New York City Marathon - Run

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New York City, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
46F / 8C
Total Time = 5h 16m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

To start off, this was a bucket list race for me. I've tried for two years to get in, and this year I did! Trained with MCRRC and the first time marathon group (FTM), which was just a godsend. I loved running with these folks. However, my last month has been awful. I was getting tightness in my quad that wasn't getting better. I went to the specialist on Tuesday and he didn't like the look of my xray. Ordered an MRI immediately and said my ability to run the race was dependent on the results. This was on the Wednesday before NYC. Talk about stressful!! I finally got an email on Thursday that it wasn't a stress fracture in my hip, but the dreaded labral tear. However, I could run, as long as "I didn't do anything crazy". Like run a marathon? :)

Took the train early at 6:20 am, arrived in NYC at 9:40. Took a long walk in the rain with my luggage to my hotel. It was only supposed to be 1.2 miles away but took me an hour! I dropped off my stuff for them to hold and took a cab to the expo since I had no idea where I was going. That was going to be the theme of the weekend!

The expo was crazy! It was divided into two areas, one that was an official race information area. This part I liked b/c it was more chill. The downstairs area had bib pickup, transportation area, all the official gear, and then a ton of vendors. I chatted with the transportation people and she convinced me to take the midtown bus at 6:00. I did want to take the ferry but I wasn't sure how I was going to get there. Then I ventured out to the clothing part, which was hard! I ended up with a thin hoodie and arm warmers which I planned to wear. I was still waiting for all the other FTMers from MCRRC to arrive so I got a bite to eat--yummy burger and fries, then took a nap along a wall. When everyone finally arrived we took some pics and were able to leave around 3:45.

Patty and I were staying together at the Hilton so we took a cab since we were tired! Met back up at 5:30 for dinner. By the time we got home it was 8:30 and we were both so tired! Watched some Magic Mike on TV and fell asleep! It was time to change our clocks and that extra hour came way too early.

I was out the door at 5:15 since I had to check my bags and walk to the NY public library. Got there and into a line and was on the bus at 5:45. Had a nice chat with a woman from CA. We could hear the wind howling as we crossed the bridge. Holy moly. When we saw the staging area, it literally looked like a refugee camp. People laying down every where wrapped in blankets, mylars, and bags. I found a spot next to a wall and hunkered down, hoping to at least see a few members of my marathon training group.
Event warmup:

Everyone finally started to show up. Susan, who ran with us a few times. Then Paul and Yvette (a coach from my pace group) showed up. Then Patty, then Geralyn, and then finally Dan and Meredith. We all huddled together against the wall--it was cold, it was long, but it worked! The people walking around highly entertained us. They were wearing footie pajamas, what looked to be hazmat suits, boxes, bags, bathrobes. It was comical! I myself was wearing my singlet, armwarmers, shorts, calf sleeves, velour pants, a windbreaker, a heavy fleece, an old snap coat with fleece, gloves, ear band, poncho, and a bag around my legs.

After 3 long hours, it was time to get to our corral. Me, Paul, Yvette, Geralyn, and Joyce were in the same one, so we hung out together and stripped down. They shot off the cannon and played "New York New York". It was pretty amazing. here I was with my bad hip starting the New York City Marathon.
  • 5h 16m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 04s  min/mile

Off I was, even though I had only ran 14 miles in the last 3 weeks total. The achiness started right away, but whatever!! The bridge was insane! Hats were blowing off left and right! We were getting blown forward and backward, and sideways!

I managed to run the first few miles with Yvette, Joyce, and Geralyn, but then I had to let them go. Patty and I had mainly planned to run together anyways. She had a bad achilles and I had my hip--what a pair!

Brooklyn was incredible. So many people came out and brought their bands and just played on the side of the road--I loved it!! All types of music, all ages. We saw one band with men in their late 70s! So many ethnicities of people, and the signs were hilarious. But I had one major issue--I had a terrible headache. In my rush I didn't have a soda this morning, and I knew instantly that it was a lack of caffeine headache. I took two tylenol, and an hour later took two more. But I wasn't myself. although I tried to interact with the crowds and enjoy myself, I just had a hard time. My head hurt. The screaming was loud. Then at mile 15 I started to bonk. It was a long, dark, lonely bridge. I saw a man then on a wheelchair, named Dave, going slowly. Backwards, pushing his feet on the road up the hill. Seriously, I needed to stop my pity party.

We ended up in Manhattan to HUGE cheers. At mile 19 I decided I"m going to walk a mile and call my mom. Had a nice chat with her and dad and they were tickled that I called them. Mom told me the wind was supposed to die down around mile 20. I hung up, and was across a bridge into the Bronx. What the heck! It was windier! My visor blew off! It was crazy, and unrelenting.

But lo and behold I made it to 22 (holy cow!), and then 23!! 23 was a hard, hard mile. We were next to Central Park and it was straight uphill against the wind. Finally got into the park at mile 24. There were a few hills there, but at this point, I just ached EVERYWHERE. And it was awesome!!! I no longer felt any injury, I just felt total soreness. And I said screw it! I'm running the rest of the way no matter what! And I did! the last 2.2 miles when I was at my sorest.

Up a brutal hill at the very end, and then the grandstands. Yes, I burst into tears as I crossed the finish. Heck, it had been an emotional week. The death of friend, possibly having a horrible injury and not being able to run, to being able to run three days prior to the this was the ONLY marathon I've ever really wanted to do. Did I mention it was my first?? Ok I've done 4 IMs, but this was my first marathon. In any case, I was so thrilled to finish.
What would you do differently?:

In terms of what I would do differently, I would definitely had brought two more gels. I needed it. I also would have loved to have had someone at the finish. It was very hard to be alone through that process. I also think I would have taken MORE pictures. Those are my favorite moments from the race.
Post race
Warm down:

The post race was tough. I was told to take no baggage b/c it was faster and you got a nice poncho. You got handed a bag with an apple, protein shake, water, gatorade, and pretzels. But then you had to walk 16 or so blocks. You finally exit the Park at 77th street, but then walk another 3 blocks till you got the poncho. That was warm!! Then it was another 5 or so blocks to get through the family reunion area, which was totally unregulated and crowded. At this point I was cold, tired, hungry, and super cranky. GET OUT OF MY WAY!! Thats all I kept saying. In any case, I had to get food! the apple didn't cut it. I got a Hershey bar from a vendor and found a mall around 61st street. There HAS to be a food court, right?? Well no food court, but a fancy bakery. I got a seat at the bar and got a delicious, expensive, ham and cheese baguette sandwich.

Event comments:

Only complaints? No gels until mile 18, and that was it! Thank god for the kindness of strangers with bananas and chocolate!

For a non New Yorker, it is tough! I was alone, cold, hungry, and weak. To walk 2 miles post race in that state is tough. I think they could do a little bit better job of escorting folks since so many people are not even from our country that do this race!! Also providing some food--those choices just weren't enough.

Still, these are minor complaints to the magical race and spirit I felt. I've never felt so buoyed by a crowd!! It is a once in a lifetime race that everyone should try to experience.

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Last updated: 2014-11-05 12:00 AM
05:16:00 | 26.2 miles | 12m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Not easy!! Especially with the wind gusts. We also crossed 5 bridges. Two were in the open, one that went into Manhattan was a looooong lonely dark bridge at around mile 15. Central Park was awesome, 5th avenue was awesome. Mile 23 was a loooooooong uphill. My favorite part though was running through Brooklyn and Harlem--so many great bands
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4