New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York City Marathon Race Recap (3:07.15)

New York…New York.

This recap will be long. It hasn’t been a secret after my last marathon I said I was tired of them and had no interest in marathoning. So for over 3 years, I didn’t. Then the opportunity to run New York in the sub-elite corral presented itself, and I knew I would kick myself for not taking it. I was nervous, and I knew, and I would be the slowest person in the corral, but I decided to go for it. Spoiler, I have no regrets.

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It moved me because I’m here.

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The morning itself was just as great as the marathon, if not better. I got to be around the best of the best. We boarded the bus and were off to Ocean Breeze. Initially, I thought being at the Ocean Breeze track would be ideal because if it rained or was inclement weather, I would stay drier. The weather was beautiful, and I spent about 3 hours just hanging out and watching elites and other sub-elites warm up. Not every person warmed up, and I was on the team no warmups (Running 26.2 miles is enough for me).  It was very relaxed and peaceful which made it hard to think…I’m going to run my 3rd marathon soon.

Since many people asked, I ate a waffle at 5 am, and then a bagel around 8 am. I get hungry in the morning and starting a race at 9:50, I knew it was the best option for me.  It’s probably a lot of food for most people, but I don’t like running on an empty stomach.

When I went to go pin on my bib, I realized OMG my pins had fallen out of my bag.  So like a goon, I had a race bib but no pins. I hung my head in shame and asked one of the volunteers (who was actually talking to Jared Ward) if they had any and they were able to get me some.

By 9:20, we were off to the Verazzano Bridge. We got back on the bus, and when we got off, I felt like I had entered a whirlwind. People were shouting, get to the bridge, drop your stuff off now.  NOW! The excitement finally dawned on me, that yes I was about to run 26.2 miles.

The professional men stood in front of us, then us, then about 30 feet behind corral 1. Since I was the slowest person in the corral, I stood at the back. It felt kind of cool to say; I am the slowest one here.  I chatted with several other women, many of whom, were going to attempt a sub 3. I knew that could be me someday, but New York was not that day.

All of a sudden, they were filming us, and the gun went off.  The first mile is up over the Verazanno Bridge. It’s 100% uphill because you are climbing a bridge. I ran a 7:28.  Many people from the first corral were flying by me, which was fine. I just stayed in a straight line and did my thing. I don’t really ever feel pressure anymore when people run by.  They do them…I do me…

The second mile was my fastest, as it was down the bridge, and I ran a 6:36. I knew it was downhill but seeing a 6:36 made me feel a bit better.  I didn’t have a time goal and I knew with the constant climbs, my miles would be everywhere.

New York City Marathon me running

For the next few miles, I settled into a groove. My goal was to make make it to mile 8. I knew that was where I had the highest chance of seeing friends, although I didn’t.  The next several miles of New York are also the flattest. I averaged between 6:45-6:55.  I could see the 3: 00-hour pacer up ahead but I knew I wouldn’t be running 6:50s up the Queensboro Bridge and in Central Park. I briefly thought about joining the group, but then ultimately decided it would probably cause me to blow up.

So I just kind of trecked along. I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I have a stomach of steel, so most gels do the same thing for me. I felt the same as if I had taken a Gu. I didn’t need a gel at mile 5, but I planned to take them every 5 miles which seems to have worked for me.

Around mile 6, I felt my shoe untie a bit. I also had to use the bathroom, and some people will pee on themselves, but that is not me. I decided when my shoe finally came untied I would tie it.

When I hit mile 8, I saw no one I knew. I wasn’t really surprised, but the crowds gave me life.  I wasn’t bad, and I maintained miles in the 6:50s.

Somewhere around mile 9, my shoe came untied, even though I had double knotted it. I am a clumsy bafoon, and I won’t run any race with an untied shoe and hurt myself. I found an opening on the side and tied it. It took me a little longer than I had hoped because the double knot got wedged in there but I told myself, the more you “panic”, the longer it will take.  I dropped my gloves as well.

I had planned to use the bathroom too but there wasn’t one so I just continued on and never did.  With my stop, I logged a 7:22 mile. I asked NYRR to pause the clock for me while I tied my shoe…but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my Garmin either.

