New York City Marathon - Run

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New York City, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
57F / 14C
Total Time = 4h 44m 25s
Overall Rank = 30,348/50,650
Age Group = F 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1622/3314
Pre-race routine:

Race morning started early with a 4:15 am wake up. The good thing was that we turned the clocks back the night before for an extra hour of sleep and my body didn't really adjust to the time zone difference. So I had no issues getting up. After the routine breakfast and coffee, Karen and I left the house a little after 5 for the drive to the park and ride. Since I was staying with Karen and Mike in NJ, I used other transportation than was offered through the race. There were no issues with the bus and it pulled away right on time at 6;00 am to get us to Staten Island around 7:30 am. It was hassle free and an easy way to get to the race start. After getting off the bus, we proceeded through some security measures. The starting area in S.I. is huge with tons of people everywhere. They break up sections based on the color of your wave to keep people spread out, but really you could go anywhere. I found a seat on the curb along the main stretch of road. While the temps weren't that cold, I still brought all of the "throw away" clothes I had for the race. This proved to be key since it was nearly 3 hours of waiting before the race start. I had a fleece blanket to sit on, sweatpants, a flannel shirt, puffy vest, wool dress coat, gloves and a hat. I saw plenty of people underdressed and shivering so I was happy I brought all my stuff. Each area was giving out free bagels, tea and Dunkin Donuts coffee along with orange and pink fleece hats. It honestly looked like a homeless person's encampment the way people were walking up and down the closed streets or camped out on the sidewalks and curbs. It definitely made for some good people watching. I passed the time with a few magazines and listening to some podcasts. It was also neat to see the earlier waves go off and to see the runners on the top and bottom of the Verrazano. I made sure to bring enough food to be fueled before the race. Despite the fact that there were 50,000 runners, the start area was spread out and very organized and I never felt there were that many people. I never waited more than 10 minutes for a port-o-potty. As my wave was called, I wanted to wait as long as I could before shedding my clothes for the donation clothes bins. You never really know when the final donations bins will be and I didn't want to just discard them on the side of the road. I swapped my clothes for a big, long trash bag which worked out just fine. The corral areas are extremely organized. You go into the area based on your letter and each area has their own set of port-o-potties. The corrals were all lined up in order and we proceeded to walk to the bridge. I was in Orange wave 3 corral E. It was neat to see the two other colors come together at the bridge - one going on the lower section of the bridge and the other going on the right upper side of the bridge. Once at the bridge, the energy was high and people were all smiles excited for the day ahead. We had less than a 10 minute wait before they played "New York, New York" as the cannon boomed and we were off.

Event warmup:

No real warm up other than walking to the starting line in a garbage bag.
  • 4h 44m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 52s  min/mile

Running over the bridge to start was just awesome. The morning was misty and foggy so the cityscape looked like a dream. I was smiling ear to ear at the beauty of the city and excitement of the race. I was conscious about my pace as I know the outcome of going out too fast. I was just running at what felt to be an easy pace. It was great there were MTA workers on the bridge cheering us on and playing music. Coming off of the bridge into Brooklyn was just awesome. You hear about the crowds lining the course for 26.2 miles and until you really experience it, it's hard to get an idea of how amazing it is. Throughout the race, I loved seeing all ages, religions, backgrounds and walks of life on the sidelines cheering. You really see how the entire city comes out and gets behind the race.

We have a long stretch on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. On that stretch, I ran along the side of the road to thank every volunteer and service person I could and to smack every hand that was outstretched. The spectators energy was infectious. Before I knew it, I was at mile 8 and was on the lookout for the huge neon pink "K" sign Karen had. It was incredibly easy to spot her, even from a distance. I know the challenges of finding your athletes when you're a spectator and I ended up sneaking up on her as she didn't see me initially. After a quick selfie, I was on my way.

Around mile 9, my left piriformis started to get cranky. I held off as long as I could before making a quick stop on the side of the road to stretch it. Unfortunately, this would continue for the remainder of the race, just more frequent stops. Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn was several people deep cheering with people dancing and playing music. We snaked through the rest of Brooklyn before hitting Queens. The weather was overcast the whole race and would be sprinkling/raining on and off. Overall not bad weather for running....certainly worse for the spectators. We are only in Queens for less than 2 miles and my favorite sign I saw here was "Welcome to Queens, now get out!".

