Full NYCM Race Recap (3:17.23)

I’m extending on my previous post and giving a bit more in-depth coverage filled with pictures and more thoughts.  Since I ran for over three hours I have a lot more to say. 

Time to begin then.

We stayed in a hotel in Flushing, NY.  For me personally, I don’t do well with big cities (que social anxiety) and I like to have my own personal time.  It doesn’t even make sense of why I was dead set on NY being my first marathon because I hate big, crowded cities.   So I woke up at 3:50 took all the trains to the city (led by my train savvy brother).  We made it to the ferry around 5:30.  I waited for a while and ended up taking the 6 am ferry followed by waiting in the terminal, riding a bus and getting to my orange corral.  It was very organized and streamline.

Like I said before, I didn’t do my research on the NYCM course like I 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.  I wish someone would have said “Hollie this is one of the harder marathon courses you can do”…but no one did. Honestly even if they did it was where my heart was dead set on this being my first marathon so I wouldn’t have taken their advice


Windy beautiful morning
Windy beautiful morning

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.  The wind was my only nature complaint but you can’t control weather.

I talked to Adam and Susan at the start which made the time go by super quickly.  It didn’t feel like we were standing on the Verrazano Bridge for close to an hour.

The Actual Race: 


Once we started the cannon went off, 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 waste energy and didn’t weave.  While the clock said I had done a 9 minute mile I later found out this was 7:10.  Thank you mom for buying the text tracking for my splits.

The first two miles were up and over the Verrazano bridge.  The helicopters were swirling by and I tried to get myself on TV.  I kept yelling Tyra I am America’s Next Top Model but for some reason they didn’t pick me out of a crowd.

After mile 2 I focused on getting to the 5k…then 4 miles.  I knew my brother and dad as well as the Oiselle team were going to be standing around 8 miles so it gave me my first point of interest to look forward too.  It was also when the other bib colors converged so it was one big mess.  I never saw my brother and dad but saw the Oiselle team.  Seeing them made me girl cry all emotionally.  From that point on, I continued to keep a certain mile or mark in my head to get too.  Once I hit that mark I would think of the next one.


After mile 8 I focused on making it to mile 10.  I like the number 10 and thinking in terms of double digit runs so it was the next step.  There were quite a few gradual mile long uphills that started to take their toll on my legs.  As with the half marathon 10-11 is my least favorite mile.  I can say it ranks in the least favorites here too.  I don’t know why but it felt neverending.

Mile 12 I focused on getting to 13 then 13.1. In my mind the second half would go by quicker than the first half.  That is how my training runs go and most races right?  Wrong the second half didn’t even start for me until mile 16.

Mile 13 was on a bridge and I started to think about my next gel at 14.  Then I saw Laura and Heather with sweet signs at 14.5 and that was cheerful, especially when we were going into the queensboro bridge.

I could write an entire post about the mile span on the Queensboro Bridge.  That single mile goes down as my least favorite mile ever ran in my entire running career.  (including miles in middle and high school gym class).

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?  The first half of mile 15 was up the bridge.  It took so much out of me I don’t remember going down the second half.  Then I began to feel my quads.  It was the only thing that bothered me throughout the entire rest of the race.  By bothered me,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.   I felt my quads with every single stride for the next 10.2 miles.

After rejoining the real world of NYC I focused on getting to mile 17.  The crowds were going wild and louder than anything I have ever experienced.  Around this point was when I first got a glimpse of Granato racing.  I tried to pull myself together,  seeing them lifted my spirits for the first time.  Between seeing them and Ashley (thank you for the awesome photos) I was able to be slightly less in pain mentally.

Hello friends.
Hello friends.

Mile 18 was a bit of a blur and once I got to 19 I concluded that I only had about an hour to go.  I saw my pace was starting to rise and people were passing me left and right.  I just wanted to finish.

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.  Dozens of males were just peeing on the side on the bridge but no females had.  (Keep in my mind we were lined up for the corral 45 minutes without a restroom before the race.) My quads had been burning for the last four miles and now I was physically exhausted too.  I contemplated stopping and walking but I knew I would never start running again.

So around mile 21 I found 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. The rest of mile 21 felt decent from my brief break and my quads had temporarily stopped hurting.  I don’t regret stopping at the bathroom and honestly the time I lost I am positive I gained back because I felt a lot better afterwords.  Unless I become a sub 2 hour marathoner I think I will always need to stop and restroom because my bladder is tiny.

