Tag Archives: New york marathon

NYC Marathon ’14 Recap!

5 Nov

Dan and I arrived in NYC early early Friday morning. Looking back not sure that was the best idea. I think that it turned out to be fine but I thought I would sleep on the plane and I did not! I did sleep really well at week and felt like I was fighting a cold off. Definitely didn’t go into the weekend at 100% but by Sunday I was feeling pretty good. We got in and took the air train and subway to the upper west side where we were staying.

Kara, Dan, and I made it to the Nuun Ambassadors shake out run at 9! We had a nice run through Central Park and got coffee and bagels afterwards. I felt really good. Those 3 miles were faster than I wanted them to be but they felt good!

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

We hit up the expo at lunch time which was a HUGE mistake because every New Yorker that was doing the race was picking up their bib on their lunch hour. We waited a half hour in line just to get into the convention center. We got our bibs and shirts. Took a quick tour of the merchandise (which I wasn’t too impressed with nor did I want to stand in yet another huge line to buy anything!), hit up the Nuun booth (and got yet another water bottle), and was out of there rather quickly. We were in need of lunch way!!
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Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Saturday: We had an awesome night sleep. Went to brunch and just hung out and watched football most of the day. It was raining pretty good. I do think it was a blessing in disguise because had the weather been nice we would have wanted to do/see more! We had an amazing Italian dinner at Otto. Dan and I shared a pasta/eggplant dish and a pizza. It was so delicious!!! We watched the Oregon/Stanford football game and got ready for the early morning! Slept really well again.

Race Day:
We were up at 5:45 (the next 4 hours would go by in a flash) 1st breakfast(bagel and chocolate/coconut pb spread and Nuun)
Out the door at 6:30 to grab coffee (small vanilla latte)
In the subway terminal at 6:50 (the 1 taking us to the south ferry terminal kept being delayed) so when the first train got there and the marathoners were getting on. We decided to ask a group of the women for some help and ended up talking to them for quite a while)
Staten Island Ferry terminal at 7:40 (We had missed our 7:30 time but nobody seemed to care)

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!


Staten Island Ferry at 7:45
Not a bad view from the ferry!

Not a bad view from the ferry!


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Got off the ferry and used the portie potties there, stood in line for the shuttles, and were on the shuttles until about 9:30 (ate Skout bar)
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Finally made it to Fort Wadsworth for the staging of the NYC marathon. There are 3 color waves all in which had their own village. Got in the portie potty line again and off we went to find our corrals. Gu at about 10:15
We were in the 3rd blue wave in the B corral.

This is where it got interesting. We were told to wait. Wave 2 was going off and then we would be able to get into our corrals. We were told the race had started late and we would all be backed up a bit. No biggie. Finally wave 3 was allowed into their corrals. But literally the entire wave 3 in our area was trying to get into corral F (we were in B) because we were told we had to go through that area. After about a half hour of literally waiting. The woman says if you are in A-E you can go through this is only F. Now this group of hundreds of people need to get to A-E. We made it to B and almost didn’t let us in. The guard gave Kara the worst stink eye possible and said we were late. IT IS NOT OUR FAULT!!! By the time we got into our corral we were mixed up with the E/F corrals which was fine. We literally didn’t know what was happening and we thought we better take off all our warm clothes (as we were walking). Kara was like there is the start line. SHIT!! No time to think about it. I didn’t even have my watch on yet.
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10:34: All of a sudden we were starting the New York City Marathon!!! Holy Shit this was happening!!!! It was go time!!! In retrospect I think it all worked out great because we weren’t standing in our corrals getting nervous we literally walked up and started walking to the start line.

Miles 1-2: Up and over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It was WINDY. So windy. I imagine that this bridge is always windy but because of the high wind warning we were having it was even worse. We were trying to keep it slow. You really don’t feel the uphill. The wind was so nerve-wrecking we couldn’t really focus on anything else anyway! The downhill was nice!!

3-13.1: Brooklyn. Pretty flat. Some incline from mile 8-9 or so. I think this was my favorite part. The crowd was amazing. The aid stations/volunteers were amazing. This was a really fun section. I had my name on my shirt and everyone was screaming for me like I was winning the race! We took it easy. We took in our nutrition. There was an aid station every single mile. This is the only marathon(outside an Ironman) that I have seen an aid station every mile. They are usually every 2 mile. We always welcomed a quick break.

I really thought it would be hard to run with 50,000+ runners (especially in the first few miles) but these miles were great. No weaving in and out of people. Everyone had their own space. Even when we merged with the orange and then eventually with the green waves it didn’t seem to make a difference.

(sidenote: there was 4 waves this year for the first time ever so maybe that had something to do with not having a congestion problem!!)

