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Officially a Marathoner: My 2015 NYC Marathon Recap

by Nellie

2015 NYC Marathon Recap

2015 NYC Marathon RecapThe NYC Marathon was physically the hardest thing I have ever done. It also taught me a lot about myself, my limits and how to keep going even when you really don’t want to.

But let’s start from the beginning shall we?2015 NYC Marathon Recap

I opted to take the latest ferry going to Staten Island because I wanted to be as relaxed as possible before running. The ferry ride was full of excited runners speaking in different languages and calming each other’s nerves. I met 3 or 4 other runners that had me laughing and loose the entire way to the race.

2015 NYC Marathon Recap

The start

2015 NYC Marathon Recap

By the time the ferry got to Staten Island and we were loaded on the bus, it was time to jump in my corral! The start line was uneventful–I just said a little prayer and started running on the bridge when I heard the final loud boom of the canon.

2015 NYC Marathon Recap

The bridge was a little tough, I was trying to be smart about discarding my extra hoodie but after the first mile my temperature shot right up. As soon as I got into Brooklyn I threw the hoodie away and I didn’t even miss it!

Brooklyn my favorite borough

Running through Brooklyn was incredible. I gave so many high (and low) fives to cheering kids (and adults)–it was amazing. The crowd support was unlike anything I have ever experienced. So many people called my name and they absolutely love it when you cheer with them–usually results in louder cheering!!2015 NYC Marathon Recap

By mile 8 I saw my Godmom and Godbrother who was squealing how proud she was of me–I was just so excited to see her!2015 NYC Marathon Recap

Miles 8-13 I actually stuck with the 6 hour pace group and although I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick with them the entire way, it was nice to run with a group for a portion of the race.

At the halfway point, right before I got to the bridge that led me into queens, my best friend showed up with lip balm, water and of course a sign with our nickname for each other. (Long story!)tcsnycmarathon92015 NYC Marathon Recap

At this point I was sad because I was leaving Brooklyn for good and headed into Queens for a little bit. When I got there I saw my friend Victor who ran the race last year and again had an awesome sign with my name on it.


I made it through queens pretty uneventfully and just like that I was in Manhattan. I was getting super tired. But I definitely had over 8 miles to go. Remember I had never run past 20 miles on the training plan so I was quickly getting into unknown territory.

At Mile 19 with just over seven miles to go, I started feeling an intense pain in both hips. Everytime I picked my legs up to run, my hips said no way. Everything else was fine, except for my hips.

Knowing that I would have to complete this race by likely walking the next 7 miles was just spirit breaking. Mentally I didn’t want to do it anymore. I had been on the course now for over 4 hours. I was exhausted I didn’t want to walk anymore–I just wanted to tuck it all in.

Then one of my old friends literally popped out of nowhere. I had no idea she would be coming to see me so when I saw her I was so overwhelmed that I immediately stopped, covered my face and promptly burst into tears. It was like seeing her allowed me to really acknowledge how hard this truly was.

She enveloped me in a big hug and told me that I was an inspiration to many. She told me to keep going because of how many people loved me and how many people are cheering for me. I boohooed for a good 5 minutes in her hug.  It was like she came prepared to pull me out of the sewer. It was the most perfect timing ever. She saved my race by taking me out of my own head. She sent me on my way but not before she took this picture of me. tcsnycmarathonharlem

After that I headed to the Bronx which was still super live for the back of the packers. There were still plenty people cheering, lots of salsa music and Halloween treats being offered to runners. Finally it was time, I had made it to the last borough.

At this time the sun was setting and I was starting to feel like I was losing it a bit. I was walking but I had no focus in what I was doing and everything hurt so bad that I  just wanted to sit down for a really, really long time. At mile 22 I met my coworker who gave me skittles and also had a pretty awesome sign!tcsnycmarathonrecap11

The final miles were hard. I sobbed, a lot, quietly and to myself. I felt somewhat embarrassed but I let them flow anyway. I pushed through the cops letting us know that “the New York City marathon has now concluded” about 80 times as I pushed to get closer to the finish line. I just kept pushing.

The finish line was glorious. It was everything Carly said it was going to be. I didn’t smile or throw my hands up, I simply ugly cried. I didn’t want to forget how hard it was by faking a smile with hands over my head. I crossed the finish, took all I had and smiled with my medal. I gave and recieved congratulations from strangers.

I walked and walked with feet that burned in crazy pain until I got to the poncho section. The elderly woman looked at me with my crazy hair and tear stained face looked me square in my eyes and said “I’ve been waiting for you” as she wrapped me tightly in that cozy, warm, beautiful lined poncho. Yes, you guessed it–the tears came, again.

Afterwards I had no idea where I was but I found some steps to sit on with other marathoners. I chatted with another awesome woman named Helen–she was one of those people you knew you could bare your soul to–it’s hard to explain but she was the perfect person to sit next to. We shared war stories about training and she told me that she has done the NYCM 9 times IN A ROW!

Would I do this again?

Not sure. This was hard but a small part of me wants to avenge this time. Really put my all in training, really committ. I am qualified and it will be a major decision I’ll have to make in about 2 months. Now that I’ve done it once I kinda wanna do it again. I blame Brooklyn, too much great energy and cute kids, and awesome music.

Crazy right?! Yes. I know.

I’m a marathoner y’all!!!!!

[Tweet “The #TCSNYCMarathon was long, hard and full of emotion. This is my story. “]

Did you watch the marathon coverage on TV? Did you track me?!

