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!

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?

9 Days Until My 2nd Marathon

I can’t believe we are 9 days away from my second attempt at a marathon. I finished the first. But I’m starting to get really nervous about this marathon. I want to do well but I also know that my training hasn’t been the best…so I’m trying to keep everything in check.

I started my list of things to pack a few days ago. I know…a little ahead of myself. If you follow me on Twitter(@runnerchick29) or Instagram(runnerchick29) then you saw it there. List making has always run in my family. There is ALWAYS a list to be completed. Not to mention the cute pad of paper I used to make my list (Thanks Emily Ley)!

My NYC Marathon Packing List

My NYC Marathon Packing List

I’ve traveled for half marathon and I was extremely lucky that my first marathon was local, so I just had to plan on getting to the start line in a good amount of time. I can’t wait to travel for this marathon. So many new things! But what to pack! That is the major questions which also means I need a list so I don’t forget what I need to take with me. But it’s still a list of wants and needs. Once I start getting everything together I’ll figure out what I can take with me and then go from there depending on space.

What’s on your list of NEEDs for traveling for races?

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!!!

1 week…

1 week to go before I officially start my NYC Marathon training. 7 days. I have the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on 12 April so that will be a great end to my first week of training. YAY! I was talking with M last week and sharing my racing schedule and how “packed” it is. She wanted to know which races I had in September/October and wanted to join! I love when I get to run races with other runners and friends. From 5k to halfs or even the only other full I’ve done was with someone else. It’s more fun with friends! I even roped in a few for the Color Run when it stops here in May! One of the most fun races ever!

Last week many of my friends got the ever awesome email that let them know they were selected to run the 40th Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, 2015! I’m so excited for them and so sad at the same time that I won’t be joining them. NYC is the week after so that is taking the priority. I will most likely still be at the finish line cheering everyone on since I plan to run the 10k that they put on that day. I’m crazy but not crazy enough to run 2 marathons within a week.

My planning (yes I’m a planner) for NYC is almost done. I have the train tickets and hotel. I just need restaurants and things to do. I won’t be doing many things besides the expo and seeing some sights. I can’t wait to experience it. This will probably be the only time I run NYC unless I travel up there for some halfs which would be fun. So many things to consider for the future. I may plan things but when it comes to training I am lazy and always start off great. I hope that I’m not lazy this time and can keep my poor mental attitude out of it. I have a good feeling about this though so we will see.

So here’s to the start of training and 215 days before I run in NYC!

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Bucket Lists

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Hey ya’ll we made it to Tuesday! We are on the right path towards the weekend!

I was talking with K the other day about bucket lists and what was on ours. I’ve split mine up into several lists. Something my Dad always had going was a list. I have a travel list, race list, personal list. I guess I could combine them, but this way I can keep them straight. I was making a comment how the NYC Marathon is a bucket list race and never in my wildest dreams was it in my radar before. I’m so glad that he encouraged me to sign up for the lottery and I was fully prepared to be disappointed. But shock and the oh my moment, of what did I do took over when I got the email that I had made it into the TCS NYC Marathon! But this got me to thinking what other races would be on my “Race Bucket List”.

I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon, that was my first ever marathon. It was a great experience and I’d cherish the opportunity to run it again. I would love to run the Boston Marathon, but I’m so not fast enough to qualify. And right know, I would need to be a 80 year old woman and I would get in.  So to go to Boston, I would run with a charity and still be able to run one day. Of course, my list would not be complete without a few Disney Races. I would love to run all of them at some point. So they are all on my list. No surprise there. I’m sure there’s more that I’d love to run. My uncle is a master runner and I would love to do a race with him at some point. He’s always pulling in the awards. Big Sur maybe. I guess I need to write these down now and cross them off as I do them.

I have a “Places to Travel” list and there’s lots of place there I’d love to go to see. One place on my list would be Fiji. That would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would love to go to get away and not think about work for a few days, and really relax. Ireland, and Iceland would be great getaways. Germany during Oktoberfest! Maybe a trip to the mountains. A cruise to the Caribbean, nice warm weather and food out the ears! So many ideas. We’ll see what happens. I always have a bug to travel. And am always looking for the next adventure. I need to write these down as well.

