Marathon day started with a 5 am wake up call, not that I got much sleep the night before anyway. I pretty much popped up at 5am, got dressed, ate and packed my second breakfast in my “official” clear plastic bag. I checked the weather only to see it was in the 50’s already, which was good for waiting, but not so good for the marathon or at least I thought at the time. I had scheduled an Uber to pick me up at 5:45 to take me to the NY Public Library where I would catch the bus to Staten Island!
The Uber was on time and it actually only took me 20 minutes to get to the library. I was over an hour early for my 7:15 am scheduled bus, but figured I might as well get on line.
I met a man from Spain who I spoke with while we were on line. We separated at the bus, but it was nice to chat while we waited. I pretty much walked onto the bus at 6:30, they never checked my time. I sat next to a nice man from Alabama for the ride to Staten Island. We talked about running and family.
It took about an hour to get to Staten Island and to get off the bus where we were greeted by another long line to get into marathon village.
I ended up hanging out with my bus companion until we got to the village at which time we parted ways when we entered the village. I had one goal in mind for marathon village and that was to get a Dunkin Donuts hat. I made it to the Dunkin Donuts truck only to be disappointed that there were no hats left. I even tried to talk the volunteer into giving me their hat without success. I settled on a cup of coffee. I stopped at the Porto potty before finding a nice grassy area in the sun to camp out at until the start. I only had another three hours to wait. The village was so crowded and my phone had limited battery so I pretty much gave up on finding anyone I actually knew.
I met a nice man from Holland and a couple of ladies from Australia while I sat and waited. It was fun to get to talk to so many different people. I got up to head back to the Porto potty’s and the ladies from Australia also stood up at the same time only to reveal an old running team mate, Pam! I was so excited to find someone I knew! We talked an found out we were both in similar positions with regards to our training and had decided to run together for as long as possible. We started shedding some clothing and when we went to throw it in the donation container guess what I found? Yes!! I found a Dunkin Donuts hat and yes I took it….don’t judge, I have been wanting one of these hats since 2014.
Pam and I hit the Porto potty’s a couple more times before the start and at around 10:30 we did some warm up drills before heading into our assigned corral. I was further up in the corral, but I hung back with Pam so we could start together. By the time we actually started moving at 11am I felt like I had been up for 20 hours.
I was super excited for this start because it wasn’t so windy this year and I was on top of the bridge! I have to say that as hard as running the incline of the Verrazano is, you really don’t feel it because you are captivated by the amazing views.
Before you know it you are at mile three in Brooklyn. Despite Pam’s lack of trying it felt like she was flying and I knew by mile six if I didn’t slow down I was never going to finish this marathon.
When I saw 9:56 lap at mile six I slowed and I let Pam go. The next six miles I just soaked in Brooklyn, the crowd and the signs……many Donald Trump signs on the course. As I approached mile thirteen I passed Pam. She was exhausted. We waved and I crossed the bridge into Brooklyn.
Queens was short and sweet until I hit the Queensboro bridge. This bridge is a double edged sword because it is hosts a long incline more than halfway through the race, but it leads you to First Avenue, which is my personal favorite part. There is nothing like coming of the “quiet” Queensboro Bridge and turning onto the loud, crowded First Avenue. The energy from the spectators is amazing, but first you must tackle the bridge.
Mile 16 was my slowest mile the entire marathon. That bridge kicked my butt, but it was well worth it.
Unfortunately my phone died just as I was about to take a picture of the view of First Avenue. I definitely got swept up in the excitement and energy of the crowd, my adrenaline was pumping. I did get to see my coach Jess, I think around mile 18, I practically fell over the fence trying to hug her, seeing her also gave me an added boost. I was definitely starting to feel beat up when I hit the Willis Avenue Bridge to the Bronx at about mile 20. Mile 20 offers a great significance because there is only 10K left after this point. I mean 10K on its own is easy, but after 20 miles not so much, I knew I had at least another hour and fifteen minutes left.
The Bronx was only about a mile and a half and not as lively as I remember the last time, but last time I didn’t hit the wall and this time I was hitting the wall hard. Heading back into Manhattan and running along 5th Avenue was rough. I literally just kept talking to myself and just made the goal of getting to the next water stop. At around mile 23 a nice man passed me and when he did he tapped me on the shoulder and told me what a great job I was doing, he had been following me for miles. This actually gave me the motivation to keep on running……I mean only about 5K left at this point.
At about mile 24 we entered the park. This was great because I knew I was almost there and I knew my friends and family were somewhere in the park. Mile 25 I saw my in-laws and mile 26 I saw my friends Crystal and George. With only 0.2 miles left I had tears in my eyes. My biggest complaint is why do they make that last 0.2 miles uphill??????
My daughter and her boyfriend were in the grandstand thanks to my friend Jen, but although I looked, I never saw them. I crossed the finish line in 5:00:52 officially.
After the finish I was freezing and I had to walk like a mile and a half to get to the ponchos and then another mile to get to my family. I missed my first two goals- (1) to get a PR and (2) to finish in under 5 hours, but not by much. I did meet my third goal which was to finish!!! I am happy to report I had no foot pain and although it was a tough race, I felt great.
I was so happy to be reunited with my family and friends. We took a bunch of pictures and then parted ways.
My in-laws headed home. Me, my daughter, her boyfriend and my friends headed back to the apartment. Unfortunately, the easiest way to get there was via walking. Uber was over $60 to go three miles and the subway just wasn’t worth it, so we walked. Although I was pained I think it was good to walk. It took about a half a hour to get back to the apartment. I rested for a little while and them me and my friends headed out.
What do you do to celebrate running a marathon?