13.1-15: Queens. We hit the half way mark at 2:18:xx. I thought it was good but I was nervous we were a little too fast. We hit it on the Pulaski bridge. I was running on feel and Kara seemed to be doing fine. We will see how the 2nd half plays out.

We went through a couple of neighborhoods not huge crowds but there were some people cheering. I knew we would get to the Queensboro bridge pretty quickly.

Up and over the Queensboro bridge was not bad. We just took it easy but ran the entire way. It was a little packed on the bridge and there seemed to be way too many people walking. It was not that hard!

16-19: Getting into Manhattan. 1st Avenue. You can hear the crowd as you start to make your way to the 16 mile mark which is close to the bottom of the bridge. You make a sharp left off the bridge and the crowd is 5 deep cheering!! It was truly amazing! Everyone screaming, yelling, and cheering for everyone!!

We saw Dan and friends at about 16.5 for the first time. It was really fun to finally seem them after 2.5 hours of running. Here was there sign:
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Dan also told me later that I didn’t look so good and Kara looked great. In retrospect I felt great and Kara felt like shit. I just think I was trying to save energy and not get too excited. We still had 10 more miles to run. The crowds were amazing up until 18ish. You get into Harlem and it is a little ghost town-ish with a few crowds. The aid station was good going through. We took a little longer at the 18th mile aid station messing around with salt pills/Advil/Gu getting something to water it down with while dealing with our gloves!

1st ave is a long stretch with somewhat of an incline. I have yet to talk about the wind. It was windy and it was cold. The wind was coming from the north and almost the entire marathon heads north. At times it was not bad and at times it was awful.

They told us in a pre-race meeting to wear a beanie instead of a hat because of the wind. I did not even bring a beanie but was contemplating not wearing my visor because I didn’t want to lose it in the wind!! I ended up buying one from CVS last minute to wear. I am glad that I had it. At mile 18 I told Kara that I could not believe I still had it on. I thought for sure it would come off in the first couple of miles!

I also had not looked at my watch since the half way mark. I just didn’t want to know. I felt like we were still at a good pace. I still felt good. I didn’t really want to jinx myself. I told Kara that at about 18. (Dang a lot was happening at mile 18) We decided we would check the time at mile 20.

20-21: Bronx: We got up and over a small bridge into the Bronx. They gave us a warm welcome. There was a big crowd out. A couple DJ’s playing Michael Jackson.

We hit the mile 20 mark at about 3:33. At this point I felt good but I still wanted to finish strong and not leave anything out on the course! This was a much different feeling than I had in Chicago! 10K left I just had to keep it together for 6.2 miles. Just over an hour. Keep it together!!! It was on. We got over the Madison St bridge and headed to 5th Ave.

21-23: Back to Manhattan. 5th Ave: Again the crowds were unbelievable. What a day for New York City. Everyone comes out and has a party! The crowd is lining the course. At this point in the race. I was feeling good and I was ready to finish this strong! Here was the problem! Remember those runners that I thought would be congesting up the first few miles here they were walking the last miles. We were weaving in and out of people. Up and over curbs. Trying not to sideswipe them. There is a hill that is quite long.. It was hard but we were staying strong. Digging deep.

23-26.2- Central Park: Again the entire park is lined with spectators. I was literally smiling the entire course. I felt really good. I was positive and confident. I never looked at my watch again. I didn’t want to know. I was so excited that the race had gone so well. I was soaking in every bit of the crowd and the cheering. The park has some rollers which felt like mountains but we got through it. (and much better than I thought we would!) 🙂

We saw Dan and friends at about mile 25.8ish and that gave us our last boost of energy. We were so close but so far away. Lets just get this done!!

The beanie still on!

The beanie still on!

There is yet another “tricky” mountain hill (as Bart Yasso calls it) right before the finish line. All we could do was push forward and there was the finish line. After 4:38:13 we had finished together. Kara and I didn’t know if we would run the entire way together or not but we did and it was an amazing experience!!!!!

I had walked away with literally the BEST marathon of my life. I PR’d by 5 minutes. I dug deep and finished strong. I had a smile on my face the entire race! It was one of the greatest days of my life! WE didn’t negative split but we were close to even. We had a few slower miles at the beginning of the second half but the last couple of miles were the fastest of the race!!

Thanks Kara for an awesome day and race!! Thanks Dan, Todd, Breslin, and Jess for coming out and cheering.
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Monday: Dan and I did a lot of walking. My legs felt pretty good. My feet were sore and are still sore. We took a water taxi around the Hudson and East Rivers. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.
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We picked up a NY Times to find my name in the finisher section!! WE learned that the millionth finisher was a 40 year old gal from Brooklyn and her time was 4:43. WHAT?! They were just a little off when projecting when that person would come in!! It was probably the WIND! 🙂

We checked out the High Line and Chelsea’s Market too. I got an epic ice cream sandwich to celebrate.
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WHAT A WEEKEND!!!

