NYCM Thoughts

I figured I should probably write this recap sooner rather than later. I don’t know how detailed I’ll get, but if you’re looking to skip over the (mostly) ugly details, I didn’t have the race I was hoping for. I finished in 3:31:12…. over 13 minutes slower than my PR, and over 20 minutes slower than my goal. But that’s okay. Because honestly, I haven’t had a shitty (no pun intended) race in a really long time.

Overwhelmed. So. Many. People.

Let’s start off with some things I loved about the race:

  • An AMAZING course. It was really cool to run through all five boroughs. I saw some really awesome parts of NYC that I’ve never seen before.
  • My friends and family coming into the city to support me. My boyfriend, one of his fraternity brothers, and his sister waiting for me at Mile 17. You have no idea how bad I needed that. My mom, step dad, and family friends at mile 22.5. They are honestly the only reason I didn’t DNF at the Mile 18 medical tent. And of course Will at mile 24 (he made moves across the course), although I didn’t see him (I was actually dying) it means the world to me he saw me there and met me at the finish. So much love to my family, friends, and Will. You all got me through one of the toughest races of my life.
Standing. In a forever long line. Contemplating that Manhattan looks a bit further than 26.2 miles.

And maybe not my favorite things about this race:

  • The logistics of getting to the start are an absolute nightmare. Although the transportation went rather seamlessly, it took forever. I was on my feet for far longer than I would have liked.
  • I hate late starts. That is all.
  • People taking SnapChat videos/Instagraming/Texting/FB posting WHILE running. Please move yourself to a later corral if you’re here to just photo document and weave uncontrollably in and out of peoples paths.
  • When the hell did NYC become hilly?
  • The forever walk after the finish. Although seamless and holy cow is the post race poncho the warmest thing ever – I was really not about walking an additional half mile to get it after I finished. Maybe if I felt better I wouldn’t of minded, but all I wanted to do was collapse.
  • Also… note to NYRR… please have more porta-potties during the exit route. Like you did a great job throughout the race, but now that I’m done… I’d really like to use another bathroom. TMI?

So what happened?

As I’ve mentioned before, I run fasted. It’s what works best for me. My stomach had been feeling fine before the race, I had a good pre-race dinner and crashed early. When I got up in the morning I went about my normal routine. I woke up at about 530, left Will’s sisters apartment at 6, and was on Staten Island by 830. I was lucky and in the first wave, unlike Boston when I started at 11AM, I was off at 950. However, with the time change, I guess it was really 1050. I don’t know how those things work…

Anyways… I spent far too much time standing – waiting for the ferry, on the ferry, waiting for the bus… I did get to sit on the bus so that was nice… and then I found myself standing waiting to go through security, and then of course waiting for the start… Not ideal.

The weather was surprisingly warm, which may or may not have affected my race. We’ll never know, but I just know I was absolutely drenched in sweat within the first three miles. AKA I will not be posting any race photos because they’re all ew.

My legs felt great and stomach felt fine, and for the first 9(ish) miles I felt phenomenal. I was on pace to hit my goal, my legs felt loose and I really thought New York was going to be my day. Although a bit warm (and somewhat humid) I figured it wouldn’t affect me too badly, I had packed my Gu which I planned to take around 11/12 and there were plenty of water and Gatorade stations throughout the race.

FYI – this post is about to get REAL so if you’re not into the details as to why my race went downhill faster than Bodie Miller at the Olympics then skip ahead towards the end. Or just like stop reading… whichever.

When I hit 9 miles, my stomach started cramping. I felt the potential need to use a bathroom. I figured I’d keep going and if need be, I’d stop and use a restroom when I was taking in fuel. Multi-tasking. I started taking in my fuel around 11.5-12.5 and walked through the water station to take water with it. At this point I was still on pace (around a 7’12” mile) and was happy with how my legs were feeling. However, the second that water and Gu hit my stomach, I knew I was about to be ill. Naturally on the Pulaski bridge there were no porta potties so I had to hop the jersey barrier and well… you get it. My stomach completely seized up on me from there on out. I don’t think there was a mile after that where I didn’t have to walk for part of it. Anytime I tried to take in Gu/Gatorade/Water, my stomach would seize, I was unable to keep anything down and I would vomit it right back up.