It looks like I have some things to do and lists to make. What is on your bucket list?

Cheers! 💜

TCS NYC Marathon Lottery Results

Happy Wednesday! And it’s truly a great day even though it’s gloomy and rainy out. I found out yesterday that….IMG_4495

And I couldn’t be more excited! Yes it’s daunting and I’m scared! But come on…it’s the NYC Marathon. This is a bucket list race and a once in a lifetime opportunity! I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to sign up for the lottery or not and with some encouragement, I did. 80,000 people entered the lottery and just over 14,000 were selected. That’s an 18% chance. I was hopeful but at the same time ok, knowing that I could try again next year or run with a charity.

So here’s to the training and long hours! I couldn’t ask for better support from my friend and family! 🙂 Cheers!

It’s a Princess Kind of Weekend

It’s going to be a fantastic weekend in Florida and I’m not going to be there. I’m so excited and extremely jealous that my friend is going to be able to run down at Disney World for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. I will be on a pool deck tomorrow at the state swim meet for my kids so I won’t be able to participate this year.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart. This was the race that I found that started my journey back into the fitness world and my sister on her journey that she is on now and that I gladly claim I got her into kicking and screaming. She thanks me now, but definitely not then. If you read my Welcome post, then you know that I had struggled for a few years and didn’t do anything exercise wise. I got back on the horse as I found that I didn’t like the way I looked and didn’t have the clothes that I wanted to look good in.

Running in the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon was eye opening. I was excited, scared and nervous all in one. My training hadn’t gone as planned and I was doing physical therapy 2-3 times a week since the shoes I had gotten had started to mess up my knees when I was getting to my longer endurance runs. So I was a mess.  I knew I had to keep a certain pace per mile in order to not get picked up by the bus. I DID NOT WANT TO BE PICKED UP BY THE BUS! I wanted to complete this half but have fun as well. So, my mom, sister and I traveled down to Disney World and got settled in. Both my sister and I didn’t really know what was in front of us. My Mom was amazing in that she did everything for us and was a great support lady.

My very first running bib!

My very first running bib!

First stop, the Expo! I had no clue what to expect. This was my very first race ever. I felt like I was just following signs for packet pick up and getting our race numbers. My sister and I registered as a team so we were way up there number wise. But we were in the same corral and so I knew that we were going to have a blast. After we got our bibs and our goodies, we went to the main part of the expo. SHOPPING! The best part of all and the freebies! There were so many things to sample and try and since we were new to the running world, all the technology and the cool gear that was there. Needless to say we came home with a few extra items.

We had some time to enjoy the parks and get on some rides and of course enjoy some fantastic food. All while thinking about this looming half marathon that we had signed up for. I know that thought was never far from my thinking. We were able to strike up some conversation from some racers that had completed the race before and that was definitely comforting. They gave us some great tips like being on the bus right around 3am when they would start running so we didn’t get lost in the line at the resort hotel and that the time limit started when the last person crossed the finish line. So that was also good news for me. My sister I had no doubt would finish on time.

Before we knew it, it was the night before the race, and we had all our clothes laid out and food that we needed in the morning. Our alarms were set for way too early, 2:30am! Who sees 2:30am!!!! Well my mom, sister and I did. My sister and I left for the bus ride over to Epcot to wait for the walk to the start line. My mom stayed back since we had already determined our meeting point for the end of the race and we had gotten her the ChEAR package for coming down and being our support and cheer team! We got to the holding area and were standing around just waiting and Disney had music going and a “party” where we could warm up and just hang out. It was definitely different, a good different. What seemed like a hot second, we were walking to our corrals. This was cool since we got to go behind the scenes of Epcot on the way to the start line.

