Posts Tagged ‘nyc marathon’

First off, about a week and a half before the race I was asked by Choose Cherries if I would represent them in the marathon . I accepted and planned the outfit (red top and red hat) for both myself and runnin around uptown. Fast forward, this is what I ended up with (instead of team red it’s team pink!):

Perhaps I should have known the day would be interesting when approaching the subway, I noticed a bunch of cops and a person covered up with a sheet. Yep, dead guy right at the subway entrance (found out later it was a jumper). Gah.  Fast forward, around 820 I did a last port-a-potty stop before dropping my stuff and heading to the corrals. One problem: we hear as we’re being directed in a giant circle, that the corrals have closed for wave 1. Shit. I didn’t care too much but I knew my family didn’t have tracking!  Since I was at the front of “wave 2” I asked a volunteer to use a phone and was told “oh, I don’t have one.” One minute later she pulls out a phone. Ugh. Special thanks to Leo for letting me borrow his phone! Finally after standing for a good 45mins (perfect before 26.2) we get to the starting line and the canons go off. Finally, my journey begins.

Being at the beginning of the wave made for a quick start which made for instant pacing to come into play.  Brooklyn, just like last time, whizzed by and that first 10 miles went as planned.  Paces were in check and nothing felt off base (and when it did speed up or slow down one of us would pull in the reigns).  Having strategically placed family around the course helped as well (miles 5 and 8 in Brooklyn, friends at mile 14 right before the Queensboro).

Mile 8(I get cold easily so the arm warmers were perfect!)

Going over the Queensboro we still were right on target. Random: some British guy asks “what bridge is this” and upon response goes “this isn’t a very nice bridge is it?”.  And then it started upon approach in Manhattan as AC had to stop briefly.  First Avenue was a blast with rows of people and passing family once again.  Then it was my old running team.  And I remember hitting the Bronx and feeling like someone had punched me in the gut.  My stomach was not in good shape.  I remember turning to AC and just saying “ow.”  Up to that point, I had 2 packs of sport beans (nothing unusual) and water (one mixed with small amount of Gatorade).  Somewhere around mile 20 or so the 3:40 pacer passed us and I knew – things were not exactly going as planned.

Heading back into Manhattan I made a quick pit stop which may have been a saving grace.  I still felt a little queasy but not as bad as the Bronx.  I remember AC feeling pretty much the same (no need for detail on what was said).  Heading up 5th avenue was definitely a triumph – it definitely helped to have someone to be there to keep me moving.  It was not the hills but the hope the stomach would simmer down.  Hitting the park I felt a lot better (may have been an orange and not drinking anything for a few miles?).  I was able to bring it together and pull AC along through that brutal stretch (I remember saying something to the effect of ‘you’re a fighter’ ::cue Christina Aguilera). We passed a lot of people in the park which definitely felt good.

I saw my mom exiting onto CP South and knew a sub 3:50 was in the bag.  I looked at AC and said “let’s go get you a monster PR.”  And that we did.  Finishing in 3:46:54 I scored a 20 minute course PR and AC had a 17 minute PR (her 2nd marathon).

Marathon #9 in the books

Go team red...err pink!

I’ve preached to the choir that the marathon can be a crap shoot.  One day it can be an amazing perfect experience but the next it could be not so good.  I also look at each one as a learning experience.  This one was a mental push.  Though the splits are UGLY, I choose to be ignorant to that.  I choose to look at the mental push and fight at mile 23 to pull it together. I choose to look at the fact a 3:46 is not satisfying.

The day after at the finish line - a lot more coherent!

I also think it was an amazing experience having someone to share the full 26.2 with (thanks again AC!).  I did that for my first marathon in 2004.  It’s tricky to find someone on the same page.  However, we trained and ran races well together so it made it no problem.  We knew each of our strengths and weaknesses (it really helped me through Harlem and I think vice versa in the park).  The pact?  Who cares if you can walk on November 8?

I have to say I actually feel the least amount of post marathon aches I’ve ever had (knock on wood).  Most of my pain has been in my neck.  The legs feel like they went on a  long run . However, I do know there was no BQ or under on this day – maybe a minute or two?  As I told AC, was it worth it to feel incredibly sick over that?  Perhaps a few of you out there disagree but honestly it wasn’t going to make much of a difference on this day.

