I am Miami (in) Famous…

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I ran the Miami Marathon this past Sunday. This is how it all went down.

Thursday night before the marathon: arrived to airport late. Agent can’t find my name on the manifest. 20 minutes & 1 quick panic attack – she finds me and I get on the plane with 10 minutes to spare.

Get to hotel: HUGE mess-up by EDEN ROC hotel. Apparently my reservation has me sharing a queen size bed with a semi stranger. (Me & the 40 other people that checked in that night were sharing beds…heck no!)  Hotel at FULL capacity – no other rooms available. $20 & a calm me, negotiates the Pent House suite for the evening. 3AM I am finally in my OWN king size bed, listening to the ocean breeze.

Friday Morning: a very rude 8AM wake up call from “manager” apologizing for mix up but warning me that the PH suite may not be available to me for the remainder of my stay. He is having a meeting with the organizer of Chai Lifeline and will let me know when and if I will have to move. I told him, find me a room with two beds and I will happily oblige. I am a team player. Manager takes my cell phone number. I get into my running gear…might as well take advantage of the gorgeous weather and get in one last 3 mile run before the race. It was awesome. Literally the best run I have had in the last 2 months, my lungs were not burning from the bitter NJ cold. I need to move to Miami.

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Friday Afternoon: 4:45PM shabbat is here and still no call from manager on my cell phone or message on my hotel phone. Guess there were no more rooms. I am one lucky girl – PH suite for the weekend baby. Had a wonderful Shabbat dinner getting to meet the other members of Team Eli and the man of the hour ELI himself. What an incredible family. Bassi & Makiel Gradon you are inspirational parents -KOl Hakavod!!! Made some new friends for life. Also ate a whole heaping plate of these truly addictive spicy sweet pecans…so good.

Shabbat morning: room phone rings at 8:30 AM. Hmmmm. 9AM BANG! BANG! BANG! on my hotel door. Throw on robe and cover my hair to answer the door. Why it’s Mr. Cook the “manager” I spoke to Friday morning with Mark, the tall mean looking security dude from commercial casting.
“Yes?” “can I help you?”, I ask.
“Mrs. Lasry you need to get your credit card right now and pay for this room or I am going to have security pack up your stuff and escort you out of the hotel right now”, said the bald, very short to tight pants wearing Mr. Cook
“excuse me? are you serious?”
“yes Mrs. Lasry, the time for being nice is over. Mr. Turk (Chai Life line organizer) said you need to pay for this room today or get out”
“he did? hmmm. well. I think I need to hear this from Mr. Turk himself. Can I get dressed, or would you like me to go thru the hotel in my robe?”
“you have 2 minutes to get dressed with security at the door, and we are going to need a credit card.”
“Well, Mr. Cook, as you are obviously aware being the manager and all, that today is my sabbath and like all the other members in my party, I cannot pay or sign for anything, but you are welcome to go into my pocket book and take my wallet for safe keeping.
“you have 2 minutes”

I get dressed and escorted down to the lobby by big beefy scary face security guy Mark. Ask if Mr. Turk has been called down, to find out that they cannot reach him. Mr. Cook once again threatening to throw me out of the hotel if I do not pay that minute for the room. Realizing that there is no reasoning with this disillusioned mad man, I ask someone to please get Mr. Turk from shul, it’s an emergency.

3 minutes later…
Mr. Turk comes up, hears the story and says quite unhappily to Mr. Cook, ” What do you think you are doing?”
Red faced Mr. Cook takes Mr Turk into his office.
1 minute later, exits Mr. Turk “its taken care of, you are staying in the room”
1 minute later exits the deflated hot headed Mr. Cook, “Mr. Turk says he will take care of your bill”
2 minutes later, I am back sitting on my PH porch enjoying the magnificent view and calming my frazzled nerves with kiddush wine.

Shabbat: spent indulgently lounging and resting by the pool, basking in the much needed vitamin D, enjoying the company of teammates and new friends.

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Saturday Night: OMG there is less than 12 hours to the race!!!! Chailife line does a tremendous job pumping us up. So much fun & very inspirational. Go Team Eli! Ate light meal of Pasta and Chicken despite everyone else stuffing it all in.

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Go back to room. Prep my Marathon Gear (I look like an impostor – hope security doesn’t escort me out of the race) too anxious can’t sleep. 3:30 AM wake up call.

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Sunday Morning: it’s here. 4 am and 75 degrees and HUMID!! 2 hours before race…. get on bus with Sharon Langert (who still annoyingly manages to look cute in the ugly marathon gear) we both are sorta freaking out, but super excited at the same time.

