Week 4 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

This was supposed to be a down week with 2 full days off and only 27 miles. But I was feeling weird about my last week where I missed the goal by 7+ miles. The weather was topsy turvy (heat wave, thunderstorms and lightning, etc).

8/6: I took the Mile High Run Club The Distance class and was able to get in 5.5 miles of intervals in 57 minutes. I pushed my paces just a bit and am starting to feel ready for some speed again. I’m shooting for a 5K PR in September (race TBD) so any time spent running in the 7:xx range is good.

8/7: I was planning to do a full but slow ~6.5-7 miles (with a run to the NYRR Open Run Brooklyn Bridge Park course and back). But Open run got canceled due to lightning about halfway through! I was able to run and just make a bus and avoid the rain on the way home and ended up with 4 miles for the day.

8/8: I was able to volunteer at the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #6 due to work conflicts easing up, so I ran there. Then ran to a water station to help out. Then ran back to race HQ then out of the park with a teammate and to the bar to meet the Brooklyn Beer Runners group. 5.2 miles total at a very easy pace. So hot, so humid. It rained a little bit which felt great.

8/9: Off day

8/10: Unplanned rest day. Got home from work and didn’t feel like doing the 9 miles for the Fireworks Group Run. Thought about running to spectate Take the Bridge in Williamsburg, but enjoyed my quiet night in, elevating my feet.

8/11: I had again planned to do my long run as part of Summer Streets, but woke up to some pains in the middle of the night and wasn’t feeling 100% when I got up at 7. I watched the thunderstorms and rain blow in and eventually made it down to the treadmill for an easy 3 miles. I also did a strength workout (bent-over rows, shoulder press, kettlebell deadlifts). Then it was time for more food adventures with Lori. We hit up The Nugget Spot for their special fried chicken sandwich with hot honey ice cream and Flip Sigi for the special burrito (but also longanisa poutine and short rib wonton nachos).

img_6149.jpg

8/12: 12 miles around Central Park. I ran with friends and was glad to run a 12:xx minute mile instead of pushing to my current 10:40 pace. The humidity was brutal but it was good to get time on my feet and with good company.

Total: 29.7 miles out of a prescribed 27. This makes me feel more prepared for the ~34 on tap next week and for all of my future long runs (some cutback weeks go down to 11 miles).

Advertisements

Week 3 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

7/30: 5 mile regular loop around Prospect Park. I went clockwise (most people and bike traffic goes counter-clockwise) so I got to see a lot of PPTC folks.

7/31: I ” needed” a Fartlek this week as per the NYRR Virtual Trainer, but ended up with more of a straight progression run. I went down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and made it to 7pm Open Run just in the nick of time. I sped up from 10:30 down to the low 9’s. I was planning to call it a day at 5 miles, but I had just missed both buses back home, so I ran home 1.5 miles for 6.5 total.

8/1: Cross-training day. I went back to Swerve with Gabby since she had a class pack and I had enough credits on ClassPass. My legs were feeling heavy, but I still pushed hard on the hills and with some of the races. My performance stats said I biked 13.8 miles which seems low, but the 20+ mile stats I get from Flywheel always seemed high.

Screen-Shot-2018-08-05-at-9.31.30-PM

8/2: Real Rest Day. Went to Mermaid Inn with a friend visiting from out of town and ordered everything on their happy hour food menu except the raw stuff (she’s expecting).

8/3: Coney Island Fireworks Group Run, which I turned into my long run due to forecasted rain Saturday morning. I got 3.2 in solo, then 6 with the group down to the Coney Island boardwalk, then another 0.8 in along the boardwalk’s piers to make it an even 10. I met some new running people in my cluster of 7, then saw some old PPTC folks at the end. I enjoyed a watermelon and blue raspberry Slush Puppy and some fireworks before taking the subway home with a sweaty group of runners.

38425204_10217045034748651_2343641538917040128_n

38427266_10217045037428718_1074735486158766080_n

8/4: I was feeling beat up from the long run and didn’t particularly want to run in the morning downpour (but had a haircut appointment at 11:45am), so I did an easy recovery 3 miles on the gym treadmill. Apparently I missed a total deluge and multiple phones were drowned. Still bummed that I missed the first week of SummerStreets, though.

