NYC Marathon Recap

I can’t believe that the marathon is over! It’s hard to find me saying that. (Sorry for the long post, but it’s worth it, I promise😀)

I was kind of dreading the marathon. It’s 26.2 miles. Who in their right mind would run 26.2 miles at one time. I was crazy enough to run 26.2 miles before, but heck this was a lottery so my chances were very low that I was going to get a chance to run NYC. I mean 50,000 people are running, some with a charity and then the elites. Some qualified through the 9+1 program and then some were just plain fast enough. I thought why not, because chances are, I won’t get it. Well I was plain wrong. I got in through the lottery. (insert shocked emoji here). When I was first notified, it was a moment of shock and then the oh no moment took over. Then the well I need to find a hotel stat! I looked at a bunch of information and decided to stay at one of the official marathon hotels since it was .5 miles from the finish line. It would be easy for my Mom to see me finish and then meet me back by where we had determined a spot.

I made train reservations. We had never traveled by train but I was not paying $300+ per person for plane tickets when the train was just over $100. And the train was such a great choice. It was so relaxed and so neat. I would definitely go by train again given the chance. It was definitely worth it.

My Mom and I arrived Friday around 1pm and made our way to the hotel. Walking through NYC with luggage, yeah good luck. HAHA. After we checked in, we made our way to the Expo to get my bib and I was getting anxious and nervous.

NYC Marathon Expo

NYC Marathon Expo

I knew my training could have been better, so I didn’t even know what to expect. I had expectations but I also knew that I had to keep them in check knowing that my training could have been better. I would do the same thing when I swam competitively. I would have, and still do have a hard time eating when I get anxious/nervous about a race.

We went to a local Irish pub for dinner and I had this marvelous mushroom ravioli. It was delicious. After dinner, we were both exhausted and went back to the hotel to relax and lounge and try to figure out where and what we were going to be doing on Saturday. It wasn’t much before 8:30 and we were done. HAHA.

Saturday morning came and we walked up to the finish line and to scope out the grand stand seating so Mom could see where she was going to be able to see me at the finish, after 26 grueling miles. I was getting more nervous and as we walked in Central Park back towards our hotel, we were making small talk and admiring the enormity of what was going to take place the next day.

Me at the finish line, the day before the actual race.

Me at the finish line, the day before the actual race.

At least I was. I dropped my mom off at the hotel and kept walking. I walked down to the Empire State building and past the New York Public Library. I needed to catch the bus there the following morning. Then I walked up to Rockefeller Center. I didn’t realize it was that small. I guess when I was there briefly before, it was so much bigger or so it seemed. Then I made my way back to the hotel to take a nap before getting all of my stuff together for the next morning. Pizza was in order for that night and then we were watching TV while I got my race outfit together.

It was starting to feel real by this point. The oh my gosh was settling in and the I can’t believe I’m doing this tomorrow. I got my outfit together and made sure I had everything I needed.

Flat Runner! Race Tradition!

Flat Runner! Race Tradition!

I was use to running with my camelbak but those weren’t allowed on the NYC Marathon course. SO, I had to make alternate plans for my GU and phone and music. Lots to think about for sure. I definitely had to take the obligatory flat runner picture the night before and moved all my stuff to a pile so I could find it the next morning.

One good thing about this race, is that daylight savings was ending so we got an extra hour of sleep. But that was one more worry. I had to make sure that I woke up at the correct time so that I could get to the bus. Never fear, I did wake up on time and got ready in no time before heading to the bus. Our hotel had fresh fruit in the lobby for us, so I grabbed an orange and headed towards the New York Public Library. It was a great weather morning. Just some minor sprinkles, and it was a decent temperature. I got to the line for the bus and it was snaked around and we quickly made our way to the front and loaded up for our way to Staten Island.

It wasn’t a bad bus ride, it took maybe an hour. I wasn’t due in my corral until 10:20 so I definitely had some time before heading there. I made it through security, stopped at the line for the portapotty and then headed to my green staging area for my bagel and coffee and to see what else they had. I made my way back to the big screen to watch the other wave starts and sat down. No need in standing if I didn’t need to. I was able to watch the wheelchair and the pro women start as well as wave 1. It really started to settle in by that point, that I was, in fact, going to run these 26.2 miles through New York City.

