Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New York City Marathon - The Recap

I first wanted to run the NYC Marathon in 2009. Born and raised in Brooklyn, I thought it would be the best marathon to compete in. I entered the lottery in 2010, didn't get in, but secured my spot for the 2011 race via the NYRR's 9+1 policy. I realized all of this about 5 minutes after I finished the race, and the thought of a two year journey coming to an end caused me to wrap my Mylar blanket around my face and start crying.

I really don't know where to start with my marathon recap, so I'll start at the end. I finished in 4:30:51, technically this was my "C" goal, which isn't really a fair letter grade for my race. I set a 23 minute PR over my time in the Philadelphia Marathon. I had a really strong race and was on pace for a 4:20 marathon up until mile 16...the Queens Borough Bridge. Whatever left I had in my legs (more specifically my quads) was drained on that bridge, which was kind of a shock since I had run it several times before and thought it wasn't that big, or that bad. 

Rewind to the beginning

Had no issues with the train, the ferry, or the bus. (What someone affectionately called the travel triathlon) Everything just seemed to be taking for-ever! Okay, maybe I was just anxious to get started!!

Heading onto the ferry

Brooklyn: You were amazing. I am proud to be from Brooklyn. Truly the best part of the race. The first 7 miles flew by, and I felt like I was just running through a giant party. 

I had missed ALL my friends cheering in Brooklyn (mile 6/7/10) and was starting to feel "over it." I told myself I'd never do another marathon. (Um, yeah, right) We came off the Queens Borough Bridge and 1st Ave was SILENT. People were just staring at you. I wanted to cry.

I begged the running gods, PLEASE let me find my friends at 90th and 1st Ave. Please let them be there. I simply couldn't finish the race without seeing them. Luckily, I did see Bojana and Elyssa, and I waved Bojana in to run with me for a bit. I told her I just needed her to talk to me, keep me company. She gave me updates on how everyone was doing, and who had already finished. She kept me moving, and kept motivating me when my legs had already given up. 

5 km10 km15 km20 km
13.1 mi
25 km30 km35 km40 kmMinutes
per Mile

My slowly slowing 5k splits

Taken around mile 19
The last 10k (and more specifically the last 5k) was the most brutal bit I've ever run in my life. I never experienced the runners high I felt last year at mile 20. I knew I had a large group of friends waiting for me at mile 24, but by the time I got there, I didn't have the energy to be excited to see them. I saw another teammate leaving the park, and I said hello/waved, but again, I gained no boost of energy. I was truly trudging my dead quads up the hill to Columbus Circle. Funny, once we got back in the park I stepped on the gas. I knew I was almost done, and I wanted to be done so badly. My last bit (the Garmin only marked the course as 26.11 which I know isn't right) was at a 9:00 pace.

Around mile 18---looking way happier than I think I was!

Don't even get me started about Brightroom taking photos before you even have a chance to get some water/Gatorade, or the shuffle of death post race.

I'm not sure what got into me mentally during this race. I was excited, but about halfway through I just wasn't into it. I'm kind of mad at myself for checking out so early mentally, but I know my time didn't really reflect that. Towards the end of the race I was actually annoyed by all the spectators. I wanted them to be quiet, so I could just get in my own head and focus a bit.

Thanks Mom!

I'm not sure the marathon is my event. Okay, I know it's not my favorite event. But there is something so special about competing and finishing a marathon, it wouldn't surprise me at all if I signed up for one in 2012, but I have a good feeling it wont be NYC. I feel like I need to redeem myself somehow.

Two days after the race it all seems like a blur--something that happened weeks ago. I can easily say that it was the quickest 4 hour 30 minute run of my life.

Monday's NY Times


  1. I know you wanted 4:20, but you still PRed!!!! I wish we had found each other in the corral!

  2. hello, congratulations!
    I ran my first ever marathon last year, which was Philly (4:25) and am torn between running NYC this year (I'm in through the 9+1 program) and going back to Philly and trying to improve. I don't know how I'd mentally handle being slower in my second marathon than my first! Thoughts?

    1. Hello Anon! Thanks for commenting! NYC was my second marathon, and I was able to PR there after running Philly. Just because a race is flatter or "easier" doesn't mean you'll necessarily run a better time. If you got into NYC this year I'd say go for it! Train smart and I'm sure you'll PR there as well :)

  3. Well, at least you know where things went wrong for you. Over several races you can keep on improving your PR. At least you can do it in that time at your worst. That's pretty fair for even a C time.