running the new york city marathon – (part 1)

training for this marathon has been a huge part of my existence for the past couple months. i never really feel like documenting or making a fuss about running on this blog because i’m not particularly good at it, not overly passionate about it, and have had very close to zero plans throughout the entire course of my training. some people can blog about running almost every day and make it sound interesting. for me, exercising, being fit, healthy and, well, not fat are my requirements. i NEED to work out. i’ve had plenty of issues with anxiety and depression and one thing i’ve learned about myself is that i need athletics to manage all of the above. but its not necessarily about running.

running a marathon is a challenge i naturally gravitated toward after a few years of road races and a couple half-marathons. i attempted to run the boston marathon in 2011, but after a fateful long run in february and an mri that showed a nice little stress fracture in my hip, this race was not meant to be…

2 years and one baby later, i finished 26.2 miles in the ing new york city marathon in 3:57:53.

for good measure. here is my ny marathon race recap.

i arrived with the fatz four in manhattan around 1:30 on saturday. we were staying at the carlton in midtown (88 madison).

the hotel was a zoo and we weren’t able to check-in early. we left our luggage, valeted our car, and walked down to the madison ave park. it was so nice out. there was an awesome little dog park. we met a bulldog named stanley. all was well.

we finally checked in just before 3 and decided it was best i scoot down to the expo myself to grab my bib. we were 1.67 miles away from the javits center and i figured i’d just walk. i enjoyed the walk very much. i love the city. every time i’m there i verify that not living in manhattan for a few years in my 20s is one of my biggest regrets.

i quickly checked in and grabbed my bib, shirt, and a $13 red, glittery sweaty band and headed back, all in a matter of 10 or so minutes. i had to sign up for the 5:30 ferry at the expo because i missed the transportation deadline (which was july 31.. so early! no one warned me about it).

on the walk back i was thinking that i definitely should not be on my feet for so long the day before the race. this was quickly added to my list of reasons why i ran slow that i had on deck.. just in case.

we had plans to meet family for dinner at schnippers quality kitchen at 5. it was a perfect casual and cheap (relatively speaking) place to eat and catch up w/ our new jersey based family. i had a brooklyn lager (i couldn’t resist. i added this to my list of reasons why i ran slow i was preparing) a turkey burger on a wheat bun (should have been eating white bread.. add that to the list), sweet potato fries, and most of dane’s mac & cheese that he didn’t touch. a questionable pre-race meal. it was a really nice time & really great to see everyone. they even brought little gifts for dane.

we went back to our room and attempted to put dane to bed in the little crib the hotel provided. no dice. we eventually brought him into bed with us and he wiggled and squirmed, whacked me in the head, stole my pillow. the usual. finally around 9, just when i was about to lose my mind, i was able to transfer him back to the crib without complaint. and thank the lord almighty, he slept through the night.

thanks to day light savings, falling back, or whatever, i was ready to get up around 4:30. i was in a cab at 5 and at the ferry terminal by 5:15.

everyone told me they didn’t check your transportation option and that i could probably get on any ferry, but there was a sticker on my bib that said 5:30 ferry and i just didn’t think it was worth worrying about. so after a security dog sniffed my special clear bag we were given at the expo, i was on the 5:30 ferry with a whole bunch of runners and a few people in halloween costumes who definitely had not gone to sleep yet from their sat. night escapades. and no, they definitely were not checking bibs for transportation options.

i used the ferry bathroom right before i got off (not much better than the port-a-potties to be honest). the bus ride to the starting village was about 30 mins. and fairly seamless. off the bus, dogs sniffed us again, we were patted down and i walked a short distance to my blue village.

i was here for a looong time. at first it was pretty cool. i felt like i was in the olympics or something.. i’d always wanted to be in a village. there were bagels, powerbars, coffee, water, comfy fleece dunks hats and tons of port-a- potties. i ate a powerbar because i was hungry, but i thought it was early to eat my special pre-race breakfast. i hung out & read my elle decor mag on my yellow fleece blanket.

finally i forced down my rice, egg, chia seed, and almond breakfast recommended by my fitness mentor, ed lippie. this will definitely be my go-to, i really think it was the perfect, bland, pre-race base i needed.

i basically laid around, sipped water, gatorade and black coffee with intermittent bathroom trips until it was time for my corral (i was wave 3.. 10:30 start time).

i ate a gu waiting for the official start… the gun went off, new york, new york blazed and i was off.

this is a really long post and i haven’t even started running yet. i guess that is appropriate since the pre-race process was longer than the actual race (including the arduous walk out of the park!) 

to be continued….