because you can never have too much Bengay.

*This is a personal essay I wrote post-ING NYC Marathon last fall that ran on Runner’s World's Other Voices blog today…

I’m “a runner.” A defining characteristic that usually sounds better than it feels. Especially when it feels like a sharp pain radiating from the balls of your feet, up your legs and through your lower back. So why not stop? Seems simple, yet highly unlikely. Like the Energizer Bunny, I started nearly three years ago, and have since kept going and going.

There ain’t no stopping us now.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I tried to ignore the pain that first hit around mile eleven in Brooklyn, the exhaustion that threatened as I dragged across the Queensboro Bridge, and the overwhelming worries of defeat that haunted me as I left the Bronx. By the time I reached Central Park, I could almost hear my feet whimpering. Eventually—about an hour after I expected—I crossed the blue and orange finish line, beneath the ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON banner. Exhaustion gave way to disbelief: Had I actually finished? Or am I delirious?

As a child, to say I was un-athletic would have been a compliment. I was wheezy, chubby, and gripped by a paralyzing fear of being hit in the face with any sort of ball…

Read the rest here…

(the Verrazano Bridge on marathon morning. before things got real.)