Around this time of year I always tend to feel a bit nostalgic. The NYC Marathon is on Sunday and I can’t shake all those good feelings that day brought me 3 years ago.
I trained alone. I guess by choice but looking back I would have probably enjoyed running with a group for some of those long runs. I listened to A LOT of podcasts. Ran many many miles around Montclair, NJ. Experimented with gels, gummies, jelly beans, and pre-workout. The only one that came out on top was Snap Infusion Super Candy, the beans. Easy on the stomach and easy to eat while on the move.
The day of the race the spectators are unbelievably motivating. The people that line the streets literally root for you like they have known you for years. I wish I had put my name on my shirt (many runners do) because so many people were cheering for runners by name. The Queensboro Bridge is the hardest part of the marathon in my experience. SO quiet. All you hear is your feet hitting the pavement. And it feels longgg. This is also where I noticed that people started walking which really plays with your head.
I finished in just over 4 hours. My only goals were to finish and not walk at all… achieved! I found my family after a good hour of searching. There are people everywhere and so many roads are closed off. After getting home and showering (one of my top 5 best showers) we all went out for a celebratory dinner at one of my then favorite places De Novo.
It was such a special and life changing day. Will I do it again? Maybe. Probably not NYC as it required quite of bit of planning and fundraising. But I won’t say that a smaller scale marathon is out of the question for me.
SO that being said…
Recommendations if running a NYC Marathon:
- Stay overnight somewhere somewhere close to your transportation to the start line.
- Have family/friends meet you at a couple of points along to way after you hit 15 miles to give you a boost of confidence. It will be hard for them to get around the city so don’t have them waste their time seeing you in the beginning when you are feeling good.
- Wear an old sweatpant/sweatshirt combo for warmth and leave them at the start line.
- When registering put an accurate projected finish time. I was running 8-9 minute miles during training but registered in the 10-12 minute pace group because I was intimidated. I ended up running an extra mile (as per my running app) trying to weave around people.
- Have a solid meet up plan with your group. NOTE: They do not allow you to walk through sections of Central Park which was why our meet up plan did not work. My family had to go all the way around the park which took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
- EAT RIGHT AWAY. I felt super nauseous after I finished but should have gotten something in me. I blacked out twice on the subway ride back. A protein drink was the first thing I finally got down.
- Run without headphones. Hearing all the cheering and looking at all the sights was definitely enough entertainment for me.
- Don’t check a bag. If you don’t they give you this cool poncho for after the race. Wish I did that!! And it takes a lot longer to get out of Central Park if you are in the bag check group.
- Have a plan for your finish line photo if that matters to you. Ha I was NOT ready. So I took my own 🙂
Good luck to anyone running tomorrow! I am rooting for ya! And if you are thinking about it for next year I hope this post inspires you!