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.
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.
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.
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 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?