NYC Marathon Goals

31 Oct

Well it is definitely here! As we are flying to NYC on the red-eye. I can usually sleep pretty good on the plane but I think that I am too amped up to sleep which is really going to hurt me come 10am tomorrow today or god forbid Sunday!
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I am flying on JetBlue and they have FREE WI-FI! Hello. It is like $30 bucks to use wi-fi on an Alaska flight! They also have better snacks than Alaska and Southwest! We are some where over the Dakotas I think as I write!!

I updated my last NYC post with a couple of new links if you want to check them out!!!

I wanted to write out some of my goals for this weekend.

This is one of my favorite motivational videos:

I really and truly just want to have a good race. I know I always say that but marathons are so hard for me. I really just want to have a good one! This is the plan!!

We are in the Blue Wave 3 Corral B. My bib number is 38446 if you want to track me you can do it here: live results or you can download the app (search for TCS NYC marathon) and check things out there!

We do not start until 10:30am. Holy smokes that is so late! But it is going to be cold so I am not super concerned with that. Bird Legs and I are going to start together. Run for a while and see what happens. I won’t be surprised if she breaks off after the 20 mile mark. I can only hope to be able to mentally and physically keep up with her at that point! 😉

We take it easy easy…too easy until the Queensboro Bridge. After that I hear the crowds get wild. Kind of go into a moderate mode at that point. If and when it feels good once I get over the 22/23 mile marker…Central Park then I am going to let it RIP!! If my mind and body are so inclined!

Training for NYC this year was a little different than training for Chicago last year. I was really set on making a BIG PR in Chicago. I trained really hard. I worked on my mental toughness. I had an epic 23 miler that was pretty much setting me up for a 4:30 marathon. I knew the stars would align on that day!! Well if you have been reading my blog since than you know that I did get the PR but it was not a big one. It was a tough race physically. I had multiple wrong-doings that were some my fault and some natures fault. Chicago was here nor there.

This time around I am hot off Ironman training/racing! I had 3 months to prepare for this marathon. (hard to believe Whistler was 3 months ago) I obviously had plenty of endurance but the race was still 3 months away. I had to recover and then start building again. Coach and I decided on a very conservative marathon approach. I was only going to do one 20 miler but lots of 16 and 18 milers. I was to practice my negative splitting. He asked me if i was nervous for only 1 20 miler. I said hell yes! (I have never done less than a 22 miler in training) But what did that 23 miler do for me last year. Almost nothing so what did I have to loose by not trying to kill myself in this training block. Maybe my body would rejoice!

I am reluctant to write any time goals but if all the stars aligned I would love to run a 4:35 on Sunday. My real goal should be:
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Is this crazy or what? They are not going to tell that finisher until marathon Monday!

No pressure this year. I think that I was greedy with Chicago. All my runs were good. As much as I did not think I started off too fast I think I did just a little. It hurt me in the long run. Lessons to be learned! We will see if I actually learned it last year! 😉

I would be happy to start slow, enjoy the crowds, stay positive, make sure I have enough nutrition and hydration, SMILE, and finish strong. If all those things happen I should be able to pull off a PR: sub 4:43!! It has taken 5 years to get here. I am going to make the BEST OF IT!!! This is the New York City Marathon! Holy shit I am running another marathon on Sunday! Lucky #10!

What lessons have you learned while training for a marathon?! -OR- Racing a marathon?!

PATIENCE!

5 Oct

I watched the sunrise yesterday morning. It all started at 5:55am and ended right around 9:30. Yes!! 3.5 hours of running. Mostly on my own with the help of some Oiselle Flock to help me out at the end. Let me explain.

The view from the Sellwood bridge to the P-town skyline.
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You probably remember how excited I was to meet Chloe and Becky for a run last week. Even more excited to have someone to run with for my 20 miler!! Ha!

It happened. The text came Friday morning: Chloe was cancelling. I was on the verge of tears. I knew it was too good to be true. I could not decide if I was more pissed or sad. I had changed around my plans to make this run date happen. If she would have told me a day or 2 in advance I could have gone with my original plan of running on Thursday or Friday(like usual). But I had a great tempo run with Becky on Thursday and I could not discount that.

I decided I could probably use the mental confidence anyway. I was going to put my big girl panties on and run 17 miles alone (1/2 in the dark) and meet up with the Oiselle gals for the last 3. Yes that is why I was out and running at 5:55 in the morning.

