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?

I’m excited to announce….

that i’m an ambassador for Momentum Jewelry!!! I would be lying if I said I did a little happy dance. I did a huge happy dance!! 💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼

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My “Accept No Limits” Foot Note

So let me back up. A few months ago, I was wandering around and stumbled upon this website www.designsthatmoveyou.com and I was absolutely thrilled to find them. I’m not a huge jewelry wearer and in fact, I’ve worn the same necklace and same earrings for last several years. Boring I know, but I’m not a huge jewelry wearer. I change it up every so often though, don’t get me wrong.

While browsing this website, I just loved what they were promoting and all the sayings really stuck with me. It’s something that I continue
d to think about for a few days. Well I finally decided to bite the bullet and get something, but choosing what to get was the hard part. So I finally settled on a foot note, that said “Accept no limits” and a wrap bracelet that said “Believe in yourself”. Both are constant reminders for me. Well, I got them super fast, and was too excited to not put the foot note on my shoe and start wearing the wrap bracelet right away. So that’s what I did. It’s very rare that I take off my “Believe in yourself” wrap bracelet and in fact I just moved my “Accept no limits” foot note to my new shoes. 😀

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My “Believe in yourself” Wrap Bracelet

So fast forward a few weeks, and I noticed that they were accepting applications for ambassadors. I figured why not. I didn’t have anything to lose, and seeing that I already love the products, it was a win win. I figured it would be a few weeks before I heard anything from them. I was actually dog sitting, and on a Sunday night, I got an email from them saying I had been accepted! Happy dance time!!! I was super excited and shocked that they picked me!

Go check them out! I don’t even realize that I’m wearing the wrap bracelet most of the time. It’s so comfortable, and I’ve received many compliments on it. It’s fun too! I’m honored and so excited to have this opportunity! YAY!

Hope you all have a stellar Tuesday!

The Last Week…

OMGsh I’ve been such a slacker! I haven’t been working out. I had the vampire get me on Saturday morning (had blood drawn), Sunday was busy and my sister got home on Monday from her travels. She had a fantastic time for sure.

I wasn’t feeling the greatest yesterday so I skipped my run. Bad I know, but it’s a fine line between being really stupid and being safer than sorry with not hurting my body further. So it was good to take an extra day for rest before jumping back into this and especially since I have a half marathon this weekend. 🙂 So needless to say it was a lazier day.

Last night I was waiting for the new season of Extreme Weight Loss to come on and was checking emails. I received an email from the fine ladies at Fit Approach saying that I had been selected as a new #SweatPink Ambassador! Holy Wow! I had applied months ago and actually kind of forgot about it. I was shocked to receive that email. I am super excited to be apart of this group and to share the positivity and encouragement with others. I’m sure this won’t be the last time that you hear about it.

I hope you have a great day and guess what! It’s Wednesday!

Cheers!💖

Hello There Wednesday…

I have to admit, I was really defeated after yesterday’s very hot and humid and quite ugly run. I didn’t wander far from my mind at all how bad the run was. I didn’t even get my workout stuff together last night I was so discouraged. Anyways, I got up this morning knowing I had 3 miles to go and pushed myself out the door so that I could go ahead and get it over with. Horrible, I know right?

I can’t say that I had many expectations for this mornings run. One of those things that you just have to trudge through to get it done put the miles in the books and get on with your day. I got to the office to meet up with my running partner and we headed out to do 3 miles. He’s great because he lets me dictate the pace…not always a good thing but he’s one cool dude staying with me and making small talk while we make or way down the trail. Today was just like any other day on the trail, it was cool, and not humid. So much different than yesterday. Before I knew it we were half way done with our run. We turned around to head back to the office and I had to stop since I could feel a blister forming on top of my foot from the seam on my socks. First time that’s happened so we can check that box off. I fixed what I could and then continued on our way. Mr. speedy next to me decided to pick up the pace and I was trying to keep up as I already slow him down enough and I looked down at my watch to see what pace we were going and we were going at a 9:15 pace. WHOA! Um slow down…so we did and kept it at a reasonable pace for the remaining part. Once we cross the last road I usually pick it up and try to finish at a faster pace than the rest of the run.

We got off the trail stopped our watches and I had set a new PR for fastest 5k! It was only by 2 seconds, but still…new PR for me! Dance time. HAHA. It was a great morning for a run and I defiantly didn’t have any expectations to get a PR. So here’s to hoping for another great run tomorrow morning/afternoon/evening. I hope that I can have a similar run tomorrow!

Cheers!

It’s Friday!!

TGIF!!! It’s been one of those weeks that nothing went as planned. Wednesday morning was just beyond my control and something that I hope that doesn’t continue. I want to view this week as taking a step back and getting back into the groove this weekend. I have two 5ks this weekend.