New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in just over 1:10. The next two miles, were two of the quietest from the crowds. I took another gel around mile 10. I grabbed Gatorade at every mile I didn’t take a gel, and water when I did.  I was mentally struggling for the next two miles, thinking about how far I needed to run.

Around mile 12, I snapped out of it because I knew the half mark was coming up soon. I reached 13.1 in 1:32 which was only a minute slower than the Air Force half marathon. I knew I wasn’t going to negative split and I would probably struggle to run another 1:32. I decided that maybe somewhere between 3:05-3:10 was probably doable. It would be a PR, but also it would be on a much more difficult course than my PR in Pheonix.

New York City Marathon me running

After 13.1, I began mentally prepping myself for the Queensboro Bridge. I stand by the thought that during my first marathon, mile 15 was one of the hardest miles I’ve ever run in my life. I needed to mentally prep myself to know, it would hurt.

Mile 14 clicked off in 6:55 and then I saw the Queensboro Bridge ready to be conquered. Ok…here we go.  Mentally in mind, I just blocked off the Queensboro Bridge as being “almost done”.  My mind just thought, when I was there, I was essentially done…which is dumb because after you still have 10 more miles.

New York City marathon me running

We began climbing…and climbing. It was quiet because there are no crowds on the bridge. Suddenly, I looked around and realized I had begun passing people.  It reminded me of when Des Linden said about the Boston Marathon: Well I wasn’t feeling great, but no one probably was, and I was feeling better than other people.  It was true, and I passed a lot of people up the bridge.  I hit ran the mile in about 7:30 which I was pleased with.

As we came down on 1st avenue, the crowds were incredible. During the downhill, I felt my inner thighs and quads locking up. It reminded me of my first marathon, but also my second. I never really felt good during either after mile 16. Was this it? Was I done?

But as I continued, I realized I felt decent.  Both miles 17 and 18 were relatively flat, and I saw Danielle who was motivating. I ran both in 6:52 and 6:56.

From then on, I began mentally counting down. First I counted down to mile 20. I reached mile 20 and said: “just a 10k to go”.  I knew last time, it was a very long 10k.

This time I didn’t feel as bad. The next couple of miles went without much note. I didn’t feel awful, but I didn’t feel like the beginning of the race either.

Somewhere around mile 22, I saw some friends including Hayley.  I waved and it’s where this photo was taken.

One of the prouder moment is that I was able to see and wave to so many friends from 20 onward. I couldn’t do that and in fact, I don’t remember the last 10k of the race from 2013. I guess I had tunnel vision.

When I reached 24, I thought, just another 5k to go.  Hollie you like 5ks.  Although one of the hardest and longest climbs comes around mile 24 and I ran a 7:27.  I knew friends would be between miles 25 to the finish, so I gazed along Central Park looking.  My legs burned as the neverending climb in central park continued.

I saw my dad around mile 25 and even waved to him too.  I’ve never been that coherent to wave to someone at mile 25 so I felt good about it.

New York City Marathon me running

The last mile felt as though it took forever.  It was my slowest mile, and I ran a 7:34.  I saw the sign “800 to go” and began sprinting (or what I thought mentally was).  I passed a man who was wearing too short of shorts which weren’t covering…anything. :O

New York City Marathon me running

OMG, that is two laps around a track.  I begin powering through.  Then 400 to go.  Then I crossed and averaged a 6:34 last .2.

New York City Marathon me running

I crossed in 3:07.15 which is my fastest marathon by over 7 minutes.  It’s 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran New York.  I’m proud of it.  A few days later, I’m not all that sore and I feel like I was sorer after both of the trail races I did this summer.

New York City marathon me running

Now that I’ve run a marathon and I had a positive experience, I do believe I could run faster at some point.  I don’t foresee myself running another marathon soon, but I do know eventually I’ll run another one. Yes, I have qualified for Boston and I don’t take that for granted, but that isn’t a race that interests me right now. I can barely plan 2 months ahead, let alone a year and a half.

New York City Marathon me running

I still like the half marathon and 5k better, but I am glad to have started and finished a marathon training cycle healthy and with a PR.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York before?

What is your favorite race distance?

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Training: Taper and a Marathon PR

Last week was a good week.