This was the first race where I have struggled so severely with stomach issues. Who knows what caused it, but it happened. Part of me was so beyond pissed off that this was happening, while part of me was grateful that this had never happened before. I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have hated racing so much. My legs started fatiguing quickly as I was now about 18 hours without any food in my body. I had nothing left and nothing to work off of.

And this is why I cannot thank my friends and family enough. I thought about succumbing to my first DNF around mile 18/19. I was miserable, I wasn’t going to hit my goal, so in my mind, why should I keep caring about this race? But Will sent me a text that morning which reminded me about the important things in life. It’s just a race, and no matter what happened, I was running the biggest and greatest marathon in the world. It’s a special race to run so I might as well enjoy it. And I did…. as much as I could. I was lucky to get the opportunity to run the NYCM, and regardless of my time, I know my family is proud of me, so I should be proud of myself.

I finished and that metal means more to me than you can even imagine. I was in pain. I was mentally exhausted. And I was upset with my stomach, and frustrated that this happened to me. But we all have bad races, and not every race can be a win. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for someone who is as competitive as I am. I had a great training cycle – I hit my peak milage, I PR’ed unexpectedly on a hilly half marathon course (hi sub 1:30) and I had some really stellar runs. But NYCM wasn’t my day and that’s okay.  Boston is my redemption and I am even more motivated to train and run Boston hard. And as Will said last year – make it my bitch.

I do it for the bling.

However to get there, I think my body needs some serious time off. I trained hard. I’ve been lucky enough to PR in every marathon I’ve run since October 2013 and I’ve been in a constant training cycle since July 2014. It’s time to rest. November is now No Running November. Obviously not completely, because I’d go insane, but I’m looking at maybe four or five casual runs over the next three weeks. My body needs the rest if I want to perform my best in April.

Here’s to keeping things in perspective, not being too hard on ourselves, and remembering what’s really important in life.

Like $100+ pedicab rides… but that’s a story for another time.

Thank God I took a picture because I will never be in a pedicab again.

Thank you everyone for such kind thoughts and well wishes! It really means the world to me xo


Has anyone else run NYCM? Did you think the course was as surprisingly hill as I did??

What is the hardest race you’ve ever run?

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50 thoughts on “NYCM Thoughts

  1. I had a rough race too. I was dehydrated and I know the weather impacted me – nauseous and dizzy after 19 miles and just trying to finish. I was 18 minutes off what I wanted but didn’t even care – I really did just try to focus positive! I feel the same way about Boston now too.

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  2. Well done on finishing what sounds like an extremely tough race for you! To soldier on through that kind of discomfort during a marathon is really impressive. I think you have really good perspective on the overall outcome and a No Run November sounds like a great plan! Non-stop training since July ’14 is hardcore girl!! Enjoy your month off and I bet you’ll be back fresh as ever and raring to go get those PRs 🙂 x

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  3. I had a similar experience during last year’s NYCM. The wind/cold weather really impacted me…opposite from this year! I was way off my goal time and what I was capable of running. It’s an amazing amazing course but the logistics make it not the easiest for a PR I think. So many variables (late start, a lot of standing, hills…omg, etc.). But I guess you could say that about any race? Boston is yours!

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  4. I run way slower than you, and have had the exact same experience! It’s frustrating to have race day go awry when you’ve done all of your home work! But that’s why there’s next time! And agreed, the NYC race course is amazing, but the pre/post logistics are brutal. Bottom line – YOU FINISHED, Warrior Princess! Super fun to share the day with you! xo

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  5. Awww Jamie!! I feel so horrible for you in this race. I’m so sorry all of this happened to you and I know you’ll use it to fuel your fire and kill it at Boston. We all have those bad races, and I’m proud that you kept it together and finished. You’re a rockstar!!

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  6. Way to fight through! It’s so frustrating how many things can go wrong in a marathon despite how hard you’ve trained. People always ask me why I’m nervous since I’ve done plenty of them in the past, but it never gets easier! There’s just so much time for something to go wrong! Sometimes it just takes a race like this to prepare you for what’s to come. You’re going to be so strong at Boston!

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  7. So proud that you pushed through. I agree that as a volunteer on the course, I saw a lot of people (including my own friends!) struggle with the late start, as it really affects the fueling strategy and for some of them starting in Wave 3 meant having a plain bagel around 6/7am and then nothing besides raisins or jelly beans until after finishing around 4pm. You will crush Boston!