The rest of mile 21 went quickly since I was looking forward to the Oiselle water stop at mile 22.  After the water stop, my pace slowed again and I just felt like dog meat.  After this point, I only focused on one mile at a time.  Mile 22 was focused on getting to mile 23.  Mile 23 was focused on getting to 23.1 (5k left to go).

Mile 24 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.  People told me I looked strong afterwords but I really didn’t feel that way.  My brother knew how hard I was riding the pain train though.  He was the only one who told me “Hollie I knew you were in some serious pain when I saw you”.  For everyone who told me you looked strong at mile 23…false.

This is 100% how I felt. There are quite a few beautiful photos like this.
This is 100% how I felt. There are quite a few beautiful photos like this.

The final two miles in Central Park were the hardest.  The hills weren’t over and it felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life.   I contemplated walking at least 15 times (once per minute).

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.  The last 4 minutes of the race felt like the twilight zone.


Then I finally crossed the finish line and had absolutely no energy.  I didn’t pick it up, I didn’t smile for any race photos and I just zoned into the finish line.  I didn’t even wave to the finish line photos because I just wanted it to be done.  I ended up finishing 210th female overall and 10th in my age group.  A side note but the 100th US woman finished in 3:16.  So close!   A lot of people have said due to the 20 mile winds it was a slow marathon year.  I looked back at 2011 and the top 100 US woman finished in 3:10.  That is a huge difference!

When they handed me a medal, I smiled and took a few official race photos.

The next part was the hardest and most frustrating part of the entire day.  After the race we had to walk nearly 2 mile out of central park to get to the family reunion area.  The 2 mile walk took me close to an hour.  I was alone, had no cell phone and freezing.  It didn’t help that I was in rougher conditions then most people around me.  I was walking a lot slower then everyone else.  It got to the point where marathoners finishing 20 minutes after I did were walking by me.  I was asked a few times if I was okay because I was pale and I assured the volunteers that I was just cold and wanting my pants (which were with my brother and dad).

After meeting up with Matt, dad, Laura and Heather I chatted for a while and got some coffee and food.  I managed to eat 2 recovery powerbars and drink the recovery Gatorade right after the race.  I actually really like those power bars so I was happy they were giving them out in the recovery bags.


So that is the play by play of the entire race.  I enjoyed seeing everyone on the course and the cheering.  I have another 2000 word post of my thoughts regarding training as well.  For a brief heads up, I spent roughly 6 months focused on this race so I’ll have about a weeks worth of posts.

Questions for you:

Do you eat right after a race?

What is your least favorite mile marker?

For half marathons, it’s 11, and for the marathon, it was 15 (but I think that was course specific).


  1. Least favorite Mile Marker? 1? 😉 I always try to eat the recovery products they give out. I need that fuel and usually a real meal is hours away because of logistics.

    Again, HUGE congrats Hollie. I knew you had chosen a tough course and I think I said tiny comments here and there but I also didn’t want to scare you. You killed your debut marathon. I ran my first in 3:16 on a much easier course in easier conditions (no wind). I am so excited for you!!

    1. Are you at marathon number 5 now? And you always PR your marathons. So this means I need to run 5 more and I’ll be a minute slower then you each time. I like that logic. Thank you Kris!

      1. This is totally the best logic in the world. I mean, you might have to run doubles like 6 days a week but that’s not too much time out of your day? 🙂

        You both are so speedy and impressive!

  2. Congrats!! Have you tried compression shorts? Those might alleviate some of the quad pain (esp if your calves were pain free due to the sleeves). I also hate miles 10-12 of halfs…it just feels SO far from the finish and SO long! I do love passing mile 16 in the marathon because I can start counting down in single digits, which is huge for me mentally.

