Sunday November 7, 2010 was a beautiful day for a marathon through the 5 boroughs of New York City.
After the gun went off at 10:10 am, I was officially underway running my second marathon in one month.
The first task at hand in the marathon is to conquer the Verrazano – Narrows Bridge which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn. It is a double-decked suspension bridge. The Orange and Blue corrals went over the top of the bridge and the Green (which is what I was in) went through the lower level.
At first I was nervous about being on the bottom level because I had heard from many people and even read in certain books that men urinate over the sides of the top of the bridge and it sprays down on the second level.
Luckily I didn’t experience anything like that, people were able to hold their bladders until the bridge was over.
The bridge was surprisingly very long – it was the first 2 miles of the race. I enjoyed the bottom level of the bridge (sans the pee) because I believed there to be a little less of an incline than the top level and there was also less wind – which was important!
It would have been cool to go over the top but I made the best of the situation I was given.
It was a packed first 2 miles, but it really was an experience running in the bridge. I remembered some serious words of wisdom and tried my hardest to run only 1 mile in the first mile of the race – I was conscience not to bob and weave around people, adding precious mileage to my race! 26.2 miles was enough for me!
After 2 miles we were out from the bridge and this is where the green, orange and blue corrals all took different routes. This is also where lots of people pulled off on the side of the road to urinate – Thanks for not doing it on the bridge guys!
See the green balloons on the left hand side of the picture? That’s the 4:10 pace team. I decided early on that I wanted to push myself this race and see what I could really do. I ran the first few miles along this group it became my goal to run under 10 min/mile pace for the race.
I had an amazing experience in Chicago, but I went into it a little fearful of the marathon so I held myself back. Since I had only trained up to 21.5 miles, I was afraid of what was going to happen after that, so I took it slow and steady.
For NYC I wanted to see what I could really do – I didn’t want to play it safe this time. I wanted to give the New York Marathon Hell, which is exactly what I did.
When we hit mile 3 we were well into Brooklyn. Lots of people were out of their houses cheering, it was great energy.
Right after the 5K mark all 3 corrals were joined together on the same street. The orange and blue were on the left side of the road and the green were on the right.
4 miles in I was all smiles and feeling fabulous.
When I tell you this race was crowded –> BELIEVE ME! It was so crowded the entire race. I believed early on that the crowds would die down a bit, but they never did.
Also, I would like to give a shout out to Maggie who spotted me at Mile 7 and yelled out to me “Go Leslie – I love your blog!” This inspired me the rest of the race!
Seriously, what are the odds to see a reader with so many people out for the marathon? It was an amazingly, incredible feeling! Thanks Maggie! You’re awesome!
After I passed Maggie, I started looking for my family. We were supposed to see each other at mile 8, but the crowds were a little too crazy for that.
I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see them at the first stop we planned on meeting, but I kept chugging along, recalling Tip #7 from my Marathon Week Preparation.
The crowds in NYC were amazing. All the boroughs offered something fun and different – everyone was out there to support us with kind words of encouragement, signs to entertain us along the way, and some sweets to calm any cravings!
I swear I ate so much this race. When it was all said and done I had consumed 1 packet of sports beans, 1 packet of Chomp Blocks – both of which I brought with me. I also took a banana and Chocolate Gu later in the race which tasted like chocolate icing, it seriously rocked my world – both those items were on the course. From fans I took a lollipop, 2 chocolate mini’s, a packet of gummy bears and a handful of Swedish fish. All of which were AWESOME!
Maybe all this eating was the secret to my success?
Before I knew it we were passing mile 10 along Bedford Avenue. This stretch of the race is famous for having the least amount of fan support, as mentioned in my favorite NYC Marathon book. I didn’t really mind, I turned my IPod on and kept pounding the pavement.
From the start of the race, the miles seriously flew by. It was insane how I would randomly look down at my Garmin and so many miles had already passed!
Before I knew it we were coming up on the halfway mark, which was wonderfully placed on the Pulaski Bridge.
While the bridge (or really any bridge!) was rough to run, at least we had some glorious scenery in the background.
Manhattan was calling us home!
After the halfway mark we spent the next two miles (14-15) running through Queens.
A little while after the halfway mark, I did a little gut check on how I was feeling as per some amazing words of wisdom told me to do. I was feeling good and ready to tackle the second half of the marathon!
Queens came and went by super fast. It was a bit of a blur.
Before I knew it we were all headed into another double-decked bridge on the bottom half heading to Manhattan for a few miles.
I was loving that skyline in the distance.
Coming from Queens to Manhattan is known as approaching the Wall of Sound because you can hear the cheers and roars from First Avenue throughout the bridge. It is like you are running into an amazing sea of sound!
Approaching this part of the race was unlike anything I had ever heard before!
This was the most roomy part of the race – people were coming out from being squeezed together on the bridge and then we were able to all have some room .
This was another point where I had planned to see my family, right around mile 17 on First Avenue but the crowds were too intense for me to spot anyone and they were too loud for me to hear anything.
I couldn’t even hear my music in my iPod! My family ended up spotting me but I didn’t see them, sadly.
Can you spot me in these pictures?
I think my green outfit and yellow hay made me easy to find but my parents said next marathon I have to run with something a little more crazy to make it easier for them! Ha!
There I go – so sad I didn’t get to see them, but I just kept on running my race towards the finish line.
After all the craziness along First Avenue it was time to tackle another fabulous bridge (sense my sarcasm?)
I just kept on swinging my arms back and forth to help propel me up the incline of the brdige. Better to get it over with than to walk!
