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NYC Marathon - Run

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New York, New York
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 4h 55m 32s
Overall Rank = 35159/
Age Group = M 45-49
Age Group Rank = 3623/
Pre-race routine:

I left Saturday evening and stayed at a hotel in Farmingdale. I did this because I was taking the Runner's Edge charter buses which would take us right to the start at the of the NYC Marathon. I though it would be better not to have to get up even earlier then I needed to in order to get the bus which was leaving at 5am. It was a very good move on my part since I was about 10 minutes away from the buses.

I woke up at 3 am and ate a bagel w/peanut butter, nature valley bar and a nutri grain bar. I drank a single cup of coffee and some water. I made sure I had everything I needed with me and packed in my bag and my backpack. I also had all my clothes laid out as it was going to be cold and windy so I had layers of clothes but I found out later on I should've taken some more.

I left the hotel at around 4:20 am and checked out and headed down to Runner's Edge. I got there by about 4:30 am and met a bunch of my friends from our tri club the Wildwood Warriors. It was great to see everybody there and you could feel the excitement even that early in the morning. We all took the last bus (the party bus lol) and it was a pretty lively crowd and I was glad to be on that bus. They actually sang happy birthday to Eric whose birthday is today thanks to Christina making the announcement. It was pretty funny. It was great to see everyone in good spirits.The trip into the city didn't take very long and I think we got there before 6 pm so I knew I'd have a lot of time to kill and try not to freeze to death.

Once I got in I sort of lost the Warrior crew. I wasn't sure where everyone was hanging out and Fort Wadsworth is huge. They had three towns set up, blue, orange and green for the different groupings. The marathon is broken into 4 waves and 3 color groupings. They further break those color groupings into corrals. For a huge race like this I have to say it is extremely well organized. So I was green, wave 2 corral E starting at 10:05 so lot's of time to kill. I walked around a little bit and then headed over to the green town and found a spot to sit down and wait.

And wait I did, I just sat there for like 2 hours just trying to stay warm and not freeze to death. It was so windy and cold I was shivering and I thought I had bundled up too much. I would say it was not enough. I was contemplating getting a trash can and starting a fire that's how cold I was. I was also getting worried that I was wasting energy shivering too much. Time slowly passed and at 8:30 am I hit the porta potty and headed over to my corral. I waited there for another hour before I got in and didn't take my throw away clothes off until we started moving to the start. I always say a small pray before any race so I prayed for the volunteers, emergency personnel and all the participants safety. I always ask God for a little watching over as well for myself an pray that he'll just get me through and he always does.

For the race i was wearing tights and I had 3 top layers on as well. An under armour shirt which I debated using but glad I did it was long sleeve. I wish I would have used the heavier one in hindsight. I had cycling jersey over that so I had a 3 pockets for all my stuff and over that I had my Wildwood Warrior shirt on. I wish I would have had another long sleeve shirt over top. I also had two pairs of gloves. I'll admit I'm not a tough guy when it comes to the cold. I get cold and I bundle up.

So we finally start moving to the start and we're walking up. The first wave is already going and as I'm walking up I'm thinking man this is it I'm finally going to do this race. I've been waiting five years to do this. It was my goal since 2009 when I went on my fitness and weight loss journey to do this. I finally got in on the third try in the lottery in 2012 and then Hurricane Sandy took that away from me. I deferred in 2013 because I was doing Ironman Wisconsin in September so I decided on 2014. Well in hindsight not a good move. I wound up doing Ironman Mont Tremblant this year. I has no intention of doing it when I made my decision on NYC but once I found out my close friends were doing IMMT I jumped on the chance to do it knowing I'd probably not be able to run NYC the way I wanted to. So my goal for the day was just to finish. Don't worry about times, forget about a PR and just run this thing for the experience of running one the greatest marathons you can run. I know Boston in this the pinnacle for a runner but for those not destined to get to Boston then NYC is the next best thing.

I'm thinking about all this as I'm making my way to the start and I'll admit I had a tear in my eye as being here meant so much to me as it's the culmination of all my hard work and everything I've accomplished up to this point. NYC Marathon represented the change that I made 5 years ago and I was just so grateful to be here and have the opportunity to do this. I couldn't really train the way I wanted to for this as I had 11 weeks following IMMT and wound up with 7 weeks of training for this. I didn't train at my marathon pace I trained at my IM/easy pace and ran as much as I could without trying to injure myself and I was hoping that and the base of fitness I had from IMMT would carry me through.

