2018 NYC Marathon Race Recap

Ouch. No, I’m just kidding. It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve had a lost of rest and recovery (and a massage), so I’m going to try and write this up so I can reflect on it later.

The Nights Before: I stayed out way too late on Halloween night (the 31st) but went to bed early on the 1st and 2nd, then by 10pm on the 3rd.

Night Before Flatlay

Start Village: Back in 2016, I took the Staten Island ferry to the buses and barely made it into my wave and corral in time. This time around, I wisely wore enough throwaway clothes and packed some snacks and handwarmers for the 3+ hour wait in the start village after taking a direct bus from Brooklyn with my teammates. It was a lot of fun to catch up with people and compare our training and race plans.

Cheesin’ at Fort Wadworth

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PPTC’s Magic Tree

I used the portapotties 3 times, pet a therapy dog, and got a photo in the corral with a teammate.

Lining up and getting psyched

Splits:

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Thoughts and feelings recap:

Miles 1-4: I was smart for exactly one mile and took it easy on the Verrazzano (formerly the Verrazano but they finally changed the name to actually be spelled correctly). Us green corral folks had a slightly different loop through Bay Ridge than the orange & blue runners, then messily converged with them. I didn’t realize it, but I was flying here.

Miles 5-9: My brain’s main thought was “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!” I saw a lot of people here on 4th Avenue, beginning in the 20’s, through the PPTC cheer spot at 3rd, and some friends at Union St. and then on Lafayette Ave. I was having such a good time, as you can tell from this succession of photos.

Carly ran back to get a shot of me

Miles 10-14: Oh hmm, it sure got quiet. I slowed the pace a tiny bit in efforts to conserve energy, but felt good after doing a systems check. I hit the half in 2:07, which was on pace for a PR.

Miles 15-19: This segment finally presented me with thoughts of “Oh no, this isn’t going the way I wanted it to at all”. I felt fine approaching the Queensboro Bridge but slowed considerably running up 1st Avenue in Manhattan. I started walking through fluid stations then running again.

Surprised to see Mike on the bridge

Mile 18 2018 NYCM

My friend Eric caught me fighting for it around Mile 18

Miles 20-23: The Bronx sucked for me and I knew it was going to be a struggle until I got back into Central Park. I saw a very well-placed friend at 129th St and my boyfriend at 116th who gave me the best “I can tell you’re hurting” grimace.

Miles 24-26: I got to finally enter Central Park and vowed to not walk again, then promptly broke that vow. I ran into a teammate who was also having a rough race, so we tried to stick together for the final mile. She sent me on ahead for a while. I checked my heart rate during this portion and 20-23 and it was really high. Like 85-90% of max. I used the walking breaks to lower it, but was definitely concerned.

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Embarrassed that Eric caught me walking around Mile 24

The final 0.2: I got a side stitch right at the 26 mile marker! While frustrating, I was relieved that it didn’t happen sooner. My teammate caught up to me so our finish photos are together, which is pretty cool. It was so nice to have a sounding board for the long walk to get our ponchos and exit the park. I headed to my team’s meetup spot where my boyfriend was waiting with a cold brew coffee. We then went to Sushi of Gari for a pretty nice post-race feast.

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Medals and Ponchos on Central Park West

Sushi of Gari

Phew. While only 10 minutes slower than my marathon PR, it was a poorly executed race. I have since compared training data and realized that despite the mileage PR, it wasn’t as far and away a monster training cycle as I had wanted. I keep vacillating between wanting to do another marathon in 2019 with more mileage under my belt and just waiting until I exact my revenge on the NYCM course in 2020. More to come!

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Week 16 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

10/29: Rest Day. Went to Patavini and tried all the gnocchi. The blue one has spirulina and was really good! The truffle, saffron, and squid ink were my favorites.

10/30: 4.3 mile shakeout run @ 11 minute mile pace. I’d been running faster than my usual pace during the taper in part because of cooler temperatures and of course due to excitement.

10/31: Rest day and Halloween. Had street meat combo over rice for dinner near the Village Halloween Parade, 2.5 beers, then late-night pepperoni pizza. I went as a bat again.

