2016 NYC Marathon Race Recap

I did it.

I still can’t believe it, but I did it.

3:58:40

3:58:40

I had prepared for this race for such a long time and was just so ready for it; I honestly was not nervous at all. I had never felt so calm at the start line for a race as I did at this one–the biggest marathon in the country and up to this point, the marathon with the highest expectations. The goal was to finish under four hours.

I hoped to reach the halfway point in under 2 and try and keep the halves as close as I could time wise. I knew the second half was “harder” but I was intent on giving it my best.

First half–1:57
Second half–2:01

Really, I couldn’t have asked for better. Considering the second half had the infamous Queensboro Bridge and the hills of Central Park, I am ridiculously happy with those half splits.

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Miles 1-6

I knew the first mile was going to be all uphill and I knew that it was going to be cold and windy. It was all of those things. I started off slowly and with no rush or concern for passing people. The first mile beeped right as I passed the marker at 9:49. I knew I’d be picking it up and I did as the second mile alert came in in at 8:26–except it came a ways before I reached the mile marker. I was little bummed to see that already my watch was not matching the course. But luckily, I had a 4 hour pace bracelet that at the last minute, my friend had given me before we started. So I didn’t panic and instead told myself to just use the elapsed time to keep track.

On I went. I wasn’t obsessing at my watch, only occasionally looking down to make sure I wasn’t going too fast. I took in the crowds–it was exactly as advertised. There were soooo many people on both sides screaming, cheering, dancing, laughing. You really couldn’t help but smile yourself. The best was seeing people find their runner and squeal with joy. Oh my god, I loved that so much.

I reached the 10k mark with so much happiness. I felt good, I felt strong.

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But I knew I still had a long ways to go.

Miles 6-15

I knew my friend Elle (A Fast Paced Life) would be at mile 8-9ish so I started to to look around for her when I approached the end of mile 7. The next three miles were a blur trying to find her and I was sad I didn’t, but I just pressed on.

With the exception of the first mile, miles 2-10 were all between 8:26-8:47. My watch kept beeping before the mile marks so I never really knew what the pace was exactly for each mile but I just kept glancing down at the pace bracelet and making sure I was under whatever it said for each mile.

I just concentrated on running by feel, and I truly felt great. Every now and then I’d do a body check and everything would pass. My breathing was fantastic. I was seriously in disbelief with how great things were going. I’d never felt this way at this point in a marathon, lol!

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Miles 15-20

Up to mile 15, I had been running unplugged, but I had my little I-pod in case I needed some musical inspiration. When I approached Queensboro Bridge, I decided that was the time.

There are no spectators on the bridge and I knew that this was going to be a rough incline, so I put my earphones in and put my head down. I marched on completely oblivious to my surroundings. Even though my mile split for 16 was 10:09, I passed so many people.

When I made the turn onto First Ave, I unplugged so I could relish the cheer from the crowd. I had heard so many things about the “sound boom” runners get coming out of the bridge and boy did I welcome it.

However, at around mile 19 I started to feel a little ball grow where where my ankle meets my foot. A cramp! I re-plugged and kept going. I knew that if I could just make myself keep going, it would either go away or I’d forget about it. One could hope, right?

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Miles 20-24

Oh my gosh, these miles were tough. My breathing was absolutely perfect. There was no huffing or puffing or struggling on my part. But the cramps….oh, the cramps!!! My quads, my hamstrings, my calves, my toes–everything hurt and I was dying.

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But you know what? I didn’t panic. I didn’t stress. And most importantly, I didn’t stop. I would ask myself how I felt, and I honestly felt fine–my breathing was good and my body didn’t feel tired or sluggish. It was just the cramps.

So I isolated them. I set them apart from the rest of my body and pretended they didn’t exist. I was in such a zone, so completely immersed in the moment. I was in the middle of Central Park at this point but I couldn’t see or hear a thing. I was *in* the race.

The cramps would come and go, but I kept on running.

Miles 25–Finish

I was still cramping pretty badly but at this point, I knew I had my sub 4 marathon and I was so ridiculously happy.

I kept thinking about my husband and my kids and my brother and sister and all the people who mean so much to me and all the people who donated to my charity. I don’t think I’d ever been so happy during a race in my entire life.

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I looked down at my watch to make sure I wasn’t crazy, but I’d done it!! I crossed the finish line in under 4 hours!

