New York City Recap~ FINALLY

I’m SO sorry this took so long.  I’ve been traveling and such and it just didn’t come through until finally this morning.

I wanted to keep this as short as possible but I keep thinking of more more more info!  So my intentions were good.  Sorry for the book!

Sunday Michelle and I ran the New York City Marathon after months of planning, running and fundraising.

We were disheartened by the news the weather was going to be 47* for the HIGH (great weather btw..no sarcasm) but 20mph headwinds for the first 20 miles and gusts up to 30mph.

We all started preparing.

The expo was filled with people buying NYC Marathon souvenir clothing and also jackets, gloves, hats, etc.  We were really expecting cold.

The morning of:

A very little backstory.  I can’t have just anything to eat, with the Celiac, right? So I had a banana, some Kind bars and some gluten free instant oatmeal.  I ate the banana and took the Oatmeal to the bar/cafe downstairs and asked for a cup of hot water.  When I got the cup I asked if he had any plastic spoons. He said, “I’m sorry, no. But if a REAL spoon were to disappear I totally wouldn’t notice…not looking, I’m not seeing anything”.  Yep.  I stole a spoon. It was pretty awesome and I still have it.  #kindpeople

We got it and in the worst way.  It was brutal windy and cold weather.

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And NOBODY looked like that. ha.

People bundled in pajamas, sweatshirts, plastic bags, sweats, oh man I can’t tell you all the crazy stuff people wore.  And just before the start…most of them shed it all.

I cannot describe the mounds and mounds and MOUNDS of clothing discarded at the starting line.  It was unending.  It continued for the majority of the marathon, diminishing as we went but still the most clothing drop I’ve ever seen.

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They were passing out orange and pink Dunkin Donuts hats and I wanted one. I KNOW>  It’s TOTALLY not me.  But I did. So guess what?  Picked one up in the first mile and wore it the whole way.  You can imagine what my race photos will look like!  It’s okay.  My race pictures are always bad.  This is at least entertaining.
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The bridges were the worst. SO windy and uphill.  I read somewhere the winds gusted up to 40mph.  The beginning, the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, was so incredibly windy I was surprised people didn’t fall over.  Somehow, though, it didn’t really bother me.  I powered through it and up over the bridge.
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This is the first marathon I felt strong the whole way.

That’s not to say I didn’t feel it in the later miles but I never hit a wall.  I hit a “oh yeah…these miles suck.  Power through and you’ll get past it” moment but otherwise, nope.  Felt great.
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She was not smiling like this at the end…

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story of our life 🙂
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the finish!

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Pre poncho but grateful for the foil wraps…

This is Michelle’s first marathon and she rocked the time.  She definitely started to feel it about mile 20 but still powered through. We were pretty on target for a good sub-5 hour finish before that but as anyone knows the race is won and lost in the last six point two.

*In reading the recaps of the elites, this is also where they seemed to struggle the most so she came by that honestly and I’m really impressed she kept going as well as she did. Though I will say, she was not feeling the love for me at all and I stopped asking “how are you doing?” when I got the murderous look back. LOL

So I was prepared and not surprised to find we had issues that late in the game.  It slowed us down but we were just over 5 hours for a finish time of five hours seven minutes.

I’ll do a quick recap of what I personally thought of the race. Michelle may say different.

happy parts:

  • absolutely the amazing crowd support. I can’t say enough. I just can’t. THOUSANDS had our backs with screaming and high fives and “welcome to Brooklyn!” and on and on.  So uplifting.  I’m not usually a crowd person but I loved it.
  • The Volunteers. Oh man.  They had to wear ponchos to keep from getting soaked. I’m certain they all went home soaked from Gatorade and water.  #socold #goodpeople
  • Water/Gatorade stops at every mile
  • The miles went really fast.  Before we knew it a mile would be gone and we’d say “didn’t we just pass one?” It was very easy to run the mile you were in and not go ahead in your mind.
  • Besides the wind,  the sun came out, the buildings weren’t as enclosing and it was really a beautiful day to run.
  • I was super cold at the end (the sun was dropping and so was the temp) so my option for no bag/poncho instead was pretty brilliant. That sucker is awesome.
  • For how many people there were, it was incredibly organized.
  • Security was great.  Dogs for sniffing out the scary stuff.  Metal detectors.  Police everywhere.
  • The race really felt like they thought of all the small things.  Besides the foil blankets, they had people there with tape to tape the foil blankets around you like a shawl.  #itsthelittlethings

