Team photo! Team Momentum met for dinner the night before the race, and we got a great course description from someone who used to work for NYRR. It was a fun and inspiring night. Afterwards, I prepped everything for the race, and got to bed as early as possible.
I had a typical night of sleep, what the hubs has dubbed race sleep. Lots of tossing and turning, and up at 5 to get ready for the bus. It was a mile walk to the bus, with lots of waiting on line and confusion. Luckily, I left early and was on the bus at 6:15.
A bad selfie, but with one of NYPDs finest. What a good sport!
The bus ride was about 90 minutes, pretty relaxing, with a friendly group at the back of the bus. The line at Staten Island security looked terrible, but it moved so quickly, and I was in the Fort within 15 minutes. Sooooo great. Time to wait around. I missed out on the Dunkin hat somehow, stood on line to pee, and then hunted around for someone I knew. It's not easy with 51,000+ other people milling around. After a few messages, and some more wandering, I found Kaseedee and her friend, and we hung around until it was time to go.
And then it wad time to head to our corrals. We were in the same wave, but different corrals, so Kaseedee went off and I didn't see her again. She kicked butt! I met a great girl name Christina and we stuck together until the gun went off. I saw her a few times in the first 10 miles as well. The bridge was so windy, and it was hard to keep a decent pace because my watch wasn't working properly. Oh, and y'all, there is no flying pee in the green zone. For real. Total rumor.
The first few miles flew by. Seriously. Someone told me that they would, but I was still shocked. Brooklyn was amazing. The music, the people, the signs. Everyone was so friendly, and since my name was on my shirt, so many people were calling out to me. There were college kids out there singing songs with our names in them, and people giving out water, candy, orange slices, apples.
At the 10k mark, I saw my friend Deirdre. I couldn't believe it. Over 51k people, and I find a running friend from Jersey. She was killing it with her pace group. I fell back fairly quickly after I realized I was going too fast. I added in more frequent walk breaks.
At mile 8 or so, I stopped to pee and the line was 8 minutes long. It was the last potty I used with toilet paper. It was also what prevented my PR.
After the fun of our entry to Brooklyn we hit the quiet zone, which was kind of bizarre until we hit Lafayette. More fun signs and fun people, but i was starting to feel wonky....
I'm still not sure what caused it, but I was running less and walking more. I texted the hubs a few times and he was super supportive, but at this point I was losing it a little. Ok. A lot. A whole lot. I couldn't run. As soon as I started running, my stomach clenched and I knew I would throw up if I didn't stop. Add that to the tight chest from the wind and cold, and I was a wreck. All that training and I was watching it come crashing down. Could I really walk the rest? I did it during the marathon when I ran Dopey, but I wasn't nauseous then.
Mile 13 and 14 passed by, and I was pretty much exclusively walking. I went from 13 minute easy miles to 18 or 19 minute mile walks. My legs felt okay, but I knew I wouldn't be running. The hubs was at mile 16 with a bottle of water and some pretzels and twizzlers. These helped immensely, and my walk sped up to 16-17 minute miles for a couple miles. I was cruising along. But that wall of sound you are supposed to come across at mile 16 was long gone. It was something I really looked forward to, and completely missed.
I was at mile 19 when they opened the course. It was about 5:00 or so and I was shocked. Everyone around me was so angry. They were breaking down the water tables and the medical tents and diverting us to the sidewalk. Residents were crossing in front of us, cutting us off, I actually got kicked by some girl who wanted to cross the street very badly.
It got very creepy in a few areas with residents who didn't want us there, volunteers giving us conflicting directions, being able to walk in the street for one block, having to switch to the sidewalk the next block. People were scared about the lack of support.
I met an incredible woman who, just three weeks prior, had surgery to remove a lump that may or may not have been cancer. She walked the whole race! She was so fun, and made the mile or so fly by. I saw her at the finish getting her poncho.
We separated when we hit the Centrak Park area.
An amazing spectator gave me a bag of peanut M&Ms, which pretty much got me to the finish. I ate them as I approached Columbus Circle, glad to see something familiar but confused when I reached the turn to the finish and it was blocked off. Someone told us the finish was closed.
It was not yet 6:30 and I was told we had until at least 7:30 so I was super confused and about to lose it. A coach from one of the charity teams walked over and pulled on the divider and told us to finish. I wanted to kiss her. I wish I had.
I was bawling now. I couldn't help it. I had checked my watch and knew I wouldn't PR, but I didn't care anymore. I was going to finish. I saw the hubs ahead, and he hugged and kissed me and handed me a chocolate milk. I drank it as I finished.
When I hit mile 8, I was on track for a 6 hour finish. I finished in 7:15, according to my watch, and 7:22 official time. My fastest marathon was 7:12. That's how close i came to a PR.
So I'm sobbing. A lovely girl put the medal over my head and congratulated me. Another gave me my recovery bag.
A volunteer who obviously wanted to leave threw the Mylar blanket over one of my shoulders and then turned away. Luckily, there was a very nice man who fixed it and used a sticker to seal it shut so I wouldn't have to hold it in place.
I hobbled the half mile to the ponchos. It was very dark and hard to see, and the last bit was uphill. A half hour later they moved the ponchos to the finish line, and I'm jealous.
I was so cold and my fingers felt so fat. The hubs texted me that he was at 65th. After the sweet man secured my poncho for me and asked about my race, I looked up. 77th. 12 blocks. Plus nine more to get to the hotel.
So I'm crying again. It's too far. My feet and ankles hurt now, and it's too far. The hubs tried to find me, but a grumpy volunteer physically shoved him back and told him it was for exits only. This confused me because there were dozens of non runners walking in both directions.
We finally found each other at the Pavilion entrance on 67th.
I told him I couldn't walk back and we found a pedi-cab driver willing to take us there for $20. The first guy wanted $30! We gave our guy $25. He was so nice, he even brought the cab right up to the curb so I could step onto the sidewalk easily.
I did it. The hubs gave me a Tiffany charm, a cookie, and a chocolate bar with my name on it from Dylan's. He also convinced me to take a shower while he fetched me a burger, even though I was sure I couldn't possibly stand that long. I hate when he's right.
I was still pretty emotional, and I cried a lot. My poor husband. I pulled it together in time to watch the Walking Dead, check my Facebook and read all of the great messages from friends, and had a quick visit from Chris from MDA...
When I woke up on Monday, I was achey and hungry, so we had breakfast and then went to the Pavilion to try and score a jacket. I got a great lightweight, pink finisher jacket and a long sleeve tee. I'm feeling really good today as well, just a slight ache and tired feeling.
Will I run NYC again? Nah. One and done for me. The long morning and less than stellar course support was enough to keep me away. Will I run a marathon again? Heck yeah! I'm running Disney in January and will run it again in 2018. I am also considering running the Philadelphia marathon. Time will tell.
Have you ever run NYC? Is it on your bucket list?