The cannon goes off and here we go I walk to the start and soon enough I'm off and running and this is more amazing then I though it would be.

Event warmup:

Waked a little, shivered mainly and just tried to save my energy before we started.
  • 4h 55m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 17s  min/mile

The Start to first 5K:
My group the green wave 2 went under the Verrazano Bridge. I was bummed I wanted to go up top but I though ok probably less windy going below. Man I was I ever wrong it was like a wind tunnel in there. I mean 40 mph gusts and you get blown sidewards running. I was holding my hood and my hat I actually took my hat off so I wouldn't lose it. Here it was pretty packed running but to be honest it's pretty packed the entire race which is what makes this such and amazing race. The amount of people doing it is just mind boggling.

I keep my hooded sweatshirt at the start and good thing it was freezing on the bridge. It felt like I was on the bridge for an eternity but I finally made it off there and was in Brooklyn. It actually started to warm up so I ditched my hooded sweatshirt which I sort of regretted later on but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I felt really good for the first 5K of the race. My goal was to keep it easy and run around a 10:50 to 11:10 ish pace and even slower to start. I was running at a sub 10:30 pace too fast for me, I know it's a stretch to say fast and 10:30 but you have to keep this in perspective. I'm not the fastest runner my marathon pace is around 9:30ish and I didn't train much so I had to be realistic if I wanted to finish. I tried to slow down but I had a hard time doing that especially with the crowds they are unbelievable.

5K to 10K
I was running pretty well the first 10k maybe a little bit too fast but I felt good and thought I might be able to have a good day. The crowds in Brooklyn were awesome so they help carry you through here and it was pretty nice out even if it was cold and windy. The winds were bad all day. You might get it where there was little to no wind for a stretch and then you'd get lots of wind and big gusts. I mean like trying to run in a wind tunnel through a wall type gusts. So here I was just rambling along taken in the crowds and the sights.

10K to 15K
More of the same here. Still in Brooklyn still cold and windy and still great crowd support. I actually start slowing it down a bit here and started running at the pace I should have been running at. More uphills here so I was slowing down a little for that as well plus the wind was blowing good too. I still felt pretty good and was drinking at every aid station and I was ok with my nutrition.I ate an Amrita bar not that long before the start so I wasn't hungry. I was going to wait until I got to the two hour mark to eat something.

15K to 20K
I'm going at a good and steady pace. Lot's of runners on the course and you are always with a bunch of runners so you have to keep your wits about yourself and pay attention to where you are running. You had to do that all day otherwise you might run or get run over. I had to go to the bathroom during this stretch and I kept putting it off. Mile 9 goes by and I'm like next mile and then mile 10 and then mile 11 etc. so I finally convince myself that you'll run a lot better and more comfortably if you stop and go it's not like you are trying for a PR. I finally stopped at mile 12 hit the porta potty and got back going. I had one of my two Snickers bars and after that I felt great. I actually started thinking I could pick up the pace and PR this thing. And then the voice of reason chimed in and said "don't do it", "don't even think about it", "you'll regret it". I think for the first time in my life while racing I actually listened. It sounded great at the moment but I knew in reality I would never finish running if I attempted that if finished at all.

15K to 20K
Good thing I listened because once I hit the halfway mark and looked at my time I was like ok no way I could PR this thing so don't even bother just keep running. It started getting harder here especially leaving Brooklyn I entered Queens and the crowds are good but not as big plus I hit the third of the 5 bridges you cross in this race the Queensboro bridge. It's basically a big freakin hill that does seem to end. You run on the bottom deck, it's quiet just feet shuffling like a lot of feet shuffling. Lot's of people walking or moving so slowly they are like running in place almost like me lol. Yeah this is definitely one of the toughest spots on the course. People start zoning out in this part of the race. The good thing is that once you finish you head on a downhill into Manhattan and on towards 1st avenue and the crowds are amazing. You hear them buzzing when you get off the bridge. It was definitely a big boost and helped carry me through after the pain, suffering and mental anguish having to deal with the Queensboro Bridge which was a big wind tunnel a well.