Because it was the week of the marathon, which I Pred. I’ll write an entire recap later, for the most part, I’m happy with the week of training and tapering itself.

For the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with a lot of calve tightness.  Nothing injury-wise, but my legs have felt very stiff.  It isn’t something taper “made better”, and they were still stiff before the race. I will say, they felt the best they’ve felt in the last two weeks.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 10 miles
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 30 minutes
Friday: Off
Sat: Easy 20 minutes
Sunday: NYCM 26.2 miles (3:07.15)

Thoughts:

All of my runs were easy and without a watch. It might have been a little overboard to run 10, the Tuesday before New York but it was fun to chat with Skip, and it didn’t feel bad.

After Tuesday, I kept repeating to myself you can only do too much but to be honest, it wasn’t that hard to even cut mileage. Between work and life, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to squeeze running in. Sure I could wake up at 4 am to run more miles, but I would rather sleep and taper more.

My legs seem to loosen up more as the week went on. After the Atlantic City half two weeks ago, I felt great. The few days after, it didn’t feel as though I had even raced a half marathon. Then my calves just felt like they locked up. It was like no amount of stretching could loosen them up.  I wasn’t “worried” because I knew I wasn’t injured, it was just frustrating because I didn’t want to feel stiff.

NYCM: 3:07.15

My last marathon Phoenix was a 3:14.59 and my first marathon, NYCM in 2013 was a 3:17. So it was a PR. I’ve always been more proud of my race at NY, but that is neither here nor there.

On race day, my calves felt better than they had the week before. I didn’t feel great, but I felt as great as I could be. I have a lot of thoughts about my fitness going into NY and I know I’m not in the same fitness as when I ran a 1:22 this winter.

The race itself was amazing. I will probably have my longest race recap yet about it. Essentially, the miles clicked by pretty effortlessly.  I had to stop and tie my shoe (which I did double knot) around mile 9 but other than that I felt good the entire race.

Since I was in the sub-elite corral, I spent about the first half of the race being passed by hundreds of people. It’s kind of funny to just have people consistently whirling by you like you’re standing still but I ran my own race. Starting out too fast is usually not a problem I have in races anymore…my mentality is you do you…I do me…

The first 8 miles were just focused on getting to mile 8. That is where I knew the highest chance of me seeing someone I knew spectating was…but I didn’t see anyone. After that, I just kept trucking along.

Around mile 9, my shoe came untied, so I pulled over to the side and tied it. I’ve always found in those situations if you stress and panic it takes more time. I wasn’t really panicked but it took me nearly 30 seconds. I don’t think it was entirely lost time because I caught a lot of people I was running with.

I hit the halfway point in 1:32.15.

The next goal was to make it to the Queensboro bridge around mile 15-16. In 2013, the Queensboro bridge destroyed me, and I honestly wondered how I would ever run 10 more miles. This year, I was ready, and it became the turning point of the race of when I started passing people.

As we came down, I passed even more people. I still was slowing down, but not as much as many. As I started to pass more people, I became more confident.  The next miles just counted down until the finish. I was smiling, waving, and sidefiving all of my friends. In fact, every photo people caught of me was after mile 20.

The last 10k was difficult, and the hill in Central Park was no joke.  In fact, since I was hurting so bad last time, I don’t even remember it.  I saw my dad around mile 25 and just powered through. I’ve never run a marathon where I’ve been able to raise my arms and wave at mile 25. In fact until yesterday, I don’t like I’ve run a marathon I could wave at mile 18.

me nycm marathon

I crossed in 3:07.15 and felt good. I never felt like I overexerted myself and I finished smiling, happy, and strong. That isn’t something I can say after any other marathon.

Here are all my splits via my Garmin so take it with a grain of salt.

nycm marathon splits

Many people have asked me…now you’ll do lots of marathons and the answer is no. I still like 5ks and half marathons better, but I do like the marathon a little more now. I don’t foresee myself traveling to marathons over halves for a while if ever. I’ll do another marathon again, but I don’t know when.  I also don’t have any plans to do Boston anytime soon, because like NY it’s hard to plan for a race a year out.

I’m proud I started and finished the training cycle and healthy.   My PR was just icing on the cake.  Now I’m taking 2 weeks off. I’ll still be around but my body needs time to recover, and my mind does too.