  3. Great recap! Hope you’re proud of such a fast first marathon. That’s a tough course to race, and I don’t think the cold wind was making it any easier.
    Couple of things to say – yes, the second half of a marathon kind of starts at mile 20, LOL. It’s such a weird race, a lot more mental than other distances and relying a lot on strategy (which I haven’t figured out yet!).
    And the walk after – oh, the worst. But you were smart to eat soon. Ill as it makes me feel, I try to force myself to eat something after a marathon. At first I can barely stomach it, but in a few minutes I start to feel a million times better. It also reduces inflammation by pulling blood supply away from your legs and joints.
    I remember wandering around after Boston 2012 in 89F-92F heat walking all the way to the “T” meeting spot only to find that my husband was all the way back at the finish. I ended up walking over 7 miles after I finished!
    How did your kit work for you? I’ve never run in calf sleeves; curious to hear thoughts about outfit and shoe choice. Looking forward to the next posts!

    1. Since I’m a member of the Oiselle team, the singlet and briefs are what I wore. They are fine and comfortable. I actually don’t care for that particular model of Nike shoe as much as I thought I would. I had done training runs in them but they weren’t as comfortable so I’m retiring them, I like to run in compression sleeves because I have found my calves get so tight from running on my toes. All in all I didn’t mind any of the gear really. 🙂

  4. Wow, I have to tell you I share the exact same sentiments! I ran as well, it was my first full and I had a very similar race experience. It was an absolutely amazing experience but it was so much harder then I expected and I struggled with the same issues in the same spots! I was feeling awful from miles 12-15 which made me think I would never finish, and then 23 through the end I was a complete zombie, I wanted to walk so bad. I don’t think I could or wanted to speak for a good 20 minutes after I finished lol. Thanks for sharing, it’s so nice to have someone with a similar experience to relate to. And congrats, you really did amazing!

  5. I eat as much as I can carry out of the food handout stations, and if there is chocolate milk then I’m like a kid in a candy store. The worst mile marker for me has to be the two miles to go, independent of the race distance, you’re so close yet so far away at the same time.

  6. I ran this year too, and the last time I ran this race (10 years ago) I remembered the queens borough bridge as the place where the wheels came off. After feeding off the energy of the crowds for miles in Brooklyn and Queens it is an extended stretch where all you can hear is the rythms of other runners feat, and you can no longer distract yourself from how you are feeling with spectators (there aren’t any). Remembering this from before, this was the point I decided to distract myself a little with music. I ran without head phones for the first 15 and as soon as I began the ascent of that bridge I slipped then in. It really helped.

  7. I try to eat after a race but sometimes my stomach isn’t in the mood for food. I think mile 10 is the hardest for me during a half. I’m not sure about a full, maybe mile 18ish?!

  8. I’ve only done half marathons and below so my answers will reflect that:

    Eating after the race: I don’t eat anything they are giving out, even if it is a banana. I had a bad experience after a half where I was starving so I grabbed a powerbar and after eating it immediately got sick, and pretty much felt like crap for the rest of the day (and weekend, it was a Saturday race). I drink the Gatorade they have, and water. My husband (Running concierge) has a race tested food substance with him that I get once I find him. (I make this sound so technical, but it has been trial and error. He usually just has a dunkin donuts bagel)

    Worst Mile: Half Marathon 10-11 mile. I want to be done, this is where my wall is. I smack right into it, usually cry, and look like an idiot. When I did my first half I had only ever run a 10 mile training run, so hitting mileage after that was the ‘unknown’ and it was scary. Everything hurt, I was coming back to running any distance after a hip surgery and I was pretty sure my leg was just going to fall off. It still is the worst mile for me, but I’m not so ‘doomsday’ when I get to it.

    Thank you for your honest post. I am considering doing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2014 (I’m a DC Native) and have been trying to find someone who wasn’t all like “I LOVED EVERY MINUTE” about their marathon. So again, thank you.

  9. Congrats again on an awesome race. It sounds like a tough day, given how long you have to sit around before starting, the hills, and the wind. Great job working through it and getting it done.

    Also, that post-finish line walk sounds miserable. I’ve heard people unhappy about it before, but the way you described it makes it sound like Hell.

      1. When I ran the Richmond Marathon in 2011, I managed to park my car a mile away from the finish line…and up a 300 foot hill. Damnit.

  10. Congrats on the marathon! It was super windy and you did a great job on a tough course. I was standing around mile 25 but so was twenty percent of New York, and I didn’t see you at all. While I haven’t run a marathon, I completely agree that miles 10-11 are the worst in a half marathon. The end is so near, yet still over 2-3 miles away and that feels like forever. I never eat the stuff at the end of races- I usually feel pretty sick after racing so I stick to water or whatever sport drink they are offering.

