Only a few more days until the NYC Marathon--a day that so many people have been anticipating for months. I can't believe it has has been TEN years since I ran through the 5 boroughs! But, I remember every step - the good ones and the grueling ones - like it was yesterday. I went into the race hoping for an Olympic Trials time and was easily on pace at halfway. I breezed through Brooklyn and Queens just under my goal pace, but when I turned on to the 59th street bridge, what seemed like an effortless jog, suddenly became something I really had to work for. Each mile got harder and harder and slower and slower. At around 18 miles, I thought, this is it, I'm not going to finish. Luckily, my coach happened to be around the corner and yelled to me, "you are going to get a PR, just keep going." At that point, I told myself, ok just keep running and see what happens. I didn't exactly pick up the pace as I ran through the Bronx and then into Central Park, but I did manage to get to the finish line in a PR. And, since I haven't run a marathon since, it's still my PR.
I still haven't figured out what went wrong and why I fell apart at only 13 miles. I guess that's part of the mystery of the marathon.
You never know what's going to happen until you get out there, but here are a few tips for race day:
1. Carbo-load at Amy's Bread. There's a location not far from the expo on 47th & 9th. There may be a line, but that's to be expected and worth it. You can't go wrong with some chocolate challah twists, oat scones, and any of the loaves of bread.
2. Wear a shirt that says something on it. Your name, your alma mater...anything New Yorkers like. There's no better way to ensure 26.2 miles of personal cheers.
3. Be patient and be ready to go hard the second half of the race when the course gets hillier. Don't worry about your first few splits - especially the 1st uphill, windy mile on the bridge.
4. Have fun and FIGHT when it gets tough!!
Good Luck everyone!