I was positive and confident I could get this done. I had a big dinner. I had slept well this week. My schedule said I had to run well-under my race pace. I have a hard time with that because I already run really slow that I don’t want to run even slower but it worked! I am finding it more and more reasonable to be PATIENT when I am running a long run. I am trying to teach my body and mind to run slow at first so I can speed up later. IT IS WORKING!!! Who knew I could have even a little bit of patience! My first 3 miles were sllloooowwwww! I can do this. I can run even slower than slow! I actually loved being in the dark. The air was crisp and perfect temperature. I was “running” happy. I took in my Gu and Nuun. At all the right times.

I headed back home at 10.5 miles to drop all of my reflective gear and grab another water bottle. I did not think that I would be able to get to the flock meet up in time because I was running “slow” and I had started 10 minutes later than I wanted to.

I definitely sped up those 6.5 miles and actual made the meet-up only a couple of minutes late. 🙂

The meet up was for a “shake out” run for the gals that were running the marathon. These bitches “shake-out” pace is way faster than my tempo pace! HELLO!! I thought WTF I will try for a fast finish and see what happens!
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My last 3 miles: 9:28, 9:51, 9:33 and the last .33 were at a 9:13 pace. I really did feel amazing at the end and could definitely have gone longer! I am definitely beginning to BELIEVE THAT PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

I am trying to coax Bird Legs into running with me in New York. It is so much “funner” to have someone to run with. She likes to start out too fast and I am going to try and hold her back. 🙂

I am really going to try and focus on going really slow and having patience in New York. It is going to be very difficult because we are in a faster corral than we should be in and the spectators and cheering and everything else going on!! Patience will be the name of the game!

#28daycountown

How do you survive a long run?!

Training This Week!

25 Sep

Well another long run in the books this morning. I wanted to tell you a few things before I get into the run. I typically take Thursday as my rest day and my long run on Friday. (Because of the sufferfest Crater Lake ride on Saturday I decided to run long today and take tomorrow as my rest day. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea or not. I was very nervous for multiple reasons!

Nervous:
Obviously because I didn’t have a good long run last week!
I had a strength work out yesterday morning. I was happy that we only did a few low body exercises. It was mostly upper body.
I did a longer shake out run then I wanted to with Becky and Chloe yesterday! (more on that in a minute)

Excited:
To try again
I had just gotten a new Oiselle tank that I wanted to wear.
I had just gotten a shipment from Gu with root beer and caramel macchiato. I wanted to try them out.

Here was my instructions:
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I do not know what my corral is but I will likely be in the 2nd or 3rd corral(there is only 4). I was planning on leaving at about 10 but I was up early on a whim and did not want to sit around all morning. I opted at leaving right about 9. It was cloudy and cool. I was positive and confident.

I had decided on 2 x 9 mile loops. So I could stop at home to do a water bottle change and grab more Gu. I changed up the direction on the 2nd loop. I wanted to target 10:30-10:40 pace on the first loop. Target 10:20-10:30 pace on the 2nd loop. I also wanted to negative split. I have been working on negative splitting my long runs. I really want to make a solid effort at having a faster second half than the first half of the race! Hello…what a concept! Everyone keeps saying practice on the bridges. I am sure that the bridges here in P-Town are not like the bridges in NYC but I can still practice. I was going over 2 bridges with a good incline. (2x)

My first loop went really well. I really tried to hold the reins on my pace. Patience. Patience. Patience. I felt amazing at mile 7 and if you recall from last week I wanted to quit. BAD!! Miles 8 and 9 were a little faster than I wanted it to be but I thought what the hell! I did my water bottle change and thought here we go.

The sun showed its face just as I was starting. Miles 10 and 11 were a little slower than I would have liked. I am not sure why. I felt almost like I had low blood sugar. It was really weird I thought I would keep going for a bit and see what happens. I got back over to the eastside and really forgot about it. It was probably the headwind that I was now facing. Then promptly had a much faster split so maybe it was just my watch. (I did feel like it was faster and wanted to not speed up until I got back to the westside (a little over 15 miles).

I sped up a little more after crossing the 4th bridge. I can’t say that I was still feeling amazing but decent. It was warm with the sun out. I finished really strong and happy to report that I averaged 10:24s with a 75(ish) second negative split.

The rest of my training was good this week too. I think that last weeks 16 miler was just a fluke. I do think that my dinner was part of it. I always eat pizza(homemade) before a long run and last week I had pasta. #fail

I met up with Becky and Chloe from the Oiselle Flock on Wednesday night. We did a 6 mile easy run. Chloe is also doing NYC marathon and Becky did it last year. We got a bunch of tips and had a fun run. I do almost all of my running on my own with the exception of Dan joining me once in a while. It was nice to meet up with the girls. Plus Chloe and I are similar pace and are going to do our 20 mile run together next weekend! #holla
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I also have to admit that I cheated. I got a well deserved Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwich. It was delicious and well worth the cheat!
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Anyone else do their long run during the week?!