Posts from the Week:

 October Training

On Cloudrush Shoe Review

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
What body parts gets the most for you, running wise?

For me, it’s always my calves.

Training: 800s and a Half Marathon

Training: 800s and a Half Marathon

Last week was my last “big” week of training.  It’s all taper from here.  It was a decent week, and while I would have liked a faster half marathon, the wind was tough. To be fair, I didn’t feel the greatest during the race either and had two hectic days (both work and not) .  The Friday and Saturday before went by in a blink of an eye and kept me on my feet for two days straight.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800s (averaging 6:15)/800 jog in between (warmup/cooldown 10 miles
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes with Alexis
Friday: Easy 20 minutes
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Atlantic City Half (1:27.53) total miles 15

Thoughts:

I hoped to be around 1:26 for a half at some point during the training cycle. I knew I had a few half marathons to do it, but it never happened. Between the wind and the heat and training, it didn’t happen.  It’s hard to compare myself to fitness of last year or even the year before when I had run 1:25s at the Runners World half after running the 5k the day before.

That being said, different year, different situation.  I’ve repeated that to myself more times than I can count.  You can’t compare yourself to anyone and even yourself.

Wednesday: 6X800s 6:15 pace with 800 jog in between

The workout itself didn’t feel bad. It was the first cold day we had, and while windy, I felt good running.  I don’t have a lot to say about the workout. It was neither the best nor the worst and fell somewhere in between.

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27.53)

As I mentioned, I was on my feet a lot the two days prior.  The week itself was tiresome, and not a week the week you really feel: gun ho to go race.  That being said, I made the best of the situation. I had a great time with friends at the starting line and saw a lot of people I knew.  The day was extremely windy, and the predicted Gail force winds with gusts of 50 mph.

It was definitely windy.  I made the best of the situation, and I got on the boardwalk with not much cover to block the winds of the beach. I was proud I negative split the race. Around the halfway point, I saw if I didn’t crash, I would run about a 1:28. I made it my goal to run under 1:28. The last few miles averaged low 6:40s and a few 6:30s to haul to get under there. I don’t know why 1:27.X just made me feel better. I passed one woman around mile 13 and ended up as 6th female.

I’m happy with the effort for the race, but I do wish I had time that reflected the work I’ve put in this training cycle.  (1:27 is a great time, but I do believe I’m fitter in the half distance than that).

Next week starts my taper. I will race one of my favorite races next weekend (maybe this year it won’t be exactly 3 miles…yet claim it’s a 5k).

I’m looking forward to the next two weeks and what taper brings.  It’s going to be extremely busy for me anyway, so it couldn’t come at a better time.

Posts from the Week:

Are Racing Flats Right for You?
Heros to Hero 5k (19:12) 

Questions for you:
What is your least favorite condition to run in?
Heat? Torrential Downpour? Wind? White Out Snow? 50 Degrees and Sunny?
What was your best workout last week?

Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Training: 400s and Half Marathons

Another Week of Training is done.

This week, went better than last week which gave me more confidence. Many people have said: “you’re in shape” and while I am in shape, I’m not in PRing shape, and there is a difference.  In perfect weather, I could probably run a 1:25 half marathon right now, but my PR is 1:22.  A fast time, but I’m not at the peak of my fitness.  That doesn’t matter much as I haven’t had perfect weather for any long race so far…heck I haven’t even had “good” weather.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes/Hike 4 miles
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s averaging 5:58 pace (total mileage 10)
Thursday: Easy 70 minutes with Alexis
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30.02) + 7 miles for 20 miles
Total: 55isb miles

Thoughts:

As I mentioned, I don’t feel at the height or peak of my fitness and I’m okay with that. My goal for the marathon is to start and finish healthy and I have to keep that in mind. I told a few friends, I would rather be undertrained than over. Overtrained is what burned me out and probably hurt both marathons last time.

This tweet made me feel, a little better. That’s how I feel now,.  I don’t feel ready to run or race a marathon.  I hope the next 3 weeks will fine-tune training and get me there.

My easy runs were untimed and easy, and it was nice to get some miles in with my coworker and friend Alexis.