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Allie November 6, 2015 - 5:16 am

Yep – you are a marathoner all right and have all the emotions to prove it! I swear, running a race as big as this one was like having a baby. I felt just as emotional and it was bananas 🙂 You know I could not be more proud of you and I’m just so glad we were able to talk and hug and hang the day before. You are amazing and I’m forever grateful to have met you Nellie!

Janine HulDie November 6, 2015 - 5:46 am

W, once again you are truly an inspiration and yes you are totally a marathon runner. So very proud of you and cannot ever say that enough! Huge congrats on this massive accomplishment and so much love and hugs, too!!!

Britt November 6, 2015 - 6:33 am

Amazing Nellie! You truly are an inspiration! You should be so so proud of yourself. Congrats on completing your first marathon! What an accomplishment! 🙂

Ali November 6, 2015 - 6:50 am

You should be very proud of yourself! I follow you on instagram and have been inspired by your training posts. You helped me get on the treadmill on days when I really didn’t want to. Thank you!!

Lashawn November 6, 2015 - 9:43 am

Yes!! You are a marathoner!! I tracked you the whole time. My husband was like who is this Nellie?! I would say: she’s halfway there! She’s at 20 miles! I’m so proud of you and you should be so proud of yourself! And.., I see you running next year. You can’t help yourself lol!

Nellie November 6, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Thanks for tracking me! Throughout all the crazy I knew I had a cheering squad who was keeping me moving forward!!

Dacia November 6, 2015 - 9:49 am

You are so awesome! I mean, I already knew that but this just further goes to showcase your awesomeness! Such an inspiration!!! <3

Nellie November 6, 2015 - 7:25 pm

thanks girl!! xo

Carly November 6, 2015 - 10:19 am

Oh Nellie, I am so happy for you and proud of you!! Way to keep pushing when everything started hurting – it’s such a difficult thing to keep pushing mentally when your physical body has started to break down. I was tracking you constantly – I was getting so excited when you came back into Manhattan from the Bronx. I cried a little bit when I “saw” you cross the finish line. You are a huge inspiration, my friend. xoxo

Nellie November 6, 2015 - 7:25 pm

thank YOU so much Carly for your unwavering support!!

Renee November 6, 2015 - 11:54 am

omg Nellie I am in tears! I know the pain and the wanting to quit and the sobbing bits and I’m reliving that now with your story. But YOU ARE SO AMAZING. I hope you know that now. Not everyone would have kept going. MANY people don’t. Many people stop. I am so very happy that your friend unexpectedly showed up WHEN YOU NEEDED HER MOST. If that’s not divine intervention, I don’t know what is!

I’m probably going to say it at least a hundred more times – I AM SO FREAKIN PROUD OF YOU. and maybe it sounds crazy but I hope you do it again! honestly! because you will not only get your revenge, you will also keep learning and keep growing.

I hope you are recovering well and that you don’t have too much of a “blues” period now that you’re not training anymore.

love you girl!!

Nellie November 6, 2015 - 6:37 pm

thank YOU for being such an amazing supporter with your unconditional advice and cheering throughout the whole thing. Love you girl!

Tamara November 6, 2015 - 7:11 pm

I love the story of Brooklyn and those high and low fives. So exciting.
But best is the sobbing and seeing your friend and acknowledging how hard it is and yes, you’re a marathoner.
And then that elderly woman with her “I’ve been waiting for you”.

Kim November 6, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Welcome to the club, marathoner!!

Kita November 7, 2015 - 11:20 pm

You did that and I am so proud of you. I could never do it but the fact that you did not give up speaks volumes. That’s how life is….it hurts sometimes but if we keep pushing we will get across the finish line. So proud now rest up.

Denise November 8, 2015 - 4:03 pm

Wow! Thanks for bringing the ugly cry on for me! I am so happy for you! YOU ARE A MARATHONER! xoxo

Nellie November 12, 2015 - 7:10 am

Thanks Denise!! I appreciate you!! xoxo

Lisa November 8, 2015 - 8:43 pm

Hey Nellie! I am so freaking proud of you and you made me tear up with your post. CONGRATS- YOU ARE A MARATHONER!!!

Nellie November 12, 2015 - 7:10 am

Thanks Lisa!!! xoxoxo

Cassandre November 11, 2015 - 8:39 pm

Girl, I have no words but cheer joy and excitement for you. I am so proud of you my love. All your hard work paid off.. you did it!!!

Nellie November 12, 2015 - 7:04 am

Thanks girl!! I appreciate you! xo

Leslie November 12, 2015 - 12:59 pm

Nellie, you really are such an inspiration to so many people. You are open and honest about exactly how this process has been for you. It’s not all buttercups and butterflies. It’s pain. It’s tears. And it’s a HUGE accomplishment. It almost seems ridiculous that you have to make a decision in just another two months about doing this again; but whatever your decision you know you will have a massive team there to support you. CONGRATULATIONS!

Pressing The Restart Button On Your Health - Brooklyn Active Mama December 27, 2015 - 2:40 pm

[…] Officially a Marathoner: My Recap of the 2015 NYC Marathon […]

Courtney December 27, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Not sure how I missed this earlier in the year but wow. All the feels. Congrats. “I’ve been waiting for you” brought tears to my eyes. Your first marathon is so special – I cried multiple times throughout my first one. Way to go!!

Nellie December 28, 2015 - 9:26 pm

Thank you so much Courtney!! xoxo

Kris walters April 29, 2016 - 5:57 am

I’m really sorry I missed this post. I went on a complete blogging and reading hiatus this last year. You ROCK! That is an amazing accomplishment and you should be very proud! Congratulations!


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