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  8. OMG. You are amazing for hanging in there and finishing. Just amazing. I give you so much credit right now for pushing through with still an amazing finish. I have yet to hear anyone who was thrilled with how they ran on sunday, I wonder if it was the weather affecting everyone? I agree on the late start and the walking/standing around until that time. That’s gotta be rough and something I think about every time I consider running this marathon. Congrats again!

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  9. Aww, shiiiiit. I’m sorry to hear this. And of course I read all the way through and even slowed down a little at the diarrhea parts because HELLO! That’s my life. I feel really bad that you were vomiting though. That’s never ever happened to me. I wish I could give you a big motherly squeeze right now, and a buttsmack for getting that bad boy DONE despite those stomach issues. Your time isn’t a reflection of your capabilities as a runner and I’m glad you know that. You’re a tough ass chick, and you’ll get it next time.

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  10. I’m sorry this race didn’t go as planned but it seems like your head is in the right place. You WILL crush Boston. You nailed your training, and it sucks that we only really get one shot at a good marathon per cycle. I experienced very similar feelings with my marathon drinking gatorade (my stomach doesn’t like it apparently). I couldn’t have planned for that and it is what it is. NYCM is an experience and I’m glad you got to soak it all in. I like “no run november.” I’m taking a very relaxed approach to running right now too. Our bodies deserve to rest after everything we put them through.

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  11. HUGE hugs and congrats on finishing. I know how tough it is to get to the finish feeling like that. I had a flare for Chicago last year and spent overall an hour or so in bathrooms along the way, and crying. I frickin earned that medal.
    I will say I don’t think any race I have run compares to NYCM BUT I will never ever try to make it my PR race. The logistics SUCK. late starts (luckily I have always been in wave 2 but wave 4 sounds awful) walking what feels like miles before AND after… it’s amazing but you’ve done a lot before it begins.
    Rest up and get ready for redemption in Boston!

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  12. I’m so sorry to hear your race didn’t go well, but you are such a fighter and should be proud – you still finished with a great time and congrats on that! Stomach issues are the worst during a race. I feel your pain so much as I read this. You most certainly are going to crush Boston – in the meanwhile, enjoy your rest and recovery, you deserve it! Even though you had a rough race, you now know that you can push through those hard miles (not that there was any doubt) and that will benefit you so much in the future!

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  13. You did train SO hard and I really admire all of the work you put in before the race, not to mention during the race when things got really tough. I’m bummed about your stomach problems 😦 but glad that you have so many races in the future you’ll be able to do. Plus, a 3:31 with stomach issues + walking is dang impressive. You’re a fighter! 🙂

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  14. fuck NY; boston is where it’s at 😉 way to power through like a boss and still come out with a BQ! boston is looking forward to cheering you on in april…i know i am!

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  15. congrats on running the NYCM and persevering through to finish what unfortunately was such a rough race for you! i felt so sad for your stomach while reading this, as i know how frustrating tummy issues can be and how miserable you must have felt, but girl, you’re an incredible rock star of a runner and if anyone can push through those sort of obstacles and run a really tough marathon course with what anyone else would still consider a dream time, it’s clearly you. 🙂 there will be so many more races for you to redeem yourself and i’m so proud of you for how you did in this one!! a few of my girlfriends ran it too and one has been emailing me this week about how shocked she was about the hills and totally unprepared for them…but hey, YOU FINISHED THE NYC MARATHON. you’re amazing.

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  16. aw girl, way to truck through! that honestly sounded so awful, and I can’t (but can) believe you finished it. I think maybe getting this bad-for-you race outta the way, will only pave the way for an amazing next race. boston should be scared of you 🙂

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  17. You are superwoman- Congrats on finishing such a tough race! Enjoy your well-deserved rest! My toughest race was probably my first (and only ha!) half marathon. I grew up a sprinter, so distance has always been super tough. It didn’t scare me away from them- I just signed up for my next half in 2016 🙂

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  18. Congrats on getting through it, still with an amazing time!!! At the end of the day you ran an amazing marathon and crossing that finish line with all of your stomach issues is what matters!! You still rocked it and you are gonna rock Boston even harder!!! 😉

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  19. Oh man that sounds like the last two miles of my last half marathon. I was questioning my life choices and praying to get my final slog over with. It felt like a death march. Even though it wasn’t your best performance, 3:30 is still PHENOMENAL! I wish to get that at my first marathon!

