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NYC Marathon Recap

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a race recap- but felt like spilling my thoughts here on the NYC Marathon this past Sunday. First and foremost – thank you to the NYRR for having me out to NYC for a live podcast on Friday and for the great hospitality and support of my podcast. I really appreciate this organization so much and they are doing so many wonderful things for the running community as whole.

Was thankful to spend the night with Michele the night before and spend time with friends and her sweet family. We got to hang together all morning in the athlete village and even ran the first 2-3 miles together which was fun. We didn’t realize we’d run such similar times or else we’d have just stayed together!

Going into this race I thought on a really great day I could break 3:30 on the NYC course. I have always heard how difficult the bridges and hills are. It’s a pretty rolling course and if I’m being honest, I’m pretty intimidated by hills. I live in Indianapolis where it’s really flat and I don’t seek out hills ever.

I did not have a big build or base of long runs for this race – which was why I felt cautious about how fast I could handle. Since Boston in April I kept a consistent 8-12 mile long run on the weekends but other than that only did one 15, 17 and 20 miler leading into this race. I just really thought it wasn’t enough long runs to produce the time that I ran on Sunday.

Here’s why I think I was able to run that 3:23 given then lack of training. 

  • Experience. This was my 16th marathon. I know very well the pain of the last 6-10 miles of the marathon and I think my mind and body benefitted from that hugely.
  • Being mentally prepared for the hills. Not physically but mentally. I actually thought they would be worse than they were.
    • Ashley really prepped me for the Queensboro bridge at mile 15 and that was HARD, but I was ready for it. I was ready to get up it and down it. And surprisingly marched past quite a few people up it. The downhill of the Queensboro bridge heading into all the cheering crowds was an amazing feeling.
    • The last bridge at 21 (I think it was 21) was really challenging but I just kept telling myself YOU WILL recover from this hill. Get up it, loosen up and recover on the downhill. That was kind of my mantra on the hills and bridges… YOU WILL RECOVER.
    • The last hill though at mile 23ish- 5th ave. murdered me. I was in a fine space mentally but physically I just held on as fast as my body would let me move. A lot of grimacing but also some laughing through the grimaces. One of those things where you can just do what you can do. My legs were so heavy I was turning them over as fast as I think I could It was similar to how I felt in Boston going up heartbreak in April.

Fun facts from my race:

  • Fastest mile was mile 16 when I dropped a 7:06
  • Slowest mile was mile 24 when I dropped a 8:42
  • Half marathon split: 1:40:26
  • First mile over 8 minutes (I was trying so hard to stay under that) was mile 22 when I ran an 8:14
  • Total time: 3:23:05
  • Average pace: 7:45/Mile
  • Positive Split by 2 Minutes and 13 seconds

I knew I was running aggressive. I knew it was likely I could blow up entirely on the second half but decided I’d just see what happens. My speed work would indicate I can run at least a 3:23 – but I haven’t built that up too much or for very long and then the big thing was the lack of long runs. So I knew it was big gamble. My legs were feeling the faster miles by mile 10 but I felt like I was having a day and was feeling very mentally strong. (there were definitely some moments of doubt) but I was pretty relaxed about everything. It’s just running, this is for fun and this is an incredible gift that I am healthy to be out here pushing my limits. So let’s go all in and see where that lands me.

It was fun to run hard. In Boston in April I just wasn’t physically ready to run hard for 26 miles. I was 8 months post partum and my body wasn’t there yet. That was very clear to me when I ramped up longer runs. Over the past three or four months I have seen my body go back to it’s natural, happy place. That’s been totally gradual and it’s due to more time post partum, exercising more consistently, eating food that fuels me well while also having treats and wine and more sleep.

This race has me excited about what’s to come. I’m not planning to ramp up crazy or anything like that, I’m just planning to gradually keep building off where I am currently. In the past I’ve really wanted to get back to that PR shape quicker. (My PR is 3:11:52) A lot of that is because I knew I still wanted to have more babies and wanted to squeak out a PR between kids. Man that’s hard to do. So this will be the first time since I started having kids in 2012 that I’ve been able to just let my fitness build wand that is really exciting to me.

Thank you to everyone who cheered on Sunday and all the kind messages on social media- the crowds were so loud it was really hard to catch everyone, but I know I caught a good handful of people and even grabbed a kiss from a couple of you (Beth, Mary and Ashley!!)

Priority – Make out with your friends at mile 19 of a marathon.

You don’t cry as you approach the finish line?

Here are my splits for the whole race: 

Ok, that took way too long and I should be prepping for my live show this weekend but I really wanted to get some thoughts out! Perhaps I can do a quick podcast on it next week as well if people would be interested in hearing. Let me know!

Congrats to everyone else who ran this weekend!!

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