Posts Tagged ‘NYC Marathon’

Well, folks. It’s over. I officially ran the ING New York City Marathon this past weekend. My review will come in a few parts, mostly because pictures are on three different cameras. I’ll review the expo, the race itself, and post-race happenings, which may or may not include me walking around NYC dressed as a small homeless person. You’ll just have to read to find out.

I’ll also give an update on how much money I raised for the CPSVP on my last post. I’m still collecting money so I can’t total it yet.

Let’s begin on Saturday. Matt and I met my parents on Staten Island early Saturday morning. In order to get a cheaper hotel room and limit my pre-race day stress, we opted to stay out of Manhattan and close to the start of the race.

Once we got settled, we head to the Staten Island ferry terminal to catch the free ferry over to Manhattan. The SI ferry was great. It cost nothing and offered great views of the city. On our way over I got a glimpse of the bridge that I was least looking forward to running over, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Yeah. Jennifer doesn’t like bridges. The smile above is fake.

After stressing over the bridge for about 10 minutes, my family and I walked to the front of the boat and were greeted by beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and New York City.

After the ferry ride, we navigated our way to the expo hall.

The expo was okay. The room it was held in seemed really small for such a large race. However, while there was also a lack of freebies and small-sized shirts, the entire event was expertly run. There were no real long lines or angry runners; it felt like I was going through customs trying to get my bib and race packet.

We spent an unnecessary amount of time there for one reason: RYAN HALL! Yep. My family was gracious enough to hang around the super crowded expo hall so I could finally meet my elite running idol. He holds the American record at the Boston Marathon with 2:08:41 and he writes a blog that I read regularly.

Oh, what was that Ryan Hall? The secret to being awesome??

Sorry, can’t share the secret. But I will share that we shook hands, pictures were taken, and he signed a program for me. He’s such an inspirational runner that it was so great to see that he’s just as nice in person. Well worth the hour-long expo experience.

After the expo we ventured to Little Italy and ate some good ol’ New York style pizza, which was amazing. Even if the waitress did kind of yell at me for asking about vegetables on my pizza. Guess that’s not cool in the NYC?

When we got back to the hotel for the night, I laid out my race-day clothes and accessories so I could get up and go in the morning. I had a 6 am wake-up call and didn’t want to forget anything!

My next post will be about the marathon itself. I have to wait until I get pictures from Matt and my parents. Here’s a little sneak preview: the Verrazano Bridge wasn’t all that bad, the course was rolling hills the entire time, and I set a new marathon personal record for myself!


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And Now We Taper

Thursday: 5.5 miles; not timed
Friday: rest
Saturday: 20 miles; 3:44:17
Sunday: 3 mile walk with Scout

Saturday’s 20 miles was hard due to strong wind gusts. There were times where my legs were moving but it felt like I was going nowhere. Quitting at 5 miles crossed my mind but I didn’t let it stop me. Because after 5 miles was complete, I only had 15 more to go. Easy peasy. In all seriousness, though, the winds were rough and I only got through them because I talked myself into keep going. Looking back now I’m really grateful for the wind. It would have been easy to stop and walk home, but I didn’t. Knowing I can talk myself into running 20 miles in strong wind makes me confident that I can talk myself over any wall I may hit on November 7.

When I got home I stretched out the floor and then curled up in a little ball. Bending my legs felt so good! It wasn’t until I realized my teeth were clattering and I was shivering that I got up to take a hot shower. Then I made myself pancakes about 2 hours later when I finally felt hungry.

Not getting sick on Saturday was also a plus because the last time I used that pancake batter was after my 20 miler last year. Apparently I don’t eat a lot of pancakes and pancake batter doesn’t go bad after a year. Go Target brand! But I probably should buy some more before I run 20 miles again next year. If I choose to do so. Just sayin’.

Now that I’m tapering I have time to psych myself up for New York. I probably couldn’t run a marathon next weekend, but I will definitely run a marathon on November 7. It’s all mental at this point. I’ve done all I can do to my body to prepare for the mileage. Now I just have to convince myself that I can go the extra 6.2 miles and finish my second marathon.

Tapering this year also includes two awesome races before the big day! This weekend is my second running of the Army 10 Miler in Washington, DC. The following Saturday is the Wicked 10k down in Virginia Beach. Here are my lofty race goals:

  • Army 10 Miler: don’t trip and injure yourself
  • Wicked 10k: don’t trip and injure yourself…and find candy corn and eat lots of chocolate candy…but not to the point of nausea…and look ’80s fab…and sparkly

Easy, right? I think I can handle those goals.

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Wednesday: 10 miles; 1:45:something

I had a nice and easy 10 mile run yesterday. It finally felt like October again with chilly temperatures. I have 5 miles scheduled for this evening after work.

Here are some exciting things that happened this past week:

  • I got new shoes that will carry me through the marathon.
  • Matt has successfully found a way to stalk me on Google Maps so he can track me during the race.
  • I received my bib number and starting line placement for race day! I’m in the second out of three waves, which means I’m not last!!
  • I’m running on the lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which is good since I’m scared of bridges and won’t be able to see how high I am.
  • I read that the bridge sways with 90,000 feet running across it since it’s a suspension bridge. Cue vomiting…now.
  • My official start time is 10:10 am. A little late as far as races go, but I’ll deal.
  • I found out Bobby Flay is running NYC this year. Add another celeb to the list I want to see. So far I have Edward Norton, Jared from Subway (for Erin!), and Bobby Flay.

