This Sunday I set out for revenge against one of the most miserable days in my life, the 2010 NYC Marathon. Literally I can not believe that I was able to not only set a PR but enjoy EVERY step of the way. Don’t get me wrong not every race is like that, but I am thankful that over anything I was able to stay mentally strong and feel good for the entire 4:14:32.
Marathon week is in my humble opinion one of the best weekends every year in New York. A certain energy takes over the city and there are runners EVERYWHERE. All of the local running stores are filled with special events and sponsors. Jack Rabbit my old local store had Saucony in house with lots of giveaways.
In true marathon fashion the expo (for 50K plus runners) was a mess but at least they had great gear! I recommend to go early and get it over with that way you’re not on your feet all Saturday.
While in NYC make sure to do lots of Pizza carb loading in the city and don’t miss a much deserved salt bagel.
Ok, flash forward to marathon morning… I took the 7:15 Staten Island Ferry. A taxi to a ferry to a bus, yes it’s a long journey to the start of the race. I highly recommend signing up early for the bus transportation to race start, its much easier. This years race was extremely windy and most people were trying to huddle inside as long as possible so the ferry station in Staten Island was jam packed. There are plenty of port-a-potties in the athletes village so don’t worry about waiting in the long lines at the station.
I got to the village about an hour before my 10AM start time. I used that time to body glide up, get all of my gear ready for the race and use the restroom one (or two) more time. The wind was blowing so hard I was getting nervous but tried to keep a positive mindset.
Frank Sinatra then Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s “New York” pumped us up for the start, a quick gunshot and your off… over the Verrazano Bridge. The winds were blowing so hard from the side that I really thought I was going to blow away. I figured at that point the next four hours of my life were going to be tough… Luckily we ran mostly north and south and avoided much of the direct wind during the rest of the course.
My goal was to run around 9:45 min miles, just running what pace felt good and for the most part easy. I hit several 9:13 min miles from 5-14 which felt good. By Mile 15-16, the dreaded 59th street bridge, I had banked a bit of time so I could afford to take it easy. This mile was one of the toughest for me given my 2010 experience, but I was feeling so much better than last time at this point and just took the climb slow.
First avenue was even more packed than I expected! My friends caught some great pictures of me. Believe it or not I actually still felt awesome at this point.
And even though I was watching my min per mile pace I did not look at my overall time… Yes that’s right I ran 25 miles until I looked at my time. This way I just ran what felt good not what I needed to set a PR.
Peter, Amanda and Brittany were at mile 25 and caught me just after I looked at my time, 4:04, “I’m going to set a PR!!!”
I. Can. Not. Believe. I. Did. It.
Nothing hurt too bad the entire race. The last few miles were tough but I made it… The worst part of the whole race is the finish shoot. WHY oh WHY must you make me walk a crowded mile right after I ran 26.2? Even if you signed up for no baggage the walk is still long and miserable.
But anyway I made it… and walked 2 miles back to my hotel where I proceeded to have some post race back pain and really sore feet. I’m guessing adrenaline blocked that pain during the race! I felt 100% better this year than 2010… #nopainonmyface.
It was so nice to see all of my friends and enjoy NYC for the weekend. As much as I have enjoyed living in Chicago I still really miss the “city”. My friends are the best cheerleaders and carb loading buddies
Again a big thank you to everyone, even those random drunk people along the course with crazy signs!