    1. It’s probably for the best you didn’t see me at that point haha. I think that grueling photo of me sums it all up. I ate the powerbars but found myself not too hungry for a few hours afterwords.

  11. Congrats again Hollie! I love how your race recap is about just trying to make it to the next mile and how hard it was… so many marathon recaps I have read talk about how super fun and amazing and enlightening and life changing the experience was and OMG they are already signed up for another one. While I’m sure you did have a wonderful time, I enjoyed the more realistic and raw review of your race. 🙂
    P.S. I have no doubt that if you choose to keep racing marathons, you will be a sub 2 hour marathoner one day.

  12. Firstly. Major congrats for finishing I thought about you whilst I ran on Sunday. Secondly, I really appreciate your honesty here. I haven’t read many recaps of people’s first marathons and frankly I needed to know what I’m getting myself into. Your time was still crazy though and I think you should feel pretty great that you didn’t listen to those little mind demons in the race!

    Now I just need to convince you to come to Florida in January to mentally prepare me for dopey….

    1. My thoughts exactly. I thought my first marathon would be enlightening was sunshine and butterflies. Ha! I know you will do awesome.

      I liked your idea of racing the 5k (as a final speed workout) then relaxing on the 10k and half. I think that would be your best bet 🙂

  13. Congrats on an awesome race! Way to start out a marathon career 🙂 In a half, my least favorite mile marker is #6. You are not quite halfway but everything hurts already. My favorite mile marker is #8 because 5 miles left (or 5K, or 5 of anything) is so doable!

    I usually can’t eat anything after a race. I will try to drink a chocolate milk, but it’s usually at least an hour before I can get in any actual food. And pizza or burgers are my go-to food then.

  14. You did amazing. Honestly, the winds were brutal. I was freezing watching you guys run by and couldn’t imagine dealing with a headwind for 20 straight miles. Congrats on an amazing race. Loved the recap and your honesty! Can’t wait to see how you do with #2. It’s all a learning process =)

  15. To hurt the way you did and still come in at 3:17 is just unbelievable to me (a runner with average times.) So inspirational…congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. It seems like the final 2 mile walk out of the park was the worst for everyone.
    Again, amazing race. This is a tough course, but you couldn’t have picked a better marathon to be your first. What’s up next?

  17. What an accomplishment, Hollie! I know you mentioned not knowing when you’ll do another full but I know you have big things in your future with the marathon distance. You’re a machine.

    Great race photos too-may show your struggling but it’s also showing the FIGHT in you! I cannot fathom that 2 mile walk. I know when I did Nashville there was a long walk too and I couldn’t find my mom. I had a blood blister the size of a half dollar, heat stroke (dry heaving from mile 14-end) & severe sunburn. That night was worse than the actual marathon. Had to take a cab to dinner (a whopping 3 blocks away) & couldn’t even stomach a celebratory margarita.

    Redemption next fall!!

  18. I’m so freaking incredibly proud of you… I could add a million ore awesome adjectives in there.

    First marathon and you nailed it. Each race teaches you something but I have never learned more about running, racing, or myself than I have in the marathon distance. You are an incredible runner and just getting started and I see even more amazing things ahead for you. Being in NYC cheering for you is one of the best things I have done and I am so happy I was able to be there.

    As for least favorite miles… 14-19 in the marathon are always the worst for me mentally… I just feel like I still have so far to go and zone out more.

  19. Congrats, and what a great race report! So honest.

    When I did NYC in 2011, I knew what to expect, I knew about the waiting game at the beginning (which I hate, I usually show up 10 minutes before the gun) and the nightmare at the end. What was interesting was a girl I ran into at the end telling me that she had done all the majors, ran 30+ marathons, including NYC 5+ times, and she said it is one of the worst, especially for a first timer, simply because of the logistical nightmares. Good to know AFTER the race, right?!

    And to answer your question…yes, I like to eat SOMETHING within 15-30 minutes, and have a meal within an hour. Not being able to do that in NYC led me to be one angry post-marathoner. I think we were finally able to stumble into a bar about a mile south of Central Park 2-3 hours after I crossed the finish line. At that point I didn’t give a crap how I looked or smelled…I just needed a burger and a beer!