Wednesday: 12x400s (averaging 5:58 pace) with 400 jog in between

I was actually surprised I was moving this fast because I didn’t feel like it when running. I said on Instagram, but I’ve felt strong but not sharp.  I’m hoping to get more speed on my legs during my marathon training. I’ve felt my best, running-wise when I raced my fastest 5k in 2016.

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon: 1:30.02

Last year, at Crawlin Crab, it was about the same conditions.  I ended up tanking around mile 9, and shuffling home.  This year, the goal was not to do that and I didn’t.  I ran a consistent race ranging in pace from 6:44-6:58.  It was mid to high 70s, humid, and the course has zero shade or breeze.  The day was tough but I made the best of it. I would have loved to get an actual base of where I am fitness wise, but, you must race for the day and who knows…NYCM could be the same conditions.

Next Week:

I’ll continue running and racing and see how it goes from there. My next, and last half, is tentatively the Atlantic City half marathon on October 21st. I hope the weather will be decent, not even perfect, just not extremely hot and humid. I am confident, I’ll be able to finish the marathon but I don’t feel as fit as when I was running last fall into the Spring.

Posts from the Week:
Vital Proteins Gelatin
New Balance 1400 Shoe Review
September Training:
The Dragon Run (19:28)

Questions for you:
How do you recover from training?
Would you rather run in extreme cold or heat?

NYCM Training: 5ks and Long Runs

NYCM Training: 5ks and Long Runs

I won’t say last week was “the worst” because had I did have both quality runs and races.  However, not everything went as planned and I did have to miss a workout.  Last week, I found myself burning the candle at too many ends. On Wednesday, I was too exhausted and my legs hurt to do very much. Running would have been dumb, and it would have been the time I got injured.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes/ 4-mile hike
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 20 minutes
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Dragon Run (19:28) Total miles: 9
Sunday: 20 miles with 10 at 6:57 pace
Total: 48

Thoughts:

My easy runs were all easy.  I went hiking on Monday and had a short run.  I felt good on Monday, but Tuesday felt incredibly hard.  I didn’t sleep well into Wednesday, and when I woke up, I knew a workout was not happening.  I also knew if I wanted to run the Dragon Run and a long run over the weekend, it wouldn’t be wise to “make it up.”  So I took off.  I usually take Thursdays entirely off because they are a hectic day fbut I squeezed in about 20 minutes of running.

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Starting my day with a walk above the tree line.

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Am I completely satisfied with the week?  No but I got what I could in.  It felt as though I “announced” I’m running a marathon and my body fell apart. I am nervous that maybe I’m not cut out for the distance, but once I get a few more weeks of training in, I know I’ll feel more confident.

The Dragon Run: 19:28

For my fitness level, I executed the race perfectly. I ran a 6:20, 6:17, 6:05, race and passed three females in the last .5 to win.  This is my third year running, and also my slowest.  It is, however, my first year winning.  You never know who will show up. It was a good confidence booster for my fitness.

Sunday Long Run:

The 20 miler felt good. I’ve been slowly increasing my long runs, and the 10 miles in between felt solid.

I did feel extremely fatigued at the end.  I know one component I’ve missed in any marathon training cycle is speed work so I’ve been working hard to get it in.

The 10 miles was slightly faster (1 second per mile) than the Air Force half I did a few weeks ago. That gives me confidence that I am in better shape than the 1:31.  Mentally I know that, but it’s a confidence booster after this week.

Another thing I do need to do is sort out nutrition more for the marathon. For both marathons, I ate a full breakfast then took 4 gels during the race.  I didn’t feel as though I bonked and went from 7 minute to 9-minute pace. I also have never felt like I could just “keep running” or on top of the world. I’ve felt tired and like running 26.3 miles is out of the question.

Next week, I’ll be running the Crawlin Crab in Hampton, VA.  Last year, it was one of the hottest and most humid races I’ve ever done.  The goal will be to see where I’m at fitness-wise.  I’m not going to taper for the race but use it more as an extended workout.

Posts from the Week:

On Cloudace Shoe Review

NYCM Training Thoughts

Book It 5k Race Recap

Questions for you:

How do you get over training hiccups?

What was your best workout last week? 

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