I have a few product reviews I want to write about in the next few days. AudioFuel sent me more samples and I’ve yet to write them the review they deserve. Also, Erin and I ordered Sparkle Skirts for our 10k on Halloween weekend. I MUST review these skirts because they’re super cute and homemade.

Be happy…it’s almost the weekend!

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I’m still here!

Okay, so here’s the deal. My updating has been non-existent this past week do to work. I know, I’ve said this before but let me explain. I work for a smallish (about 75 people) non-profit association. In other words, I work for our members. Everyday I strive to make their lives happy by designing pretty logos and fancy brochures in the creative services department. But that’s not all. I also kind of work in the marketing department doing random marketing projects, one of which is an 8-week marketing online course that started last week. I love what I do, but it’s hard because we’ve been short-staffed since major layoffs December 2008. Thus, I do the work of 2.5 people. Why 2.5? Well my department is the only department without administrative help, which led to lots of fights with the copy machine last weekend.

I’m telling you all this because it’s the reason why I haven’t been writing here. Today is the first day in a while where I haven’t had someone jumping in my office right at 8 o’clock. And since I spend all day at work on my computer, it’s the last piece of machinery I want to play with at home in the evenings. I’d rather play with a very loveable pup who currently runs around the house with a cone around his neck.

But no worries! I’m going to try really hard to find time for myself at work to calm down and write more. In fact, I vowed to Matt that October would be a recharging month because the marathon is 33 days away and I cannot run well if I’m stressed out. I have two cool races coming up at the end of the month, too. The Army 10 Miler and the Wicked 10k. It’s time to get back in action!

While I was not writing, some cool things happened…

  • My aunt and uncle had a beautiful baby girl, Ella. A new little cousin! She’s really cute. Like there’s cute, and then there’s Ella. ‘Nough said.
  • I’ve entered the paranoid stage of my training. People are dropping off like flies at work and I’m poppin’ vitamin C drops likes it’s in my job description. My hands are getting raw from too much Purell. I CANNOT get sick now. It’s not allowed.
  • I ran 18 miles last Saturday in gorgeous, chilly fall weather. I took 3 GUs and felt positively great the last two miles. I really wanted to get home and averaged a 9:35 pace for miles 17 and 18.
  • I visited the Newseum in Washington, DC on Sunday. By far, it was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. There were some pretty heavy exhibits displayed, like coverage on Katrina and 9/11; two displays mentioned April 16. The Newseum did such a great job of showing how people and communities really come together after tragedy and how important and influential communication really is in this world. Besides being super crazy hungry (due to the 18 miles) and being kicked out at 5 pm, Matt, our friend Hunter, and I could have spent hours upon hours in there. So much information in one building. I highly recommend visiting the Newseum if you’re ever in DC.

Anywho…the 18 miles on Saturday really boosted my marathoner ego because last year they were completed on an elliptical machine due to a knee injury. I must be doing something right because my body feels great this year. I have a low mileage week this week before my 20 miler in 2 weeks. That’s my last long run before tapering for the marathon!

I promise to write back shortly. Have a great Tuesday!

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Saturday: 16 miles; 2:55:07
Sunday: 2 mile walk with Scout

Let’s see. Where to begin. This weekend was busy busy busy. Besides sleeping in until 7:30 on Sunday (it was pretty awesome) and not doing anything productive until 10 am that day, I was on the go all weekend.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early for my 16 miler. Scout ran with me for the first 2 miles and then I was on my own. I don’t know what was in me, but the only route I wanted to run was my favorite 5 mile loop around me neighborhood. So after dropping off Scout I grabbed 3 Gu gels, my cell phone, my iPod, my pepper spray, and my Camelbak and headed out on my merry little way. I like my 5 mile loop because it’s challenging yet easy. If that makes sense. The first 1.5 miles is slightly up hill, then it stays flat with a slight downhill through a cute neighborhood before climbing back up and back down until I reach my street again. It’s great hill training for NYC.

I successfully looped 3 times, but I had my fair share of trouble. Besides running past the same yard sales 3 times in less than 3 hours, I…this hurts to admit…forgot to put Secret deodorant on my legs and chaffed really (REALLY) bad.

Let me be girly and explain. To prevent chaffing, I use unscented Secret deodorant around my sports bra and on my shoulders where my Camelbak straps rest. I also apply it on my inner thighs, because I’m not a skinny supermodel and my thighs rub together when I run. Fact of life. Halfway through my second loop I felt the burning and realized my mistake; it wasn’t pretty after that. Every few miles I had to stop and readjust my spandex shorts (I’m sure I scared the yard salers) so my legs wouldn’t touch. A few times I would readjust my shorts, run a few steps, cringe, and try to readjust them again. By the end, I was bleeding some and my inner left thigh was red and swollen. ouch.