My covered Garmin to keep my mind off the time.

My covered Garmin to keep my mind off the time.

Eventually, I made my way to the corral and made another pit stop. They had the bathrooms in the corrals! Never had that before. We made our way to the bridge and before we knew it, we were started! Holy crap..I was running this. The first few miles seemed to fly by rather quickly. I had covered my garmin watch with a piece of KT Tape so I wasn’t looking at it. I had set it up to run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute. It was set to vibrate when I needed to walk or run. The race started and I tried to not go out fast like everyone does. And  before I knew it we were over the bridge and through mile 4. Then in a blink of an eye mile 10 was right there. I was feeling incredible and not too tired. With my watch covered, I was able to keep a pretty even pace which was good.

20k hit and well, I had to make a stop. Wasn’t banking on that happening and it was a several minute stop. But I picked myself back up and kept right on trucking. I hit the half mark and was starting to wain a bit, but I kept up with my 4 min run/1 min walk except for the hills. Mile 16 coming across the Queensboro Bridge was awesome!

Mile 16

Mile 16

The people were lined up along 1st Avenue waiting for all of us to get there and cheer us on no matter what. 16-19 something were in Manhattan. I was looking at my phone every so often and saw a lot of texts and photos from people that were following me. And not to mention the Facebook posts and comments. I was surprised and in awe that, that many people were watching my progress throughout the day. Things started to get a little tough along this stretch and I still ran when I could but started walking a little bit more.

Mile 20-21 were in the Bronx. It was so fun to see the different parts of the city and before I new it there was the sign that said “This is the last bridge” while we were running back into Manhattan on 5th Avenue. You would see the trees of Central Park up ahead. By this time, my mom had gotten to the grandstands for the finish and she told me where she was waiting for me. Getting to Central Park seemed to take forever! But knowing that I only had so many miles left was what kept me going as well as the people there cheering for all of us. We turned into Central Park and I had 2.2 miles left to go. There were lots of people in Central Park and they were cheering for everyone.

Mile 26!

Mile 26!

I came around the last curve, and saw mile 26. I texted my mom that I hit 26 and I could see the grandstands just up ahead. She was on the east side, standing up at the top. I saw her right away in her pink top. She didn’t see me right away, and I could see her scanning the runners looking for me. I got to an open section and starting jumping up and down to grab her attention and I certainly did. I don’t know how I was able to jump up and down either at that point, I don’t know if my feet left the ground. But after we saw each other, I continued on down the stretch to the finish.

I crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 29 minutes and 58 seconds. I did it! I just ran the TCS NYC Marathon! This wasn’t about a PR for me, I just wanted to finish and have fun. I am still in shock that I was able to cross the finish line close to my PR, so maybe there is hope in the future to get under 5 hours.

Meeting @Matsui_Runs and  @pastrychef_Dani

Meeting @Matsui_Runs and @pastrychef_Dani

I got my medal, and 2 awesome ladies on Instagram were there at the medal station and they found me. We had sent comments back and forth a few times but now we got to meet in person! It just makes the day that much more special! They both will be running the NYC Marathon next year and I can’t wait to follow their journey!

After my obligatory medal picture, I even took a selfie to send to everyone I knew, I got my heat shield and one of the volunteers taped it for me so I didn’t have to hold it. Then I made the long trek to get the bag of food and make my way to get my poncho! The lovely poncho! It’s like the supreme poncho of ponchos. HAHA. It’s fleece lined and velcro closure. It definitely kept me warm as I walked back to 62nd Street to meet my Mom. I gave her this huge hug and started to get teary eyed.

The NYC Marathon was a fantastic experience! I would not hesitate one second to go back and run it again. The people that lined the streets, the bands and DJ’s, the volunteers that made it all possible! It was huge accomplishment for me and everyone else that ran it. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be apart of the 2015 NYC Marathon!

My medal! It's beautiful!

My medal! It’s beautiful!

I did it! I conquered my 2nd 26.2 Miles!

