How does one recap the New York City marathon and accurately portray the energy, excitement, and intensity.
Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles. – Lori Culnane
This has taken me a few days to complete because I am not even sure I have entirely wrapped my head around the fact that I completed a marathon … the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON at that.
Panic mode activated the days leading up to race day and I went into google and pinterest chaos mode reading all the tips and tricks these trusty sites had to offer. I did read some great advice, one tip being don’t panic the week of the marathon, trust your training
I headed off to New York on Saturday morning.
The Gem and I stayed with my cousin’s in-laws, which was absolutely perfect as they were NYC navigation pros and two of them (Tom & Tom) were also running.
The night before the charity we ran for, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, hosted a pre race event for the charity team.
When I signed up for this race, I am going to be honest and say that I had not known much at all about MM. As I shared earlier in the journey I become involved in the team through Megan who’s dad and brother (Tom & Tom) were also running. As I began to fundraise for this charity I learned so much, I had friends and acquaintances reaching out to me with their stories and how this awful disease had affected them. These stories and the support of all of these people inspired me.
Sitting at the MMRF event I was more inspired to run 26.2 miles than I ever had in my life. I sat in that room with countless individuals with passion and drive to run and raise money to find a cure for the loved one they had lost. I was embarrassed and shy when it was my turn to talk about what inspired me to run. After listening to all of these stories of heartache, struggle, temporary triumph, and power who was I to stand up and tell my story?
Big Jay is Tom’s father in-law and the inspiration behind our mini-three person MMRF crew. Since the moment I met the man that afternoon he had a smile on his face and was more energetic than I could have ever imagined. He truly was an inspiration for me to think about through my entire race. The fight he faces and the exhaustion this disease causes him made 26.2 miles seem like a small task.
Leaving the pre-race meet-up I was full of inspiration we went back to Tom house for a pre race pasta dinner with their family and friends. We had such a fun time with everyone.
I was so thankful for Tom being able to navigate the city and planning out so many details for us – had he not I would have been a stressed out wreck. I am so thankful to have stayed with them and follow his lead.
Our start time was 11 so we made our way to the Staten Island Ferry where we some how made our way on the 8am boat. The MMRF Team had our own bus that would have taken us to the start, but we would have had to be there at 530AM. Eeeeekkkk, no thank you.
The ferry ride alone was an amazing experience for me – I saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time along with many other cool landmarks and amazing views.
Off of the ferry there were busses waiting to take everyone to the starting village. We had about an hour and 15 minuets at the starting village, which was a good amount of time to walk around, eat a snack, and use the port-o-potties.
I was layered up and ready for the frigidness everyone had warned about in their blogs, but it was such a gorgeous day I ditched my outer layer and just hung on to a long-sleeved while I waited in my corral.
The energy was absolutely amazing in the start village and in the corrals – people were singing, dancing, random strangers were becoming friends, people from across the world were bonding over or common goal ahead of us.
START – STATEN ISLAND:
I was lost in all of the excitement, next thing I knew I was running up the Verrazzano, my corral ran on the lower part of the bridge, but it was still a breathtaking experience. It was silent all you could hear were occasional hoots and hollers from the runners, the pitter patter of the thousands of runners around you.
“No turning back now”
The silence was nerve racking, where was all of this noise everyone was talking about? Where are all the people!? WHAT AM I DOING!?
Miles 3-14: BROOKLYN – THERES THE NOISE:
My goal here was to conserve energy, slow my pace down and take everything in around me.
Adrenaline was rushing through me as the crowds were screaming and church choirs singing.
All of a sudden I hit the silence of the 59th street bridge, YIKES I am going way too fast if I want to make it to the end. I slowed up and walked for a bit on the bridge – I did stop for a quick minuet to adjust my sock that was bugging the heck out of me.
I was so excited to see the Gem and my cousin Steven waiting for me cheering me on – it is amazing what having someone waiting can do for you. Running is all about the mid games and thats exactly what this all was.
I decided from this point on I would begin walking through the water stops.
When they say the crowds will push you through and lift you up through this race, they are not lying. I didn’t write my name on my shirt, but I highly suggest it if you are looking to do this race in the future.
Make sure you are consciously aware of your speed and make sure you are not going to fast – I saw the power of the crowd pushing “Jim” on and then I saw him crap-out at mile 15 and never saw him again.
Miles 15-20: QUEENS, MANHATTAN & SOME BRONX –
Coming off the Queensboro was a big surge of energy with bands playing, fans cheering, the energy of the city was back.
At Mile 18 emotions hit me hard – Megan was running towards me with a sign, I saw my parents, the Gem, and my family to my left and Big Jay – STILL out there watching and waiting for me to run by, tears streamed down my face and this photo was captured:
I left the MMRF cheering section with a new found energy and pushed it hard.. which I wished I conserved some energy and wished I remembered that there were hills ahead.
Miles 20-25: SOME BRONX & MANHATTAN:
I learned so much about myself in these miles. I am so proud of myself and every single runner out there who overcame whatever they did to get to that point. I can say that I finished that marathon with a bit of a new outlook on life.
Well, my early surges of energy and random speed spikes worked against me here. Mentally I was tired from everything I had been thinking bout and the physical exhaustion were setting in.
The crowds really thinned out here and I was having trouble pushing through these hills.. I walked for a good portion of this section, which definitely showed in my finish time.
Despite my extremely slowed down pace my parents, the Gem, and tow of my best friends were waiting for me in the park – these people are by far some of the best out there – I am so thankful they were there. As soon as I saw them I busted in to tears. I had NO idea why; I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I was so proud of myself for making it to that point, so blessed to have support like them, so exhausted physically AND mentally. They walked a half a mile with me then I took off towards the finish.
Somehow they cut across the park and were able to make it just before the finish line and they watched me struggle my way up that hill.
HOLY SHIT (sorry Nana)
I was BEAMING ear to ear when the volunteer hung that medal around my neck.
So many people told me after that I constantly had a smile on my face and it was so refreshing to see. How could you not have a smile on your face, how could this be anything but a positive experience – I set out marathon training with the goal of finishing this marathon with a positive mindset, and I definitely accomplished that.
No, I didn’t make the time I wanted to, no I didn’t finish while it was still light out, but YES I finished my 7 hour marathon finish is still a MARATHON FINISH.
I ‘walked’ my way through marathon jail (as Tom dubbed it, which perfectly describes the experience).
I just finished 26.2 miles and had to make way a mile and a half longer until I could get out and be reunited with my family.
I got my stuff, sent my family my location and plopped my self on a park bench where I stretched out a little and tears welled up in my eyes. The outpouring of love and support I received via text, phone calls, messages, and physical presence at the race truly meant the world to me – I am seriously one of the luckiest gals out there. I am at a loss for words to show my appreciation to everyone who reached their hearts out to me and got me through 26.2 miles.
I finally found my crew (I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH) – we walked towards the street in hopes to find a cab .. no luck on Marathon Sunday .. butttttt there were some pedal bikers (haha), this was the icing on the cake to my marathon experience – the driver was whipping through cars, busses, stop lights, oh my. SO expensive, but SO much fun.
I was greeted back at Tom’s house with a roaring cheer and smiling faces, what an amazing family I have.
Sip of water every mile
One GU Chomp every two miles
Gatorade sips every 5 miles
Salt Pills at mile 10 and 20
Wake-up – Meal replacement shake, water
1 hour before leaving – Arginine extreme, spark
On the ferry – water, Nature Valley granola bar
Before Corral – water, sips of Rehydrate, 02Gold, Catalyst