Spoiler alert: it was so much fun!….. and I don’t want to do it again for a few years.
Before I get into my race recap, let me sum up training: my longest long run was 16 miles. I ran a half-marathon on September 18, immediately after that race, I could barely walk. I realized that it was plantar fasciitis in my right heel. My long runs for 3 weeks were derailed. Pair that injury with life issues (school/work/life/etc.) and you have a recipe for a hot mess.
The weeks leading up to the marathon were grueling. But looking back on it all, it worked out – all the stupid drama with exes, law school and everything else. My plans for the summer aren’t up in the air anymore. Nothing seriously bad happened (ok, well my grandmother had a triple bypass weeks ago). Yet when it was all happening at once, it just felt like I was sinking and couldn’t get out of it.
But if I realized anything in the past six weeks is that life’s too short so go after what you want, which is exactly what I did in every aspect of my life in the past few weeks. Also, when you let go of all your hangups, you start to have a lot more fun.
The week leading up to race day
I last year I didn’t do many of the race week activities because of school and such but in the days leading up to the race, I realized that I did not want to do this every fall at least while I was in law school. The combination of midterms, school, full-time work and interviewing for summer internships was brutal and attempting to do a big hunk of the long runs while doing all of the above is draining. I decided that this NYC marathon will be the last fall marathon that I do at least until I’m a licensed lawyer (the fall is when you do all the interviewing for internships and jobs).
So knowing all of the above before race day, I made sure to take the whole experience in. I ran the Poland Spring 5 miler a week before the marathon, which is so much fun. Then got my bib and tickets for the marathon eve dinner on Thursday. The whole week I was really excited about the race but also going crazy with taper crazies and oddly exhausted at the same time. I just wanted to run around.
The day before the marathon, I tried doing a ton of homework but failed to do it. I was really anxious but excited for Halloween night and the marathon.
Because the sister and I had a hotel room near 59th and Lexington for the weekend (thanks mom for all your hotel points!), I bought my stuff to the hotel room before icing my foot for an hour. It was starting to hurt the day before. Around 6:45pm, we headed to the west side for dinner.
The dinner was hosted by NYRR in the marathon pavilion by Tavern on the Green. It was a buffet style pasta dinner. The pasta was delicious but definitely not for vegans and lactose-interolant folks (like me).
|LOOK AT THAT CHEESE-Y PASTA
After heading back to the hotel, we got ready to go out for Halloween. One of my friends throws a massive rager that’s catered with a DJ and bartender every year, which is way better than going out anywhere that night (because it’s free). I spent the night drinking diet coke from a red cup but still so fun.
|just look at those crowds
Since the sis and I were in the last wave at 11am, we left the hotel around 7:30am and went to Starbucks before heading to the subway. Once we got to the Staten Island Ferry at 8:15am, it was packed. We waited outside with the rest of the crowd. After a while they let us into the ferry terminal, we took the 9am ferry since the other ferries were packed. Apparently all the ferries were backed up.
|Found this guy in the terminal!
By the time we had gotten to the waves, it was about 10:30am. I don’t remember there being a huge line for anything last year but it seemed like the bus ride took forever this year and I’m not sure why.
I grabbed a bagel and coffee at the Dunkin Donuts station and headed to my corral. It wasn’t too cold out but I kept most of my layers on.
|hilarious – this guy just jumped into the pic at the last minute
Once I got into the corral, it started to move pretty fast and all of a sudden it was a 11am. The cannons went off and “New York, New York” started playing.
Miles 1 – 13 – BROOKLYN
I love this part of the course because I live near by mile 7. The crowds are awesome in Brooklyn especially by Park Slope and through Fort Green, which is miles 7 through 10 before it quiets down then gets loud again in Williamsburg.
Because I drank so much coffee before the race, I needed to find a bathroom by mile 3. The lines were massive at each station so I jumped into a McDonald’s before mile 6 and it took forever. Maybe 10-15 minutes, which by the end of the race sorta killed me (we’ll get to that later).
Miles 14 – 16 – Through Queens and over the Bridge
At this point I was starving like incredibly hungry. Before the race started, I ate two granola bars and an apple plus 1/3 of a bagel, which really isn’t that much food considering at this point it was 2pm in the afternoon and I had been awake since 7am.
I saw my friend Lynette right before mile 15 and I tackled her. I mean I really almost took her down when I slammed into her and started hugging her.
Although the Queensboro Bridge sucked, it was a lot better than last year (I actually ran most of it). I stopped a few times to stretch because my left hip was getting so angry with me.
Miles 17 – 20 – All the people
By this point in the marathon last year, there wasn’t a ton of people around. The weather was also miserable last year (40 degrees with 30 mph winds). Because the weather was so great and it was halloween weekend, there were a ton of people in the streets drinking. Even more so than in Brooklyn. At this point I was high-fiving everyone and luckily a few spectators had food (peanut butter pretzels anyone?)
By the time I hit mile 20, I looked at my phone and thought, I could possibly PR this thing if I make it to the finish line in an hour. I considered it but then argued against it. I was having so much fun already why ruin it?
Miles 21 – 26 – Bye Bronx, hello again Manhattan
There was no wall. I hit no wall but after mile 24, it just felt harder and harder. Amazingly, there were also a ton of crowds still at this point. Again, way better than last year.
The last two miles I ended up just not giving a f***. I was SINGING OUT LOUD. It was probably really weird but I was so into my awesome spotify playlist.
I ended up finishing 15 minutes over my PR….guess who spent 15 minutes in a bathroom line. I was tad bit upset but still way better than my marathon time last year. I had hoped to actually PR this race but I didn’t (there’s always Paris in 5 months).
I ended up walking a bit after FINALLY get out of the post-marathon area and took a cab (that I guilted some bro into giving me). I also ate a ton of cupcakes.
The next day the sister and I made it to the post-race festival which is nice. Held in the same area as the marathon eve dinner, it was a good way to celebrate the weekend’s accomplishments.
Looking back on it all, I had a ton of fun. The people, the amazing signs
, the volunteers, I mean everyone. It was definitely the funnest (that’s a word right?) that I’ve ever run. Overall, it was also an amazing weekend. But again, I can’t do it again for a while. No more fall marathons for a while, at least until I get my law degree.