The first is Carter’s Run, and also has a 10k option. AND it’s a fundraiser for Dandy-Walker. If you don’t know what Dandy-Walker is please check out this link Dandy-Walker.org. I’m definitely not an expert, but glad to help out to raise awareness.

The second race is The Color Run! I’m super excited about this race. I’m running with 2 friends of mine who have both done it once before separately but we are all doing it together this time. This will be my 5th Color Run! The happiest 5k! And this year the theme is the shine tour and giving out medals out at the finish. It’s going to be great and the weather won’t be freezing! Maybe just a bit humid. Here’s to many more! It’ll be great to have both of them along for the run.

I was able to get to a different running store this week and bought new shoes. It was such a different experience than what I’ve had in the past. I’ll write more about that next week.

I hope you all have a great Friday and even better weekend!

Cheers!

My Running Favorites

I was tagged my my friend over at Erin Runs Happy to answer 7 questions about my running favorites. I was so lucky to finally run into her, well she ran into me, during the DC Rock and Roll Half this past March. We had seen each other at other local races, but never said Hi to each other. Who knew it would take 30,000 other runners for us to find each other. So anyways, here it goes…

  1. Location:     Trail, Road, or Indoors?
    Roads all the way these days. When I started running I was a strict indoor runner. Now I will run outside any chance I get.
  2. Time of Day:     Morning, Noon, or Evening?
    I am a Morning person. But I also know that if I don’t get my run in, then it doesn’t happen (most likely) So for me it’s better to do it in the morning.
  3. Weather:     Sunshine, Mild or Hot?
    I’ve run in all kinds of weather, just not snow. I love running on a cool, crisp morning with no humidity and the sun is shining.
  4. Fuel:     Before, After, and Sometimes During?
    Depends on how long I’ll be gone for. If it’s a long run, then I’ll take something before mainly my EnergyBits since they don’t mess with my stomach. Then I’ll have some GU or whatever I’m training with that day. After I’m not that hungry especially after a long run. It takes awhile to get my appetite back so I’ll have some Skratch Labs to get my hydration back.
  5. Accessories:      Music, Watch & More? 
    What don’t I run with!? I have my iPhone (Music galore), Garmin watch, Jawbone Up24, my #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS bracelet, my roadID bracelet, definitely my sparkle visor, my camelbak, and if I need an extra set of umph, then I put on a sparkle skirt.
  6. Rewards:     Food, Wine, or …?
    Wine! Definitely have some wine or beer after a good long run.
  7. Type of Run:     Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?
    Oh this is tough. I would have to say either recovery/easy runs or my long runs. I still have to work on my mental attitude to get over the hump and push through on my runs regardless how long they are. I have some great running buddies though that help me push through and make the miles fly by.

So there are my 7 things! What do you find that works or doesn’t work for you?

Tuesday = Start of Week 3

Hey everyone! I was definitely down for the count at the end of last week. Whatever is going around finally got me. Ick! But I was on the mend and feeling tons better on Saturday. M and I went for a 3.5 mile run and had a great time talking and getting out and for a run on the trail. She was a great companion to have along for the run.

Saturday afternoon was spent with K and we went to a vertical wine tasting which was so much fun. It was great to taste and we definitely enjoyed it before heading to Charles Town for what seemed like a hot second before making our way back home. It was a fun time out and I’m sure it won’t be my last out that direction. It was definitely fun to spend a whole afternoon/evening, ok half a day with K.

Sunday was a slow day, not a whole lot going on so it was nice to relax and recover more from being sick. It was a nice day as well so it was good to get out and walk around as well. But I didn’t do the 35 min walk unless you count the time I was walking around down town at the event going on. I didn’t count it so I hope to get it in sometime this week maybe.

Yesterday I was pretty much useless at work at least for the morning. I was watching the Boston Marathon on my computer and was able to see the men and women finish the events. It was so much fun to watch. I did get a little bit of work done but not nearly as efficient as I usually am. It was also a rest day and I did take that to heart minus 2 laps around my building outside after lunch since it was so nice out. So I did hit my step goal according to my Jawbone Up24.

This morning started week 3 of 30 for my marathon training plan. The weeks are flying by in my opinion, ask me that again in a few more weeks. At first I was dreading this mornings run because it’s the start of another week and it just seemed really daunting especially since I am still getting over whatever sickness I had last week. But knowing that I only had 1.5 miles, it didn’t seem too bad right. Go outside run in one direction .75 of a mile and then turn around and run back. Ok I think I can handle that. I wasn’t expecting much honestly. It was nice a cool, no humidity, and my running buddy at work was great. He is faster but a few minutes per mile but he still hangs by me and lets me set the pace. So we set out on my measly 1.5 mile training run. I felt good, a little stiff the first few tenths but started to really go. We made it to the turn around part and then headed back. The way back seemed to take FOREVER! The way we ran today I like to call no mans land because there really nothing out there. Just the trail and not even trees, it feels so barren versus the other way we run sometimes. But on the way back the last few tenths, I started to pick it up because I wanted to push myself. So we ended at an 8:50 pace (again not normal).

