If you read my Friday Five last week, you know that this NY Marathon was a bit ill fated. Well, after the San Francisco Marathon (recap), and a few other races that didn’t go as planned, I nearly skipped it. I’ve been burned out and have been struggling with speed and endurance. I got a physical and nothing came up. I’m hopefully just over trained and in need of a break.
That said, I’m so grateful that I decided to come in to run. My five word recap is “my face hurts from smiling!” The crowds were beyond phenomenal this year and the weather was perfect. The Husband and I got to catch up with so many friends and I had a great cheering section again this year. My A-goal was to finish with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. Check and check. Here is a video that my friend Zach took at Mile 26 to prove it.
As I mentioned on Friday, I started my NYC Marathon weekend with a launch party for the On Cloudflow shoe that I’d be wearing in the race. To recap, I was offered the opportunity from On Running to try their new Cloudflow shoe. The shoe launched yesterday and they gave me a pair last night (with an awesome running kit and other goodies!) I did have the opportunity to try a recent similar shoe, but will have only two days to break these in. I am the FIRST person to tell folks never to try anything new on marathon day. Why would I try this? Well, I do like a challenge. I ran my first marathon on a dare! There was something so crazy about this that I just decided “what the heck”. The shoes look great and are super light. I also went to the Expo with an old friend.
Friday, I went to the “15+ and streaker” party with Marie. The NYRRC hosts an awesome party at Tavern on the Green for all runners who have run 15 NY Marathons or more. Last year was my first year. This year, they had Bill Rogers speaking and fun raffles and giveaways. In the morning, I did a shake out with Resie (and my new Cloudflows) and then we met my friend, Amy who was in to run from LA for coffee. So fun. In the evening, The Husband arrived and we had a fun dinner with our host(ess), Kathy.
Saturday, I did a shake out with Lauren. Then we met Nicole and The Husband for brunch. We cleaned up, relaxed and visited a few different friends. Then we went to our pre-marathon dinner at fave spot Il Brigante. After dinner, I set out everything I needed and then tried to sleep.
Sunday started with meeting Scott on the 2 train to head to South Street Seaport. We’ve got this down! We then met Olivia and took the ferry to Staten Island and the bus to the start. Everything was super organized this year. We got some Dunkin Donuts hats, used the facilities and before we knew it, it was time to go to the corral.
I was in the F corral this year and it took me 7 minutes to start. Strangely, there were some charity runners and slower groups ahead of me, so it was kind of hard to get into the groove. I started a bit fast and slowed down some. I was running by feel and felt really great for the first bunch of miles. The energy in Brooklyn was amazing. I felt comfortable and happy. Turns out it was too fast for my current fitness, but that’s OK. I wish I had been with some of my friends to pace with but that was not to be this year.
I high fived A LOT of kids and got set to see Emily at mile 7. After Emily, I had a bunch of folks on Lafayette (my fave mile). I missed Kate but she saw me. As usual, I enjoyed the music and cheers on Lafayette Street. As I was turning off of Lafayette St, a band was playing “This is the Time” by Billy Joel. As the chorus played, it seemed apropos to me. [If you can’t remember it, it is, “This is the time to remember, cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to, cause we won’t although we want to. This is the time. But time is gonna change.“] I know I’ll keep running as long as I’m able, but I do know it won’t always be this “easy” and comfortable for me.
TMI, but I had to go to the bathroom since the start and I finally did stop at Mile 10. I also fixed my sock and re-tied my shoes. I lost about two minutes but I felt better when I started again. I headed to the half and loved the crowds all the way to the midway point. There were lots of great signs including “Run Like Trump is Going to Grab Your (picture of a cat.)”
Carolyn and her son were at mile 14 and got some great pics. She is an awesome fan and I see her almost every year! My pace slowed down, but I still felt good. I enjoyed the solitude of the bridge and worked my way up it and tried to keep up with people who passed me.
First Avenue was great, as always! I saw Lauren, my friend Kathy from middle school and college and enjoyed the cheers. I then saw The Husband, Eric and Jason. Soon after, I saw Joanne and Maria and headed for the Willis Avenue Bridge. Boy, was I happy that they took the grates out. I had forgotten that!
The Bronx was very lively and had some awesome music and cheers. My favorite sign was “Last Damn Bridge.” Again, my pace was a bit slower than I would have liked, but I was still smiling. I smiled at Mile 22 thinking of my friends in the “Mile 22 Fan Club.”
With 4 miles to go, I was still smiling. As I ran down 5th Avenue, I saw John H., then Kelly, John and Dean and gave a big “on-on” to the Hash House Harriers. I focused on the road ahead and the turn for CENTRAL PARK!
Once I got to Central Park, I looked out for The Husband and Andy (and saw them again!) Then, Kathy and the little Ds. I had some funny cramps in my calves, but I knew I could make the 2 miles. I pushed to stay under four hours and I knew it would be close.
At Mile 26, I heard cheers from Robin and Jeff and then saw Zach and Samantha. Last year, Zach snapped some awesome photos. This year he got photos and video. Proof that I met my “A goal!” I squeaked in under 4 hours at 3:58.58.
At the finish, I got my medal and all of my goodies. As I started receiving texts from friends, I was just overwhelmed. Twenty years and seventeen runnings and so many friends and family members who support me year after year. This was my second slowest running, but it was still one of my best. Like I said, my face hurt from smiling.
A million thanks to all who cheered, texted, Facebooked, called and supported me. I’m so grateful and humbled by all of the love and support. My friends pretty much crushed it this year, too. Congrats to friends, old and new, who impress me year after year. Special shout outs to Nicole, Guillermo and Jose with PRs on this tough course! So, marathon #44 and NY Marathon #17 is in the books. Not many people can say that – right?
Oh, and if you were wondering, I liked the Cloudflows! I will give them a go for my next training cycle for sure. That said, I still would not recommend trying new shoes 2 days after getting them for a full marathon. I did get some hot spots on my forefoot and a bit of tingling. I’ve had that with my regular shoes, too. A marathon is a lot of pounding! I did feel lucky that the shoes worked well for me right out of the box!
That’s a wrap! See you next year, NYC!
PS. There’s still time to win some of my marathon essentials HERE!