Up next was the Queensboro Bridge to get into Manhattan. The crowd and cheers were like thunder as we ran on the lower portion of the bridge. I saw the Roosevelt Island Tramway (like a gondola) move by as I was running...what a cool viewpoint of the race! As we took the exit ramp of the bridge to get dumped onto First Ave in Manhattan, the crowds were insane! Besides the finish line, it was the most crowded part of the course with people 6+ deep. There was music and horns and flags and bands. It looked like one massive party! I was still feeling overall pretty good by this point and let the crowds carry me on. I was excited to see Karen, my mom, Michael and Danielle a little after mile 18. Again, the big K sign made it super easy to spot them. I didn't stop for long, but just enough time to say hello and thank you and snap a picture.

Shortly after leaving them and around mile 20, things started to fall apart a bit. I made it through mile 20 before the wheels started to fall off. I was still eating on schedule (every 4.5 miles), but the pounding was catching up to me and I was having to stop a lot more frequently to stretch my piriformis. Despite a few stops, I hadn't walked at all until around mile 20, so that's a huge win for me.

The last 6 miles were pretty rough. It was a mix of walking, running and stretching my piriformis. I heard Brad in my head saying that even a slow run is faster than a walk so that was motivation to run. I saw my mom, Michael and Danielle around mile 22.5. I am so thankful they were at that part of the race as it was really nice to see familiar faces and help break up the miles between my last sighting of them and the finish. I stopped for a few minutes to chat/complain on how I wanted to be done and to eat. I bid them adieu and knew Karen was waiting for me at the finish.

The last stretch before heading into Central Park runs along the park on Fifth Ave. My piriformis was pretty cranky by this point, but I tried to enjoy the moment and appreciate the spectators. We made the turn into Central Park for the final three miles. After snaking through the park pathways, the finish line was in sight along with the huge pink "K" sign and Karen in the stands. It was so great to have her at the finish!
What would you do differently?:

I am not sure. The first 20 miles went relatively well. I think I probably walked a little more than was necessary so maybe just tell myself I didn't really need to walk. I tried doing that, but the mind is pretty powerful.
Post race
Warm down:

It's a slow process once you cross the finish line. I got my medal, a mylar space blanket and a slingbag of some drinks and food. It wasn't very clear on where to get these things and I had to cross from one side of the closed road to the other. It doesn't initially sound like an issue, but with all of the zombie like finishers trying to do the same thing, it was very crowded and slow.
I knew I'd be cold once I stopped running and while I had the mylar blanket, I was looking forward to getting the post-race fleece lined poncho. The crowds caused things to slow to a crawl as we all made our way to either the poncho area or the bag drop pick up. Even the poncho area didn't seem very organized with how they were handing them out. I walked the 12 blocks south to where Karen was since she couldn't get any closer to me. We grabbed a cup of coffee and a slice of pizza....perfect post race food! I showered at her apartment in the city before we met up with my mom, Michael and Danielle for dinner.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm not sure. Overall, I am happy with my race. I ran the first 20 miles which usually doesn't happen. The wheels usually fall off sooner. I would have liked to break 4:30, but am happy to have been under 5 hours.

Event comments:

Despite my issues with the post-race slowness (which I read about prior to the race), this race was amazing. I loved every minute, even the last painful 6 miles. There is nothing like running through the city with the sites and the people that come out to support the runners. The energy was just amazing and I'd run this race every year if I could. It was also extra special to have my family out on the race course. They were at the perfect locations and right when I needed a pick-me-up. Even with the not so great spectating weather, they were energetic and full of cheers and smiles. They definitely made my race.

Last updated: 2017-11-18 12:00 AM
04:44:25 | 26.2 miles | 10m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 1622/3314
Overall: 30348/50,650
Performance: Good
5K - 31:15 10K - 1:02:31 15K - 1:35:03 20K - 2:07:58 HALF - 2:15:13 25K - 2:41:29 30K - 3:15:02 35K - 3:50:30 40K - 4:28:48
Course: Point-to-point, starting in Staten Island before hitting Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and back into Manhattan finishing in Central Park
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5