This is the second post in my NYC Marathon recap series! Check out yesterday’s post to read more about getting ready for race day.
Woke up and followed my race-day tradition of not brushing my hair. Put on the layers starting with my singlet repping Janji!, and more layers, and more layers. Can you believe I got some weird looks on the subway with my robe? As if New Yorkers haven’t seen anything more unusual.
I met a fellow runner on the platform when I was switching trains and we ended up chatting the entire way to the Runner’s Village, and he was nice enough to get me a place in United’s Runner Tent! Score! I was pretty warm, but took advantage of the hand warmers anyways. We were all starting to get a little nervous about the wind, which I noticed was probably going to be a big deal given the limited signs around the village.
We headed to our corrals, and hung out there for a really long time before they actually let us up to the start. It felt so late that some people started to run, but it didn’t feel that crucial, so I kept on walking. We got up there in enough time to hear them announce the elite men (woo Meb!!) and suddenly, the boom of the start canon going off and we started moving.
As we headed across the Verrazano Bridge, the wind started to gust. It caught my leg that was mid-stride and rammed it into my other one, causing it to buckle and me almost to trip. I looked at my watch and was about a minute behind pace. SHIT.
Next time I looked at my watch, I was about 40 seconds below pace and my cumulative first mile was right around where it should be. Not bad. I started to tick off the miles and felt pretty confident about where I was, the pace was below where I needed to be but it didn’t feel that hard. And then, the wind gusts started to hit. Suddenly, it felt like I was barely moving instead of flowing along.
I remembered that at this point last year, I was starting to falter and feel pain. It felt like a win that I was still feeling good. And then we were cruising past Brooklyn and into Queens, which for some reason has never been my favorite part of the marathon. Not as much crowd support, kinda apprehensive about tackling the 59th Street Bridge at this point.
The bridge wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, as we were going uphill, there was more wind gusts and my pace kinda sucked. And then on the downhill as we started getting into Manhattan, I took a look at my watch and it said 5:25 pace. WTF?! And then it beeped that I just ran an 11 minute mile. That’s an issue that I need to take up with Garmin separately, I think.
Heading up 1st Avenue, I felt GREAT. Honestly, I was hitting my paces and I think it was here where we had a bit of a tailwind and it was fantastic. The miles ticked away and I started to get excited — I briefly started to think that maybe, just maybe, a PR was possible. Headed to the Bronx — and the wind started gusting hard. I got kinda mad at Mother Nature at this point for ruining my favorite part, but whatever.
We swung back down to 5th Avenue and it was time to make our way to Central Park. I heard a fellow runner swear at the wind, mostly because everyone said there would be a tailwind at this point. There was no tailwind. And at this point, I knew a PR was out of reach. I was okay with it.
And then right before mile 22, this older gentleman decided to make a run for it across the course. He misjudged where he was headed and instead, ran right into a man running in front of me. The older gentleman fell to the ground, swearing all the way down. Everyone didn’t really know what to do, but he was getting up so we kept going. The man that was hit felt terrible, and everyone around agreed he did nothing wrong. We kept on running.
I could feel my pace starting to slow a little bit, but my legs still felt strong. My left arm had been in pain for pretty much the last six miles and I briefly panicked that it was a heart attack. Then we entered Central Park and all I could think was… this is it! And then the wind was like this is it! And I ended up with the worst side ache of my life around mile 24. MILE 24.
I wanted to walk, but I didn’t want to break my personal rule about walking during a marathon, so I kept trucking along, doing all I could think of to get it to loosen up. I finally got it to break loose about a mile or so later, and tried to pick it up a bit… thanks to the gentleman cheering around mile 25.5 for making me smile by telling me you go lady! look at all those men you are beating!
And then it was the finish, the glorious finish. I was so happy to see and cross that finish line.
Come back tomorrow to read more about my post-race experience and advice for those who are planning to run the TCS New York City Marathon in the future!
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