Quick NYCM Race Recap (3:17.23)

I am not going to write a full recap right now but I promise I’ll get to it. (I have a 8 hour drive tomorrow)  First thank you for all of your support whether we have met or not.  It really means a lot to me.  Second, I am 100% pleased with my time.  The weather temperature was perfect (roughly 50 degrees).  It was pretty windy the whole day which was the only rough part.

I didn’t do my research on the NYCM course like I probably should have.  I knew it was a “hilly” and challenging course but I didn’t anticipate how hilly or challenging.  I ran this watchless.  My watch broke the day before the race completely then the new one I purchased wasn’t working correctly so I had no other choice.

Here is a brief outline of the race. 

Before the race I was utterly freezing.  I had disposable clothing, drank coffee and hot water but it didn’t seem to help.  The wind was piercing through my jacket.  Next time I plan to wear multiple layers because waiting around for 2 hours chilled me to the bone.   That was my first lesson learned.

Once we started I took into account what everyone told me.  Make the first mile your absolute slowest, don’t waste time and energy weaving through people.  So I didn’t and didn’t weave.  I think I hit my first mile around 9 minutes. (That is what the pace clock said)

Please forgive me that I am not good with names of bridges, streets or anything to do with New York City. The first two miles were over the Verrazano Bridge.  They felt challenging and all I could think about was what did I get myself into.

From miles 2-8, I focused on getting to the first Oiselle team site.  Seeing them lifted my spirits honestly more then they will ever know.  I started crying afterwords.  I’m sure there are race photos.

Mile 8-13 I was just focused on making it halfway.  I took a gel at mile 8 and felt some energy over some gradual and painful uphills.  I hit the halfway in 1:35.23 (clock time, I think roughly 1:33 my time).

After mile 13 I had nothing to think about except a bridge and taking my gel at mile 14.

Mile 15 went over the Queensboro Bridge and I can say this is where the wheels started to fall apart.  My quads and inner thighs were on fire.  I thought to myself again, how the hell will I get through 11 more miles.  From 16 until the end my quads were on fire.  That was the only thing that bothered me throughout the entire race. By bothered I mean I mumbled every word under my breath about it the rest of the time.  I haven’t been doing any hill work after leaving Oswego so I felt and suffered through it.

Miles 16 through 19 I focused on just getting to mile 19.  For some reason having 7 miles left equated to having an hour left.  So I wanted to think in that regard.

At mile 20, I started my quest for the bathroom.  (I also took another gel around mile 20). Since I didn’t see a single girl using the restroom on the side of the bridge at the beginning I didn’t want to be that girl.  So around mile 21 I decided it was time to find an open bathroom.  Lucky for me I was in and out in about 1 minute and I felt like the wall had been lifted for a mile.

At mile 22 I really started to hit the wall.  My pace slowed and I just felt like dog meat.  I will say and I truly believe my lack of speed work is what played the role in that.  So there I was mile 22 through the end with painful quads and hitting a wall.  Lucky for me it was when I saw the most amount of people (well most amount of people not hitting this wall and passing me) but most amount of people watching and cheering.  Seeing the whole #GranatoRacingteam made me smile to the power of 10,000 suns (both times!) as well as seeing Laura, Heather, my dad and brother did.  I tried to muster up the energy and wave and it was hard.

After seeing the ½ mile to go and thinking it was the 26 mile marker…I cringed.  Then seeing the 26 mile marker and thinking it was the end…I also cringed.

Then I finally crossed the finish line and had absolutely no energy.  I can say the race was hard but the 2 mile walk to find my family and friends was harder.  I was in rough shape.  I choked down 2 power bars, water and began to shuffle to the end.

I will have a longer race report sometime later in the week.  But cliff notes version is this:

The NYCM course was a lot harder than I ever dreamed.  Marathons are a lot harder than I ever dreamed.  I am 100% happy with my time and regret nothing.  I can see that not doing enough speed work as well as hill workouts left me ill prepared and the wall came sooner than later.  I honestly cannot thank everyone enough for your support.

Then I took the paintrain to my hotel…where I’ve been sitting for 3 hours.

The question that multiple people have asked me.   I fully enjoyed the marathon distance but I still enjoy halves better.  I will be doing another marathon eventually but I have no interest in signing up now.  Right now I plan to take 2 FULL WEEKS off from running.  I’ll probably do light cross training eventually.

I have a move to do…well I have a move to spectate while Tim does, lord knows I can’t move right now.