11/1: Unintentional rest day. I was going to do a Saucony shakeout run (with Molly Huddle) but work was long and it was raining, so I bailed. I really should have done some treadmill miles at least.

11/2: Tracksmith popup in the morning, work, then Marathon Expo at night. I tried to get in and out quickly and spend less time on my feet. I picked up my official jacket then went to a friend’s birthday dinner at a Korean-Brazilian spot and turned down a lot of good wine. I went home right at 9 and got a solid 8 hours of sleep.

11/3: I thought about doing a shakeout but figured less time on my feet was a better idea after such a loose taper the last two weeks. I got Shanghainese for dinner: scallion pancake, soup dumplings, fried dumplings, rice cakes, noodles, and eggplant. I decided to skip a dessert with dairy just in case.

11/4: NYC Marathon Day. Race recap to come (hmm, I never wrote up one for the Bay Ridge Half). It was not my best marathon, but not my worst (it was my third). 4:31:40 and a huge positive split but I had a good time doing it.

Total: 30.4 miles out of a prescribed 37.

Week 15 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Week 2 of a 3-week taper. Not a whole lot going on in runs or eats to be honest.

10/22: Rest Day. I went to bed at 9pm after an early wakeup and long work day.

10/23: 5.7 miles on the Woodway treadmills at Mile High Run Club, doing intervals. I compared my paces to the past few months and I’ve gotten faster! But now to take it easy for a few weeks.

10/24: Rest Day. I was planning to go on a group run but wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed after cooking and meal prepping, so that is what I did.

10/25: Rest Day

10/26: 5.1 miles during an easy loop of the park, where I once again sped up as I went. The weather was cool with only 55% humidity and the leaves have started to change colors. This was one of those runs where I felt appreciative of being able to run and getting to do it in this city.

10/27: I had planned to do the Last 10 Mile of the Marathon course with my club, but decided against it due to the Nor’easter weather. I still went up to the park and ran some errands and saw hot wet and cold everyone was and was glad I passed on it.

10/28: I got home late from a friend’s birthday, so I slept in until 8am and got a few miles in before meeting up with the group run for a 6 mile jaunt to some Swedish candy stores. Swedes love gummys (same) in many flavors but they also enjoy licorice and especially salty black licorice more than I do. I got a nice sampling of gummy candies and chocolates, then my whole face puckered in disgust when I tried a salty licorice.

Total of 9.9 miles but it might have been a little less; I forgot to unpause my watch for around half a mile then used Strava’s feature to correct GPS inconsistencies and it shot from 9.2 to 9.9 and I think the truth is somewhere in the middle after looking at everyone else’s Stravas (but forgetting if I had 3.3 before meeting up with them). We got Ben’s Pizza for lunch and I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of my Buffalo chicken slice.

Total: “20.9” out of a prescribed 26 miles. The Virtual Trainer yelled at me for being 20% under my goal, but the second week of taper seems like a perfectly fine time to do that. I’m still trying to plan how many short runs to do marathon week.

Week 13 of NYC Marathon Training

This was a weird week. It was supposed to have my longest long run at 21 miles, but only 4 other days of running and all at 3-4 miles tops, as well as fewer overall miles than my peak week 2 weeks ago. But my work schedule prohibited the higher frequency of runs, so I once again tried to get it all done in only 3 runs total.

10/8: Rest Day. Still feeling a little beat up from racing a half marathon Saturday.

10/9: 7 miles in Central Park after work. It became an accidental progression run because I was feeling really good. Korean fried chicken and seafood pancake with kimchi coleslaw for dinner after.

10/10: Rest Day. Had an amazing dinner at the Michelin-starred Aldea that included a port tasting.

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Looking Up Fifth Avenue

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Port Tasting

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Portugese style gambas al ajillo

10/11: Tried and failed to psych myself up for a run but work was long and exhausting.

10/12: Hit snooze on the 5am alarm and got to snooze until 6am before another longer work day. Booked 30 minutes in air compression boots to loosen up my legs before the 20 miler.

10/13: After 9 hours of sleep, I decided to push off the very long run until Sunday. I enjoyed a lazy rainy morning before doing 8 miles around Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. I only had to stop for lights several times and got to see a lot of beautiful brownstones and gardens and duck into a small park.

