In the last post, we had just started the race! New York, New York was playing and we were off! Like I had said previously, I was running in the Green Wave, which meant I was on the bottom level of the bridge.
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While I have loved running on the higher level, I think in some ways being on the bottom was nice, it felt warmer & less windy than on top, but that might have been because it was warmer and less windy LOL.
I could see the city & the shadows of the runners on the upper level as I ran, it was really cool. I was so excited to be out there! I was smiling the whole time.
We got off the bridge & headed to Brooklyn. The first people we saw were just off the bridge, they were city workers and they were saying Welcome to Brooklyn and seemed so excited we were there.
I took off my gloves and was holding them by now, I felt pretty warm. We hit mile 3 and then not long after that we were on the main road, the spectators were cheering and I could not stop smiling. I literally felt like I was floating down the road soaking in all the energy from the screaming spectators. It was magical.
I had no time goal but I was feeling pretty good. I was just clicking off miles feeding off the crowds. Then between miles 9.5 – 11, the Williamsburg area, the crowds kind of dissipated for a bit & I lost a little of my mojo.
The next section though was insane, people were all over, in the street cheering us on. My energy was back & next thing I knew we were at the half way point. Things were going well, I was walking through each of the aid stations, drinking water, eating my Spring Energy.
By mile 14ish though my knee was starting to feel a little tweaky but I was continuing on. Up the bridge & I started walking a little bit. I would run, walk, run and it was over before I knew it. My time in the first half was conservative, 2:06, my time over the bridge slowed a bit but I was still doing well.
As we were close to the end of the bridge, I could hear the crowds roaring. I don’t remember this in 2016. We got off the bridge & I could see people waiting & cheering. We were heading into Queens and the crowds were insane! I was still trying to just walk during the aid stations but my pace was slowing some.
I got to mile 20 and my friend Tiffany came running up to me, asking me how I was doing, she popped some confetti for me and it was sooo sweet! I was at 3h21m so if I could finish the next 6.2 miles in less than 75 minutes I would have a new course PR, which is what I thought about the next 6 miles.
By this point, I was run/walking more than just though the aid stations, although as we went through Harlem, the energy was so incredible, music, people cheering so loud. It might have been the most exciting part of the course.
Then we were heading up 5th Ave, which is slightly uphill. I was trying so hard to just keep running but I was walking a bit more than I would have liked and there were a few moments where I was definitely concentrating on just putting one foot in front of the other.
This section was the hardest for me. Then we turned into Central Park. There were sooo many people and they were crowding the road, making it so that we only had the bike path to run on. By this point, my calves were starting to cramp which was a little disappointing since I had been drinking so much water & then Gatorade & water the second half of the race.
I didn’t realize it until later but my hip flexors were so tight that there were some parts of the race where I looked like I was half bent over.
We made our way out of Central Park, back on to 5th Ave, towards Columbus Circle and then back into the park to the finish! I was so excited. As I turned back into the park, there was a challenged athlete & team and they were taking up the entire road, but I managed to sneak past and just kept moving towards that finish line.
I got to the finish and I was almost in tears. I had done it, I had beat my 2013 time by 3 min10 sec. And my training was a little bit non-traditional so I was so amazed that I was able to run what I did.
I got my medal, took my post race selfie, then got my poncho & my goodie bag. Normally only some people get ponchos and others get gear check but this year everyone got a poncho so we got them just after our medals which was so nice!
The exit process is quite a process, it takes a while because you have to get out of the finish area and then walk around back to Columbus Circle. Fortunately we were staying right there on 5th Ave on the actual course so it wasn’t too bad of a walk.
My favorite marathon did not disappoint. Even with only 24,944 people running vs the 50k I ran with back in 2016 it felt like there were a lot of people out there. The crowds, outside Williamsburg, were amazing! They brought so much energy.
I’m so happy we were able to run and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the race.
Here’s to the next one!
Thank you all for following along on my epic NYC Marathon journey!