My goals for my second marathon were simple. Slow down, be present, eat and finish standing upright.
I am so happy to say I did all three!
The ride to Staten Island was rather peaceful, despite the fact that it took us over an hour to drive two miles to the start. Unlike last year where I jumped off the bus, into the potty and in my corral–I actually had time to take pictures and get my head together.
I wasn’t nervous, but I was asking myself how on earth did I get here again?! I mean it sounds fantastic to run a marathon for the second time but as I actually tied the line I had a flood of emotions take over. Not even sure where the tears were coming from from but I just let them rock. I looked to my left and I saw another young lady wiping tears and we nodded at each other. Not really something you can put in words but at that moment it was completely mutual.
The Verrazano was a beast as normal and by the time we got to Brooklyn the wall of sound was completely overwhelming. I had a super cute shirt on so my named must have been called, sung, chanted maybe a million times. I kept my head though. I used one/one run walk intervals for the first 15 miles.
The entire time I was going through Brooklyn I was taking checks of how my body felt because I remember hurting a LOT last year when I left. I felt good-ish. No pain, no discomfort. The really cool part? My MOM came to cheer me on! Talk about all the emotions! I had more extended family out there were also out because my cousin was also running her first marathon!
By time time we got to the Queensborough bridge I was ready. Running it just 2 weeks prior made things a wee bit easier.
Once I got over the bridge, a really great (and loud) crowd in Queens was waiting for me! I didn’t push too hard but I was happy with how my body felt. My best friend showed up at mile 14 with a cinnamon raisin bagel that was not only DELICIOUS but SO needed as the only thing I had eaten during the run was a mini snicker bar from a very generous spectator in Brooklyn! I finished the bagel as I approached the 59th Street Bridge to Manhattan. This was a super long stretch for me–I walked a lot of the bridge and didn’t feel like much was left. Most were walking at this time, but I dug deep and starting jogging my one/one intervals yet again. This got me over the bridge and onto first avenue which was SO loud!
This is where I say thank you to the hundreds of people who chanted my name. This year I got a TRUE 101 on How to properly cheer marathoners. The crowds were unbelievable. My name was being called from BOTH sides. They made songs, chants, told me I got this, told me I was doing amazing. Even though they were strangers, each word settled into my psyche. I continued with my intervals. I saw my girlfriends from my old, old job that came out to support and give me hugs. We all celebrated that I wasn’t crying and ready to give up. This was a far cry from last year!!
Running into the Bronx, I knew Mile 20 was coming. Would this be where the wall hit? Would I fall apart in the Bronx? Happy to say that I didn’t. The Bronx was beautiful and full of spectators.
Getting back to Manhattan over the Willis Avenue Bridge was easy peasy compared to the rest of the Bridges. Getting down to central park was a little rough, the entire lot of us were walking. Once again, I had to dig deep and start the intervals again. Central Park despite the darkness, had plenty of people still cheering, this was WAY different from last year!
As we exited Central Park, I was SO excited to see the crowds were still there! Last year I remember there wasn’t ANYONE in Columbus Circle when I went by. Not one person. Seeing the crowds line the barricades just gave me renewed energy despite the pain that was starting to settle in. I was SO excited so see so many people and once again gave me the lift I needed to finish strong.
I ended the race feeling good, I smiled when crossing the finish line and there were no tears.
I had to make a quick stop at the medical tent, which was SO warm and comforting because I was FREEZING. I needed immediate pain relief because the pain vibrating through my body was just unmanageable and I knew I had a LONG way to go to get my poncho.
As they gave me pain medication, I noticed that there was a full house. People were on stretchers EVERYWHERE. People with inhalers, people with ice on different body parts, and so much more. As I was waiting for my tylenol I realized that I felt weirdly unstable. Standing was becoming a really hard thing to do. I asked them for some help–and they did so in the most gentle way possible.
The medic got me on a stretcher and massaged my hips back to a manageable pain. After 10 minutes of massage and stretches I was able to walk again on my own. I’m SO grateful to the medical staff that was SO SO helpful with my initial recovery.
I was super present for every single borough, bridge, shout, and chant. I didn’t drink all the water and I really did fill my belly with gu’s and jelly beans. I chilled out on the way up the Verrazano and yet I still gave a million little high fives to cheering kids. I saw my friends. I saw my mom. I had friends internationally cheering and sending messages. I didn’t feel like death afterwards. I ate an actual post marathon meal. I walked around on Monday.
These are all huge wins.
Last year when I finished I didn’t feel like I real marathoner. I felt like I didn’t earn my medal. This year I did. I had a 7 minute PR. In the end it didn’t look like much of a difference but this entire race was SO different. It FEELS like I ran it 2 hours better. I was happy with myself at the end. Proud of my training. SO proud of my time.
The crowds were spectacular this year, even more than last year. I walked around with my kids afterwards, I didn’t need my husband to help me in the bed or even in the shower. I took it slow and steady, pushed when I had it and pushed when I didn’t.A #tcsnycmarathon 2016 detailed recap! #runforlife @nyrr @nycmarathon #runchat #bibchat
I am not running the marathon next year. My main focus in 2017 will be on taking my strength training to a brand new level. I am restarting the Jamie Eason body building program on Monday and who knows maybe the marathon bug will bite again for 2018.