My morning started with a 4:30 am alarm followed by my usual jumping out of my bed saying "It's race day!". Mind you I had woken up at 3:30 and never quite gotten back to sleep due to race day excitement. It was nice to have the extra hour from Daylight Savings so I still managed to get close to 7 hours of sleep. After quickly getting dressed and eating my first breakfast of banana and an English Muffin with peanut butter, my roomie Joanne and I met our teammate Sam in the lobby of the hotel and went outside to hail a taxi or Uber car. We got an Uber car quickly and proceeded to the first stop which was at the library where Sam and I would take the bus to Staten Island. Joanne had chosen the ferry as her mode of transportation so she stayed in the car for the second drop off point.
After arrival at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, Sam and I made our way to the Runner's Village with 49, 998 other runners. After about a 1/2 mile walk, we entered the Blue wave area. It was well organized with tents filled with volunteers serving bagels, Power Bars, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water. Both of us brought our own food, but in hindsight, we would have been fine with the offerings at the village. At about 8:30 am, I ate my second breakfast of another banana and English Muffin with peanut butter with some Gatorade. There also were volunteers from Dunkin' Donuts handing out these really cute knit hats with the NYC 2015 logo.
Miles 1-6: Splits 10:43, 9:29, 10:11, 10:11, 10:08, 10:06 The race starts with a huge uphill climb for the first mile on the Verrazano Bridge. I knew what to expect and told Sam goodbye as he sped up the hill and I kept an easy pace. This was a long race and I knew conserving energy on this first challenge of the course was important. As soon as we hit the top of the bridge, the downhill came and by my splits you can see how much faster I ran the second mile which was all downhill. Going with my legs and staying comfortable we soon were in Brooklyn with crowds that were not only enthusiastic, but deafening at times. One of my goals for this race was to smile alot and I don't think a smile left my face for the first 6-7 miles. It was amazing to have so much crowd support going through so many different neighborhoods which started with Bay Ridge moving into Sunset Park. One of the things that stood out to me were the places of worship mixed in with stores and restaurants, with many spectators offering their hands in support of all the runners.
Miles 7-12: 9:58, 9:58, 9:59, 9:46, 10:16, 9:49 During this next neighborhood called Park Slope, there were some lovely Victorian homes with numerous families cheering with cowbells and their voices. Many times during this race I turned my music off so I could soak in the crowd and atmosphere. These miles seemed to go by quickly with a slight downward slope and bands and spectators keeping the runners entertained. One thing that bothered me during the race was the number of runners who seemed oblivious to the other runners on the course. Between miles 7 and 8, I was given a "flat tire" by a foreign runner. She stepped hard on my heal removing my shoe and I was very fortunate not to take a header into the pavement. Turning around quickly, a tall man was right behind me, but he was alert and missed me and I was able to grab my shoe and put it back on. While I did receive an apology, she never stopped and continued to be consumed with the crowd and totally unaware of those around her, with the exception of her posse of 5 other runners. Let's just say I was not pleased! After mile 9, there seemed to be alot of turns on the course and this definitely reduces your speed.
Mile 13: 9:58 This mile marker was the one I was most excited about because I knew my niece Erica planned to be spectating here. I spotted her running along the road barrier and screamed as soon as I saw her. I quickly turned around and she took this photo. It is the only candid race photo I have other than those taken my Marathon Foto.
|Big smile for Erica!|
Miles 14-19: 10:11, 10:20, 11:03, 9:57, 10:20, 9:59 For some reason I struggled during this part of the marathon, and this was the area that Coach Sami said would be difficult. The bridge was long and it seemed like we had a fair bit of wind. I tried my best, but I knew my paces were lagging. In every marathon most everyone experiences highs and lows and I think this was one of the times I was fighting those negative thoughts in my head. One huge surprise was after exiting the bridge onto 1st Street in Manhattan, I expected huge crowds and noise. It was eerily quiet despite many people lining the streets. This was quite strange and perhaps they were sick of cheering after being out there for many hours. I kept raising my arms asking for some noise to get me going again!
Miles 19-24: 10:17, 10:07, 10:19, 10:10, 10:37 During these miles we covered two more bridges as we moved from Manhattan, to the Bronx and back to Manhattan. When we crossed the 138th street bridge and moved back into Manhattan, I knew we were getting closer and I was excited to be arriving at 5th Avenue. This street was the beginning of the end and despite the incline, I tried to pick it up a notch. Fifth Avenue is on an incline and it has one section where you feel like you are climbing a mountain between miles 23 and 24. By the time I got to 24, I really wanted to walk the rest of the way. I mean I really really wanted to walk. But I kept myself focused and stayed with my planned intervals and finally got out of my mental hell. At around mile 23, I was calculating in my head what I needed to run to finish under 4:30. Let me tell you that after running for nearly 4 hours, my brain took a very long time to figure out what I needed to do!
Miles 25-26.2: 10:08, 9:57, last .2 at 9:11 pace The last two miles included East Drive and the final turn into Central Park for the finish line. There were tons of runners in this congested area, but I kept on trucking and passed many during this last stretch. When I turned into Central Park for the last time, I was so emotional that tears started to form in my eyes. After getting food poisoning and finishing the Boston Marathon last April under not the best circumstances, I needed this race to get my marathon confidence restored. As I crossed the finish line, tears brimmed from my eyes as my goal had been met. This race gave me back the marathon!
|Tears of joy|
67/409 Age Group Female 60-64