Better late than never right?
Things have been a little crazy in the world of CJoyFitness, so I apologize that this is almost a month late! Right before the marathon I got my second promotion of the year to Fitness Manager in the gym I work in. Then the holidays are coming up and my head has been spinning!!!
But I digress, let’s get back to this marathon. Going into this race I kept saying that this was my last one, that I didn’t like this distance. So let’s just say I wasn’t going into it with the best mindset, this might also be because I bombed my last two long distance races. In my mind, I questioned whether I had it in me to complete.
After a restless nights sleep, because you know, NYC is the city that never sleeps, I got up at 4am in order to catch the 5:30am Ferry to Staten Island. We stayed in an Air BnB while we were there so I had the luxury of having my own kitchenette so I could stick to me pre-race rituals when it comes to eating etc. After choking down a bagel, I met with my Coeur teammate Stephanie for the train…which never came but we did meet a new friend Suzanne!
We ended up getting a cab there and got there with plenty of time to catch the ferry. Once we got to Staten Island, it was a long wait where we talked with new friends, drank coffee and peed a lot. OH and the best part, they had therapy dogs for nervous runners and I made another new friend named April.
Then it was off to the corrals. I ended up dropping back so that I could start with Stephanie. The plan was to run with her the whole time, but if one of us wanted to run ahead it was okay. We were right at the front of the start line when the gun went off and across the bridge we went. All the bad thoughts of not being able to finish melted away.
Starting line with the bridge behind us!
We got over the bridge and I had to pee so badly, when Steph suggested that we pee behind a pillar I didn’t even second guess it. Otherwise, I would’ve been one of those runners that wet themselves and I didn’t think I could make it 25 more miles in wet shorts. After that I felt GREAT! The crowds at this race were amazing, the only time it was quiet was when we were going over the bridges and then we had amazing sites of the city. I’ve never been anywhere other than Manhattan so it was so much fun to see how diverse NYC really is.
We had to do a few walks after we hit the 10 mile marker, the hills on this course are not steep but they’re a long slow incline and that killed my lower back which hasn’t been the same since the Boston tri earlier this summer. Steph was great though and stuck with me the whole time. We met up with her family at mile 17 and there were hugs all around and off we went.
We don’t look like we ran 17 miles!
Mile 19, I hit some trouble. I had started to get hungry so I downed another gel and it just did not sit right with me. My stomach cramped and I felt nauseous. Our walk breaks began to become more frequent until I got some more water and my stomach calmed down a bit. I really need to work on this fueling thing if I want to continue with long distance races!
Sticking together until the end
Then we FINALLY hit the last 5k marker. I looked at my watch and realized that if we kept a good pace I could make my unofficial goal of a sub-5 hour marathon. I know that’s not fast to most of you, but remember I bombed my first marathon and ended up walking most of it with a whopping finish time of 5:50. So this would be huge for me. I dug deep and found some extra stored energy and picked up the pace. At mile 26 I saw my cheering crowd which gave me an extra boost for the last .2 miles. Once we crossed that finish line at 4:58 I was so surprised that I could actually do it. I finally got over that mental barrier. I know that without Steph I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.
Then as we were on the train back to Boston on Monday, I put my name in for the Chicago marathon lottery! Hahaha.