What would I change?  I need to work out the nutrition kinks.  I think it may have been a case of too much hydration that made my stomach heavy and the nausea (especially since it disappeared once I stopped taking water).

Moving forward? Recovery and I’m looking forward to a marathon free 2011.  Yes, that’s right folks.  No marathons.  Next year is a year of speed.  A year to work on finding that next gear which I think will propel me through that mental wall to get to that next level.  I’ve already signed up for the NJ Half as a goal race in the spring.  I’m excited to find more races to complement that (and find a new team as a home).

Congrats to NYC bloggers that completed the marathon as well.

I’m sure there will be more thoughts to come…

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What does it mean????

Each marathon has its own purpose.  There’s something special to it.  So what about NYC Marathon 2010?  What makes it stand out?  Of course NYC  is the first marathon I’ve ever done and what really started this whole run up to now.  It’s funny to look back now.  In 2004 it was the springboard to finding my old team and now it looks to be a springboard to the next chapter in my racing life.

I guess in a way everything has come full circle. I’ve met a lot of people in those six years,  It’s pretty awesome how the year of 30 will end in my home base.  I’d like to say I’ve got the hang of this but holy schnikes, I’m still a nervous wreck.  Dare I say even more than pre-Pikes Peak?!  It’s weird.  Exciting.  Perhaps it’s the fact I actually tapered for this race too (hello, bouncing off the walls). My last run was  my bread and butter route : the bridges route.  This is it kids.  Without further ado, I’d like to throw out a few thank yous to those that helped me get my butt to the starting line this weekend.

Legs.  Thank you for putting up with me for the past 11 months.  You tried to cry a bit in between but overall held up well.  Time for one last throw down this weekend.

The AM Crew – ES & MP – thank you ladies for meeting me for bridges and east river runs bright ‘n early (well not so bright anymore – where is the sun?).  I always looked forward to these runs and generally made the day much more tolerable.  Not to mention the company is always delightful:)

The Tuesday Speed Crew – Thanks guys!  It’s been awesome to have a group of people to train along with as well as whine with during core.  Special shout out to Steph – she was my speed equivalent most nights.

SpeedySasquatch – THANK YOU for being out there to support all of us.  Your generosity is not lost on me and I can’t wait to see you at mile 14.  Even if the core part would get painful, you have your reasons to do all of it.  I still remember doing that first workout way back when – everyone else went for a general run except for 3 of us to endure the first of many speed workouts:)

The twitter and blogger folks – you know who you are.  Each of you have brightened my day and kept me focused towards the goal of November 7.  Some of you have become real life friends but to those that are on the screen your importance is not lost.

Last but certainly not least, runnin’ around uptown.  Waaaaaaaay back when we were freezing our butts off in the winter, we made a pact that come November 7th we would run 26.2 together.  We’ve endured the heat of the summer with long runs in the city, down in Philly, the trails in NJ, the bridges…and everything else in between.  So I guess now it’s just 26.2 more?  Let’s hope we don’t hate eachother after this;-) ha.

It’s game time folks (orange bib 16753 if anyone cares).  All that’s left is a day and it’s time for a little jaunt through the GREATEST city in the world.  Let’s do this!  See you at the finish line!

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Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday marked the last long run until November 7th.  As part of the mental preparation I spoke about in my earlier post, this long run was all about getting intel on the course.  I met up with MP for the last 17 of the course starting all the way in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Right away the excitement was there with the marathon route banners up (which definitely helped in Queens and Bronx). The weather? Can I bottle some of that for November 7th?  Cool but not cold.   Little wind. Nice.

The run took us through the Hasidic part of Brooklyn as we saw the men dressed for Sabbath (including the rockin’ hats).  Turns out the NYT had an article on these hats: they’re over 8 grand! Woah. Running along Bedford Ave we passed many enjoying brunch and the crisp autumn day. It’s enjoyable to watch people on a weekend.  It’s definitely a much happier environment.  Heading up the Pulaski Bridge I noticed the 13 and 13.1 mark. That will be my half way point in a couple weeks.

Heading into Queens it’s pretty desolate.  We didn’t see anyone until we looked ahead to see a guy being held by 2 guys accompanied with lots of screaming.  We stared ahead and 2 guys started to advance on us.  Right away we turned and that’s when I made the comment we were in an episode of Law and Order.  Only problem is this was real.  Eek.  Finally we reached the Queensboro and bid adieu to Queens.

