If I am going to be completely honest here, I thought when I entered the lottery for this race that I was actually entering the lottery for the marathon. Enter face palm here. 🙈But when I got the email that I made it, I quickly realized it was for the half. And while I was slightly disappointed, I was still super excited to run a race in NYC. EVERYONE WANTS TO RUN A RACE IN NEW YORK!! 🙌But before I can get into the good stuff….
Enter back story here….So, many of you know that I am a country girl, through and through. 🐮But for those of you that do not, let’s just say I grew up with cows in my backyard and the smell of manure was, and still is, like the best thing ever. 🐄 Why am I telling you this? Well, for you to fully understand the anxiety and fear I have with BIG cities. [[Why would any one be afraid of cities? ]] It sounds silly. But the fear of traveling alone, and one way roads, and traffic, and horns honking, and people filled streets, and the overall rush, rush of everything. It’s more than overwhelming. IT IS SCARY && causes me to have some serious anxiety. 🙊 Then you are probably asking yourself, well why do you have to travel alone? I don’t, usually. But my hubby had to stay with the baby, and my BFF had to cancel her entry due to an injury. And there are so many others I could have, and would have traveled with, but the cards weren’t working out and everything was up in the air, and the fear of not knowing was also causing me to stress out. But God has a funny way of hearing your prayers, and last minute, a friend from church got an entry into the race. Yay for traveling buddies!🙏
EXPO! EXPO!– Well besides meeting MEB (@runmeb ) and running into Erin (@thelittlerunnergirl), the Expo was disappointing!! Where were all the vendors and fun stuff to look at? For being a HUGE race, the expo was nothing short of picking up your packet and leaving. Talk about a waste of a trip to the city. Luckily, I had better things to attend to, like the WeRunSocial meet-up!
Yes, we know, the flag is upside down. That’s just how we roll.🙃 Well that’s how Gregg rolls, and he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so you know, we be the cool kids! Anyways, when you’ve been dying to meet @NYCsweat ((Gregg)) for your entire running career, and then he happens to be there when you walk through the door, you do a crazy lady happy dance and hug him without warning. That’s the amazing thing about the running community. Even though you’ve never met in “real life”, you know there are a million people you can count on, and turn to for support about running, and life outside of running. And when you finally put a voice, a hug, a laugh, a face to face conversation with one of those friends, it’s an experience like none other. 🤗💙 It was so much fun finally getting to meet Haley, Gregg, Anne, and Kim and learning about their lives outside of a square. And to catch up with friends you met before (Dani) is pretty awesome too! This BIG world we live in, is really quite small, and I am so, so happy to have met these awesome people. THANK YOU Brian and WeRunSocial, and for everyone who came out, and for the running community on IG. Gahhhhh!!
The night before the BIG race, I laid out my outfit, and contemplated pants and an extra long sleeve shirt for hours. I packed and repacked my bag. I checked and rechecked that I had the Metro card, my bib, and the reserved parking ticket a million times. ✔ I made sure the babes and I were ready for bed by 8:00, because that 3:00 am alarm comes way too fast. And wouldn’t you know, I COULD NOT FALL ASLEEP! 💤😴I tried and tried and tried. The last time I looked at the clock was like 10:00 and it was after I just fed little man. At 12:00, that boy was up and crying again, and he thought it’d be the cool thing to do to cry until 2:15. So I got max, 2.5 hours of sleep. Talk about nerve wrecking.I thought for sure it was going to the death of me during the race.
Race mornings always have me a bundle of nerves. I am so paranoid of being late, and rushing, and the unknown with parking. I’d rather get there early and hang out than have to run to my corral. That happened once, at the Disney Princess half. At 17 weeks preggers, I was sprinting to my corral that was two miles away! NEVER AGAIN! So i stood in line for what always seems like forever to go pee, and made it to my corral with plenty of time to spare and freeze my tushy off. Hence the old man sweatshirt and sweatpants. But hey, Lauren (@lauren_runs_here) found me and we talked about running a different race. Forget the one we are in line for, let’s talk about future races. But seriously, she is so awesome. She said she would pace me for the second half of my marathon in April. Who does that? I know I am going to need it if I want to get that 4 hour marathon! Okay, okay, back to the race.
The anthem was sung, the corrals were moving, and before I knew it we were running. I kept saying is this it, did we start, because we never crossed a line, but then it appeared and the watch was started. Guys, it’s only normal to take off like a clown is chasing you, and I did, but I kept remembering what everyone told me about taking it easy the first half because of the hills in Central Park. So I found myself having a continuous conversation with myself, telling myself to slow down, you’re going too fast. In hind sight, I wish I wouldn’t have listened, because I was so close to breaking the two hour mark, but at the same time, this race was part of my marathon training plan, and going off plan wasn’t a major concern of mine. I wanted to have fun, and have fun I did. GUYS, I DID NOT STOP SMILING! That has never happened at a race before.😀
Central Park was amazing! I never realized how big it was, and every time I saw a part I recognized from a movie, I would get all excited. Like, this is real life, it does exist. Or I would think about Home Alone and Elf, and basically every Christmas movie, and who doesn’t smile about that?
But nothing in the history of running history will ever compare to the thrill of running through Time Square. Though it was some what creepy, because it was quiet and almost dark, it was the most exhilarating, ridiculously fast paced miles I have ever run. Like where did that speed come from //a 6:54 and 7:10 mile//????. And the tears? Why? I don’t know why. I couldn’t even tell you if they were happy tears or sad tears, or maybe a mixture of both. But it was overwhelming. The crowd. The kids fun run starting and their contagious smiles. The posters from fans. The lights. The smells. I wanted pizza so badly running through Time Square. The random bursts of cold air. The crazy wind gusts before turning onto the west side highway. So many experiences in one small stretch. It is something everyone needs to experience.🚕
No lie, the stretch along the high way was a tad difficult mentally. The crowd dies down, you hit a wall, your watch leads you to believe you are like a mile away from the finish, only your two miles away ((at the end of it all, my Garmin said I ran 14.2 miles in 2:03//8:43 pace)). I should have known that wasn’t true, because I have yet to hit that pace for races postpartum and that would have meant I finished the race in 1:54, two minutes shy of my PR. YEAH RIGHT!! But I’m not gonna lie, it messed with me so mentally. And the water stations….I usually wear my hydration vest, but we weren’t allowed for this race. I’ve never been one to have to use the water stations, but I made sure to grab one at every stop, except for one. That was a whole new ball game. I choked a couple of times, because i refused to stop, but then by the end, I realized I needed to slow my roll, and I didn’t like that that affected my time. Anyways, the tunnel at the end was a tad creepy. I got light headed when we first entered it, I am assuming because it was bright out and then almost black and windy. But I adjusted before coming out the other end and I knew we just had to round the corner and the finish line was there. 400 meters. I started to take off, but not too much for fear of the dry heaving debacle happening to me again. That seems to be a common thing for me now when I hit the end of races and try to sprint, I guess I can’t keep up with myself and my body shuts down. So in fear of that happening, I didn’t take off as hard as I could, but definitely got them legs moving. I was even able to finish the race off with an obligatory finish line jump! 🏁
Regardless of my finish time (2:03), I am so happy with this run. I didn’t stop. I didn’t walk. I SMILED the ENTIRE TIME! I met new friends. I conquered some serious fears. I high-fived kids cheering us on. I pumped up fellow runners and told them not to quit. I ran through the streets of New York with some amazing runners. I made memories to last a life time.