After tackling the bridge we passed the 20 mile marker in the Bronx. Mentally this was a tough part of the race for me because I have already run 20 miles at this point –> another 6.2 miles is not going to be easy!
20 miles of the New York Marathon – Done & Done!
The fans in the Bronx were pretty lively – everyone had all sorts of signs saying “You are crushing through The Wall” – since the 20 mile point is where most people hit the wall. It was very motivational for me to keep on running!
And then guess what was waiting for us – Another bridge! This time it was the Madison Avenue Bridge which connects the Bronx back with Manhattan.
There is no torture like an incline 20+ miles into a marathon.
21 miles into the race we were into Manhattan to stay. We were headed down Fifth Avenue towards Central Park. For me, we couldn’t get there fast enough.
23 miles in I was looking and feeling a little rough but I still felt like I had a little bit more in me to give to this marathon, so I attempted to pick up the pace towards the Finish Line.
Shortly after mile 23 I had to stop for a minute to use the rest room – this is the first time I have ever stopped for the bathroom in a race. I was so close to the finish but knew i had to stop.
I was glad I did, but wish I had that minute back for my time!
Before I knew it we were passing under the mile 24 sign in Central Park. The crowds were PACKED with so many people cheering and screaming – it was very helpful those last few miles.
While I was struggling towards the finish my family was waiting to catch me for the last time in the race a little ways after mile 24. While they were waiting they saw some interesting people pass them by
My favorite was the bride and groom couple that ran together!
Then it was my turn to pass them by – Do you see me coming?
This time we connected! I saw them and they saw me! WIN!
It was the perfect time to see my family. With 24 miles done and 2.2 miles to go I needed all the help I could get!
And the few seconds with my family came and went. I passed by them, handed over my ear warmer and I just kept running!
I ran and I ran and I ran some more. I pass by mile 25 thinking “I am almost there!” but mile 25 was the longest mile of my life. I swear it was never going to come to and end.
From mile 25 we went to the base of Central Park East, all the way to the West side of the Park where mile 26 was located, and don’t even get me started on that last 0.20! Those final 400 feet get me every time, but I tried my best to make my final push towards the finish. I wanted to give it everything I had.
400 feet out I saw the finish line, 300 feet out I was so close, yet so far, 200 feet out I was passing the finishing line bleachers, people were screaming hard, 100 feet out we were so close I could taste it….and then I crossed that finish line with my hands in the air and the all important smile on my face!
My big surprise is that I finished the New York Marathon in:
This is a time that I didn’t think would be possible for me to get to for A WHILE after my Chicago Marathon experience – especially since I just ran Chicago 3 weeks before New York. It just goes to show you what you can do when you put your mind to something!
Here are my stats on my Garmin – 26.51 miles – Time: 4:13:25 – 9:33 min/mile – 2981 calories burned
Here is the pace breakdown:
- 1 – 10:11 (first mile craziness!)
- 2- 8:19 (catching up with the pace team)
- 9:01 (got my RUN on this mile!)
- 9:11 (Pulaski Bridge)
- 11:00 (Queensboro Bridge!)
- 10:11 (Willis Ave Bridge)
- 10:06 (Madison Ave Bridge)
- 10:36 (damn bathroom break!)
- 9:27 (picking up the pace to finish)
- and the little extra 0.20 – 8:48
Can I tell you how awesome it was to be able to push at the end the last 2 miles and finish strong. As much as it hurt, it felt equally amazing to push myself to the limit. I gave it everything I had!
Here are the ING New York City Marathon 2010
20035 – LESLIE MCDERMOTT – 26F – PA, USA
- 5 k – 29:05
- 10k – 57:47
- 15k – 1:26:36
- 20k – 1:56:02
- 13.1 m – 2:02:29
- 25k – 2:26:47
- 30 k – 2:56:50
- 35k – 3:28:58
- 40k – 4:02:09
Minutes Per Mile 9:45
So you can see that my time on my Garmin and my bib time is different by about a minute and 20 seconds, again, that DAMN bathroom break. While it was necessary, it would have been cool to finish sub 4:15!
Silly faces post finishing! Thumbs up all around!
Me doing math in my head – Did I really just run that fast?! I totally surprised myself today! Woohoo!
I was so thankful that my parents came up to see me run today, even though we didn’t get to see each other as much as we did in Chicago, it was still great knowing they were there cheering me on.
Two Superfans not in attendance we the future in-laws, but they wore their shirts and watched the race on TV to support me! Love that!
And obviously, the original Superfan, Fiancé was there taking pictures, navigating the city, braving the cold and cheering on his bride to be.
I love that he supports me every step of the way.
We’re #1! Ha!
Thanks to Fiancé for getting up early to cheer me on with a smile on his face, like always. Xoxo!
At the finish line I also met up with Aileen who just finished her 2nd consecutive New York Marathon!
Congrats on your second marathon Aileen! You are a rockstar!
I would also like to thank all the support I have received from my friends in the blogworld! Everyone has been so amazing and supporting with all the tweets, Facebook messages, comments and emails! Knowing you are there rooting me on motivated me all 26.2 miles of the marathon!
Finishing my second marathon in one month with a huge smile on my face makes me very proud of my accomplishments. I am proud to say that I am a 4:15 marathoner!
This medal is going somewhere special on the race board!
This might just be my new favorite medal!
Thanks again to everyone for you support! I couldn’t have done it without you.
26.2 miles is a long way to go, but I finished my second marathon (in one month) feeling strong and happy and confident in my abilities as a runner! I am proud of myself and I can’t wait to see where my running takes me next!
Thanks for reading!