First Avenue brings back memories to me as I used to be an UES resident.  It’s remarkable how fast places close/reopen/etc.  I took note of the incline on the road in the 70s.  Nothing horrible but at mile 17 one needs to be alert of that and not mentally think they are slow for no reason.  The 80s marked my true old stomping grounds.  My old bagel shop, bakery (best black and white cookies in the city), grocery, etc.  Harlem came next and that’s when the cat calls started.  Ah Harlem gotta love it.  Those were accompanied with “win it in 2 weeks.”  I gave a fist pump to him.  Heading into the Bronx I remember what this felt like.  It was very difficult to mentally think there was another borough before finishing the darn thing.

Back in Manhattan it wasn’t bad until 110th and 5th.  That’s where a real solid incline starts and the mind will really need to work overtime to keep the legs moving.   I started to kick it up a notch as the last 4 miles I progressively sped up.  Mentally I want this to be there race day.  Running around the park I started to visual what 2 weeks from now will feel like.  What that pain will feel like.  Visualize the crowd.  It’s going to be amazing.

Heading towards Tavern on the Green I picked it up to a final gear and with a giant smile crossed the fictitious finish line for the day.  I’ll be back for a true finish in a couple weeks.  Overall the pace was a shade over 9 with the last 4 dipping down into the 830s with a final push at an 8:10 clip.  All in all mission accomplished.  A confidence builder and I didn’t beat myself up in the process.

Bocche Ball in Central Park

Refueling at Whole Foods. Honeycrisp Apple the size of my cheek!

Today was an off day.  I headed up to Tallman State Park with AC for some easy hiking to enjoy the fall foliage.  Hooray for the taper.

AC and I with the Hudson in the background.

Pretty fall foliage

Sunset on 10/23 from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

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One to go

I’m going to flat-out say it.  This week has been a complete I LOVE RUNNING week.  It’s a welcome feeling after hitting a couple of weeks of ‘blah, blah, blah.’  Between the weather cool down, great company and getting the bounce in my legs again I’m getting totally pumped to hit the streets November 7th.  The past few runs I’ve started and my legs just wanted to go, go, go.  Love it. Runs included: a sub 8 min/mile run to work Tuesday, progression run Wednesday night in the park with an old teammate and a bridges run with the AM crew on Thursday.  I kind of feel like this



It feels effortless.  Kind of a weeeeee feeling…

I’ve also started to put together my “pump me up for NYCM playlist”.

playlist nyc

Some of the usual suspects here but probably some not so familiar.  Not to worry this is only for the ferry ride/pre-run nerves.  I feed off the energy during a race.

Oh, and for some humor check out the video on my Staten Island Half pictures page.  For those of you that are Jersey Shore watchers you’ll love my finish line approach.

No other big news to report.  No news is good news right?  Today is an off day thanks to a solid case of insomnia last night.  I’m a bit worried as I tend to get bad bouts with it as training winds down.  Tomorrow is my last 20+ miler before the marathon (woohoo!!!!) before heading to Philly to visit the family.  Fingers crossed this was an anomaly.  Catch you on the flip side!

Anyone else out there find they get cases of insomnia during training?  I find it’s one way or another: either I can’t stop sleeping or I can’t sleep!

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My day began early.  Even earlier than most of the runners.  My alarm cried out at the ugly hour of 3:30am and with that it was time to get ready to start my version of Marathon Sunday.   I passed a few stragglers coming in from Saturday night festivities and caught a cab with AB to the NYPL for my volunteering duties.  It was cold and most definitely dark but the excitement and spirit more than made up for such an early rising.  I was able to see off Moz, Sempre Libera, Pink Monkey, PR, MG, as well as probably close to 20,000 other runners.  It was a fantastic experience and when finished, the sun had been up for a good hour.  Ahh the day had begun.