This weekend was a whirlwind blast. I can’t believe that I conquered another 26.2 miles. After my first marathon 2 years ago, I made it to 20 miles and cursing every step after that. I was thinking, WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I GET MYSELF INTO. I’m so not doing this again. HAHA. Well we all know to never say never.

Earlier this year, I signed up for the TCS NYC Marathon lottery. I was one of the lucky few to get in. And again, I thought, What in the world did I get myself into. But then again NYC Marathon is a HUGE race. I had plenty of time to train and get in the right mental attitude. And boy did this marathon creep up on me before I knew it.

I trained, I got lazy, I got back in my running shoes, and started training again. I ended up feeling less than confident in myself and had to keep reminding myself that I will be ok. My longest run was 17 miles. I wanted to finish between 5-6 hours. I didn’t know what was going to happen to be honest. There was lots of wishful thinking and hoping that I would be just fine. I’m not out there to win the race or break any records. I am out there to enjoy the crowd and have fun with it.

I finished the race (I’ll have a race recap in a few days). I got my medal! I got my NYC Marathon Medal! It was a fantastic experience! Now to rest, get through next week and then start working towards the next goal. I placed my medal up on my special medal rack last night and it was a glorious moment. A sense of accomplishment.

My Disney and Marathon Medals

My Disney and Marathon Medals

My 2 Marathon Accomplishments

My 2 Marathon Accomplishments

What are you working towards next?

NYC Marathon Week!

I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m scared. I have moments where I think “I so have this” and then I definitely have those moments where I think, “Oh crap, what did I get myself into”.

2 years ago, I set out to run and finish the 28th Marine Corps Marathon. I never thought I would finish. I walked the last 6 gosh darn miles just to get to the finish line. I told myself never again. (Doesn’t everyone say never again, but then never say never) And here I am 2 years later gearing up for my second marathon. Whew. I never thought this weekend would get here and I always thought it was lightyears away. But there’s still 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and still time got away from me. Or at least so it seemed.

I haven’t made a dent in packing. I’m still working on that. I do have my list made! And I have definitely added to that. I’m like any other runner, carefully watching the weathering and adjusting my precious race day outfit. Do I wear long sleeves or a tank top. I still haven’t picked out which sparkle skirt to wear and then what visor goes with that.I’ve heard rumors that you should dress for 20° over what the weather will actually be. And if it stays true to what it’s saying now, I’m going to be HOT! But then how do I carry everything that I’d like to have with me. My phone (music and picture/selfie taking, hello!) and gels, and my license and credit cards. Oh and I can’t forget the chapstick. I’ll definitely be using that on race day. Where does this all go?!

When I first made my list, it was suppose to be cooler than what is on the 10 day map, that we are now down to 5 days…eeek! Luckily I start at around 10:40am, but I’ll still be sitting for awhile playing the waiting game. That’s ok, I’m sure this won’t be the last time that happens. I’ve been patiently trying to get my music squared away, still working on that piece. So much fun to go back through my playlist to see what I’ve bought over the years and what could surprise me on race day again. It might just be he 26 songs I currently have on my playlist to keep me entertained. That could get boring though, I’ll be out there for 5+ hours.

I leave Friday morning for NYC and can’t wait. So many new opportunities and adventures. I’m thrilled to be running NYC Marathon and there may be a few tears as well, that’s ok. I’ll be overwhelmed sure, but I’ll be so happy to accomplish another 26.2 miles. It’s all about finding joy in the journey and believing in yourself enough to get this done!

Now, where’s my list to keep working on it?

I got it!

I got my NYC Marathon bib# and corral placement!!!🎉🎉

I’ve been so stressed about where I was going to start for the NYC Marathon. I started to think I was going crazy. I didn’t want to be in the last wave….and be freaked out by the straggler bus, so my wish came true. I’m in wave 3 (I’m not a fast runner) and I’ll be starting at 10:40am.

Now to figure out what the weather will be so I can pick out my outfit. Yes, a sparkle skirt and visor will be involved. 😀 I’m hoping that it’s not too cold and not windy. I would love to be able to run in clothes that I run in normally and not have to dress in layers. I get so hot when I run and I would really like to be able to run comfortably.

