wendi!! I just checked my AMEX. $255 charge. I can’t believe it.” I thought she was pulling my leg. But, then I saw her post on the NYC Marathon Facebook page and realized she wasn’t.

I checked my bank account again. Ugh. No deductions. I checked again. Again. And again. Nothing. And oh, nothing! I texted Annabelle: “We have to both get in. I had a premonition.”

My stomach was hurting. It was in knots. I was falling apart from not knowing. I couldn’t keep it together. Why am I so anxious? I can run the Disney Marathon in January. I was ready to move on and plan my fall race calendar. I just wanted to know where my path was going to lead me.

A few minutes later, I logged into my bank account. There it was:

I screamed. I cursed. I threw a fist pump. I looked at my account again. I looked again. I texted the photo of the debit to Annabelle. I showed it to one of my co-workers. Is that right? Am I reading this correctly? My office thought I was crazy. Who gets that excited to pay $255 to run 26.2 miles?  I have lost my damn mind, yet again.

Ever since I returned from the marathon in November, I’ve thought non-stop about the race and my training. And, I still talk about it, non-stop. What I now know, and what I would have done differently. How I wished I would have worn my Brooks Glycerin shoes and not the Ghost 4’s.  How I wished I had more than one 20-miler during my training. How I wished I didn’t lose 5 weeks of training because I was injured. How I wished I had discovered Advocare supplements months before I started training. How I wished I had incorporated swimming and yoga into my cross-training routine or did more bridgework and speedwork. How I wished I had joined the Runner’s Depot Training Team at the start of my training and not halfway through.

The Verrazano Bridge. Brooklyn. Queens. Manhattan. The Bronx. The sounds of millions of people screaming my name in the streets. Running with celebrities. Making new friends. Making lifelong memories. It was an experience unlike any other. I ran the greatest marathon in the world and wished to do it again, do it better, faster and with a different vision.  Yes, I had a lot of wishes. No regrets. Just wishes.

Fortunately for me, wishes do come true when they are the right ones.

If I had $1 for every time I said, “Everything in life happens for a reason,” only to realize the truth of that statement after the fact, I would be on a fancy yacht traveling the world. Every event that’s happened in my life has brought me to greater awareness and a greater understanding of where I belong. There are no strange coincidences in life. Though we don’t realize it always, we are taken on the path that’s right for us, where G-d wants us to go and where our dreams carry us to our destiny. We are there for a lesson, for ourselves and for others.

My life changed forever after I crossed that finish line on November 6, 2011. Running a marathon changes you in ways that are indescribable. You realize you can do anything and there are no limits. Your struggles are now your wisdom and stories to share.

I wanted a second chance, another opportunity to re-live the experience of a lifetime that I still think about daily nearly 6 months later. My second chance is here.

And so it begins, again….

  1. Annabelle
    April 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

    It’s such an amazing experience! I still can’t believe how lucky we are! You’ve been a great friend and I am so happy that we get to share this journey. Even though we are thousands of miles apart we can always count on each other for support when training gets tough. Thank you my Soul Sister :)

    • April 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I am beyond excited. We have 6 months of chronicling our journey again. This time, we will be able to sit together at Staten Island for the few hours before we start. Maybe we will even shop in Chinatown before the expo :)

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