Tag Archives: new york

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!!!