 Kind of a bummer:

  • the wind, for sure the wind.
  • It was really hard to walk past the porta potty section at the beginning before the race started.  The trash, the toilet paper, the clothes, the Vaseline, just general disgustingness.  It was painful to walk past and through.
  • As great as the volunteers were, it was rough to see the cups cups cups cups. So many cups.
  • At the end of the race we were funneled through the chutes and separated. Those who got ponchos and those who checked a bag. The sun was setting and it was seriously getting cold.  The chutes went on and on.  No joke. For like…a mile. It was never ending and absolutely the worst part.  Since it’s New York, we then had to get our way back to the hotel and I didn’t see a cab anywhere so…more walking.  Pretty sure we did an ultra that day.
  • because I ran for a charity, I got double emails.  I think I got an email a day from the marathon and the charity.  So many emails.  Ridiculous.  I stopped reading them.  I would do a search if I needed information but who has time to read that many emails?  Just from the marathon was way too many.

I loved this race. The course, the people, everything.  It was incredible and I would so run it again.  We came very close to coming in under five hours and let me tell you, it was totally possible.  With a little more training we could easily shave the time off.

I did get a PR of four minutes but I really didn’t care about that.  For me it was under five if we felt up to it, otherwise, enjoy the run. Your first should be all about the finish and not about the time. Enjoy the feeling.

What an experience.

I don’t have any photos from the route.  Michelle has them all. She’s sending them to me this afternoon so I’ll shoot them to you when I get them.

A marathon may seem like it’s not that hard but really the work is at the end when you question whether or not you can push through.  It’s a great feeling to know you can.

Thanks to everyone for ALL YOUR SUPPORT!  I know that comes from Michelle, too.  We couldn’t have gotten there without everyone’s love and support, financial and otherwise!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

~2 Timothy 4:7

No matter what distance you're training for, be Race Day Ready! With tips to help you plan your own training program, motivation, some of the most frequently asked training questions and more.

21 Comments

Filed under Michelle, Races, Running, Spirituality, Tess

21 Responses to New York City Recap~ FINALLY

  1. Catherine Dove

    You rock.

  2. Michelle

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the 13s of your bib number. 😉

    • tess conley

      LOL. I FORGOT. There was SO much and I keep thinking of more things. I’ll put it in my recap of my recap. 😉

  3. Diane

    Yours is the first NY recap that I’ve seen. I followed 3 online running friends on the race app. Weather looked brutal. I don’t know how you guys survived the wind.

    Congrats on having fun, running with your friend and your PR.

    I’m trying to talk myself into a marathon in May.

  4. tess conley

    Hi Diane! Thanks for popping in! For some reason it just didn’t feel that awful, weather wise. Except at the beginning which was HORRIBLE> But it was SO much fun it was worth it.

    I was worried, I’ll tell you that. But New York really REALLY takes care of you.

    Do the marathon….it’s a great experience. I can’t recommend it enough. Which one are you looking at?

    • Diane

      Pittsburgh Marathon or the Flying Pig Marathon on May 3. I grew up in Johnstown, so the tug to run Pittsburgh is much stronger. Flying Pig looks more intimidating, but I’ve been to that area and it is beautiful. It looks like a bucket list race.

      My hubby just ran the Berlin Marathon in September. I saw how hard he trained and I’m thinking carefully about whether I’m ready to take that leap. We race a lot and the longest I’ve ran is half marathons.

      • tess conley

        Okay, so I’ve run Pittsburghs half marathon and I have a friend who has run the full at least once. She lives there. It’s a GREAT marathon! Beautiful city! My daughter lived there for a year (my fabulously perfect grandson was born there…information you really didn’t need but hey…it’s important because he’s cute) and so I ran there when I visited. What an incredible city. I could live there.

        My online running friends are totally voting for the Flying Pig. It’s supposed to be awesome. I don’t think you could go wrong on either one! Great choices!
        I’m super jealous about the Berlin Marathon. I lived in Germany for six years so I’d love to run a race there.

  5. Katrina

    awesome recap! You seriously make me want to run another one. :). Congrats again!