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It’s a madhouse. Thousands of people running. Group Pic. Sharon and I get into our gate. now we wait. and wait. We are the last group. 1 hr after the first group…it is FINALLY our turn. I am pumped. My music is blasting in my ears. I got this. I sooo got this. Wait for the horn….Five. Four. Three. Two. One….

horn BLAST!

Mile one: all uphill. Holy CRAP! Holy crap! Holy crap!…What did I get myself into….Run Sarah run! I can do this. I can do this. Sharon? Sharon? She literally flew out the gate.

Mile two: ok now…down hill. I can manage that. I am jogging. keeping pace. 14 minute mile.not bad. not bad. lets go Sarah. run Sarah

Mile three: was that a 70 year old woman running past me? no seriously…how slow am I going. thats ok Sarah…you’re in it to finish not to beat timing. just keep up the jogging pace. slow and steady. slow and steady. where the heck is the water station…I’m dying here in the heat

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Mile 4: water. finally. thank you. i don’t think I can feel my hands. no really. my hands…they are the size of footballs. the humidity is killer. but i am running still. slow run but still running…. that’s it Sarah, one foot, two foot…i can do this…

Mile 5: ok these miles are soooo not the miles I trained in. they are way longer. My legs are lead. Why are there so many little hills? Miami is beautiful but do I need to go over every bridge?

Mile 6: that’s it. Can not run a single step more. Where is the Tram of shame? I can use a ride. Just passed a Starbucks..think I can grab a coffee and take a cab to the finish line? No Sarah…just walk it..finish this thing…you can do this. Think about the medal.

Mile 7: walk it Sarah..walk it. No shame. Just finish it. 18 minute mile is not a bad thing.

Mile 8: ok now another bridge.Seriously?… Got some feeling back in my legs. Walk 6 minutes. Jog 6 minutes. Pump up the music in my ears and getting back into it. See that couple who are 30 years older than you and power walking/jogging…just keep pace. KEEP PACE!!

Mile 9: so humid. so hot. KEEP THE PACE. ummm…why is it getting dark?

Mile 10: really god? Freezing cold sideways rain now? suck it up Sarah..better than the hot. Just 3 more miles. Just 3 more miles. Wish I had some of those sport jelly beans about now..need some super powers.

Mile 11: I am soaked. My teichel falls off it is sopping wet. quickly repin it. can’t run in the heavy rain. afraid I am going to fall down flat on my face. actually laying down right now is sounding really good, who cares if the floor is littered with thousands of cups and sticky wet from gatorade and rain…..so cold. sooo tired….. how many more miles? one foot. two foot. one foot. two foot.

Mile 12: rain stops. it’s ok you are not going to be last…look at all the people behind you… hear the screams. go Sarah go. ok ok i can smell it….the finish line

Mile 13: ok sarah one more freaking mile. ONE MORE FREAKING MILE. Do not give up. do not give up. Jog it. Walk it. Jog it. Walk it…look it’s the end…woohoo I got this…I can see the end…one more step. YES!!! (Fist pump) I just ran my FIRST half marathon!!!!

Where’s my medal?

(Miami ran out – what?!!)

In the end, despite the crazy ride that was this marathon trip. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am forever changed..I am a runner. I went from literally my couch to running 5 miles straight, to finishing up walking and jogging my first 13.1 mile race. I am ready to train for my next one…once I can feel both my legs again and stop walking the marathon waddle.

Sure I am bummed I didn’t get a medal. I had visions of myself running across the finish line, all teary and elated, cheers and screams deafening me as an official from the race adorned my neck with the finish medal. Instead it was anticlimactic…no one left to cheer from my team..I was an hour behind everyone else and of course the no medal thing. Instead I got on the bus and reflected on my journey that led me up to that day (met some great fans of the blog on that ride – Hiya girls) …and all I can say is…medal or no medal…I am proud of myself. I did it. I can do anything now… all easy compared to this.

And next time…I can do even better.

Thank you to my Tunie B. who behaved so well for 3 nights away from her mama.

Thank you to all the friends and family who so generously supported, helped out with Tunie B. and sponsored me. You all know who you are. I am so grateful.

Special Thank you Tzirel Elizary for pushing me to do this and supporting me throughout – you made the reality of me being a runner – true. Thank you Ayala Back for putting this team together and being the cheerleader. Sharon Langert it was fun to have you along for the ride…next year Bahamas?
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