  20. I think a recovery bag after a race is a great idea. It gives you good quality foods and also giving it to the runners, you get something to haul stuff in (a bag) and keeps random people or spectators from eating all the food and drinking all the water, etc. I’m glad you ate it, my marathon had no food at the end and that is probably why i was so sick, I honestly did not want to eat much that day… my appetite was just crazy. It was like I was too tired to eat! I bet your quads were killing you with all that distance then the bridge, gradual uphills and inclines are worse than steep hills!

    For me the worst miles were probably 22-23. I will say that was worst than 25-26 bc at the end there were more spectators and you knew it was almost over. But 22-23 was the wall part for me and I just wanted it to end!

    You did a great job but you are right, those times are slower, 6 minutes is a big difference in a marathon distance for people that fast. And you really do run on your toes, it’s interesting to see it in the pictures vs. what you have always described here.

  21. You rock! It’s nice to know fast people struggle too. 🙂 Mile 21 has been my worst in both marathons… It’s far enough along to be painful, but not close enough to the end to be able to push faster through the pain. I ALWAYS use First Endurance Ultragen after a long/hard run or race, as well as a leg drain, and I think it makes all the difference. This past marathon (my 2nd, and only 3 months apart) it took me half an hour to hobble/crawl less than 1/4 mile to my car. I had two doses of the ultragen, and leg drained/slept for an hour in my car I was so miserable and worried I wouldn’t be able to drive home. I also ate a large quantity of pasta with chicken and cheese about 2 hours afterward. Muscle-wise, I was recovered by Tuesday morning after both Sunday marathons. I had a bit of ankle/foot pain, but aside from that, I could have gone on a few hour run. I’m certainly not as fit as I could be, and both times I’ve been in ROUGH shape immediately after, so I think a lot has to do with how diligently I take care of myself post-race.

    1. I can fully say I haven’t taken care of myself perfectly right now. I keep saying I’ll change that so we shall see. I don’t understand how people were just walking like no big deal.

      1. Yeah, I can’t call what I did walking. I honestly should have kept running; I had a fairly strong last mile, then couldn’t even put one foot in front of the other trying to walk! The recovery is key. The first time I changed my mind for good was when I did everything “right” and did two 10 mile mountain runs (more like a race; I booked it) with 5k foot of gain with a 5 mile 3k of gain on the single day in between. After that I realized how much of a difference the recovery made! You had an awesome race though! My 5k time (two weeks before the marathon) was 18:03, and I could barely manage 3:38! You rock!

  22. I ran New York too! Our corrals had bathrooms though. My first marathon was pretty similar and I really wish I had tried to enjoy it more. I had a ton of knee pain on Sunday and only got relief running uphill. You did amazing and should be really proud of fighting through and finishing with a really respectable time on such a tough course

    1. We had bathrooms in the corrals but not on the Verazanno where you were waiting for 45 minutes! You guys had bathrooms on there? I need to secure a spot there next year! Thank you so much Shannon!

  23. This was your first marathon? You did very well and a great write up. My fist marathon was Boston in 2003. I came in over 5 hours and swore I would never run for longer than 5 hous again! I just broke 4 hours a few weeks ago, 3:47.

  24. I am just so proud of your for finishing this marathon WITHOUT walking. It’s HUGE, Hollie! Your time is amazing and I know I can say it 100000000 times and you’ll still believe you could have done better. LOL It’s just the runner’s mind. My least favorite mile of a half marathon is the 8th mile for some reason. I just feel like it drags.

    I am soooooooooooo proud of you!

  25. I enjoy reading race recaps because of the strength and determination that people exhibit, and I have to say that after reading your recap of NYC, I’m even prouder of you for finishing like you did. Congrats again, Hollie… you rock some serious socks.

    And this –> “I kept yelling Tyra I am America’s Next Top Model but for some reason they didn’t pick me out of a crowd” seriously made me laugh out loud. I love that you love that show so much.

  26. Great recap! Congratulations on an AMAZING race and finish! I’m with you, mile 11 is the hardest for me on a half marathon course.

  27. Congratulations, Hollie!!! This was a really interesting read; I always wonder what goes on in marathoner’s heads during all that time. I worked at the Pittsburgh Marathon last year and it was such an amazing experience, not to mention inspiring. It got my butt into gear and back into the gym lol. CONGRATS again!