25K to 30K
Going up 1st Ave is one of the best parts of the course because of the crowds. I was still running a steady pace here but as I approached mile 18 I sort of hit my wall and I felt like I was in trouble. I thought man I cannot do another 8 miles the way I feel right now. I was cold and I really had to go to the bathroom. So I make it to mile 19 and I stop and hit the porta potty again and thankfully no line and they have open ones so I take a long bathroom break. This was a big turning point for me. I actually got warmed up in there lol. no kidding my hands were so cold I was able to switch to heavier gloves and my hands warmed up it was great. When I got out I did in my second Snickers bar of the day. It tasted so great the only thing that would have been better was if I had a Kit Kat. In any case I started feeling a lot better here. I was ready to start making deals with the devil to keep moving but I didn't have to go that far I just let the crowds carry me through to the Bronx.

30K to 35K
My paced dropped off a little during this stretch but I was running steady and felt pretty decent after my near breakdown at mile 19. I was on my way to and through the Bronx where we crossed two more bridges. The crowds are thinner here but people are still out cheering. It's nothing like the 1st Ave experience. I just keep moving here and just trying to keep my effort in check I knew the end was going to be tough so I was trying to prepare myself for that mentally. I knew it was going to be a battle so I tried to get into the Ironman mode for the end of this race.

35K to 40K
So I'm now heading back into Manhattan and I'm starting to get tired and now all the mental warfare really begins inside my head. Miles 21 and 22 I'm doing alright and I actually run a 10:21 mile at mile 22 but after that it becomes all mental. My legs are protesting my body doesn't want to do this anymore. I'm now having to begin negotiations with my body. I'm telling it that the offseason begins in 4.2 miles lol, this is the end of the season, I'll give you a week off just get me to the finish please! I was really starting to think about everyone who has been so helpful and kind enough to help and support me this year. I knew my family and friends were following me and was trying to draw some strength from that. I even pulled out the "You're an Ironman, dammit! you can do this!" speech. I tried one more time to turn that switch on, tune out the pain and the suffering and just keep moving forward. That's what I did. I've learned all about the art of pain and suffering and have become quite good at it over the last 3 years. I won't say this was a sufferfest but I will say just like the end of my run at Ironman Mont Tremblant I really had focus on keeping myself moving forward and forgetting about how bad I felt at the time. So that's what I did, I didn't have to go so far as to go to my dark place but I was getting to that point. Thankfully the crowds are awesome and very supportive here so that definitely helped me. It's also motivating knowing there are so many other Wildwood Warriors on the course I didn't want to be the one not to finish. That keep me motivated as well to just keep going.

40K to the Finish
With 2.2 miles to go you are running through Central Park and there are hills in there and yes they suck at the end of the race. Hills pretty much suck any time you run them but especially so after 24 miles. Mile 24 I ran inspired and started to sense that this was going to be over pretty soon so I pushed but I slowed in mile 25 I think the hills had something to do with that or my legs or maybe both. I just kept pushing and I knew I was going to finish at this point but I focused on running as best as I could. MIle 26 I was able to find some energy and make my push to the end I think I ran like 9:47 mile which was the fastest mile of the day for me. See how motivating the finish line really is. I just keep pushing as we had to make the last right turn into Central Park. People were slowing here as you had some people pushing and some not and they were bunching up. A few people were taking selfies here. I thought that was the wrong place and time to be doing that especially the people running in the middle. I'm trying to hammer it home and you have people doing that are not paying attention to what's going on around them. In any case I was able to weave around some bunches and I just pointed up and thanked God for getting me to the finish safely. I happily crossed the line in under 5 hours and was very thankful to do so. I didn't think I was gonna make at mile 19 but I did. First NYC Marathon done cross it off the bucket list.

What would you do differently?:

Well that is pretty easy it really is all about doing proper marathon training which I was unable to do. I had 11 weeks following Ironman Mont Tremblant. I took 1 week off and had 3 easy weeks of training. That left me with 7 weeks 6 of which I used to train for the marathon with a 1 week taper. I pretty much ran as much as I could at an easy pace in order to avoid injury. If I had the time I would have trained the way you need to train to run a marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

After finishing it's takes forever to get out of Central Park. It was getting cold out as well so I was freezing once I did get out. I got my medal, got my food bag and then proceeded to the exit and after a long time I got my poncho. I was never so thankful in my life to be warm at that moment and for the food bag. I then had to take a long walk from 77th street down to 62nd and Columbus to get the bus which would take me back home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

One word - training.