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I was absolutely giddy. And as soon as I stopped, the cramps dissipated and I looked and felt like I could’ve kept going.

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I wanted to jump, I wanted to scream with joy!! I wanted to hug everyone. I wanted to kiss the final race photographer and the woman who put the race sheet around me. I wanted to find my husband and tell him that I had just finished the race of my life…

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It was a long walk to the family meet-up where I knew my husband was waiting. I saw him before he saw me and my heart swelled. I was so happy that finally, finally, I was coming to him with good news.

His eyes locked mine, a nervous look as he searched for an answer…Choking back tears of joy, I whispered:

I did it.

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************There’s so much more I have to say about this race and I’ll be doing so in the next couple of days/weeks, but first–oh my goodness guys, thank you SO much for your words of encouragement and love on here and Instagram. Many of you have been with me on this long, long journey and really, you have no idea what your support means to me. I will never forget it. ❤ , helly

 

 

Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 5

Week 5 in the books!!

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Easy Runs–9:40-10:20
Long Runs–9:29

Here’s how the week went down.

Monday, August 1stEasy 5 miles, 10:04 avg

The plan said 6 but I was pushed for time as I did these miles in the afternoon/evening and I was expecting visitors. It was a hot one.

Tuesday, August 2nd1 mile WU, 5×1000 (w/400R), 1 mile CD; 4 Easy Miles @ 9:29 avg = 10.25 miles total

I doubled down Tuesday first with my speed workout. It was 86 degrees with 66% humidity at 5 in the morning. Basically disgusting. Anyway, the goal for each 1000 was a 7:30 pace.

  1. 7:50
  2. 7:31
  3. 7:31
  4. 7:31
  5. 7:27

The first one I did on my own. Then, some of my run buddies were behind me and I invited them to join me on my workout. Only one took the bait. As soon as I told him what my target pace was, he nodded, programming it in his head, and then made sure I hit it each time. This guy was seriously amazing. It was such a confidence booster to see that I was running over a half mile at that pace and feeling like I could do a full one (which I’ll have to later, lol!). I honestly think that I psych myself out. I see a pace and just think I can’t do it. Because as soon as I had someone next to me, it was like I was totally fine going for it. I need to learn to do that BY MYSELF.

Later in the evening, I ran another 4 miles with some friends. In the rain. It was awesome. A little too fast and I need to reel it in, but it was a fun run nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 3rdREST DAY

I don’t mention it, but I’m rolling and stretching each day. I’m not perfect with my MYRTLES but I get them in a few times a week and for sure on my rest days.

Thursday, August 4th–1 mile WU, 6 miles Tempo, 1 mile CD

I did my warm up mile with my friends and since they had different workout plans, I did the rest of my miles on my own. Target pace for Tempo Run–8:45.

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Friday, August 5th–7 Easy Hilly Miles, 9:41 avg

I’ve been venturing out for my Friday runs to get some hill work in. I want to be prepared for New York’s bridges, lol! Since it’s a hike to get to these hills, and I have to be back for my husband to get to work, I woke up at crazy o’clock to get ready for this run.

I actually woke up earlier than my alarm...ugh....zzzzz

I actually woke up earlier than my alarm…ugh….zzzzz

Anyway, it was a good run. We went a little faster than normal for hills but I was fine.

Saturday, August 6th–6 Easy Miles, 9:59 avg

I forget my husband’s also training for a marathon, lol! He took the first shift and did his long run which meant I would get the later, warmer start. It wasn’t too bad, 82 degrees, 66% humidity–and there were sprinklers.

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Sunday, August 7th–12 Miles Long Run

My Moms Run This Town chapter meets at 5:30 a.m. and I did not want to be in the middle of 12 miles at 7 in the morning–I remembered yesterday’s run, lol!

So, I got up and did 4 by myself at 4:45 and then swung back to meet the group for my last 8. It’s not ideal; I don’t particularly like stopping and restarting, but I like my MRTT ladies and enjoy their running company. The target pace for Long Runs are 9:29 and I was happy I was able to stay close to it.

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It was a 48.63 mile week. Another big one, another weekly mileage PR.

–How was your running week?

–How late is too late in the morning for you to run? 7 is too late for me. It gets ridiculously hot here.

–How early is too early for you to run? Clearly, I don’t mind seeing a 3 on the clock.