Categories: Tags: , , ,


  1. Congratulations Hollie 🙂

    It was great to follow you via the online tracker: I was race-stalking five bloggers who were running, and it was fantastic to see you leading the pack. I was a bit worried after mile 20 (to the point of actually shouting a bit at the computer screen – aren’t you glad I wasn’t there being the world’s most obnoxious cheerleader :P) but with all the obstacles you had thrown your way during training, a tough course and my personal pet hate, the wind, you pulled out a fantastic performance and it’s great to hear that you’re proud of yourself and happy with your time.

    I only hope to run any marathon as fast as your first marathon someday!


  2. Great job, Hollie! That is an amazing time! And you mustering up the strength to continue to run hard all through those last miles is so inspiring. I’ve never done a marathon, and someday I hope to, but for now, I enjoy the half marathon distance. 🙂

  3. Despite our obviously pace differences and the fact that you finished almost an hour ahead of my first marathon time (you are fast, after all), your marathon experience sounds a bit like mine mentally. I too looked forward to that time when I could say I only had an hour left, that was a mental thing for me. Sometimes when you look at it like that I guess it makes it easier… well nothing really makes it easier, but anyway. It gets you through it. And like you, getting back to my car post-finish was probably worst! At least the last part of the course I had people cheering for me through my pain, getting out of the finish area and back I was all alone and *hurting*!

    I also like half marathons better as well, mostly for the decreased recovery time and the fact you can move afterwards. Good luck to Tim with moving and supporting you through the marathon, and definitely enjoy the time off running.

  4. Congrats on your first marathon! I watched coverage today – exciting race. Take that time off and bask in the finish. Oh, and super speedy for your first! Crazy!

  5. So so so impressed with your time!! You really did awesome, especially around all the stress of moving around the country and the driving, etc. You should definitely be proud 🙂 And hey, I noticed Dr. Andy Baldwin finished at 3:17 too (he is a ‘celebrity’ from the Bachelor franchise and a do-gooder type, etc.) Anyway, he is like a hard core athlete so finishing with him definitely says a lot 🙂

  6. Congratulations Hollie! I have never run a marathon so I have no idea what you went through, but I do know that I am crazy impressed by your resolve!

  7. It was awesome to track you. The end of a marathon can be really tough, and you made it. 3:17 is a baller first marathon time.

  8. You are amazing. It was so windy out there- and bitterly cold, I can imagine you were frozen before the start! I was frozen spectating in a winter coat and gloves! But congratulations- it sounds like you really fought for it, and that is a really tough course! Now enjoy the rest!

    1. I felt like I was having heat flashes. At some miles I was so hot from being in the sun and then some miles I was freezing because we were going into the wind! Thank you for your support Laura and good luck to you soon!

  9. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
    … and thanks for the quick recap/update post. We all wanted to hear how you did! Again, great job, you’re such an inspiration!

  10. Congrats on officially becoming a marathoner, Hollie 🙂 And with an absolutely awesome time at that. Not gonna lie — I was stalking the net all morning to see how you did, and I couldn’t be happier for you. Congrats again.

  11. WOOOOO!!!!!! You are incredible, I am in awe of you! You should be so proud of your accomplishments girl, enjoy your rest!! 🙂

  12. Is this the fastest first marathon by a woman EVER?! I know you ran in university, etc., but I know women who are still running marathons over 3:45 on their fifth. Congratulations! Distance runners peak in their 30s. You got Time to get to sub 3 hours easily.

  13. I so enjoyed tracking your time and seeing how well you were doing! Every mile under 8 minutes?! That’s freaking incredible! My goal for a marathon someday is just to finish! You far surpassed that and had an AMAZING time! Cheers!

  14. I’m so glad you made it! I saw the comment you left on a photo of your bleeding toe. Maybe you can do ALL hillwork and then find a flat marathon and it’ll be like heaven. I run on almost entirely flat surfaces and definitely need to add in some hills. They make me want to die. And maybe you can run one not in the winter time? 🙂 Anyway, awesome job! I wish I had been tracking it too! But I don’t even know how to do that!

  15. So happy you finished well Hollie! I had a lot of fun following your updates on the site and via Twitter. I hope we get a chance to catch up soon so I can hear more about it!

  16. Congratulations on your first marathon! It sounds epic. Great job, and enjoy your rest!

  17. It was fun tracking you, Amy Hastings, and some guy named Meb. I am happy for you. I think you should definitely do another one. Don’t judge a marathon by only one!

