Tag Archives: nyc marathon

Proof that you can plan a wedding, train for a marathon, peak the weeks of your wedding and honeymoon, and then finish said marathon feeling fantastic.

If you’re just tuning in:

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.

2017 NYCM “Training”

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!

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Filed under marathon, new york city, tcs new york city marathon, wedding

Tips for running the NYC Marathon.

A week or so ago, a friend of mine from middle school asked for tips for running the NYC marathon and I happily wrote him a monster of an e-mail all about my favorite race. As a lifetime New Yorker and a four-time NYC Marathon finisher (2009-2011, 2014), I know this race. I have actually had very detailed dreams of running this race (not exaggerating, I was once told I was talking in my sleep and calling out the mile markers). This race is a part of me. 

nyc-marathons2014 NYCM Recap

2011 NYCM Recap

2010 NYCM Recap

Because my friend is probably not the only person looking for some advice this week (it’s marathon week, baby!), I’m taking that e-mail and putting it out on the interwebs. 

Tips for Running the NYC Marathon

Pre-Marathon

  • If you haven’t already done so, put your name on your shirt. People will call your name out and it will be all sorts of amazing. Because people will be screaming your first name all day, it may be hard to recognize when it’s someone you know screaming your name. Ask friends/family to call you by your last name if they can’t get your attention.
  • On that note, know where your friends/family will be ahead of time and most importantly, know which side of the street they will be on. I cannot stress the importance of the side of the street more.
  • If you don’t already have throwaway clothes for the start line, get them now. Ask friends/family for old sweats/hats/gloves/whatever. Everything at the start line gets donated. If you want, use old baseball socks as throwaway arm sleeves. Cut the feet off and put them on your arms until you feel warmed up and then drop them along the course. This has helped me during marathons that are in-between weather.
  • For the start, it’s a good idea to bring something like a garbage bag to sit on, even if you’ll be in a tent area. If it rained the day or days before, it will be muddy, so bring extra garbage bags to sit on, wear old sneakers that you won’t mind parting with and then switch into your race sneakers last minute or cover your sneakers with bags so they don’t get muddy and wet prior to the start. Also, bring yourself some toilet paper. It’s not uncommon to see people standing on the port-a-potty line with their own roll of TP.
  • Come up with a plan/strategy for when things got rough, I’m thinking specifically for 5th Avenue before the park. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this is the worst part of that course. My first NYCM, this is where I told a random stranger that I wanted to quit. My coach for the 2014 NYCM told me to come up with my strategy for this section early and it helped. I focused on who I had tracking me and who was waiting for me in the bleachers and I literally repeated their names in my head for the entire mile. My good friend last year tried to focus on her husband but it wasn’t working for her so she switched to mentally baking cookies in her head and spent the mile working out the recipe. Figure out a plan for this spot and then figure out a back-up plan.
  • Come up with a meeting spot with your friends/family for after the race. Do not count on cell service being good at the finish line. If you can, avoid the family reunion area and pick another part of the UWS or UES (I heard from a NYRR staff member that they will have East side access for the first time this year). In 2014, I met my family in front of the Jack Rabbit on 72nd near Broadway. Pick a street corner, pick anything, as long as it is a specific location

Race

Brooklyn
  • Start slow – holy hell just go so damn slow. Don’t weave on the bridge. If you do this right, your first two miles should be your slowest.
  • When you get into Brooklyn and the crowds start to thicken, it may get emotional. It’s okay, just don’t speed up because of it.
  • You don’t want to add any extra mileage by weaving. The course is measured exactly 26.2 miles from the middle of the street (marked by a blue line that may be faded by the time you start). Unless you’re super familiar with the course, running the tangents isn’t a good strategy here. When in doubt, run in the middle of the street. Run only to the side when you know you have a family/friends on that side.
  • These miles are generally flat with some rolling hills and the crowds are good. Enjoy them. No lie, this is probably the best you’ll feel (physically) all day. Be smart and run slow. Your legs will thank you.
Queens
  • This area is typically not so crowded so it’s a good place to see people.
  • Be careful to conserve your energy here because you’ve got the 59th street bridge ahead of you.
  • People walk on the bridge and/or slow down significantly, try not to get frustrated and definitely do not weave. Get around slower folks by moving just the bare minimum amount to get by them.
  • Forget your pace and focus on exerting the same amount of effort that you were before the bridge. Having people on 1st Avenue is good because it gives you something to look forward to on the bridge. I’ve used the bridge to focus on who is waiting for me and that if they’ve been tracking, they know I’m getting close.
Manhattan
  • It’s exciting and too easy to pick up the pace on 1st Ave. Try to keep yourself in check and maintain pace. There is a steady incline and lots of miles ahead.
Bronx
  • You’re only here a short time but the Bronx typically has good crowds so enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Concentrate on the fact that you’ve only got one more bridge and then you are in the final borough!
Manhattan/5th Ave
  • There’s no way around it, the closer you get to Engineer’s Gate (where the course turns into Central Park), the more everything is going to suck.
  • Having people here is good (it’s where I always stand to cheer!)
  • It is a nasty, no-good, horrible, slow incline up 5th and into Central Park. Use your strategy to get through this little rough patch. If it doesn’t work, use your back up. If that doesn’t work, come up with a new one. Anything. Focus on the person’s feet in front of you and count their steps. Think of the finish line as being the turn into Central Park. You just need to get to the park.
Central Park
  • THIS. I could cry just thinking about this. You are in the most famous park in the world, running the best marathon in the world. You have people waiting for you at the finish line or people at home following your every step and waiting to see that you have finished.  This is a huge fcuking deal.
  • When you get to the bottom of the park, you exit out and run along Central Park South. I’ve made the mistake of trying to pick it up here thinking I was close. I was an idiot. The finish is still far enough away. Soak up the crowds and focus on that turn back into the park.
  • When you get to the 800m mark in the park, that’s your time. Pick it up, leave nothing out there. You will feel like you’re barely going anywhere. Last NYCM, I picked up my pace and had you asked me then, I felt like I was running 12 minute miles. Turns out, I was at an 8:30. Nothing feels normal at this point. Just move your damn legs as fast as they can. You can do anything for 5 more minutes.