10/14: 20.5 miles done, almost all with teammates. Thanks to Lillian for joining me on the last few and talking me up the hill. No idea what happened on the first mile or two other than forgetting to pause? Ah well. I’m fine with the pace on the others. Taper town, here I come!

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Total: 35.5 out of a prescribed 37. That’ll do, Pig.

Week 10 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Another cutback week.

9/17: Rest Day

9/18: 6.9 mile RunCommute home (well, to Whole Foods). It rained all day from the remnants of Hurricane Florence but stopped just in time for me to do this humid run. It was neat to run along the East River path again, as it’s been quite a while. I noticed that the track is open again! I’m excited to have another option for speedwork soon.

9/19: Tempo run with Brooklyn Beer Runners. 1 mile warmup, 3 @ half marathon goal pace, 1 mile cool down. It felt good to see stuff in the 8’s again for this long. Had my first pumpkin beer of the season after!

9/20: Unintentional Rest Day but the bf and I ended up at Gramcery Tavern for dinner and ate until it hurt.

9/21: Rest Day

9/22: 12.2 mile long run. Started too late to catch the 8am group run and finally left my place after 10am. This went pretty well (I was hitting low 10’s) until the last few miles when I stopped to chat with people in the park. Three times (I was already paused getting water two of those times).

9/23: 2.1 mile recovery run. Cut short for time but felt great with cooler temperatures. Then we headed to Governor’s Island to check out the lobster roll at Island Oyster before some very fast tandem bike riding, and ending with some serious hammock time.

Total: 26 out of 28 miles.

Weeks 8 and 9 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Week 8

9/3: Last day in New England. 6.2 miles around Conway, NH. Then we drove to Maine and ate more lobster.

Covered Bridge in Conway, NH

The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, ME

Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, ME

9/4: 6am flight back to NYC and went straight into work. Much needed rest day.

9/5: 3 miles at night in Morningside Park in the final throes of the city’s gross heat and humidity. Korean fried chicken and ddukbokki (and beer) for dinner.

Morningside Park Waterfall

Korean Fried Chicken, kimchi coleslaw, and calamari ddukbokki

9/6: Unintentional rest day. Finally back in the throes of meal prepping and healthier post-vacation eating.

Grain Bowl at Le Pain Quotidien

9/7: Hit snooze on my AM run, then was supposed to be going to Fast Braid Friday with Colleen Quigley at the NYRR RunCenter. But they changed the location last-minute and I didn’t get the memo. I showed up at the RunCenter and was wondering where everyone was. By the time I figured it out, it would have been tight for time and going back to the UES (which is where I had just come from and didn’t want to backtrack). I decided to go home and cook dinner and not run (the event was going to have a 1.7 mile shakeout run but I couldn’t fit all my running stuff in my work bag).

9/8: Remember last week how I slipped in that I signed up for a 5K? Yeah, that would be the TEAL 5K in Prospect Park. I’m over a year out from my 5K PR (though to be fair have only raced one since) and was hoping that I could use my higher recent volume and last week + of lower mileage as a taper. The course was my usual route in the park but the first mile was downhill, second mile was flat, and third mile had the big hill. I was able to get close to 5K PR pace on the first mile, then slowed to 10K pace on the second, then the wheels fell off on the third. I wasn’t even at half marathon pace, but closer to goal marathon pace. But my friend Chun who was doing his long run got me to push through the last quarter mile and I hit a 7:13 pace for the final 0.1 of it. I guess this is why I actually did speedwork and 5K-specific workouts last year before my PR. I grabbed the swag bag and banana then did a cooldown jog home with a teammate. Total of 6.1 miles for the day.

Saw The Nun with friends then tried out the Detroit style pizza at Lions Tigers and Squares before getting a Butterfinger blizzard at Dairy Queen.

Pepperoni and Vodka Pies at Lions, Tigers, and Squares

9/9: Since I skipped out on my long run last week, I wanted to get back up to normal (14-16 mile range) this week even though it was supposed to be a cutback long run and week overall (11 miles and 28 miles). I woke up ‘late’ at 7 to go cheer for the 5th Avenue Mile after deciding not to run up there. I cheered for a few hours then headed home and napped before my long run. Then I just didn’t do it? The rain continued and I just could not bring myself to run. I thought about pushing it to Monday night, which I did last year with some success.