My nerves were going 1000mph and I didn’t know what to expect. I had gotten to barely 7 broken miles and so 13.1 was going to be a push with some ITBS and some knee issues. The first corral started and my sister and I continued to walk to the start line. Every 5 minutes a new corral was starting. It was so cool! It was finally our time to start. The fireworks go off and we are off on our race.  I knew my sister would be able to just keep running and finish faster than me so we didn’t even try to stay together. Disney does a great job with the on course entertainment and I wouldn’t hesitate to do another Disney race in the future. So I would stop for the pictures that I wanted. I also was deathly afraid of being picked up by the bus for being behind the pace per mile requirement. So I stopped for some and I gradually got into a rhythm. Next thing I know we are entering the Magic Kingdom, passing the Contemporary Hotel and around the back entrance to Main Street U.S.A.! This is when my tears started. I didn’t know that it would have that much of an affect on me, but it did. I couldn’t help but think about my Dad and how proud he was of me with taking on this monumental task of running these 13.1 miles. It was also breath taking how cool and awesome it was to be running down Main Street in front of the castle with a few of my new best friends.

Me with Cinderella's Castle

Me with Cinderella’s Castle! This was about mile 6 during the half marathon.

The race kept going and somewhere around mile 8 or so the pain in my knee just wouldn’t let me continue running and walking like I had been doing. So I started walking, and by walking I mean power walking. I kept going and I kept looking back at the racers behind me making sure the bus wasn’t there. (Can you tell I didn’t want to get picked up by the bus?) Before long, I was entering Epcot and the last mile of the race. I wanted to cry from the pain but knew that I was almost there.  The people that were watching in Epcot were awesome and so encouraging. So I walked when I needed and ran when I could. I came down to the last 0.1 of the race and just started running. I kept running even though I had some extreme pain running down my leg. But I saw the finish line in sight and knew that I could finish. And I did! I ran across the finish line and got all teary eyed again! I was thinking about all that I had just accomplished. I just ran 13.1 miles in Disney World! What a rush!

My coveted medal!

My coveted medal!

I made my way through getting my medal, getting water and PowerAde before moving on to a finisher picture and then food. Last but not least I met back up with my mom and sister! H had finished about an hour before me and so my mom and her were just waiting or me. We made our way back to the busses for the ride back to the hotel so we could ice and shower and then go out and walk around the parks with our medal on.  That’s one thing that we did find out, is that everyone walks around with their medals on! If you see someone else with their medal on, we would congratulate them and they would do the same for us. It was an awesome feeling.  And needless to say we were in bed early that night. But we were happy ladies!

Such good memories! For sure! I know it won’t be my last RunDisney event and I hope to get back down there for the Disney Princess Half in the next few years.

So here’s to my friends that are running this weekend! May you have good weather and an even better time running through Disney World. Enjoy the run! And have a fantastic time!

THE Medal! 13.1 miles of hard work and tears!

THE Medal! 13.1 miles of hard work and tears!

What did I just do?!

Are you all ready for a spectacular Friday? I know I am. I’m ready for a fun 3 day weekend that’s for sure. Swim meets, training runs (or 1 training run) and who knows what other trouble I’ll get into.

Do you ever have that one or several races that you want to run one day and have them planned out and which years you’d like to get them done? Well the NYC Marathon is one of those races for me. Yesterday the lottery opened up for the race and will be open until February 15. I got the email from NYRR and looked at it and even pulled up the website to explore. Then I deleted the email.  I was hemming and hawing because I didn’t know if I wanted to spend the time training for it if I did get in, but then again I would like to attempt another marathon this year. But the money and race entry fee, hotel, food, and everything else. Did I really want to sign up, knowing with my luck that I would get into the race. Sure you get charged to be in the lottery and it’s a nominal fee, but the race entry! WOW! The training takes a lot of time, and I wasn’t sure that I was ready to spend another summer going for 4-5 hour training runs. Yes, that long! I’m not a fast runner and I definitely take my walk breaks! Luckily I have people who understand and support me 100% in my journey. That is the best feeling ever.

Well I did it! I signed up for the lottery. EEK! What in the world did I just do?! No, seriously that was my reaction right after I signed up. November 1 has been marked out in my planner so that, just in case I get in, I can go.  Once they run the selection, I’ll be able to really start making plans for going to NYC. I’ve been up there for a day, but I hope to be up there for a few days to enjoy the city and friends before I run the race.

I get ahead of myself! I must bring myself back to reality and know that it’s a lottery and that I may or may not get into the race. It will be great either way. The next adventure!

Good luck to all who have entered the lottery or who plan to enter! For those who got guaranteed entry! You will rock it!

Happy Friday!