Anyone else get Wave 3 Green? Oh and I need song suggestions!!!

Without Further Ado….

Life got in the way again. I picked up another part time job, coaching starts in just over a month, my full time job got a little crazy and oh yeah, I’m training for a marathon.

My full time job is great. All the stress is gone and am loving who I’m working for again. Now if I could get the security guy to stop turning on the air conditioner that would be even better. He freezes us out every day! So needless to say I’m happy to be back on track at work.

Part time job #1 that I picked up a few weeks ago is going great! I will have some early mornings come the winter when I’m up late for swim practices but they are working with me and I can’t ask for anything better. It’s great to have some extra cash as well. Who doesn’t like a little slush fund?

Swimming is starting to gear up and I have to say, I’m super excited about our volunteer coach this year. It should be a good year, 9 meets = 9 chances for my kids to make states. It will be another great year for sure.

Now comes the harsh truth of training for my marathon. YIKES…I was reading a post today that it was 40 days away! I’ve had some very sporadic training and for the most part my weekday training has gone to the wayside. I’m trying to get that back, but that’s been proving difficult now that the sun sets even earlier. My weekend runs have been good. My max mileage has been 12-13 miles and so I know I’ll finish my marathon. It won’t be fast, but I’ll finish. This weekend I’m going to have to get out in the afternoon and get some miles in to try to get back on track. I’ll be ok. If I can make it to 18 – 20 miles max I know I’ll finish. But I’m not going to lie, I am kind of starting to freak out.

I had 1 races this past weekend and did great. It was the Dulles Day 10k where we got to run on the runway at Dulles Airport. It’s such a fun race and I remember when I ran it last year that I kept thinking when is the runway going to end to turn around. You just keep running and running and then about 3 miles down the path, you turn around. You never imagine that it’s actually that long. Although, it’s probably 2 miles for the actual runway. I was able to run the first 2 miles and then I ran/walked the rest of it. I tried to keep on a time, but my head was feeling funny. So I did what I could. I met up with some of my Instagram friends. Sadly we forgot to take pictures! next time we will certainly take some!

The Color Run is back in DC this weekend! YAY! I can’t wait to be back there and have some fun. It’ll be a great day and it will be more for fun than anything else. I might be able to get my miles in on Sunday and be good to go, but we will see for sure. M is joining me and another friend and her daughter. It’ll be great!

Anyone else loving the weather! It’s fantastic and it certainly makes my long runs go so much better than having it hot and humid. I really hope that my marathon is a “perfect” weather day. That would be fantastic. Can I just place my order for that now?

I hope you all have been well!

Cheers!

New Day = New Week = New Opportunities

It’s almost July and I can’t even believe that. It feels like this year just started and it’s already half over. There has been so much that has happened in the first half of the year.

Here’s a few things that happened since the beginning of the year that I never dreamed would have happened.

  1. I signed up for the NYC Marathon Lottery and got in. EEK! You can read about that here.
  2. Training for my second marathon…never thought I’d do that again.
  3. Signed up for some cross training with OrangeTheory Fitness and I absolutely love it.
  4. Took a leap and went through some testing with InsideTracker. You can read about the results here and go to InsideTracker here.
  5. Work got out of control busy and I’m still learning new things.
  6. I’m no where near the half way point of my 1,000 mile challenge for 2015.
  7. Started this blog. Who would have thunk!
  8. Ran 2 half marathons 8 days apart. That was crazy! Who thought that was a good idea?!
  9. Will attempt something crazier, a 5k on a Friday, 13.1 on a Saturday, and then a 5k on a Sunday in September. I know…who signs up for this stuff?!
  10. Having a blast!

Things are constantly moving and forever changing. No sooner do you have a plan then it always changes. I hope the second half of 2015 is fun and adventurous and enjoyable. Here’s to the next 6 months!

