I finally did it! I ran the New York Marathon. I have gotten in 4 times, two of which were qualifying entries. The first time I was about to launch a new business at work. The second time was Hurricane Sandy. The third time Matt got cancer so I cancelled. FINALLY, this time I got in on a lotto and decided to do it even though my mom thinks the course is cursed. The race was on Nov 6th, the day after my 11th anniversary. I went alone but Matt and the boys were in my heart. I lucked out and my co-worker let me stay in her apartment in Chelsea as she was out of town. I loved everything about the weekend - the apartment, walking around the city, and of course the race.
I got in Friday mid-evening and took the train from the airport to Penn Station. From the train I walked into Chelsea and stopped at Whole Foods for a healthy dinner. I had planned to go running in the evening, but decided to just walk instead. Friday I couldn't sleep as I just wanted to be at the starting line. Saturday came after a fretful night, and I rose to head out to the expo. The expo was PACKED! That was a prelude for the weekend. Fast forward a day and walking way too much, and it was finally race day.
Sunday I rose at 5am and started the routine of getting ready. I got dressed, made coffee, checked and double checked my bib, and then went down to find a taxi. I quickly got a ride and hopped in to get to Staten Island Ferry. About 3/4 of the way there, I thought I had left the water boiling (stress jitters) and had the cab go back, only to find I left everything perfectly fine, so I went back to the Ferry. At the Ferry were more lines, more nerves. The Ferry was about 30min and the most beautiful sunrise. From the Ferry we got in a line only to get on a bus, then in another line, and then to the waiting zone for the race. I was coral 1B meaning I was at the start.
Finally, GO time! My race started out OK. It wasn't too fast or too slow - I started in the 7s. I did my first half at a 1:36 and then immediately started to feel the wall. I pushed through at first, and at mile 18 really was feeling mentally drained. I was hungry, spinny, and a bit overwhelmed with the masses of people watching. Other people were getting tons of energy from the spectators and I can't figure out why I wasn't. Maybe my energy comes from dirt, trees, and birdsong.
I wound up running a 3:31:31 - another Boston Qualifier! All in, it really was amazing. My brain is more tired than anything.