I looked down at my watch to stop it and next thing I know, there’s a new record that I set. Fastest mile record is now set at 9:21! Go me! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen that pace and todays overall pace was 9:22/mile. So tomorrow’s run is suppose to be 3 miles. Not sure how I’m going to do but I guess just take it one step at a time (pun intended) and I’ll definitely need some tunes out there tomorrow to help me keep my pace and mind from wanting to quit. Each run is a journey and I can only get better from here.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Make sure you get out and do something fun today!

Week Total: 1.59 Miles
Month Total: 31.14 Miles
Year Total: 119.78 Miles

Quick Update!

I just finished my run, ok maybe that was 2 hours ago. But I finished my 30 second plank (trying to get a better core), stretching and foam rolling (trying so hard to stay injury free). It was such a great day to get out and run! It was and still is fantastic weather. M was a great person to run with this morning! She just listened to me the entire time. I dragged her out of bed (willingly I promise) so that we could go run! She’s awesome for saying that she’ll run with me to help me train for the NYC Marathon! I have other friends that are doing the same! I don’t know what I would do without them because knowing me, I would probably just be lazy and then really be in trouble when it came time to run the marathon in 28 weeks. The sun is shining and I can’t wait to get some more Vitamin D!

Here’s my totals so far for an update:

Todays Run: 3.57 Miles
Week Total: 9.82 Miles
Month Total: 29.55 Miles
Year Total: 118.19 Miles

I hope you all have a fantastic day and are able to get outside and enjoy this great weather!

Cheers! 💜

Ok…I Must Confess…

Ok…I must confess that I was not a huge fan of spin classes. But in all fairness I’ve only been to 1 class before and I really didn’t like it. It was at our local gym and the instructor was great but I found that it was just like here you go lets do this and I’m sure that if I kept going I would have had a different opinion about it. Now some people do like it and enjoy it. I found that it was mundane and I felt everyone was looking at you since you were a newbie and was trying to figure it out as you went. That was about 2 years ago.

So let me speed you up to earlier this week. The group of awesome ladies that I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler with are part of a Mom’s group. Disclaimer here: I’m not a mom (would love to be some day), I know these ladies through my church and from running. The mom’s group was hosting a fundraiser for March of Dimes at a local spin cycle shop called Cycle Scene. One of them had sent me the info and so I sat on it and was like do I want to go, it’s for a good cause, but I didn’t enjoy the class before, but it’s for a good cause. As you can see I had this internal battle going. Well I signed up. The good cause won out and heck I got to hang out with a group of awesome ladies again and be honored that they wanted me to join.

Then yesterday came and I was feeling ok. I’ve been battling this cold and so I was contemplating not going. I know, I know back to that internal battle with myself. But I was taking meds and decided to go anyways. At lunch I had run 3.25 miles since that was on tap for my NYC Marathon training plan since I had been a slacker and trying to get up in the morning but I got it done. I got home from work and changed my outfit and before I knew it, it was time to head to Cycle Scene for the spin class. We got down there and I’m so thankful that I had friends that were going too, otherwise I probably would have bailed. We walked in and the place looked good, nice and clean. It was refreshing to see a spin class in a different light.

We walked into the room where they were going to have the class and found bikes to sit at. The owner and the instructor were extremely helpful with helping us set up our bikes the way they were suppose to be so we wouldn’t get injured or anything like that. The room the class took place was nicely done and had lots of lights and a beautiful mural on the back wall. Before we knew it we were starting the class. The instructor was awesome, very upbeat and helped us understand the bikes and what we were going to be doing on them. There was a big wall of mirrors behind him but as soon as we started, he tuned off the lights except for the lights that were on him. We couldn’t see our neighbors, or barely the mirror. It was like you were the only one in the room with the instructor. We started with some crunches and pushups while spinning and then moved on to some standing resistance work. Then moved on to some light upper body weights. The instructor would get off his bike and walk around and talk to us and the music was great. It had a good beat and we were so in tune with it. Before we knew it, it was the end of the class. We did some light stretching after to adjust after being on the bike for 45 minutes. They said that we were going to get a whole body work out and we certainly did.

I really enjoyed the class. I had a good time and was sweating from head to toe. I don’t remember the last time I had been sweating that much after 45 minutes. I really hope that I get to go back and maybe incorporate this into my training for the marathon. I felt like I was able to get a good work out (and I’m feeling it today). It was enjoyable the owner was really nice and talked with us after. It was good to have been and a new experience one that has changed my view on spin classes. I know spin classes aren’t for everyone, but this one definitely changed my view for myself. I would go back to Cycle Scene in a heartbeat.

*This review is mine and mine alone*