Then I did an Escape Room with friends (we got out!) and ate at Spicy Village before getting Taiyaki. I got green tea and back sesame swirl as usual.

8/5: I had planned to do a recovery run in Central Park since I woke up uptown, but had a lazy morning instead. Went to my uptown favorite Bo’s Bagels with the bf, then met my Instagram food friend in Williamsburg for a cold brew slushie at Toby’s (they call it a crushie), and a sushi omakase at the brand spankin’ new spot Ume. It was deconstructed and both beautiful as well as a lot of fun to play with (the different salts and seasonings are on the bottom left).

I made it to Restorative Yoga class at 6pm and decided against running after because of my extreme hip tightness. Area Yoga was only 4 credits on ClassPass, which makes me glad I keep doing the ~3 classes a month option.

Total:: 24.7 miles out of a prescribed 32. Sigh. I knew my first two spot-on weeks might be an issue and lead to some leg tiredness. Hopefully I can keep up with the rest of the plan’s mileage from here. I’m aware that I missed at least one weekday run each week the last two fall marathon training cycles, but I’m also trying to make up for my injured spring with a solid fall here. Hoping to find a balance!

Week 1 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

July 16th: I came home from the first day of my new job, took a nap, and laced up my sneakers. I shuffled along the Lafayette Avenue part of the NYC Marathon course, then turned around and came back on Greene Avenue before heading up to Fort Greene Park. Nice and easy. The NYRR Virtual Trainer called for 4 miles, but I had to throw in the towel and get to Whole Foods for Prime Day and end with 3.3 miles.

July 17th: 4.8 miles in 52 minutes at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I got in 5.2 miles last time and usually hit 5.3-5.4 in 57 minutes, but I took a quick pause to roll out my hamstrings later on in the class. My new base pace is 6.0 miles per hour/10 minute miles but should probably be 5.8 mph/10:20 minute miles, based on my easy runs lately. My new ‘half marathon pace’ is in the low 9’s and my sprint is just under 8 minutes. I’m hoping that all these paces will get back to where they were in April (when I ran a 10K in the 8:30’s), but I’m trying to be patient and put in the work.

July 18th: Unplanned rest day. When your bf wants to get sushi sooner rather than later, sometimes you say yes to sushi soon. No photos because the lighting wasn’t great.

July 19th: 5.4 easy miles with my friend Puffy around the park. We ran into so many PPTC members! Then I ran into my new boss (not pictured).

Murray & Me

July 20th: Rest day. Had drinks at Bocce and dinner at Flex Mussels.

img_6065.jpg

Aperol and rose spritzes at Bocce

July 21st: 4 miles, a mix of treadmill and running to and from the gym (ended at Sweetgreen). The last mile was uphill in Morningside Park with lots of stairs, then we cut through Columbia University’s campus (my grad school alma mater).

July 22nd: 8 miles for long run day, mostly just loops of the park. It was overcast when I first left my apartment (finally), but the sun came out and the temperature rose from the 70’s to the 80’s. I paused for water a couple of times and did some of my final miles in the trails, which were nice and shady.

I celebrated in the afternoon by meeting my old coworker and fellow baker for a pie crawl. We made it to two stops and had 5 slices of pie between us. Next time, we’ll bike or walk to Butter & Scotch (last seen here) or the new Peetee’s Pie location in Clinton Hill.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

img_6070.jpg

Daly Pie

Total: 25.5 miles. My highest in months! Excited to get back into the 30’s soon enough.

Richmond Marathon 2017 Race Report

Ok, finally. I think many of you already knew from Strava or other forms of social media, but I had a great race on Saturday 11/11/17. This post will be a little light on the images because my parents were so busy cheering (and it was cold before and after) that they didn’t take any photos and I didn’t run with my phone.

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 8.43.53 PM

Start: It had dropped below freezing the night before and was still in the low to mid 30’s for the 7:45am start. I wore a longsleeve cotton shirt and pajama pants as my throwaway clothes over my PPTC tech t-shirt, Lululemon shorts (same outfit as last year’s NYC Marathon), makeshift arm warmers, DarnTough socks, and Lululemon gloves (a Christmas gift from a friend last year). I ended up choosing my Brooks Launch 4s as my shoe since I did most of my marathon miles in them, especially the last 8 weeks.

