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I Have a Fall Goal Race

And it’s the New York City Marathon…

Sometimes I start to type a post but leave my computer without saving or creating a “publish date”.  Then once my computer goes into hibernate, it posts automatically.  So sorry if you saw this on Tuesday (along with 3 other posts).

Anyway, for the last few weeks I’ve tried to figure out how I wanted to type it out… The race itself, is only 6 weeks away but it isn’t as if I haven’t begun preparing. I ran 20 for the Boothbay Half and I’ve run a few 16-18 mile runs in the last 2 months.

I don’t want to be too prepared but I do want to finish healthy.  I’ve made the mistake of being overprepared which is probably how I tweaked my butt for my last marathon 3.5 years ago. Right now, I strongly believe if I went to run a marathon this weekend, I could finish.

If you are a long time reader, you might know I’ve done two marathons:

My first was New York in 2013.  I ran a 3:17 after moving across the country. I had never run a marathon and had no idea what to expect.

My second was Phoenix in 2015 and I ran a  3:14.59.  I had great training but the week before I tweaked my butt and kind of hobbled to the finish line.  I never walked but it was a positive split and unenjoyable.  I still PRed but Phoenix is a much faster, net downhill course, and I’m far prouder of my race in New York. After that, I decided marathoning wasn’t for me so I took a break.   I raced 5ks, PRed in halves and have enjoyed the shorter and faster stuff.

So this whole marathon thing probably comes as a shock to you.   If you have read training logs with a microscope recently, it might not be “as surprising” (but who does that LOL).  No one runs 17 or 20 miles for fun. Some of my close friends have known for a couple of weeks.  I haven’t hidden it from anyone who asks in person but I’ve been waiting until everything has been finalized.

NYCM is a lottery system and I’m long past the lottery…So how did it happen?

First, I was never in the lottery. About a month ago, I was talking to my boss and store owner at work.  (I work in a run specialty store.)  He was getting ready for a marathon so we were just discussing marathons. I mentioned I wanted to run New York eventually again but couldn’t commit to lottery deadline.  Due to the military life, I don’t really think I will ever be able to commit to a big lottery system without the risk of losing a ton of money.  I’ve risked it and lost and risked it and been fine.  NYCM or big marathons is a lot of money to gamble with. In fact, the first time I ran NYCM, was a week after I moved from Texas back to the East Coast. (Which was 100% not planned).

My boss said he might be able to get a bib for a brand rep and I said I wouldn’t turn it down if he did.  A few days later, he called and said if I wanted to run NYCM, he had a bib for me. It took me a second to even process it. Me? Marathon? I mean…I said I wanted to run it again didn’t I? I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Whether it’s moving, job, running, or even kid I don’t think there will ever be an ideal time. So I said yes.

After running two trail races and being on my feet longer than ever before (longer than either marathon), I thought another marathon was doable.  Right now, the only marathon I wanted to do again was New York.

Sure I could run another marathon like the Philadelphia or more likely Richmond but New York still intrigues me.  I don’t want to run a marathon for the sake of “running a marathon”.  I don’t need to feel cool, or a real runner, by running marathons each year.  I feel as real of a runner when I slog through a 3-mile training run as a finishing a marathon.

So why New York?

New York is a brutal course.  It’s hilly, often times windy, and you have to be up before the light to get to the start.  Like the trail races, it’s not easy.  The crowd, the people, and the experience make it worth it.  I loved my experience at NYCM in 2013.

Running the NYCM 2013

That is why like the trail races:

My only goal is to start and finish the marathon healthy.

Since marathoning, I’ve run PRs in every distance. I’ve run a 1:22 half and I’ve run a 1:22 half in Carlsbad, CA as well.  That equates to well below a 3-hour marathon but I’m not a marathon expert or pro.  After taking over 3 years away from marathoning, I’m treating this as my first one all over.

I will, however, be in the sub-elite corral.

It’s crazy but it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity. I might be running most of the race alone, or I might spend the entire race getting passed but I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll get the chance again. Heck, I might even come in as the very last sub-elite finisher and you know what?  I’m okay with that because someone has to be!

I have no shame if I’m the very last person in the corral. I’ll be lining up behind the elite men (not with the elite women who go off much earlier LOL).

This is the first time I’ve been excited to run a marathon since Phoenix. I wouldn’t involve myself in something running related, I’m not excited to do.  2018 has brought a lot of: OMG, I never thought I would be doing this races…but here we are.

Questions for you:

Have you run NYCM before? Will you be there? 

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18 responses

  1. I did my first marathon last year and vowed it would be my last but if I was offered a place at NYC or London I think I’d jump at the chance!! I can’t wait to see you smash it!!!!

  2. Good luck Hollie! I think starting and finishing the race injury-free is always the #1 goal, but especially with a marathon. You’ve been training hard and doing great with the trail runs, so even if you’re not running a ton of miles and races, just think of it as a different way of training (and you never know, maybe training differently will pay off?). Love that your store manager managed to snag you the bib, and let us know how to track you.

    Also, I get it with your mom downloading the app. I had a race send my mom a text message with my splits a few years ago, and she was so thrilled to get those texts that Saturday morning. Gotta love parents and technology… ;).

  3. I’m SO excited for you!! The NYCM was my first marathon and it’s the one I’d take a second shot at in a heartbeat. I think you’ve got just the right attitude and I can’t wait to see what you can do 🙂

  4. Good luck with the race! I haven’t run NYCM but I do want to at some point. Next year I’m liking going to run Chicago and maybe start putting my name in the lottery for NYCM the year after.

  5. Very excited for you Hollie. I loved the NYC Marathon (I ran it in 2015) and plan to do it again next year providing I get a bib with time qualifying. You are so fortunate to have a company offer you a race bib, but you are a dedicated and serious runner and so deserve. I think you will be surprised that your training, especially the trails will be most helpful on race day. And don’t forget, Central Park has lots of hills and it sure is fun passing people at the end! 🙂

  6. Wow what a year it has been for you, I’m so excited for you and I hope you really enjoy the NYCM experience! 🙂 One day I hope to run my second marathon, I just don’t know when that’ll be. Anyway, I’ll be cheering and rooting for you, from Jersey! I think watching all these Fall marathons might spark my desire and motivation to train for one!

  7. I’m so excited for you. You’re running is amazing. You are amazing 🙂
    I love that you’re doing it because you believe you are in a place to run strong and well. I love that you aren’t simply doing it to say you ran one (or, another one). You are a runner simply because it’s part of your everyday. NY was my last marathon years ago and may be my last ever because I’m just not feeling like my body is built for that distance. You are killing it these days — You’re going to crush the NYCM!

    • I always appreciate your support Lora. I remember you saying that about NY. I’m glad all that garbage with your leg/foot is better from last year. 🙂

      Hopefully, when you get back we can get a run in or dinner or something. Have fun this weekend!

  8. I am psyched for you! And don’t think for one second you don’t firmly belong in the sub-elite running group! You are going to kill it my friend and I can’t wait to watch it unfold. I ran NYC in 2016 and, although it was not the race I wanted to run, I had a blast!! Good luck!!

  9. I ran the NYC marathon in 2013, and finished in just under 3:32. It was an excellent marathon experience. My wife and I had a great time, enjoying a long weekend in the city that never sleeps.

    I expect you to absolutely crush your previous marathon times. Your pacing is brilliantly consistent, and you are in peak shape (and motivated). I’m willing to wager that you could hold 6:53’s the whole way. Can you wrap your mind around a sub three? Dare to dream big…

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