The next portion of Marathon Sunday consisted of being a spectator/cheerleader up in Harlem.  This also meant escorting Sempre Libera’s parents and giving them updates every 5k from my blackberry.  I watched as the elite men and women whizzed by, two of my teammates that would eventually sub 3 and beat Lance!, and the masses of people that fill the streets of NYC on this glorious Sunday.  I took some photos but eventually I let go of the camera and went back to my trusty pom poms.  I saw NYFlyGirl and gave her a good cheer.  Morrissey enjoyed a cookie;-) After a while, we had to make sure the runners got their proper nutrition.  Yes, I did make cookies.  How many?  How about 4 FULL containers (so probably somewhere in the vicinity of 80-90 cookies!).  However, one container didn’t even make it through Saturday night.  I won’t mention names but in all honesty, I gave the approval to do so;-) 

As the time drew near, I stripped down to shorts and got my legs ready to help Sempre Libera and Pink Monkey with the last 7 miles.  Armed with a red pom pom, two Power Gels, and two cookies off we went towards completing their first marathon.  I must say it was an interesting experience since my 2004 marathon debutI waved my pom pom, screamed my lungs out and did everything I could to keep the crowds going.  It was definitely a bit disappointing coming down 5th avenue and into the park as the crowds were not into it.  I kept screaming “I can’t hear you New York!” with my hand cupped to my ear and waving the pom pom like mad.  My last words to them were: “Now it’s time for you to finish this.  Go get ‘em!”  And that they did.  Oh and for the record – there was no walking.  We dont allow that around this neck of the woods;-)  So congratulations Sempre Libera and Pink Monkey: welcome to the marathon club!

The night was spent with Pink Monkey and Sempre Libera rehashing stories of their first marathon.  It made it all the more amazing to think it had been two full years since my marathon journeys began.  Oh and what was the food of choice? Why, chicken fingers of course!  This has become the tradition of sorts for AB, SL and I after completing a marathon.  One thing is for sure though.  Yesterday confirmed my plans for Fall 2007.  Oh and this time – no more dreaming of Boston. 

Congrats to everyone out there in blogland and beyond! 

Update: Today you could definitely tell who had run the marathon yesterday.  While walking down the stairs of the subway station, I witnessed one suspected runner holding on to the rail for dear life.  Ahh the joys of marathon pains!

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On the other side

Well, Sunday marks my favorite day  to be a New Yorker.  The New York City Marathon is here!  For the first time in the 2 years, I have absolutely nothing to do with marathon  madness.  It’s a weird feeling, yet satisfying.  I’ve been able to read about many others journeys the past few months as well as listen first hand.  It’s exciting, whether it be for the first timers or the marathon veterans.  This city just packs a buzz that is just getting louder and louder.  So bring it on New York!  And to everyone out there in blog land, kick some a$$ out there!  I’ll be out there with the pom poms up in Harlem;-)

Anyway, last night I made it to the expo.  I think one can never have a) too much polyester running clothes and b) running shoes.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Yes, I bought another pair of running shoes.  My first pair of light weight trainers for speed/racing (Mizuno Elixir 2)! Zoooooooom!  I also managed to get the newest model which is unavailable until January 2007 (except for at the NYC expo).  I ran into a whole lot of people I know from my running team as well as others in the running community.  I love this sport!

Pasta dinner tonight, leading our group run tomorrow, and report at 4:15am on Sunday.  Yes, we’ve reached the “what the hell was I thinking” stage:-)  Eh, it’s ok though.  I’ve got some serious cheering to do on Sunday, not to mention serious baking tomorrow.  Hey, I’ve got to make sure the runners are well fueled at mile 19.  Then, there is the matter of making sure certain cookie monsters get their supply.  I will not mention any names.

So again I send my best wishes to all of you running Sunday and may the marathon gods be on your side! 

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Doing my part

So I volunteered for the NYC Marathon this year.  I felt since I am always the one participating, it would be nice to give back just once.  So, if you are running the marathon NOVEMBER 6TH, I will be at the library loading the buses.  Yes, I realize the date.  The letter is mislabeled.  Talk about a big snafu!  I plan to be there November 5th at an even earlier hour than you will be;-)  I’m sure I’ll do the “what the heck was I thinking” thing at a later date but for now: EXCITING!  If you’re running, make sure to look for me!

The other big news? I’ve booked my flight to Houston!  I’m heading to the Lonestar state in January.

For now, it’s off to bed.  Got to get up and run in the pitch black soon:-p  Oh and you better believe I’ll be in shorts!

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