IMG_4338

Flatlay from the night before sans cold weather accessories

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 10.24.23 PM

Miles 0-7: My corral (#4) was pretty crowded, but we got off to a decent start 6 minutes after the first wave did. We turned a corner and then we were running west on Broad street. And boom, at mile 0.5, there were my parents cheering in the median. Nice! I took the first several miles faster than I meant to, closer to a 10:00 pace than the 10:15-10:30 I meant to do.

I meant to take a gel at 45:00 but due to the spacing of the water stations (every 2 miles, I believe), I held off until closer to 1 hour on the clock. I started with a Salted Watermelon Gu, one of my favorites. We were climbing up a hill at Mile 6 but I didn’t notice too much, as I was chatting on and off with other runners, I had started behind the 4:30 pace group, then I passed them, they passed me, and I passed again. At Mile 7, there is a significant downhill after crossing the James River to go from the West End to the South Side. This felt great. I spent the next couple of miles along the river taking in the beautiful views and sunshine. I chatted up a woman wearing a JMU long-sleeve (my alma mater) and took in some of her cheers as my own. If I do another Richmond race, I’m definitely rocking the purple and gold.

IMG_4342

Miles 8-15: South Side was fairly uneventful, as I was mainly trying to not overdo the pace. After we climbed out from the River, I still felt pretty strong. I chatted with a runner from Chicago who was shocked at my choice of shorts and a NYRR employee. I had my second gel of the day, Toasted Marshmallow and it was AMAZING. I hadn’t tried it before (I know, nothing new on race day) but it was delicious. Around the half mark, I took some mini gummi bears from one of the candy stops. We ran alongside traffic for several miles of Forest Hill Ave and Semmes Ave, which I didn’t love, but some of them lended us cheers or music. Right as we turned to take the bridge back north across the James River, my parents surprised me at the 15 Mile marker. The bridge is fairly windy and an incline, but the boost from my parents helped so much. I had also latched on/decided to draft a couple who was also shooting for under 4:30 but wasn’t with the pace group. On the bridge, the pace group caught up to us, then we peeled away and I never saw them again (spoiler alert).

Miles 16-20: I still felt good but tentative, as I expected things to get harder in the 20’s. I slowly ate my mini gummi bears and had another gel, plus water every couple miles. We ran through some more familiar territory of West Main Street, then past the Diamond on Boulevard. I remember still feeling strong and passing people who were starting to fade. The stupid grin hadn’t left my face yet.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 9.47.09 PM

Miles 21-25: These miles turned out to be both well-populated by great spectator groups and the ones where I felt great and realized I was going to surpass not only my A goal of 4:29:xx, but my A+ goal of 4:26:03 (a 30 minute PR from NYCM last year). I believe that in lieu of a 4th gel, I just had a single Salted Margarita ShotBlock and increased the blue Powerade consumption since the frequency of the tables increased. I supplemented this with a banana from a nice lady around Mile 22. I turned down the beer and other junk food on offer, as well as the pickle juice. I had told myself to hold off the pace from miles 21-24, then up the gas if I was still feeling good. My parents showed up for the 3rd time at Mile 23.5 and I yelled to them “See you at the beer truck! Hurry, I’m picking up speed!”. It was true! See my splits above after Mile 21; I knew the end was near and almost nothing could stop me.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 9.47.24 PM

Extra gels in my pocket can’t slow me down

Mile 25-26.2: There were a few small bumps/hills before the big finish. At 25.5, I was passing people left and right and really turning on the juice when a woman told us the finish was “around the corner”. Well, we knew it wasn’t. I heard a girl comment on this and despite running at my half marathon pace now, I agreed with her and we talked about how we hate when people shout stuff like that about the finish when we just want to SEE the finish. I turn to look at her better and boom, she’s an internet running group friend! I managed to choke out my name and we both screamed. What are the odds? I knew we would get the final half mile in together, and boy did we ever. The downhill was ours. All of the pictures are of me talking to her (lol) and flying down faster than my 5K pace. We hit the finish, threw up our moose ears, and were done.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 11.27.32 PM

Final: I hit the clock at 4:21:34.2, which apparently rounds up to :35. I beat my A+ goal by 4 and a half minutes, which still seems unreal. And I had the best time doing it! Everyone I talked to on the course was sweet and beyond pleasant. The crowd support was impressive for a marathon of this size. We were handed our medal, the blanket, and the mug, plus a bottle of water.