__________

For everyone running, ENJOY THIS RACE BECAUSE THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT DAMN WELL GETS. Love every second of this day and of this city. It’s a 26.2 mile party and you’ve got a VIP pass.

As for me, I’ll be out there next year running my heart out. This year, I’ll be on the sidelines cheering my heart out. Happy running, NYC 🙂

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Filed under marathon, marathon tips, new york city, running, tcs new york city marathon

I didn’t put my name in for the NYC Marathon…

First up, workouts from last week:

www

Also, a big CONGRATS to Jill who won my giveaway for a FREE Spartan Race!

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I always use a random number generator to pick giveaway winners so I never know who is going to win.. and it made me really happy how excited Jill was about winning. She has already used her free code to register for a Spartan Race in Ohio this spring! Good luck, Jill!

I didn’t put my name in for the New York City Marathon…

It was hard not to register. It was so difficult to let Sunday pass me by and know that I was giving up the NYCM this coming November.

you dont even know

I love this race. I’ve run it 4x. I threw a temper tantrum and cried in a bagel store in 2013 when I didn’t run it.

i just want to runnn

But I also know that I’m unsure if I want to train for a marathon this summer.

seriously unsure

And I know that I want to train hard for a fall half-marathon.

in this outfit too

And I know that if I change my mind about a fall marathon (I am going to try not to!), there are countless other amazing marathons on the east coast that I’ve yet to run.

no criticizing if i hit register on a fall marathon

I’ll just have to find a way to numb my pain on November 1st.

total nycm denial

I love you, NYCM. And I’ll be back for you. But this year, I’ll see you at Mile 23… with a sign in one hand… and very likely, a drink in the other.

______________________

Did you enter the NYCM lottery? Do you have guaranteed entry?

Who watched the SNL 40 episode on Sunday?! SO GOOD! Read about my first and second times at SNL with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon.

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Filed under giveaway, marathon, new york city, tcs new york city marathon, weekly workout wrap-up

on marathon emotions…

Week 15 (first week of taper) for NYCM:

week 15 nycm

On marathon emotions:

Last year, I was an emotional wreck all throughout training. I cried at the end of long/tough training runs, I got choked up just thinking about the Chicago Marathon finish line (this video completely wrecked me), and I completely lost it after my last run before the marathon. I wanted that marathon so badlyIt was my first marathon after surgery, it was my first marathon without my grandmother – the whole thing became so much more than a race to me… and I loved having that as fuel.

But this year? My emotions weren’t in it.

I kept waiting for them to creep up. I kept waiting for that “I’m running right now in the pouring rain because I want this marathon more than anything” feeling rather than, “I’m running in the rain because this is the workout coach has me running today.” 

Before the marathon was even on the 10-day forecast, I began obsessing:

tweet

I know marathoners do this… but last year, I cared very little about marathon weather- because I wanted that marathon more than anything – so while I checked everyday, I cared very little when the forecast predicted thunderstorms on race day the entire week (it ended up being sunny and 60s, FYI).

This year? I cared. I didn’t want to run in the rain. Or cold. Or wind. Or all three. (I still don’t, but, ya know, just go with me here).

Until last Tuesday.

My “easy run” for the week took me to Central Park. It was absolutely perfect out and the pace felt good, really good, and I found myself just loving being in the park and enjoying the atmosphere and foliage… and then there they were. The grandstands.

And I had to hop off the path.

This.

This is what I was waiting for.

The emotions.

The “OMG I love this sport and I don’t care what happens that day as long as I get to run 26.2 miles through the greatest city in the world” feeling.

I put my hands on my knees. I cried.

This is so much more than a race.

See you on Sunday, grandstand bleachers. 

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