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2014 NYC Marathon recap

Hello friends, Grab something to drink, get comfy and enjoy... this is a long post.  If you aren't interested in the details, just skip to the bottom to see how I did.

There are three strategies for most runners on marathon day: to race, to run, to survive.  Looking back on my experience, I was prepared, felt great, I was ready to run.  I have one experience of surviving so I know how rough marathon day can be. I ran the 2014 NYC marathon, as planned.

Getting there
I left the hotel at 7am, walked two blocks, bought a ticket, and jumped on the next train.  Following the crowd off the train, we walked just two minutes to the Staten Island Ferry.

I didn't have to wait for the ferry, it was boarding.

The white caps on the river were not a good sign, so I opened the hand warmers I brought with me.  Thank goodness I had these left over from our Kilimanjaro summit. Before exiting the terminal, I changed shoes and put on all the layers of clothing I brought with me. 

The commute was going smoothly, but the wind was getting worse.

A short walk to the street revealed a 15 minute wait for the final leg of the commute - a short bus ride to the bridge/runners village.  My body was shaking by the time I got on the bus and started to wonder how this 15 minutes would impact my run.

As the bus started moving I received a text message that Kara Goucher started running. {the race started while I was commuting... a fact I will never forget}

Departing the bus we had one last security pat down, and five minute walk to the runner's village.

I arrived at the green coral without incident, at 9:57am.  My wave start was 10:05.  I thought it would take 90 minutes to travel from the hotel to the village, this late arrival didn't provide any time to get nervous.

It took me three hours to get to the starting line... the weather wasn't a factor. 

The Run
I will never forget running over the bridge.  My start group was small, running across the bridge on the lower level (far right of this photo).  People shed layers while running, we were jumping over jackets and prerace gear to avoid tripping.  The wind was so bad that several times I was blown mid-stride by a wind gust.

TIP: when starting on the lower level was to stay in the middle of the bridge.  Men will pee off the bridge, into the ocean. The wind was blowing horizontally at 40mph, so this wasn't an issue this year.

No one in my start group enjoyed running over the bridge or stopped for a photo. You could feel dread/worry as we ran together in silence.

I remember thinking this is going to be a horrible experience.

Once we left the bridge a hundred men bailed to the left... to pee on behind trees lining the road.

With three 'to be tossed' layers I wasn't able to see my start time, my iPhone tucked away to avoid distractions. This decision gave me permission to take it all in... and this is what I did!

Once you cross over the long bridge at mile 15 you are home free.  The next mile gifts runners with spectacular crowds.

I wore a fleece, and down vest until mile 22!! I never warmed up enough to trust the weather.  Once in Central Park I shed these layers, knowing the finish was 25 minutes away. 

After the finish
No one prepared me for this... if you are planning to run this marathon know you need to walk about two miles after crossing the finish. We walked up to 85th street, out of the park and back down to Columbus Circle to the meet/greet.  It was mentally draining, and a bit unfair... I logged 33 miles that day.

The wind played is big role:
2013 average time, 4 hours 18 minutes
2014 average time, 4 hours 34 minutes

I was training for 4:15... finishing at 4:32

I felt great my entire training program - I couldn't have asked for a better experience on my legs/body.  I ran four day's week rather than five, removing the midweek long run, a risky approach that paid off.

Marathons and Ultras... some of you will be surprised to learn that this was my first marathon in eight years.  I have no plans to run this distance again, but never say never. 

Life: a snowy visit home

Hello everyone, My fall has been 'crazy busy'... can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Are you ready?

I was in Minnesota over the weekend.  Greeted by ten inches of snow (whoop) - not many were as excited to see the fluffy white stuff falling before Thanksgiving, but it made my day. 

Friday I had lunch with a friend from high school.  We had not seen each other since my wedding day... she was in my wedding! We both moved around a lot back then and lost contact, reconnecting on Facebook last year.   After lunch, I met another friend to shop for a few hours and enjoy a long happy hour.  We devoured chips and salsa while chatting for hours. 

Saturday my twelve year old niece and I spent the day together.  Enjoying a mocha, a visit to the yarn shoppe, Michael's crafts, a knitting lesson, movie, a visit to Barnes and Noble, and finally reconnecting with family for dinner.  She told her mom we started a 'two person' book club.

Our first book is Moon over Manifest, followed by The One and Only Ivan. 

Later this week we have friends visiting from Omaha.

Next week we are hosting our second annual Feast & Sport (Thanksgiving).  Six families, a turkey dinner, board games, and football.

Do you have plans for Thanksgiving? Are you getting ready for Christmas?