IMG_4340

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 9.47.44 PM

Then I went off to find my parents at the Beer Truck. Sure enough, I beat them there. I grabbed a slice of pizza and some blue Powerade. I didn’t have my ID, only a sweaty $20 bill, so I couldn’t even get a beer. By the time they arrived, I was able to change then requested that we skip the beer and get straight to Bottoms Up Pizza, the source of my favorite pizzas from my Sweet 16 to my high school graduation. They actually had a table open and I had a Southern Tier Imperial Pumpking, a huge slice, and some Oreo pie to go.

A million thanks to everyone who has commented here, on my Strava, or out in the ‘real world’ plus my parents who cheered and cowbelled so hard. Y’all the best.

IMG_4339

Until next time, Richmond! 50 weeks until NYC Marathon!

 

Week 5 of Richmond Marathon Training, 8/21-8/27

Freudian slip on my original post last week when I called it “Week 4 of NYC Marathon Training”. Whoops! Obviously I ran NYC last year and did the NYRR 9+1 this year for entry to the 2018 NYC Marathon, but this year the plan is to run Richmond.

8/21: RunCommutes are back! 6.4 miles home from work with my usual Lululemon ‘Run From Work’ backpack, very lightly filled. I missed my usual turn and cut through Commodore Barry Park and Fort Greene Parks.

8/22: Rest day

8/23: Loop around the park, walk to the bar, then run home from the bar. 6ish miles total.

8/24: Rest day

8/25: 4 easy treadmill miles in the AM. This is the first Friday I’ve run since May? June?

8/26: The most productive running day of my life. 1 mile warm up, then setting a new 5K PR at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K, then running almost 10 miles through Central Park, down the West Side, and almost to the Governor’s Island ferry (but had to stop at the ATM first).

IMG_6862

Ran into Sam on the train

IMG_7132

Larry caught me during my warm up

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.24.33 PM

Proud of my splits

I grabbed my stuff, decided to forego the free tshirt, and strapped on my new backpack (Gregory Maya 16) then headed out with a friend from my beer drinking running group.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 8.20.11 PM

14 miles even for the morning (I think) though my watch died at 9.3 and my running buddy forgot to restart his after we paused and we lost 0.3 then we stopped it before I had to SPRINT to the ferry, blue Gatorade in hand. I found my friends and we rented a 5-person surrey to ride around the island. Even after a big lunch and afternoon coffee, I was exhausted but somehow rallied to make it outside again later for frosé and beer with friends.

8/27: 3 recovery miles in Brooklyn Bridge Park after walking 2 miles to donate my bicycle in DUMBO.

Total: 33 miles! My Sunday-Saturday total was 36.6 out of a recommended 34 miles.

Week 1 of Richmond Marathon Training 7/24-7/30

Yeah, y’all read that right. I’m now 80% sure that I’m going to try to run a marathon this fall. This % has ranged from 10% back in January all the way up to where it is now. It’s been a wild ride mentally. I was still 50-50 on the issue back in early July but then I repurchased the NYRR Virtual Trainer on a whim on the 12th after playing around with the inputs on the 11th. I was on a Conservative plan last year for the New York City Marathon but wanted something with higher mileage this time around since I’m not coming off of injury and had a pretty solid spring racing season with a decent base of summer miles (and hit some time goals). I’m now on the Moderate 16-week plan which will have me running more consistently into the 30’s and up to the low 40 mpw. This would be a 10-20% increase from last year’s training for the NYC Marathon.

The Virtual Trainer begins its weeks on Sundays but I’ve been mentally starting mine on Mondays, so I’m going to keep up that convention here on the blog. That should also help couch weeks like this past one where I did my previous week’s long run on Saturday but the current week’s had been on a Sunday.

On with the mileage!

