Sunday, November 13, 2016

Race Report: New York Marathon 2016

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.