Reading
I'm finally getting around to reading Thirteen Reasons Why.  I started it last night and can't wait to read later tonight.  It's going to be creepy... the cover says "A mystery, eulogy, and ceremony."  Have you read it?  I have been putting it off, mostly since it's about suicide.  

Synopsis: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

~~~~~ | ~~~~~ | ~~~~~

I read How to be a Good Wife on the flight home last night.  Have you read it? It's good, not great.  I don't know what I was expecting but it's a page turner.  3 1/2 stars.

Synopsis: Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife—as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector’s aloof mother on their wedding day.

But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can’t recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember—or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta’s visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it’s unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something.

Running: time to taper

Hello friends, NYC marathon is less than two weeks away.  I can't believe it. Now I get to rest, run lightly, and eat well.

Last November, on a whim, I entered the lottery for a chance to run the marathon.  It was cyber Monday and the lottery fee was half price, I believe $10. I wouldn't find out if I was selected until late spring.

This means I have been thinking about this run for almost a year, with training kicking off early August. My travels this fall have let me run long runs of thirteen or longer in NJ, Cape Cod, Germany, and Switzerland.

Saturday I capped off training with a 21 mile trail run.  Three seven mile loops of hills.  While leaping left and right to avoid roots, rocks, and leaves, I kept thinking 'this is it'. It's not only my last training run for NYC but it should be my last long run.  I don't have plans to run this distance again unless I have an opportunity to run London.

Sunday I woke up feeling lighter, thinking I'm ready.

Yellow Trail, you will forever own a piece of my heart.  

The start of the NYC marathon: is this photo exciting or overwhelming to you? It's overwhelming to me but now that I'm ready I'm shifting from fright to excitement.  It will be incredible to see the 2014 photo and know I'm there, somewhere!

I'm ready to have a great experience, spend the weekend in the city, roam the Expo (secretly a family favorite).

This will be my 11th official marathon. I have ran more though, alone, on the trails without one person watching... as I trained for the Ultra.

I've got this. 

Life and books: a quick update


Hello friends, I thrilled to tell you I made it through another training cycle, running 21 miles on Saturday.  Now to taper (sleep, eat well, run just enough to stay loose).  I woke up Sunday morning feeling lighter, it's done.

More on training in another post but I wanted share with everyone, in a timely manner, that I made it. Whew!

Yard work... after receiving an $800 bid to trim the landscaping I decided I to do it myself.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I put on my ear-buds, and began working on the front of the house. The front isn't quite done, but I will finish the front yard today.

:: - :: - :: - :: - :: - :: - ::

Book Talk:  Needing a break from the collection of running and nonfiction titles I have been reading, I found this book on goodreads last week. Ugly Love is told by Tate and Miles.  Tate tells a present day story, while Miles is telling a story from six years ago.  I'm half way and can't wait to listen to the rest of this story.

Synopsis: When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly
 

What are you reading this week? 

Running: Cape Cod + Marathon update


Hello friends,  A few weeks ago my friends and I traveled to Cape Cod for the Zooma half marathon... but mostly for a girls weekend away.

A five hour drive took over seven, but we didn't let this bother us.  We talked and laughed, shared stories and never did see what caused the hour delay at exit 14. 

We arrived just in time to watch the sunset, then headed to the expo, took this fun photo with feather boas, settled in, ate pizza, and enjoyed a glass of wine.

The Run: The weather was warmer than expected, and humid.  My running friend is the most consistent runner, every mile split was spot on.  The last few miles were a bit harder than expected but we crossed around 2:08.  The finish time flashed 2:10, our chip oddly said 2:12 (which is impossible)... GPS time was 2:08:25.

After the Run: We stood in the ocean for a modified ice bath, showered and set out to explore Woods Hole.

First stop, lunch at the Landfall Restaurant.  Located next to the ferry to Martha's Vineyard, this is a must see.  The building is made from shipwrecks, and other old items. I had an amazing salad, one I have made a few times since and is quickly becoming a fall favorite.

Then we walked a few miles to explore the coastline, visiting the Nobska light house, enjoying a double scoop of ice cream, and window shopping at local shoppes.  Late afternoon we settled into recliners on the beach to catch the sunset below.

Sunday morning we packed up, had breakfast at The Middle of Nowhere Diner.  A first class dive where you can get three eggs and toast for $1.95!



Sunday night we hosted a BBQ...  it was a lovely weekend! 

NYC Marathon: Can you believe the marathon is in 26 days?!

Rain on Saturday made it unsafe to run the trails Sunday morning, they were covered with slippery leaves, so I ran one mile loops in my neighborhood. 18 times....

Miles last week: 59

In two weeks I will run a 20-22 mile run, then I will begin to taper.  I'm starting to think about my running outfit, and the logistics for the weekend.