7/24: Tennis clinic then on to a Filipino kamayan feast seen below from Ugly Kitchen for J’s birthday. Then we went to Snowdays and I split the Made in Taiwan for dessert. They were out of grass jelly so I got Captain Crunch cereal on it instead (along with mochi and a condensed milk drizzle all on a base of green tea snow cream). It was perfect! No pictures because I ate it all too fast.


7/25: 2 mile to Open Run, then 3.1 at increasing tempo pace. I got to run with NYRR President Peter Ciaccia for a good chunk of it and we talked about some NYRR races. I was a little starstruck but he was very friendly and chill.

20264799_10155520946232641_5443176211184613842_n

This is what happens when I wear the Ghosts and try for speed

 

20294341_10155520968847641_1624130515563807534_n

7/26: 4 easy miles in Prospect Park later at night after trying out sushiritos and sushi nachos from Sushirito on 23rd Street with E early on (pictured below). Sylvan Esso was playing at the Bandshell and there was also a showing of The Sandlot so it was cool to have some ambiant noise and more people around.

7/27: NYRR R-U-N 5K in Central Park and a 2 mile warmup. The humidity crept back up after a lovely Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was alsresdt getting very warm and sweaty during my warm-up. I tried to take the first mile easy but not too easy which ended up being an 8:05 pace. This is faster than my PR pace, so whoops. The second mile felt rough and I had to slow down. I regret not getting water after the first mile marker but managed to grab some after the second. By that point, Cat Hill had already happened and my breathing wasn’t great. My final half mile was at a great pace but the rest was a struggle.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 9.07.35 PM

They gave out popsicles after and I was all about that. My final time was 25:35, which is a 2-second PR. I’ll take it, considering the weather and that my 25:37 previous PR from June 7th was in conditions 20 degrees cooler and less humid. I’m probably not done with this distance yet for this year.

20464827_10154626789386689_179530541_o

7/28: Rest day but I managed to have Chipotle for lunch and Shake Shack for dinner with a lot of rosé in between.

7/29: 4.7 miles around noon due to feeling the effects of the previous night’s drinks and 11pm Shackburger and Concrete. I was so glad that I went out at all and felt much better afterward, thanks in part to some extra blue Gatorade laying around the fridge. Then I hightailed it to Long Island City to meet up with out-of-town friends to try some beer at local breweries.

7/30: 8.3 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge with Chaya. I didn’t get a smoothie after so I’m already off from my goal of doing that after each marathon training long run. My plan called for 8 but we just hit so many lights that I was growing annoyed trying to add another 0.2 to make it more even.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 9.11.27 PM

Total mileage: 27.4 miles and some tennis (plan called for 26 miles).

New York City Marathon 2016 Recap

Well, I’m a marathoner now! As for the days leading up to the race, I had no doubts about my abilities to finish this. But I also knew anything could happen and that I should respect the distance. Between all the love and support and reading stories like this, I am very emotional. Disclaimer: I am even more emotional after the events of this week and delayed publishing this by a few days in an effort to start coming to terms with the election results.

As of writing this Tuesday, I am also very sore. I got a massage Monday which apparently might have been too soon and maybe I just made more micro-tears in my muscles. Whoops! It felt good, that’s for sure. Anyway, back to race day:

If you’re unfamiliar with the course, this is an excellent primer.

Getting to the start at Fort Wadsworth was an experience. I boarded the 8:15am ferry, which should have left me plenty of time after the shuttle buses dropped us off for my Wave 3 10:40am start. But there was bus traffic the whole way and what should have been a 10 minute ride (according to others who have done it before) took 40 minutes. Apparently an earlier ferry broke down. I made new friends on the ferry and while waiting for the bus who came from all over. It was so nice to talk the time away and not worry about the ticking clock. I scarfed down my strawberry Uncrustable (saw others were having PB&J and it had been 2 hours since my freezer waffles). By the time I hopped off the bus and used the bathroom, the corrals for my whole wave were about to close. I quickly shed my throwaway layers, then ran into a PPTC member who had run this before and calmed me down a lot. I didn’t feel ready, but I knew it was go time. I ate my honey stinger waffle slowly and got a picture.

