Wow. There is nothing like the NYC marathon. Nothing.
First I want to send a HUGE congrats to all the wonderful ladies I ran with yesterday. You all are beyond amazing and inspiring! Ashley, Tina, Dori, Theodora, Melissa Z, Ellen, Amelia, Emily, Katie S., and Rebecca.
I really had a hard time mentally and physically preparing for this race. I did everything I could to get caught up in the excitement—I read (the amazing) “A Race Like No Other,” I watched “Lucky Penny,” the HIMYM marathon episode, and finally, I watched “Spirit of the Marathon,” which gets me every time. And still, I was filled with doubts and nerves.
Week of and Day Before:
The week leading up to training, I definitely stepped up my carb consumption. There was no way low glycogen stores were going to be responsible for anything going wrong on the run!
The night before we ironed our names onto our shirts and had the prerequisite pasta dinner.
I don’t know why I felt so uncertain, but maybe it was because my training wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, or because I had a nagging pain in my foot that wouldn’t go away, or because I was just plain tired after months and months of running. My anxiety lasted and grew right up to the moment I started running. And then ceased completely.
We got there a bit earlier than we needed to, but that was fine because it was sunny and not too cold. We rocked our multiple layers of mismatched throw away clothes and ate our pb bagels. If you’re wondering, the “sheddable shells” that you can buy at expos are not really that warm, I wouldn’t by one again. An old sweatshirt would have done the trick just as well.
After Frank left for his corral, I ran into Tina, Dori, Melissa and Ashley! We headed to the corrals together. I actually found Ashley at the start and we decided to begin the race together as we were both aiming for a 11 minute pace.
Off we went. It was amazing. The bridge revealed gorgeous views of Manhattan through the crystal clear blue skies. Once we were off the bridge the course was flat and fast. I was trying to hold back, but I was feeling great. I felt so comfortable at the 10:30 pace, it seemed silly to go to 11. Yet, I knew that it was essential to remain feeling fresh as a daisy until the 10 mile point, so I tried to hold back. Brooklyn was better than I remembered. It was packed with people, signs, and people screaming my name! I declined high 5’s but gave many thumbs up! My coach’s words echoed in my head,"the more high fives at the beginning, the more low fives at the end.” I loved every adoring fan, they kept me pumped and the miles literally flew by! I couldn’t believe that we hit mile 7 in what seemed like no time at all! I stopped briefly to adjust my too tight shoe, which made all the difference in the world! I also stopped to take a picture of this amazing church with every door open and an entire choir of signers filling the front steps. My jaw was on the ground as I ran by this amazing group of people!
Around mile 8, Ashley and I parted ways. I felt great all through Brooklyn, but sadly didn’t see anyone that I had hoped to. I knew the Polanski Bridge through Queens would be tough–that’s where the hills would start and continue through the remainder of the course, so I slowed my pace to conserve energy.
After the bridge I was feeling pretty dead, I needed my advil to kick in and stop the pain in my foot. However, the crowds in first ave didn’t disappoint and quickly got me going again. Soon I started seeing my friends and all was well in the world.
My friend Sue found me around 18 and is the reason I kept the pace I did! She motivated me to keep going with constant encouragement, fun stories and by getting so excited about everything around us. Even though I was feeling some pain, I was not at all out of breath and kept easy conversation right to the end. Right was we were leaving the Bronx, a huge surprise awaited me: FRANK on the jumbotron. We had recorded 5 second video messages to each other at the expo and they were set to go off after we passed a certain checkpoint. It was perfect! He shouted my name and good luck and I could barely believe it all happened right there in front of so many other people!
The next part was tough. As excited as I was to enter the park, my foot was really shot and I was trying to put weight only on the outside, which made for an unnatural gait. The hill from 110th to 90th seemed to go on forever, but the crowds around us kept me excited. We finally entered the park and rolled down hill past all the sights I know so well. Sue said goodbye, and I was on my own for the last 1.2 miles. I quickly adjusted my shoe to stop the pinching and did what I could to push out the last little bit of the glorious race. I knew I no longer had chances of PRing, but I thought I could make it under 5 hours, so I tried to enjoy the last stretch down 59th street, even though so many people were walking. And finally we were climbing toward the finish, the 800, 600, 400, 200, and 100 meters to go signs breezed by and I crossed the finish in jubilation!
I patiently waited for my medal and my picture and did my best to distract myself from the long, cold wait to the UPS baggage trucks. Running into Emily helped pass the time!
Finally I was out of the park and I made my way slowly to meet Frank and friends at the Tangled Vine.
When I arrived there was a nice spread as well as a glass of prosecco waiting, don’t mind if I do!
After that we made a long journey back home and icing and salt baths ensued.
I ended the night with Crazy, Stupid, Love and take out:
A couple slices of heavenly Mortorino pizza
and some papaya salad and thai green vegetables. Green includes carrot apparently
It was an odd combo, but it hit the spot. Now that the marathon season is officially over, I have committed to getting back on the healthy track eating wise, and but more to come about that tomorrow!
Here are my splits:
4:56:10 finish time.
After all my worries, it was another wonderful marathon! It wasn’t easy, but I am glad I took the time to take in all the sights and see all the people and color that makes the ING NYC Marathon so special. I really thought this was the last marathon, but I might have to take the sage advice of Justin Beiber and never say never.