  28. Well, my first and only marathon led to a puke fest from miles 18 to 24. So I’d have to say mile 18 was the worst for me. This was back in 2007 and I still have awful flash backs! The good thing is that no race will ever feel as bad as that one. The next half marathon you run will probably feel like a piece of cake compared to your NYC Marathon experience!

    1. I think shorter races are more compressed and painful versions of longer races (with 5ks being the worst LOL). I could not imagine puking. You are doing Trenton aren’t you? Good luck 🙂

      1. I am! This Saturday 🙂 I’m looking forward to it. My PR is 1:33:57. I’m looking to break 1:33…hopefully run around a 1:32:30. Keeping my fingers crossed. I prefer the shorter distances. They go by so fast!

  29. Congratulations!!!! You are amazing!
    It was my first NYCM and oooohhhh I don’t know why I didn’t think just how hard the course was. I was just dreading the Queensboro since I hate running it – but 5th ave…I wanted to die.
    My stomach is always awful when running…I managed to eat a powerbar after Sunday but then honestly couldn’t stomach anything until hours later. I am still a bit off (but also sick so could be either or).
    Mile 16 tends to be the worst for me…the whole I’ve gone 16 miles already but still have double digits left kills me!

  30. Awesome and Congratulations for both the race and the report! You rock Hollie!

  31. Nice work, Hollie! The course itself plus the windy made it a tough event, but you did so, so well. The energy on 1st Avenue was electric–and almost makes me want to run NYC soon. 😉

  32. I loved reading all the details!! I must admit, it made me a little nervous for Philly and reminded me how hard a marathon is. 🙂 But you did awesome!! Worst spot for me has been the 18 mark, I’m getting tired but still have such a long way to go!

  33. I’ve loved following your marathon training, and 3:17 is absolutely fantastic for a first time marathon, especially on a course as hard as New York’s. And I can relate to the tiny bladder thing, haha… I had to use the bathroom at mile 4 of the Philly marathon last year, and this year I’m hoping to make it all the way through, but going 3-4 hours without a bathroom break is going to be tough (likely impossible).
    Also, I feel like the beginning miles of races (especially longer ones) are always my least favorite because I’m usually freaking out about how much of the race is left.

    1. Thank you so much Erin! I can’t imagine how people don’t have to use the bathroom. I might have been okay if I didn’t have to hold it for 45 minutes before the race.

  34. I didn’t want to tell you how difficult the NYC Marathon route was ahead of time because it was your first one. It was going to be hard anyway, especially with nothing to which to compare it. Regardless, I knew you were going to run your race! I think you did awesome, and I think you deserve a break to contemplate your next moves.

    1. I try to have either a recovery drink, chocolate milk, or something similar ASAP to start repairing the damage right away. Also, water and a banana…and then I hit the beer tent! 🙂

    2. I actually never thought about having a “least favorite mile.” For me, there are so many opportunities to go to a negative place during a marathon, I’m not sure I want to entertain the idea of a least favorite anything. I’m always trying to think positive and think ahead.

      1. Any time I get to chat with a future sub-3:00 marathoner (and you are one), I’ll take it!!

  35. 1. Congratulations, I am so impressed, I mean really, I think your accomplishment and effort is just amazing!

    2. As always, I hate reading race recaps… except for yours, great post!

    3. Holy cannoli, your least favorite mile ever, that is quite a statement haha!

    4. I can’t wait to read the coming weeks posts!

  36. I hate running with my phone but I hate not having my phone after a big race (ie: the Buffalo half this year, we did poor planning) because I couldn’t find ANYONE and I was freezing and my clothes were with my boyfriend 🙁 I feel like it’s a no win.

    I don’t eat after a race really because I’m not hungry, but I’m trying to get better with that or a protein drink or something.

    And least favorite mile marker? Hmm, definitely mile 2 of the 5k. I feel like “What? Two more to go? But I’m already wanting to die.” then other races I love all the miles (crazy). But when I ran the 15k in Rochester because I didn’t to the proper math so I thought a 15k was 9.1 miles… and so when I saw I had .3 to go to finish after the 9, I was REALLY upset. And I guess in a half marathon the worst is miles 10-12 for me. Ugh. Just want to finish.