Miles 1 & 2:

I knew I should take the Verrazano Bridge very slowly, and I did. You definitely don’t feel the incline because of the adrenaline, so I focused on taking in the views and not tripping over throwaway clothing. The fire boats were shooting out water and there was a rainbow! I was Orange, so we were on the left side of the bridge and did a neat little turnaround before entering 4th Avenue. Blue was on the right side of the bridge and had their own route, then Green was on the lower level and seemed to come up then over to their special route, as seen below from the NYT. 11:12 for mile 1 and 10:26 mile 2, enjoying that downhill a bit.

marathon-mile-3-articleinline

Miles 3 – 6:

Bay Ridge was fun! I come down here sometimes for work or food, so I knew different stretches of the route. The crowds really started to come out and had some excellent signs. I saw a few PPTC people who ran past me and my pace was remaining steady with the same effort much closer to 11 minute miles than 10. I had hoped for more easy, breezy even 10:30’s like during my longest training run, but it seemed it wasn’t happening. I was afraid to push harder in case my body fell apart on the back half, so I reined it in. I untaped my pace bracelet for my A Goal time of 04:29 and threw it onto the median around mile 6. So long, A Goal! I had my first Gu of the day, Salted Watermelon around the 1 hour mark. Writing these down seems very important for any future marathon training I may do. This was a little later than usual but I figured the extra Honey Stinger waffle on top of the two-part breakfast had given me plenty.

marathon-bay-ridge

I THINK this photo is from Bay Ridge or going up 4th Avenue but I could be wrong

Mile 7 – 9:

The best running miles of my life! This stretch included seeing the first of my coworkers, then one of my besties, then the PPTC cheer zone, then finally my parents and roommate. I have no words left to describe how exciting this part of 4th was. Then we did the Flatbush to Lafayette turn around mile 8 and I was equally impressed by Fort Greene. The party had really started. I saw great costumes, another coworker, and enjoyed the music. I took these miles a little fast and then my GPS messed up and told me I had run a sub-8 mile through Lafayette. I was fast, but not that fast! My watch had been beeping a little ahead of the mile markers but this is where it started being behind and I didn’t even realize. NYRR says I did the 10K in 1:07:28. Gu #2 (the other Salted Watermelon).

 

Coming in for family hugs on 4th

Hi, Dad! Bye, Dad!


Mile 9 – 12:

I saw a few more people along Bedford (another coworker, old roommate who ran the marathon last year, and a team captain) then enjoyed the more quiet miles of Orthodox/Hasidic Williamsburg. I had a work assignment in this area the last few months that just ended on Halloween, so I’ve become more familiar with the area and the culture. There was still a fair amount of crowd support and the course was just chock full of Northern Europeans. I felt like I was surrounded by Swedes, Danes, and Germans. Then Williamsburg re-brought the party. I could actually smell the booze! I saw 2 lovely coworkers in Greenpoint before the Pulaski Bridge and was riding that high.

Miles 13 – 16:

The Pulaski Bridge was short and sweet, then we were met with a large crowd throughout Long Island City, where my main office is. It was so weird to see my work building then just keep running right by! Some friends were having their usual marathon party and I almost missed them because I couldn’t remember which side of the street they were on. I ended up making a beeline for them and coming in for a quick high five before zipping off again. Then the Queensboro Bridge happened. It was rough, to say the least. I still had dreams hitting my B Goal (4:30-4:45) and I hit the half in 2:23:01, which would make the tail end of that goal doable with a slight negative split. But the bridge ended that, as I chugged along at a 12 minute mile. Gu #3 (Strawberry Banana) was chased with water still.

marathon-foto

Maybe this was actually Marcus Garvey? Who knows!

Mile 17 – 19:

The Wall of Sound on 1st Avenue was no joke and I loved seeing the throngs of people five deep cheering for us. I, however, got totally confused about which mile I was on because of my GPS mishap and missed a couple of friends here. I sped up just a little bit but couldn’t get back under 11. I also chose to address my underboob chafing with some Vaseline. Unfortunately, they had run out of sticks so the medical volunteer just had to hand me a glob of it. No shame at this point and I smeared it where I needed. Gu #4 at the 3:20 mark, plus 2 shot blocks and some Gatorade at this point.

marathon-pockets

Chugging along

Miles 20  & 21:

The Bronx was really short and sweet and people were out in droves, contrary to what I had heard. The guy running next to me (who I saw again toward the finish) was a local and kept welcoming all of us to the BX. Also, it is just wild to me that we take such a detour around the Western Beef supermarket. I’m glad the afore-linked NYT article mentioned it because it was so confusing. Then right before the bridge, a lady had a great sign that said LAST DAMN BRIDGE. And yes, it was.

