The Positives and Negatives
They say when you finish your first marathon you are hungry for another. You want to look at every aspect of your training and what to improve on and what to chop out. I enjoyed the marathon distance but it hasn’t consumed me to the point that I only want to do marathons now forever. I was going to add this to the end of my race recap but the post was so long and I figured it would be easier to space it out. After giving my objective thoughts about the race I thought I would talk about various aspects of the race and my personal thoughts. I learned a lot of lessons from the race that I would never learn without running it.
First people can tell you this 100 times but you have truly experience it for yourself. The marathon is not two half marathons. The difficulty of the race is equal to five half marathons. For me, I can break the race up as the first 15 miles and then the last 11.2. Most people say it is a 20 miler and 10k pain train but I boarded the 10k early at mile 15.
The course itself would be one of the most hated and grueling courses if there were not so many people cheering and supporting you. What I didn’t know prior (because I didn’t do my research) is that people don’t come to NY looking for a fast time. What people don’t realize is that it has a lot of bridges but when running in the neighborhood boroughs, the road is still a gradual incline. Since the course is point to point, it doesn’t mean what goes up must come down.
I don’t think I took the race out to fast at all. My plan was to run the first half in 1:35 and then see where the second half of the race went. I knew it was very unlikely that I would be negative splitting my first marathon. I would rather finish happy and strong versus dying. That was my original goal but you know by now I still finished dying. Finishing your first marathon not about to peel over is an overzealous goal.
I think I had two phases of bonking. First, when my quads began to tire and cramp at mile 15. I was mentally still capable of running the same pace and I didn’t start to die too much. After talking to several people they tell me due to the elevation of the NYCM course your quads will be sore. Since it was so hilly it was working quads. (Before the race I was sure my calves were going to be the most sore).
My second phase of bonking was when my glycogen was completely gone from my system around mile 18-19. I could have probably eaten a dozen krispy cream donuts and it would not have been enough sugar for my blood stream. I think that comes from an effort of 7:15 pace for 2 hours.
Incase you wondered what I ate and drank during the race: a gel at mile 8, 14 and 20. I took Gatorade at every mile except for 7,8 13, 14 19 and 20. I took water at those stops so I didn’t mix Gatorade and gel. I believe I read on Janae’s blog to take fluid at every stop so that is how I decided to do that. I think it worked out really well. I think my fueling was fantastic for me and I think my bonk came from not running enough speed workouts.
Positives of the race:
I finished my first marathon. I trained for a marathon and I finished it.
I ran a smart race. I was 210th woman overall and 10th in my age group. I am pretty proud of that!
I liked my fueling.
I still plan to run my next full conservatively. My next goal will be a 3:10 and I will still plan to take it out in 1:35 and hope I have more energy.
What I’ll change next time:
I’ll look for a flatter and less challenging marathon course. Does that make me sound lazy? I don’t know but I think on a better day (less wind) I am fully capable of running a faster time.
Final New York thoughts:
I liked the race and I like the distance. I am not 100% hooked that I need to do marathons and only marathons. I do plan to do another marathon but I plan to work more on a half again right now (after I have recovered).
Will I do NYCM again? Yes, most certainly. You cannot beat the crowds and cheering.
Questions for you:
Have you done NYCM? Have you ever cheered there?
What is the toughest race you have ever done?