From Doubt to Triumph: My Journey to Completing the NYC Marathon as a Busy Ob/Gyn

In 2004, while working in a small group Ob/Gyn practice in Manhattan, I was inspired by several patients who had completed the NYC Marathon in 2003. Initially, I doubted my ability to train for such a long, endurance race due to my demanding job. However, my patients assured me that the training routine was manageable even with a full-time job.

I found beginner-level marathon training schedules online through Runner's World magazine. After running 2 to 3 miles several times a week for a month, I gradually increased my mileage by 10 percent each week. My best moments were spent running through the park loop of Central Park, especially on weekends. The hills were challenging initially, but as my endurance and strength improved, I felt exhilarated by my monthly progress.

Maintaining long runs of 16 to 22 miles on weekends during the 90-degree, humid days of August was tough. However, I stayed hydrated with Gatorade after each 6-mile loop and enjoyed drinking from the water fountains on the West Side of Central Park. Running in the evenings after work and dinner was invigorating and relaxing. At my peak, I ran 40 to 45 miles a week, spread over 5 to 6 days. I caught a break by doing some long runs on a treadmill in a comfortably air-conditioned gym during the hottest weekends.

I felt full of energy and vitality during the two years I ran the NYC Marathon. Even after being on call all night for labor patients, I managed to fit in long runs in Central Park, sometimes enjoying the thrill of running through rainstorms.

The first NYC Marathon I ran in November 2004 was incredibly fun, fueled by the energy and enthusiasm of the cheering spectators. Their support along 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, up First Avenue in Manhattan, and along Fifth Avenue into Central Park was invigorating. Despite painful thigh cramps, the roar of the crowds along Central Park South lifted my spirits, and I found myself sprinting for several hundred yards. Crossing the finish line was a relief and capped off an unforgettable experience.

Dr. Brian E. Park 

Dr Emily

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