Miles 22-24:

All aboard the pain train! Actually, it wasn’t so bad at first. I got another Vaseline stick and swabbed myself on 5th Avenue, then we went around Marcus Garvey Park, which looked autumnal and lovely. I was apparently shuffling along in the 11:40’s here and had a great butt slapping hello with my friend Allison in the upper 120’s. Then I ate half a banana since I had taken my final Gu (Salted Caramel, which has a little more caffeine, though not as much as the Caramel Macchiato I meant to take) at the 4 hour mark. Then somewhere around mile 23 marker (my watch was still behind), I got a nasty side stitch on my right side. I tried to keep jogging through it, but it brought me down. The worst grimacey photos are from this point, but my friend Brittany hopped in and gave me water and talked me through it. She reminded me how to stretch and breathe then sent me into Central Park with a smile on my face, ready to run down Cat Hill and make the finish in under 5 hours (C Goal!).

mile-24

Brittany walked and talked me through my side cramp

Miles 25 + 26 + 0.2:

The last two miles were a magical blur, full of spectators and my last wind. I chugged a final shot of Gatorade just to get me through the finish and managed to pick up my pace on 59th St. I passed a couple teammates but couldn’t really form sentences any more. I remember seeing the ‘800 meters to go’ sign and being excited, then feeling crestfallen when I realized just how far that was. Bronx guy was with me here and yelled out the sign, but it wasn’t enough. I pushed so hard just to get under a 10 minute mile then sprint in the finish, arms raised and feeling triumphant.

marathon-finish

Then the epic shuffle to retrieve our medal, apple (yum), heat sheet, goodie bags with snacks, and finally the exit poncho. I pulled my phone out of the Ziploc bag and turned off airplane mode since I hadn’t turned it on to listen to music even once because I never needed it. The energy of the race was more than enough to get me through the tough parts). I tried to answer the many texts and WhatsApp messages I got and let my family know I was alive and heading to the reunion point. My walk speed was actually pretty quick and I tried to get out of the park as fast as I could while thanking all the volunteers. I entered the reunion school and got applause and cheers like a rockstar. Instead of chocolate milk, I was handed some delicious hot chocolate by a volunteer  and grabbed some Milk Duds thanks to my Dad. After wiping down and changing and a mini photo shoot, we went to Bar Boulud for an amazing post-race meal. After a long cab ride back to Brooklyn, I tried to facebook and instagram a quick post before bed at 8:38PM.



Overall reflections:

The crowds make this race. I mainly mean the million + people cheering us on, but I do also mean the runners themselves. Everyone I talked to, smiled at, or otherwise wasn’t elbowed by (there were a few of those but most were apologetic) was so thrilled to be running this race. It was really something special to run through all 5 boroughs of this city I love and have called home for over 6 years. NYC is the place I’ve lived longest in my adult life and that is for many reasons, but the people are overwhelmingly the biggest one.

I brought too much nutrition with me. Fortunately my pockets were huge (thank you, Lululemon Speed Track Shorts), so my leftover Shot Blocks and extra Gus will be used in the future.

I feel very sure about my decision to not run another marathon until 2018 at the earliest. I’m looking forward to a leisurely summer and fall next year, where I can sleep in past 8am on weekends and not plan my vacations around my long runs. I also hope to get faster with the help of more speed work, and plan to try my hand at more shorter distance races that I didn’t want to risk this training cycle. I would hope that I could try a higher mileage plan for an future marathons and honestly, the thought of it right now is a bit much. I’ll probably end up doing the 9+1 in 2017 just so I have the NYC option open to me in 2018, but would of course consider other full marathons. My only definite 2017 races (barring injury) are the Philadelphia Broad Street Run (deferred entry from last year) and the Richmond Half Marathon.