5th Avenue Mile Cheering

Cherring for the NYRR Cameras

Total: 15.3 miles and no long run. Eep.

Week 9

9/10: Weather was still leaning toward the very rainy, so I did 3 treadmill miles at easy pace after deciding not to make up my long run.

9/11: I laced up my new Saucony Freedoms and ran to and from NYRR Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I did that as sort of a fartlek, alternating in the 8’s and 9’s. The gnats were out of control and I had to pull one out of my mouth, then found one in my bra later. Cool. 7.4 miles total.

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9/12: Easy loop with the Brooklyn Beer Runners for 4.6 miles. Ended with a beer then got tamales at Maya Taqueria.

9/13: Track Mile! I ran from work to Icahn Stadium where they open the track to the public every Thursday night. Coach Honerkamp puts on a timed mile series once a month that I’ve seen some friends do, and I thought I should use it as a fitness test after my abysmal 5K. I ran 2 miles to get there, did a warm-up mile with a friend, then race the mile in 7:24, 5 seconds off from my PR. I definitely think it’s time to bring back more aggressive speedwork intervals in and will be trying to throw down next month. Short cooldown jog off-watch so 4 miles total officially.

9/14: Rest day.

9/15: Long run. NYRR Virtual Trainer prescribed 17 miles. Last year, I did it as the Bronx 10 Miler then a miserable, sunny, hot 7 miles after that I cut a little short. This year, I planned it with another PPTC member who wanted similar pace and distance, so we set out together at 7am. We definitely took several water breaks as the sun peaked out of the clouds and it warmed up a bit and we paused to fuel. I had only hit 15.5 as I neared my Juice Press destination, so I finished it with a slog up the stairs in Fort Greene Park, where I ran into a friend. I practically rolled down the hill for my final bit after pausing to chat. Happy to hit 16.2 miles total.

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9/16: I stopped off at Chip in Gansevoort Market to try out their strawberry shortcake cookies. Holy moly. Much later, I did a Recovery run with Chaya around Prospect Park in the PM (moved from a planned early run in Morningside Park). Warm but breezy! 6.1 miles total and it felt great.

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Total: 41.5 miles, a new weekly high. Feeling good and back on track.

Week 7 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

This was supposed to be my highest mileage week (well, first of 3) for this training cycle. I was headed to New England on vacation Thursday night and needed to frontload my mileage a bit, but also scheduled a platelet donation Tuesday night and fantasy football draft Wednesday night. Then I actually went on vacation and remembered that I don’t like running on highway shoulders. C’est la vie.

8/27: 8.3 miles on the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. Stuck to an easy pace and went by effort on the bridges.

8/28: 4 miles easy on the treadmill. Well, 3 miles very easy and 1 mile at goal marathon pace. Donated platelets after work. I’m planning to donate blood again right after the marathon.

8/29: Rest day. Did some restorative yoga and had my fantasy football draft. There was beer, there was pizza, and I drafted some strong picks. More importantly, the yoga stretches felt so good. I should be doing this weekly.

8/30: 4 progressive treadmill miles before work, then flight to New England. 2 at easy pace, 1 at goal marathon pace (9:30s but would be happy with anything under 10minute miles), then a mix for the final mile between easy and goal half marathon pace (08:50s currently).

8/31: Walked all over Portland, Maine. Ate all the lobster, plus some oysters.

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9/1: 4 miles with my friend, then we drove up the Mount Washington Auto Road. We had planned to do a moderate mileage hike, but the fog and cold at the top were too much. Went back into town and explored North Conway after.

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No views in sight

9/2: Long run fail. I was all prepped and ready for 15 miles but it didn’t happen. Mentally, I wasn’t there and didn’t feel safe running by cars on the Kancamagus Highway. I headed up Bear Mountain a bit and ran along a ski trail but my energy was kind of zapped. Threw in the towel, then later we floated down the Saco River slowly in inner tubes with some blueberry cider.

Lower Falls

Total: 21.5 miles. Surprise cutback week! I still feel really good about Week 6 and have signed up for my first race since April (a 5K, still looking for possible tuneup 10K and half).