Event comments:

I've been waiting a long time to do this race. It had a very significant meaning to me personally to be able to do this and finish. It was very special to me. The sad part about it was I had absolutely no desire to do it in the weeks leading up to the race. I didn't even want to train for it but I'm so glad I did and once I got there all that was forgotten. It was a privilege to be able to this and seriously this was a bucket list item for me so I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to it.

For the amount of people doing this race it's amazing how organized and well run it is. A big thank you the organizers (NYC and NYRR), the volunteers who were awesome. the crowd support who were awesome and deserve a big thank you for being out there on that cold and windy day and the NYPD, FDNY and all other emergency personnel who keep us all safe during the race.

Once again a big thanks to my friends in my three endurance/triathlon groups in no particular order because it doesn't matter and I'm thankful to be part of all three groups and surrounded by all these Rock Stars that make me look so good, Asphalt Junkies, Wildwood Warriors and Don Quixote triathlon. Thank you!

I also want to thank my wife Joyce and my three kids Kayla, Erynn and Austin for their help and support without which I'd not be able to do any of this stuff.

If you're a runner and you want to run a great marathon then you have to run the NYC Marathon. It's a challenging course, the best crowd support of any race I've ever been a part of and such and amazing number of people participating in this race. The entire experience is really just amazing. You will experience NY in a way you never thought possible.

Last updated: 2014-09-19 12:00 AM
04:55:32 | 26.2 miles | 11m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: NYC Marathon starts in Staten Island then take you into Brooklyn. From Brooklyn you head to Queens and then over into Manhattan. From Manhattan you run into the Bronx and then back down to Manhattan and you finish in Central Park. It's a point to point race with 5 bridges that you cross during the run.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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

2014-11-03 2:32 PM

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: NYC Marathon

2014-11-03 2:56 PM
in reply to: #5064981

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Extreme Veteran
Westchester, NY
Subject: RE: NYC Marathon
Great report ! Great time all things considered.
I knew about 15 people doing the marathon and all finished around you.
I was originally mad that I didn't get in, but a bike crash eased that feeling pretty quick.
It was pretty tough weather-wise I know.
Great time, great finish. Nice bucket list race.
2014-11-04 6:26 AM
in reply to: louamerica

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Subject: RE: NYC Marathon
GREAT race and great race report. I loved your thought...4.2 miles until the off

Congrats on accomplishing your IM x2, this marathon and weight loss goal!! This was a perfect season!!! Congrats!
2014-11-04 6:34 AM
in reply to: louamerica

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Subject: RE: NYC Marathon

Congratulations, Tony!  I know you weren't "feeling" this race beforehand but you did it and that speaks a lot about your determination.  Way to go!!  I sat here shivering just reading how cold you were waiting all those hours before the start.  Brrr....    You made me laugh with your comment that a Kit Kat bar would've tasted better than the Snickers you had.  You and your love of Kit Kats!       Who cares about a PR? finished the freaking NYC Marathon!!   I'm proud of you fellow Junkie!  Now take some time off, please.  The trails and your mountain bike will be a welcome change from your last 2 years of intense S/B/R training.  Again, congratulations!!

2014-11-04 3:05 PM
in reply to: bswcpa

Subject: RE: NYC Marathon

Fun read. I think there are many like us who have some draw to the sport by the allure of the NYC marathon. It sounds like you enjoyed it as much as I did. Congrats on another race well done.
2014-11-04 6:20 PM
in reply to: ImSore

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Extreme Veteran
Sidney, Ohio
Subject: RE: NYC Marathon
Great run Tony, now enjoy the offseason.

2014-11-06 2:51 PM
in reply to: mambos

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Extreme Veteran
Tallahassee, Florida
Subject: RE: NYC Marathon
Tony, what a great job you did! I love your RR. The NYC marathon has been a dream of mine for years and your RR let me be there - without the shivering and the wind that you had to face. Now enjoy your off season.
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