Wake up call was at 5am; we got all ready and left the hotel at 5:45 to drive into the city for the 7am race start.
We drove around for awhile in Union Square looking for a parking spot; we eventually found one and still had plenty of time to spare. nice. So I did what anyone would do in the downtown of a big city while it’s still dark… I peed in between cars. twice.
I ate an energy bar, said goodbye to my friend who was running the half, and then made my way to my corral.
This is a big race, the 10th largest half marathon in the world and largest women’s marathon/half so it’s important that you get in the right corral unless you want to go crazy psycho on someone.
I know, I did this last year. I started farther back with my friend instead of fighting my way to a faster corral, and for the first 10 miles I wanted to deck every person I saw. not good.
Walking to the start.
Today I managed to get really close to the front which was nice because then you don’t have to do as much weaving in and out of people.
The race started right on time and we went off into the dark. The weather was nice for running… cold but not too bad, a little windy though.
My goal for this race was to pace myself well and run negative splits. I didn’t know what pace I could maintain since my legs weren’t really fresh, but I figured I’d be happy if I could average around 8:30 miles for the race.
Besides the first 2 miles that were too fast (8:18), I felt like I did a pretty good job of pacing myself and leaving some energy for the second half of the race.
I look like I’m wearing a doo rag. not cool.
The course is hilly, but I already knew that going in so I took it slow up the hills and recovered on the declines. No use screaming down a hill just to get to the bottom for the next one.
I think this was one of the first hills headed into a park around mile 4 maybe, and the next big one was around mile 6. The first half of the race was definitely hillier than the second.
I felt good the whole first half of the race; they were handing out Clif shot blocks and I started taking a few. I think ate 12 total for the whole race.
Around mile 11 we split from the halfers and went on our way. Still feeling good. Hit the halfway around 1:52.
At 2 hours exactly I hit 14. I was kinda surprised and amazed at my pacing… I hit 7 miles at 1 hour, 14 miles at 2 hrs, and 21 at exactly 3 hours. perfect.
At mile 16 you run right by the finish and all the halfers who are now sprinting for it, and you have to take a left and head out away from the finish party. That was a bummer. 16 and 17 were a little mentally tough for me; I hate running away from the finish on an out and back course.
You can see my blurry self on the screen in the pink skirt on the left.
So I kept heading away from the finish, eating more shot blocks and I took one GU around mile 18.
The last 10 miles of the course are pretty desolate, not many fans, not many funs signs, not much of anything.
There were a few hills including a killer long climb at 21, but it was much flatter than the first 13. It was just really boring. We ran on the side of the road around a lake, but I was bored out of my mind and getting tired. I think this race could probably be best described as a half marathon with a full tacked on.
There wasn’t even that many runners! Most everyone does the half so it felt a little lonely out there in no man’s land.
I hit 21 at 3 hours and like always, the last 5 took forever. forever. It started raining lightly (what’s with me and rain lately??) and kept up ‘til the end.
I was pretty sore by this point and my hips/knees were definitely talking back, but I slowly made my way to the finish. Even though I felt superslow, my last few miles were still around 8:30s.
I didn’t have much kick, but I finished in 3:43:49, 8:32 pace, my slowest marathon to date. My first of 8 marathons where I didn’t Boston Qualify.
But also the first time I’ve ran back to back marathons (and 4 races in 4 weeks) so I’m happy with the time. I wanted to pace myself well, and I feel like I did that.
Bondi Band by the way, not real happy with. I felt like it kept creeping up on my head. I had to mess with it a couple times and had to put it Brett Michaels-style right on my forehead to keep from falling off. I’ll stick with the Sweaty Bands next time.
My friend rocked out a course personal best for the half. Go girl!
Also happy with the finisher’s “medal”:
All in all, a good race. I’m pretty achy and sore now but happy to be done. I think I’m officially done with Nike Womens Marathon since I’ve ran the half twice and now the full.
**Also got to meet reader Kelsey before the start; she was busting out the half. And another reader at mile 7 and reader Bobbie around mile 8 who was coaching Team in Training runners. Thanks you guys for saying hello!
We went out for brunch afterwards after battling traffic – I think every single car in the entire city was going the way we were going.
And now we’re headed home! A fun weekend all around.