8.30am on a Friday morning, and as I made my way to the airport, I was feeling every emotion! The week leading up to the marathon I felt mainly nervous, about not only the marathon but the traveling, getting to the expo, having enough time to collect my bib, oh the list went on! After chatting with a few friends and finding out that Anna, who I know through Instagram, was on the same flight/staying in the same apartment, I felt a huge sense of relief! Also slightly stupid that I had worried about the silliest things…!
After saying goodbye to dad, I headed into the terminal, dropped my bag and made my way through security. Anna and I had planned to meet in the waiting area, and when I finally met her, I knew we were going to get on really well. Anna is a pro at marathons, New York was her 16th! So I definitely felt like I was looking up to her for a bit of moral support and she was very helpful with all the questions I asked her!
Fast forward 8 hours later and we safely arrived into JFK airport, along with a few other marathoners on our flight! After navigating the subway and running 4 blocks from Penn Station to the Expo, suitcase and all, we arrived just in time to collect our bibs. We also managed to browse and purchase some bits from the New Balance shop before heading to find Charlie, and the rest of the girls for dinner.
The following morning, a few of us were up quite early thanks for jet lag, so headed out to the local coffee shop. We returned to find the others up and all got ready to head out for a shake out run around Central Park, followed by brunch that Charlie and her friend Zoe, had organized.
After brunch, Anna, Elaine and myself decided we wanted to explore New York and visit a few bakeries and shops. We made our way to Levain Bakery. Hands down THE best cookies you will ever taste and delivered to your hand, fresh and warm! We grabbed a few, of course munching on one, as we made our way to Times Square for M&M World, stopping for a few picture opportunities then to the expo.
I was extremely excited to go back to the expo, not only to browse the stalls and pick up a few items, but to also see a high school friend. I’ve been back to America many times to visit friends, but only a certain few. So 10 years after our graduation, I was beyond excited to see Luke and meet his wife, Lauren. We explored the expo for only a short time, but enough to catch up, check in with how we were both feeling and spend some time together. I am SO glad we got this opportunity, because its not everyday you and your high school friend run a major marathon!!
After the expo we headed back to the apartment to shower and change before organizing ourselves and sorting dinner. The nerves were definitely set in and I was praying I’d sleep well. So, with a tummy full of pasta and kit sorted, we said our goodnights to each other and hit the pillow. Knowing we were going to run 26.2 miles around New York City in the morning was beyond imaginable but about to become very real…