Happy marathon week everybody!
If you’ve been strolling around the city lately, you may have noticed the, “Get Your New York On.” campaign aiming to fire everyone up for 2014. Plastered on billboards, in subway stations, on the sides of buses, are photos of runners from last year’s event with varying adjectives set to inspire this year’s runners.
My favorite however, is “Get Your Amazing On.”
That girl looks HOT. And fast. And her shoulders look great! And she looks, well, amazing.
I wasn’t always a runner. Or maybe I was and never knew it. After being an athlete in high school and college, I was left searching for something to feed my competitive spirit. My husband and I stumbled upon the road racing scene, sparking the start of a crazy journey that led us from 5ks all the way to an Ironman triathlon, but the New York City Marathon was something that still remained on our must-do list of races.
My New York City Marathon story is probably just like most that end up in the starting corrals–years in the making. My husband and I entering the lottery three straight years starting in 2010, finally guaranteed a spot in 2012, and after Hurricane Sandy derailed the race, ran the marathon in 2013.
Now even after all of the successes I’ve had in my racing career, I still consider myself an underdog and repeatedly underestimate my abilities. Starting the race that day, I hoped to break 4 hours—even though my PR at the time was 3:47 and I had trained hard for this day.
But maybe it’s something about being corralled up before the race. There’s an energy in the air—it’s nervous, excited, it’s almost delirious, and then the gun goes off and you’re actually running the New York City Marathon. I was lucky enough to have spectators following me around the boroughs, but on that day, no runner is out of luck because crowds and crowds of people cheer you on till you cross the finish line. Those crowds woke me up when my mind began to falter and carried me when my legs wanted to stop. I ran for those crowds and I ended up breaking 4 hours. In fact I went 3:37—two minutes shy of Boston…
Check out my Garmin stats and you’ll see just how great I felt…until about mile 15. Starting around mile 15 is a nice little elevation, and even though I trained on hills, they hit me hard and it took my legs a couple of miles to recover. I recovered enough to run an 8:11 for mile 18, but mile 19 is when the hurt set in. All I could do at that point was push through and rely on the crowds to distract me from the pain. I hung on the best I could–it felt a lot worse than my pace shows! Coming in to Central Park was super emotional–I knew I was close, but three miles can seem like an eternity when you’ve already gone 23! I’m not gonna lie, that’s when the tears came, but crying at that point in a marathon is not productive–apparently I composed myself enough to take an amazing picture!
So did I get my amazing on? The answer is yes, but only because I was infused with the energy of the New York City Marathon. So if you’re running on Sunday, soak it up, take it in, and now it’s your turn. Go get your amazing on.
Good luck to everyone running this year—I’ll be cheering for you!