    • tess conley

      Thanks Kat! I clearly can’t be controlled. I write and write and write. Every time I think I’m done something happens and I think…that was SO WORTH IT

  6. Dot Reichert

    What a great story. Sounds like you had so much fun and all went well, except the weather, of course, but nobody can control or predict that, haha. So glad you went and had a good time, I am so proud of you. Some time you must run the Montana marathon. Love you lots.

    • tess conley

      Thanks! It was so great…I didn’t even mind the weather. I’m pretty glad I went. Thanks for helping get me there :). I looked at the Montana Marathon but I didn’t see a ton of information on it. I’d love to find a review. I’ve talked about doing Missoula before but that sucker is in the middle of summer and I may never run another summer marathon. It is awful.

      • Diane

        Tess, small world. My hubby and I were both stationed in Germany (not married at the time) at Ramstein AB, Kasierslautern. I was there from February 1987 to February 1990.

        Where and when where you there? We both tried to get into the Berlin Marathon, but only the hubby got a last chance selection. Visited Berlin twice when I served there and twice since the wall came down.

        We could probably live in Pittsburgh too, but we love the West and Colorado.

        How many marathons have you ran? Great reviews on the Flying Pig.

        I’m on the fence about which one to do first and if it would be my only one. When hubby finished Berlin, he said never again and demanded I never attempt one.

        Lasted maybe a month, he’s raring to bust out miles again, but he’s injured. Got plantar fasciitis walking around Berlin in old running shoes before the race. Got new shoes the day before, but damage was done. But, he didn’t know it until he ran the marathon. He finished, but lost his goal time of 4 hours.

        • tess conley

          Oh so wrong about your husband and his injury! I’m so sorry. That is a rough thing to have to power through. I hope he gets a handle on it soon. 🙁

          My husband was stationed at Ramstein! From May of ’89 to May of ’95 give or take a month here or there. My son, Alex Michael, was born just outside of Kaiserslautern. We lived in Bruchmuhlbach and he was born in Ingbert. I miss it so much!

          This was my fifth marathon. Some were great, some were rough. But how well I trained and how healthy I was definitely affected my experiences.
          I just love history so much and the architecture of Pitt is so incredible. Plus, I’m so a city girl. I know that’s nuts since I’m from MT, live in Denver and LOVE it so much. But every time we go to a city we fall in love.
          I would love to run London or Berlin or even in Italy. I desperately wanted to run China and the wall but I’ve heard it’s killer hard. I can do hard but killer hard is a bit much. LOL

          • Diane

            Tess,

            Okay, I’m stunned. Another connection. We live in Centennial less than a mile from Grandview HS. Maybe, 8 or 9 miles from Buckley AFB.

            I lived on base most of the time, minus maybe a year or so that I lived in Ramstein Village. Loved it. Miss lots of things, but mostly the beer and food.

            I’ve read reviews on the Wall of China Marathon. Brutal.

  7. That’s CRAZY. I didn’t know you were in Colorado/Centennial! Yep. I’m across the street from Buckley Air Force Base.

    I don’t drink and I can’t eat the food now probably. LOL Damn gluten. But I do miss it!

    Yeah, it’s pretty brutal, the Great Wall Marathon. But I also want to climb Everest so…I guess I should expect hard. Ha.

    • Diane

      Tess,

      All kinds of coincidences with us.

      Dang. We could train together occasionally. We lived near you until 6 years ago. I bike/run a lot in Cherry Creek State Park and my neighborhood.

      Been in a break mostly since October 8. Came back from Germany and promptly got a nasty case of the flu and had a killer headache the other day, so I’ve opted to chill the rest of the week. Pick back up this weekend and see what kind of shape I’m in.

      Oops, I saw you were gluten free. Gluten free beer is in the rise. I’ve seen it a lot mentioned online, just can’t remember where.

  8. Diane

    Tess,

    Ooh, I forgot. You and your hubby lived in the same city in Germany as my future hubby. He lived in an apartment above a bakery.

    • Oh the BAKERY. Yum. They had the best shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate. And they were HUGE and shaped like trees.

      Ugh. Now I want one.

      My email is veatch.t@gmail.com. You can email me there ! If you aren’t too fast I would love a run. 😉

  9. Tess

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! What an exciting accomplishment. So Proud of you….You ROCK!!!!

    • tess conley

      Thanks TESS!! I had such a good time! Thanks for your positive awesome support these last few! I hope you’re doing great!

      p.s. those are a lot of exclamation points. I must be really REALLY excited. 😉