Wednesday, November 5, 2014

TCS New York City Marathon

I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
My FIRST Marathon!
The TCS New York City Marathon!
And it was freakin' awesome!
I can't even begin to explain it. I trained so hard. Twenty milers, Jump Squats, One Legged Squats, Hill Runs, Pick Ups, Holding Planks for 3-4 minutes, Foam Rolling, Active Release Therapy, NormaTech Boots, No Alcohol - and, of course lots of Whole Foods, Timed Right!
Even though I was prepared, 
I was soooo nervous.
On Friday night, Side-Kick and I went in to get my packet at the Jacob Javitz Center. Steve, the 3:30 pacer, was there with his sign. I ran up to him and riveted him with questions. He was kind, and patient (Thanks Dude!). He even gave me some pointers - like how to drink water or gatorade and run at the same time. Then he turned toward Side-kick and said, "She looks terrified. Will she be okay?"
I was terrified!
I wanted so badly to make my goal time: 3:33!
But I never ran this far before. 
I didn't want to wake up on Monday morning 
disappointed in myself.
Last Friday, was also Halloween. NYC on Halloween Night is crazy. It's like going to a Broadway Show and seeing amazing costumes everywhere you turn. Actually, the whole night was pretty crazy. There were tons of people at the expo, and there was such cool running gear. It's like a candy store for runners! Surprise, surprise, I picked up another foam roller. This one is by RunMD,  called The Matrix. I love it. It gets into your piriformis - deeper than the TPTherapy Roller, but softer than the Rumble Roller. It's great for the calves too!
I was a ball of nervous excitement. 
I couldn't believe I was going to run through all five boroughs!
First, Staten Island
Then, Brooklyn
You got it baby, Queens is third!
No J-Lo butt here,
just the fourth borough!
Then ...Manhattan!
I love you, NYC!
Saturday was rough. It seemed to go by very slowly. I helped my son with some college essays, rolled out, stretched, planned my outfit, and my bag. I was smart to pack a Dry Warm Shirt to change into after the race, the Race Village Directions, Hot Hands, a Large Garbage Bag, a Blanket, a Tennis Ball and my MoJi Mini Massager to loosen up my muscles pre-race.
No sandals! LOL!
All in all, I slept 5 hours. Not bad considering the nerves. Sunday morning, Side-Kick took me to the bus in the Meadowlands for the New Jersey-ites to take over to Staten Island.
Waiting On-Line to Board the Bus.
Already freezing!
The bus was packed.
There must have been twenty or more buses. We left at 6:15 - we were on our way! On any normal day, it would have taken 20 minutes max to get to Staten Island, but this was no normal day! We were stuck in a terrible traffic jam! It took an hour and forty five minutes to get to Staten Island.
Plus side: We kept warmer, longer
Down side: I didn't have my morning Joe, I hadn't eaten anything, 
and my leg was getting a cramp from sitting. 
So glad I brought that tennis ball!
We arrived at the start villages at 7:30! I took my village map out, and headed for the Orange Village. Once I got there, I stood on line for a cup of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee. While on-line, I ate my oatmeal, with hemp seeds and walnuts. Next, I sat on my blanket, donned my garbage bag, drank my coffee, drank my beet juice, and gave the old muscles a massage with my Mini MoJi.
It was FREEZING!
The wind was relentless. It was bitter cold! 
Everyone was shivering! 
Eventually, I had to give my bag and my blanket (ultra sad face) to the UPS volunteers. The next thing I knew, it was time to head over to the start. People representing every country, speaking all different languages, announced to everyone in the Orange Village that they needed to go to their starting corrals. I headed for Corral D. All of us, didn't matter what country we were from, all huddled together to stay warm. I met an older man from France. He told me this was his 20th marathon! I told him I was shooting for 3:33, and showed him my Mercy Band. I told him that I was running a half in all fifty states to honor my husband who was killed in the World Trade Center, and that I wanted to run through all five boroughs for the same reason.
I love you, I love you, I love you!
3:33!
At the start of the race, I found Steve, the pacer! 
I stood by him, and did everything he did. When he took off his extra layers, I took off mine. When he did some high knees to get his legs going, so did I. We walked a bit further, only to wait some more. We were waiting for the cannons. And then ...
Bah-boom!
Felt it right through my chest!
We were off!
I can't believe I was in that sea of runners crossing the Verranzano Bridge - Trying not to get blown over by the gusts of wind blowing up to 40 mph. It was literally breath-taking. 
I followed pretty close to the pacer for the first nineteen miles. 
Keepin' up that 8 minute mile pace!
It felt very slow at times, but I kept telling myself it was going to save my legs in the end. At mile 15, we crossed the Queens Borough Bridge and headed up 1st Avenue in Manhattan. My legs started to feel it. The wind made it feel as if you were constantly climbing uphill. Keeping that 3:30 pace was getting harder. I pushed, but knew I was slowing down. I really felt myself slowing down at mile 23. There was a slight hill. I thought, "Really? Like who plans a hill at mile 23? The Devil?"
So many people were screaming:
Go. You can do this.
You're doing great!
You only have three miles more.
Finish Strong!
I screamed inside my head, "Even if you have to shuffle, don't stop! You are not allowed to stop!" The only problem, I had one more small incline from mile 25-26. I couldn't feel my legs. I just hoped my bones would catch every move I made. People were still screaming. Okay, Mile 26, I got this. I tried to muster some extra push to chew off those last few seconds. I pictured myself at a track work out, running that last quarter mile. 
Then, like an answered prayer, 
the end was in sight!
Hallelujah!
I ran my first Marathon!
3:35:27!
Me with my Medal and Mercy Band,
Holding Back the Tears!
I was 44th in my age group. I placed second in my age group for the 50-54 year old women in New Jersey!
The best part,
my Coach saw me finish (Thanks, Joel),
My Family saw me run (I'm sorry I didn't hear
you guys hootin' and hollerin')
And
I got to celebrate with my family 
at Carmine's Restaurant!
They made me feel so special!
I love you guys!
Thanks for all your support!
Love you, Freckles! 
Love you, Mini-man! 
Love you, Side-Kick!
Thanks for all your support!
Boston, next year?
A definite maybe!
Train Smart Today!
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