  18. I kept tabs on you through the tracker app, but totally missed seeing you on the course. Once I saw you passed the 18.5 mark, then I knew you were gone and flying. Congrats on a killer first marathon time!

    1. That happened to my brother too! There were sections were I “magically” disappeared off course LOL. My mom called in panic because she thought I never finished because the lag from 24 miles to the finish LOL!

  19. Good job! That’s the funny thing they say about marathons, you can train and train and train but in the end the marathon decides how you do. It’s an entirely different race from all the shorter races. So much can affect how you do. You did amazingly for your first one 🙂

  20. Amazing, so proud of you… love your perspective. I know I already told you this, but had to make it public!

    It only gets easier and faster from here! After my first marathon I said I’d never do another. And I waited a few years but I did do another, and another, and so on! I’m SO PROUD OF YOU! You have a bright future in any distance you choose!

  21. Congratulations on your finish! Your time is AWESOME for your first marathon. SERIOUSLY. Amazing. I enjoyed watching you and cheering you on virtually 🙂 At least you know to do some more speed work/hill workouts from here on out until you decide to sign up for your next one. I’m so proud of you, girl!

  22. What an honest and admirable recap you have here… a sincere tale of what you went and persevered through! I don’t know much about the NYC course, other than yes, it is indeed very hilly and a challenge. You are AMAZING for getting through it despite how you were feeling and of course that time is remarkable. Congratulations and I’m glad to hear you have no regrets and are proud…both should be occurring for you

  23. I’ve told you this time & time again but I mean it-you are such an inspiration to me! That is an amazing debut marathon time. Especially with the lack of speed/hill work you said you did. You deserve the next two weeks of rest… despite that move thing!

    Excited to see what’s next with the big move and job hunt. Congrats again, Hollie!

  24. Congrats!!!!!!!!! I was volunteering w/ a bunch of the Oiselle girls at mile 22 and we saw you come through. You still looked super strong to me! Great job!!

  25. Congrats! Great time. I’d love to do NYC one day, but sounds like a lot of people. Did you feel overwhelmed by the crowds?

  26. you’re a speed demon – congrats on finishing and with an excellent time at that! my mom did the nyc marathon once and she would agree with you that the course was super challenging. i don’t run a lot and when i do it’s rarely during a road race. but the few road races i’ve done frustrate me to no end because if it’s cold out, waiting to start SUCKS. you have no way to move around to keep warm! and 2 hours of that – yeesh, awful!

  27. I’m pretty sure she told you, but Laura read this post out loud to me on the ride home, hahaha. It was good to hear your thoughts on the race; we were both SO FRIGGIN PROUD of you and wished we could have stayed longer at the finish. You ran like a rockstar, soak it in because the post-first-marathon glow lasts for days 🙂

  28. You did Awesome! It was tough, windy and damn cold. And the mile 15 bridge was a nightmare! You ran such a fast race though, you should be so proud. Enjoy your rest, I’m right there with ya.

  29. Enjoy your break. You deserve it!! Reading about your experience reminded me of my NYC run in 2010 – especially the painful parts! Way proud of you and looking forward to catching up about the details sometime.

  30. CONGRATS HOLLIE!!!! I am so proud of you! Can’t wait to hear the full recap. Did you do an ice bath or foam roll after? or just lay down haha

  31. I have been reading your blog and training for a while so I was looking forward to finding out how you had done!! Maybe it’s weird to be so happy for an internet stranger but I really am! I can’t wait to read to full recap 🙂 Congrats again!!

  32. I am blown away that you ran this without a watch. Your splits were so consistent, and if anything this shows how naturally talented you are. Given all you’ve gone through in the past couple of months, I’m glad you had such a great time and excellent race on Sunday. I can’t remember when I started reading your blog, but I recognized the hard work and talent you put forth everyday and I have always enjoyed learning from you. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you, Hollie, for sharing your running with us.

  33. You are a freaking Rockstar of Life right now!!! Congrats! Awesome job. You inspire me every day.

  34. Hollie you are freaking AMAZING!! Dealing with those conditions (wind is the devil) to become a 3:17 marathoner is just incredible!! I was tracking you and a few other people and I felt to nervously excited for you the whole time, and so (weirdly) proud when you finished! Enjoy your recovery time- you more than deserved it! 🙂 <3

Comments are closed.