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  20. The reasons you list for disliking this race are exactly the reasons I’m hesitant to enter the lottery! Everyone tells me what a wonderful race it is, it’s once in a lifetime, etc. etc. – but all I usually think is “but it’s SUCH A BIG RACE.” Also, I did Chicago last month and feel you on the forever long walk to exit the chute.
    That sucks that it wasn’t your day, but you’ve definitely got the right attitude. To have your first terrible race in 2 years is something many runners would love to have. I hope you’re not going too crazy with minimal runs this month, but your body will definitely thank you 🙂

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  21. Oh no!! So not what I was expecting to read! I am SO sorry you had to feel like that through your race! The marathon distance is a beast and you’re a rockstar for finishing in the time you did. Head up!! Enjoy your run break this month 🙂

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  22. congrats on finishing! you pushed through what so many people would have given up on.
    it seems like the majority of people i’ve heard about did not have a good race.
    my sister came in about 10 minutes behind her goal. two people i know of did have their best race yet, but it was their 15th time running NYC. crazy!!
    Enjoy your time off, you most definitely deserve it!

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  23. I’m so sorry to hear about your tummy issues. It sucks when you train so hard for a race and then something so out of your control can happen :/ BUT, on the plus side – congrats on finishing NYC Marathon AND with another BQ despite all those issues might I add!! Seriously to finish with everything against you and still pull out a BQ – you are nothing short of AMAZING! I’m so darn proud of you for pulling through and never giving up. I don’t know how you did it, but you proved your strength this past weekend, that’s for sure. Hope you are feeling better and enjoying your recovery! 😀

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  24. Congratulations on pushing through and finishing! It’s frustrating when you have an “off day” on race day. You just never know how the day is going to go and there are a lot of things that are out of our control (stomach issues, weather, hills – oh how I would love to be able to control hills). You still had a stellar race time and good attitude about the entire experience. One of the reasons I don’t think I will ever run the NYC Marathon is the logistics. I have heard nightmares about actually getting to the starting line and all of the standing around. Oh, and I can’t wait to hear about the pedi-cab experience. Talk about taking advantage of runners!!! They obviously have no sympathy!

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  25. I am so sorry your race wasn’t what you wanted. I know it’s not fun, but it happens. For me after I finish a bad run/race, I just try to remind myself that for every bad run, an even greater one is just around the corner.

    I’m proud of you! And I want you to be proud of that bling! You earned it!

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  26. Yes…you should definitely be proud! Every race I run whether it’s a PR or not…I am always grateful for strong legs and a mind that can withstand trials on and off the course. So congratulations, Jamie! Enjoy your down time.

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  27. You should be so proud of this race! Sounds like a tough day but you fought through it and your time was still pretty great… I can’t imagine running that fast through stomach issues. And just remember, those things were out of your control. It wasn’t that you didn’t train hard enough to reach your goals. Great job!!

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  28. Gosh, Ive heard a lot of people had a bad race in NYC too and all with stomach issues. So weird! I can’t believe how long you guys have to wait around for the start, that is just crazy, I don’t know that I would do well with that. You did a great job despite not getting the PR you were wanting, but considering the circumstances you still did awesome!

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  29. Wow that’s such a huge fear to have stomach issues like that during a run. And to have them just short of halfway, knowing you have so much further to go? That’s such a mountain in and of itself. Congratulations for pushing through and STILL getting a pretty insane time!

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  30. Oh man, I’m so sorry to hear you had a tough race. I finished Chicago with similar feelings. I wasn’t even sad but I was more upset/angry–I’d put in some tough training and everything pointed to me having a stellar race. But I didn’t and it sucked so, so bad.

    Like you though, I’m more motivated than ever for the next one! 🙂 We got this!!!

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  31. Oh, Jamie. I am so sorry to hear you had a rough time. I’ve run New York twice and once it was my worst and the other is was meh at best. The logistics are a total nightmare as is the whole eating thing. (And I don’t run fasted.) With all that standing and the time change and who knows what else–I’m not sure how anyone has the race of a lifetime in New York. Good races, bad races- I’m beginning to think it’s the body’s ebb and flow. They do make you more determined though! And that’s something. Here’s to the next good run! Cheers Jamie! Congratulations on running the Not Flat At All NY Marathon! 🙂

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