VA Beach Shamrock Half 2015 Round Up

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At the Expo

Half number 8 completed 8 days after half number 7 🙂 Such an accomplishment! The VA Beach Half was great! I would definitely run this race again. I would make a long weekend out of the event as well. The expo was fun, and definitely not crowded. We arrived Thursday night and we were able to get settled in and make it to the expo on Friday mid afternoon. One of the members of the group was going through the expo and race experience for the first time. So he was like a kid in the candy shop. It was easy to get our bibs and then head to the shirts. No lines at this point. J&A Racing had several items for sale which was great and reasonably priced. I got a new tank top to run in this spring and summer. Then we were able to mosey around the expo and visit a few other booths and get some freebie items.

Saturday came around and it was so nice out. It was still a bit chilly but there wasn’t a rain drop in site. Saturday we walked around Norfolk and got to visit some great sites after some lunch. It was a heavy walking day but not as much as Sunday was going to be. We got to visit some of the ships and see the dry docks. I would love to go back and visit and enjoy all that Norfolk has to offer. Obviously with the race the next day, it was an early night and I got about 6 hours of sleep so that wasn’t bad.

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The Course

Sunday was an early day waking up at 4:30am. YIKES! Who decides to wake up that early on a Sunday?! Well this group did. We had breakfast, got ready for the race, in our race day attire. I had a plot twist for my outfit since it was cooler than I thought it would be. I wore a gray tank top with my gray pullover and of course my sparkle skirt, visor and rainbow socks. My feet were acting up from the day before so I taped them up and brought Advil with me. Before we knew it we were headed to the race start line. I was in corral 4 so that wasn’t bad. I was able to start strong. I stuck with my 4 minute run/1 minute walk ratio. I find it so much easier to concentrate on those 4 minutes versus how many miles I have left. I think this will help with my marathon training and running the NYC Marathon. You don’t realize how fast that 1 minute walk goes by.

Major respect to this guy!

Major respect to this guy!

I finished in 2 hours 28 minutes. It was nice to finish. Definitely not my fastest time but for not really training, I’ll certainly take it. My sister and her boyfriend had a friend running his first marathon down there so we went and cleaned up and then headed back to the finish line and finish line party. It was nice. My feet still hurt so I didn’t venture into the sand too much. I stayed on terra firma so I could get off my feet and sit. The after party was awesome and hope that when I run this race again, I’ll be able to be out on the sand and not dealing with the pain of my feet. It was chilly out and I didn’t bring a sweatshirt but they gave us towels at the finish line so I was able to stay warmer than if I hadn’t had that. Before long we were sitting in a restaurant and having some food before we left to go back to where we were staying to venture home.

When I do this race again, I would get up early Friday morning and venture down to VA

The bling!

The bling!

Beach and stay until Monday so I could have a leisurely weekend and didn’t have to rush back to go back to work. I would even consider going down Friday night. The only downside would be the possible crowds at the expo on Saturday. But overall I would definitely run this race. The on course support was amazing. The water and gatorade was every 1.5 miles and the gu was offered at mile 5 or so. That came quick since it’s usually offered at mile 9 during a half marathon course. It was great and the last few tenths of a mile on the boardwalk was great. It was good spectator watching and cheering us on as we finished. It was great.

Neptune where the finish line was located!

Neptune where the finish line was located!

I hope you all had a great weekend and great start to your week!

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Sand Sculpture

Rock and Roll DC Half

Today is packet pick up! That’s a good thing but this weekend, it’s suppose to rain on Saturday. Bummer! But running in the rain can be fun right. So I’m hoping that it’s a warm rain. I have the best outfit and I can’t wait to wear it. And yes sparkle is included.  I shared my outfits here. It’s going to be a great day and I can’t wait to wear that medal around my neck. This will be half number 2 for the year with 3 right behind it.

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Photo courtesy of Rock n’ Roll DC

Last year I was sick for this race as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve been doing everything to keep from getting sick this year for the race. I was running with my friend for his first half and around mile 9 I just had to stop and walk. I was doing ok, but I started to feel nausea and so I walked the rest of the race. It was not the best race I’ve ever had nor was it the best post experience. I did ok though. Finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was great to run that race and I only hope that this year will be a better experience. But I also have to remember that the experience is what I make it. 🙂

I hope you all are enjoying this fantastic weather! It’s been such a blessing since it’s been so cold. Maybe spring really is on it’s way.

Cheers! 🌻🌷🌸🌹🌼