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?

Do you ever…

Do you ever feel that everything is just imploding and nothing seems to be going the way you want. GAH. Let me get you caught up….

The end of July was our yearly family vacation to the most gorgeous place on earth. No, not Disney, that’s the happiest place on earth. 🙂 My mom, sister and I make the trek to Cape Cod every year and have since I was young so it’s like going home almost. So we started out way. My mom and I drove up…we started at 3am and did fine until we needed to get onto the Cape. And if any of you know, that can be a nightmare. This time it was a nightmare. But we had several funny moments happen while we were trying to make our way. I mean, have you ever seen a cars hood pop up while someone was driving and they kept driving the vehicle…no?…me either until this trip. HAHA.

My sister was flying in and so she got there later. We had a good time and the next morning started out on our long runs that we had to get done. Mine was 9 miles and hers was 14. She was nice though and hung with me for the first 4 miles and then she took off…literally took off. She’s so much faster than me and so I more like jog and walk when I can, ok more like want. But we couldn’t go out on our long run and not take a selfie at the beach. So we finished our run and then we walked around town, did some shopping and then just relaxed the rest of the day.

I flew home early so I could go back to work. (Anyone else feel like work gets in the way of all the fun? No, just me.  Ok. :)) It was nice to have a few days and just relax and read all day if you want, or take naps. Naps are my favorite.

So I get home and start to get back into a routine before I start house sitting/dog sitting. I love that I’m able to do this so that others can have peace on their vacation. Or somewhat peace with some accidents. Meanwhile we found out that my grandmother had passed. She lived a full life of 97 years and still in her own home. So we’ve been planning her service and coordinating travel with everyone and who is staying where and when are they getting in. Things like that. Sounds like fun right?

So needless to say, I’ve had a few things going on lately. Just a few. I missed my 10 mile run this past weekend. My foot was feeling funky and I needed to get it feeling ok so I didn’t derail my training for the marathon. I’ll get back on track this week and should be good to go. My long runs are definitely getting longer and the feeling of training for a marathon is becoming more real.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I found since life seems to be in a constant state of change here lately.

“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

20 Facts About Me

IMG_4866I’ve been slacking and was tagged a few weeks ago on IG by 2 of my friends to share 20 facts about me. So to go along with yesterday’s post of 7 questions about my running favorites. So here we go…20 Facts!

1. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate it when I’m running and love the way it makes me feel after.
2. I got my college degree in Recreation and Parks Management.
3. I love dogs and miss the one my family had for years before she crossed the rainbow bridge in 2012.
4. I swam competitively for years and in college.
5. I want to do a Ragnar race.
6. I bought my condo a year ago and I still haven’t moved everything I need to.
7. I am a Disney lover! I will take any opportunity to go to Disney!
8. I swam internationally in a meet in Spain.
9. I love planning out my race outfits around Sparkle Athletic’s skirts and visors.
10. My favorite place to buy food is Trader Joe’s.
11. I played French Horn for 2 years.
12. I have coached swimming for 16 years.
13. I go on reading binges where I can’t stop reading book after book and then I won’t read for a few months again.
14. I love my Garmin Forerunner 220, I use to have a Nike GPS watch and loved that too.
15. I currently work in the aviation field.
16. My first ever running race was the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon. Go big or go home right?
17. I was crazy enough to run 2 half marathons 8 days apart in March.
18. I took a chance and signed up for the NYC Marathon Lottery and got in. This will be marathon #2 for me.
19. I love to travel and have a travel bucket list.
20. I have the most amazing mom. She will drop everything if my sister or I need her.

So there you have it! 20 facts about me that you may not have known before. 😀

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! 💜