If you’re just tuning in:
- The decision to register for the NYC Marathon
- How I managed a full time job, wedding planning, and training for a marathon
- Training during wedding/honeymoon weeks
Actual NYC Marathon Workouts:
I stuck to the plan I laid out all those months ago pretty closely. I think the best thing I did for myself this training cycle was to not pay attention to pace for any of my runs. I threw a couple “speed” workouts in there but I did them because it felt like something fun to do that day. Even during those runs, I never looked at my watch.
Being able to let pace go and just think about this marathon as a fun run allowed all those long runs to not feel stressful. Instead of adding stress to my life like marathon training sometimes does, these runs relaxed me. It allowed me time to chat with a friend or listen to a podcast or just think about the wedding. If anything, marathon training kept me sane and more laid back all throughout the wedding planning process.
NYC Marathon Week
Marathon week is pretty much my favorite week to be in NYC. Everything is exciting – the subway ads, the obvious tourist runners, the crisp air that basically screams “marathon weather!”
The weather forecast for Sunday never looked particularly good. It was constantly changing between light rain in the morning to light rain in the evening or rain throughout the day or mist throughout the afternoon but it was always some combination of cloudy, rainy, and misty. I kept my fingers crossed that we’d have a dry race, mostly because I
wanted needed fans along the course since I wasn’t planning on running this race particularly fast and I felt like rain would deter a lot of people from coming out to cheer.
NYC Marathon – Sunday, November 5, 2017
Sunday morning was perfect, no rain/mist, good temps in the 50s. I was very hopeful.
When we started out in Staten Island, I spoke to Alec next to me, “if it stays just like this, we’ll be fine.”
WAY TO JINX IT, ANG.
It started misting and light raining just a few miles in and continued throughout the entire marathon; however, my fear that this would deter crowds was completely off base because OMG the sidelines were unbelievable.
After the race, I did my best to describe the crowds on Instagram:
“NEW YORK CITY!!! Do you know what you did today?! You SHOWED UP with voices and signs and instruments and so much god damn spirit. You welcomed the world onto your streets. You lined 26.2 miles of pavement IN THE RAIN and you were larger and louder than any year I’ve run in perfect weather.
Tell me this isn’t the greatest city in the world and I’ll give you 2.5 million reasons why you’re wrong.”
My friends and family traveled throughout the city and I was able to see people I love in Brooklyn, on First Avenue, on Fifth Avenue, and at the finish line. Because we were taking it nice and easy and didn’t have any time goals, whenever we saw friends/family, we ran to the side and loaded up on hugs. At mile 8, our families were on different sides of the street and we split up. We completely lost each other after that and I ended up having to move over onto the side of the race, take out my phone and call Alec to figure out where she was. I waited for her right after the 8 mile marker and we continued on our way. Things are so much less stressful when you’re not worried about the time on the clock!
My body really started to ache in the later miles on Fifth Avenue (as expected) but I just kept feeding off the crowds. I thought about the rain, I thought about the terrorist attack on the Westside Highway earlier in the week, I thought about all the reasons New Yorkers could have stayed home that morning but instead stood outside to cheer on virtual strangers. I thought about the 50,000+ people running next to me and how any number of things could have prevented them from showing up on Staten Island that morning. And focusing on that – on how much I love this sport and how much I love this city – kept me in good spirits to the finish (even when I asked Alec at Mile 24 if the stinky person I was smelling was me – it was not, btw).
We finished in 4:42:21 (and I had to look up that time just now because I genuinely had no clue beyond a general idea of what our finish time was until this moment).
After a warm shower and changing into sweats, I pulled on my finisher’s medal and we met up with Alec and her clan for dinner at Mel’s. It was a perfect night for the widowmaker 🙂
Thank you, NYC, for a fantastic party throughout my city. Congrats to all finishers!