I have been so delayed in writing this. Maybe it is because the race did not go as I hoped or maybe it is because we have spent the last few weeks packing up our entire house and moving into an apartment. To say that I have been stressed and busy (I hate when people say busy) is an understatement. I have had this written since December, but went back to re-write it because it felt negative. We had so much up in the air while were in New York, that I feel I could not enjoy myself.
I was so excited about running this race. I was a little bummed that it was taking place during a very stressful time for Ken and me. We had debated about cancelling our trip all together with everything going on with our house, but I told Ken if the contract fell through and we cancelled our New York trip, that I might really hurt someone or end up in a mental institution. So, we proceeded, stress and all.
I was scheduled to take the 7:30 am Staten Island Ferry. I slept horrible and woke up at one point to pee and noticed my throat felt a little sore. Great. Nothing like starting to catch a cold before a marathon. I went back to bed, not before growling at Ken who had just returned home from having a few drinks. I need my beauty sleep people. :) I want to be clear that my sore throat had nothing to do with my dead legs for this race.
I made my way to the subway with my throw away clothes on. A short ride later, we were down in the financial district ready to board the ferry. Then, the waiting. The wait was not too bad, but I was thrown off by the late start. It is odd to wake up early for a marathon and then wait to start at 10:10 am. I know there is no other way for the organizers to handle this, but it is a pain.
The view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the ferry.
View from the ferry
Lower Manhattan with the Freedom Tower.
The Statue of Liberty
The Verrazno Bridge, which is the first few miles of the race.
The ferry ride was very cool and I was very happy with everything that I was able to see from the ferry. I was really bummed that Ken was not able to see all of it with me.
My favorite part of the entire race was the start. Hearing someone sing New York, New York gave me chills. It was a great moment before the start. We started off running across the Verrazano Bridge, which according to the elevation chart, was the steepest hill of the day. I personally disagree, but maybe the excitement and the crowd made it seem like a smaller hill than it truly was. At one point, it was so crowded on the bridge that I had to walk. I thought the Queensboro Bridge was a much tougher hill.
I do not want to write a long report complaining about this marathon, so I will just make a quick summary of the rest. It was not everything I had hoped for. I had read about the crowds, the crowds, and mainly the crowds in Manhattan. Yes, there were a lot of people spectating in Manhattan. I did not think they were loud and cheering. They were kind of just standing there. It was nothing like I had expected and nothing like I had experienced in Chicago. I was kind of shocked.
You know the runs that you go out for and you decide it was just not your day, you ditch the run and go out the next day? Well, that was my day on November 6th, 2011. At mile three, my legs felt heavy like they would at mile 18. Great, this will be a long day, I thought. I hung on, knowing I would see Ken around mile 17 or so. We had a great plan and I was able to see him both times right where I expected to see him, which was such a high point for me in the race.
You can barely see me here. I am wearing a pink shirt.
There I am running by with the pink shirt
This just was not my race. My legs felt dead the entire time, and I could not go any faster. At one point, I started thinking that it would ended up being my slowest race ever, but I somehow managed to keep running instead of being reduced to walking eight miles to the finish, but I made it. Finishing in exactly 4:22, with an average pace of 10:00 miles. The funny thing is, this is what I wanted to do for my very first marathon back in 2007.
This was the most crowded race I had ever participated in. It was absolutely insane.
I had said I would never run this marathon again. I have since decided that I would, just probably not for a few years. Ken is totally rolling his eyes about now.
Getting out of Central Park and back to our apartment took us what seemed like forever, but was probably about two hours. Thank goodness Ken gave me his sweatshirt, because I was so cold after running and being sweaty. We stopped and got pizza or as the New Yorkers call it, a pie, and scarfed it down along with a few beers in the apartment. I was exhausted from such a long day.
I hope that one of these days after I finish nursing school that I will be able to run this race again. I highly doubt Ken will want to participate, so I will be looking for a marathon mom. Jill? Michelle? Katie? I am very glad that I can finally look back at this race and smile and think of it as a great memory. Not everyone has the privilege of running such an amazing race and I am thankful I was able to do it.