To top things off, I helped Matt stain our fence that afternoon. A few times the stain splattered on my wound and it burned. Ohhh did it burn.

I’m better today! It’s all scabbed over and I should be able to run this evening if I wear my longer running shorts.

And as bad as this chaffing burns, it’s not nearly as bad as the injury I faced around this time last year. Sixteen miles was the longest I ran before I suffered a knee injury training for Philadelphia last year and I “ran” an 18 miler on my parent’s elliptical machine. I managed to run 20 miles before the actual marathon, but it was slow and choppy.

Right now, I feel great. My legs quickly recovered from 16 miles and I do believe I could have kept on going. I feel really good about NYC. I’m still not setting a time goal, though. With the crowds and hills and celebrity stalking (must find my new BFF Edward Norton), I’d only disappoint myself and I want NYC to be great. I have many more years ahead of me to reach goals (sorry Matt!), but I might only have one NYC. I don’t see myself entering the lottery again any time soon.

Sorry for the long post! Had to get a lot out. Tomorrow I have a cool new product to share with you that involves ditching my running buddies Dave, Tim, and Jackson. It’s called Audio Fuel and I’m excited to share it with you!

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Dear Dave and Tim,

Hi. My name is Jennifer and I’m a runner. I’m currently training for the New York City Marathon in November. I’ve run multiple races in my past and I’ve done them all sans music. It’s been nice going at it alone with only the sound of my footsteps and angry cyclists around to carry me along, but things have changed. You two have sung your way into my running bubble…and I’m okay with that.

Now, I’ve run with music on the treadmill before. In fact, I have a running playlist on my iPod with random songs that I feel should motivate me to move by artists like Animal Collective and Britney Spears (don’t judge…blame spinning class). Those songs are full of energy, but I’m an acoustic guitar girl at heart. The techo beats bore me after a while. There’s nothing better than an artist and a guitar, even whilst running. I like music that I can concentrate on.

On Saturday I needed music to run again so, naturally before the Jackson Browne concert on Sunday, I set up my iPod to play Jackson’s (we’re on a first name basis too) new album with David Lindley, “Love Is Strange”. I cruised along for a bit and felt fine before mile 3 hit. A song ended. I stopped. I’m not sure what really happened, all I know is that my legs stopped moving and I contemplated going home. The 12 miles I had ahead of me seemed impossible. It was a real low moment. Why couldn’t I continue? Why was Jackson failing me?

So there I stood, by a tree a little over 2 miles from my house. Even the short run back home seemed daunting. But then I remembered the amazing 7 mile run I had on Thursday. Dave, I thought of you and Tim and “Live at Radio City”. I never thought of stopping during that run; I never thought of the hills I was cruising over.

After 5 minutes of contemplation, I apologized to Jackson (still feel kinda bad about this) and switched albums. I found “Live at Radio City” and “Bartender” started singing in my ears. I zipped my iPod back in my pocket, took a swig of water, and headed off into the distance my suburban neighborhood.

It was a match made in heaven, my running and your wonderous album, and I’m not exaggerating. When my Garmin hit 15 miles, your album ended (I also ran out of water…this could have been the perfect storm so I need to prepare for 16 this weekend).

Thank you, Dave and Tim, for unknowingly putting together the most perfect album. Not just for listening to, but for running to. Without you guys, Saturday’s run might have ended at 3.

Saturday: 15 miles; 2:40something



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Tuesday: 40 minute walk
Wednesday: 3.5 miles with Scout; time unknown…too many puppy bathroom breaks
Thursday: 7 miles: 1:13:53
Friday: rest day!

So after I wrote my last post about sticking to my training plan as much as possible until NYC, everything went all weird and my running went off track. Maybe I shouldn’t write about schedules anymore?

It all started on Tuesday when I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon concerning wisdom teeth removal. After 15 minutes of talking about tooth roots and nerves, my body decided it didn’t want to hear anymore and passed out. It was quite embarrassing, but the dentist assured me it happens quite often; however, I call his bluff because he didn’t know where the mini water bottles were. But whatever. Long story short, couldn’t run on Tuesday. Not only did I have a headache after that debacle, but Scout popped me in the jaw that same afternoon and I could hardly close my mouth without pain shooting up my face. Matt and I did manage to go for a nice 40 minute walk with our new little boxer. It was quite nice and put me in a better mood. Those 40 minutes on my feet equaled a 40 minute run, in my mind.

On Wednesday I didn’t want to push it with a long run so Scout (yes, I managed to forgive him) and I went for a walk/run. With the cooler weather we were able to run more than walk, which was nice. Scout is a great running buddy when the temps are below 75 degrees.

Yesterday I felt tons better and went for a nice 7 mile run. It was really windy, but hopefully running against strong winds will get me in shape for running across five bridges during the marathon. It wasn’t too bad, just slow. I actually listened to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City the entire run. I’ve been into running outside with music lately. The even tempo of the Dave CD kept my pace pretty consistent and I was done before I knew it.

Tomorrow I have 15 miles planned. First run over 13 miles this season!

Right now I have much more work to do within the next 2 two hours and must cut my lunch hour short.

Happy weekend!

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