    By the way, love your form in those pictures! I’m gonna have to channel my inner Hollie during races (when I get up and running again!)

      1. Ha and my boyfriend is now trying to convince me to join the family vacation for a cruise. Which leaves on Feb 22nd. Ughhhhh. Though I don’t think it’s gonna happen for us (secretly hoping it doesn’t).

  37. congrats on your first marathon! way to gut it out even though you weren’t feeling so great physically. hope your recovery goes well!

    i usually forget to eat after a race or have no appetite whatsoever… that’s bad. i know…

    anyways, congrats again! you’ve worked so hard and it’s so respectable that you chose such a tough course as your first 🙂

  38. Amazing recap! For what it’s worth, the wind obviously has a massive effect on finishing time. In the marathon I just ran, the 1st place woman was 10 minutes slower than the previous year, and that was with gusts of 25-30 mph. I think you can easily knock five minutes off your time, hypothetically, to account for the conditions. Plus it sounds like everyone rates NYC as a tough course, but I don’t blame you for wanting to do it regardless. I don’t see the need to pick an easy course for a first marathon unless you’re really scared of not finishing…just don’t do what I did and pick a course reputed to be the hardest road marathon in the UK as your first. I had no clue about that when I signed up – I only found out at the finish when someone couldn’t believe I picked THAT course as my first marathon.

    Hmm, I’m not too fond of miles 14 and 15 in a marathon, and mile 8 in a half. Both are at times when you’ve lost the motivation of ‘yay, over half-way there’ and you’re really starting to hurt. I don’t really hate any marathon miles too badly, but mile 8 in a half is always when my leg starts to give out on me, so every time I see that marker I think I’m conditioned to expect pain and frustration.

    I don’t eat the minute after finishing a race because I’d probably throw up if I did, but about an hour afterwards my stomach has recovered enough for some food.


  39. Congratulations Hollie! I read this yesterday on my phone but wanted to hop on and say congrats! Man, was a TOUGH day & course for a marathon, let alone a first marathon. You seriously rocked it & it took a lot of guts and determination to come through with a time like that on Sunday. So many factors go into what ends up happening on race day & you pulled through like a rockstar. I was cheering for you & time stalking from Indiana & was so excited to hear about your experience. Congrats sister! Be proud! 🙂

  40. Congratulations!! I am so incredibly proud of you! That was a HARD course and you NAILED it! I also lost steam in the end- mile 23 for me – and I watched my 5 min ahead of pace shrink down and down and down. Hope to see you soon! xo

  41. You are amazing! and such an inspiration. Your ability to just keep pushing is what I hope to find in my runs too. Congrats on your run! See you tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

  42. Do you work in carpentry? Because you NAILED IT! Dang girl! I know that wasn’t your goal pace, but considering the tough course and windy conditions, not to mention it being your first full, you rocked it. It took me a few marathons to get my PR of 3:13 and you did that outta the gate. You have big things ahead of you, I’m sure 🙂

  43. I tracked you so hardcore that it was like I was there hahaha. Oh man I was seriously going insane cheering for you! Love the recap…SO PROUD of you!

  44. I loved reading this! I am so happy for you, Hollie! Way to go on your first marathon. You seriously ROCKED it! Just as I suspected you would 🙂

  45. Its interesting to hear a runner so well trained such as you have the same thoughts go through your head. Mile 1 of any race or even training is the worst for me. Once I’m a mile or 2 in, it gets better. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks they are going to go into cardiac arrest!

    Great job – and FANTASTIC time for your first marathon. I’m excited to see what you are going to do next!

  46. I really can’t imagine having dead legs and having to run up and down the hills in Central Park… uphill is rough but downhill is painful on dead legs. I was tracking you online (stalker style) and we were cheering for you from our living room. I’m sure you heard us. Anyway, what is up with being emotional during marathons? I did the same thing during mine at a water station that was sponsored by little kids with terminal cancer… those photos of the kids did me in. I’m proud of you Hollie and (sorry) can’t wait for your next marathon!

  47. Congratulations!!!! Belated but still very much deserved 🙂 I wish I could’ve seen the race as a whole but I was out of town last weekend. Can’t wait to see where your running takes you next!

  48. So cool that you know Susan! She and I are sorority sisters 🙂 Congratulations on a great first marathon, even if it didn’t feel that way!

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