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TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

TCS New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

The TCS New York City Marathon 2019 might be my longest race recap ever so hang on tight.  I’ve run the New York City Marathon two other times: 2013 and 2018. 

In early September, I pulled my hamstring which caused me to miss my previous marathon (Big Cottonwood in Utah). Around that time,  New Balance asked if I wanted to run the TCS New York City Marathon as part of Team New Balance. I love the atmosphere of New York City Marathon and it’s hard to say no. If it were almost every other marathon, I probably would have said no.

The goal of the six weeks leading up to the TCS New York City Marathon were to get my hamstring healthy. I got ART from Dr. Craig and rested. 2 weeks prior, I was able to do a very loose 20-mile run. I ran 13.1 miles at the Atlantic City Half Marathon (logging a personal worst there too) and slogged my way through 7 more. At that point, I was like how on earth am I going to run the New York City Marathon? My hamstring seemed fine, but it felt like I took 12 steps back when I was never in front.

I got to New York City on Thursday night. Danielle and I picked up our packets, did a quick scan of the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) New York City Marathon expo and went to a diner in Jersey City. The next two days were spent trolling around New York City. New Balance had a shakeout run with Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson. It was a 2-mile shakeout run at the New Balance Pizza Co.

The theme of the TCS New York City Marathon was: I move me and inspiring people through running. It’s one of my more favorite themes from New York Road Runners.

I was on the sub-elite bus again for the New York City Marathon. This meant I got to spent the morning at Ocean Breeze (on Staten Island) amongst all of the elites and other sub elites. I exchanged good lucks with Sara Hall, and I sat within feet of Allie Kieffer, Kellyn Taylor, and Mary Kiettany. I enjoyed it last year and it was equally as fun this year.

First, the elite women off, then the rest of us.  Once we got off the bus, we threw out bags into the elite check-in. Initially, they said we could use the bathroom one last time, but then the line was too long and they made us head to the start. Unfortunately, this meant I started the race needing to use the bathroom. The start of the New York City Marathon is always amazing. They had music blasting and people dancing. They fired the cannons and before I knew it, we were off.  One thing I appreciate about the TCS New York City Marathon is the ability to track mile by mile with the New York City Marathon app. Not that it mattered to me at the time, but family and friends could do so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I spent most of the New York City Marathon being passed by people. The first mile of the TCS New York City Marathon goes up the Verrazano Bridge. This means it’s uphill and going to be one of the slowest miles you run. I hit the first mile of the New York City Marathon in 7:52.  All I could think was, wow, I’m in worse shape than I am. I knew it was a slow mile, but somehow seeing the clock beep at 7:52 and knowing (with my lack of training): I wasn’t going to negative split the race, I was nervous.

Luckily, the second mile of the TCS New York City Marathon cruises down the Verazzano Bridge and I hit mile 2 in 6:54.

The next few miles of the New York City Marathon alternate between uphill and downhill. There are very few parts of the TCS New York City Marathon that are flat. I kept my eyes peeled for a bathroom. I knew I was not going to make it through 26.2 miles without using the bathroom so I figured earlier rather than later.  Miles 3-5 of the New York City Marathon were all between 7:22-7:28. I felt fine and my hamstring felt fine.

Just after mile 5 at the New York City Marathon, I found a bathroom. I ducked in and realized I had to go more than I thought. I was in and out within 30 seconds and proceeded on. I hit mile 6 of the New York City Marathon in 7:55. I asked NYRR to pause the clock while I used the bathroom, but they didn’t so I didn’t pause my GPS watch either.

I took my first Maurten Gel around mile 5. I like to take gels every 5 miles of the marathon and Gatorade the rest of the time. Around mile 8 of the New York City Marathon, I saw Amelia in her Giraffe suit. I waved and she snapped this photo of me. During some of the water stops, I found myself weaving and before I knew it, my watch was not matching up with mile markers at all. I was slowly adding time and distance. While I tried to run the tangents, (because I didn’t want to run any further than needed), I also wasn’t that worried about it. I weaved around the course high fiving friends and I wasn’t going to stop in front of people.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

I hit mile 10 in exactly 1:15. Exactly the time I ran at the Cow Town 10 Miler a month ago. LOL, that’s not what is supposed to happen here I thought. I took my gel between mile 10-11 of the New York City Marathon. I could feel a cramp coming on, but after getting the water, it went away. The next 5k of the New York City Marathon was focused on getting to half. I knew the halfway mark was on a bridge. I hit the halfway mark in 1:40.12. I was already at 13.5 and I thought, ok, I am going to make a little more effort, so I don’t run 27 miles.

I thought if I ran a 1:50 for the second half TCS New York City Marathon, that will be under 3:30. It seemed doable, except I remembered my long runs for the TCS New York City Marathon were not there. I did 1 20, and 2 15 milers. I had no idea what to expect for the second half and rightfully so.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Mile 15 begins the dreaded Queensboro Bridge. Mile 15-16 is one of the hardest miles of the New York City Marathon. It goes over the Queensboro Bridge, it’s quiet, and you only have yourself to motivate you up and over. My legs weren’t feeling fatigued going up. During my New York City Marathon, the Queensboro Bridge crushed me and my legs never recovered. During the second, I felt ok. This time at the New York City Marathon, I felt fine going up but going down my quads were on fire. I hit my 15 going up the Queensboro Bridge in 8:17 and rolled right back down in 7:44. I didn’t feel “good” going downhill and actually felt better going up.

The roar, after leaving the Queensboro Bridge, can’t be beaten. That propelled me to a 7:25 18th mile. I saw a few friends, including Amelia again. After mile 18, my goal was to make it to 20. I told myself: okay, Hollie. You have 8 miles to go, then 10k. It doesn’t quite make it easier. When I hit mile 20 in 7:52, I thought this is where you enter the unknown. I imagined 8 min miles would probably be about what I averaged the last 10k. I didn’t care; I just wanted it done.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

The last 10k of the New York City Marathon is no walk in Central Park and the long inline at mile 23 burns. I saw many people stopping and walking. I knew it I stopped; I would never start again. My legs were tired from running, but my hamstring was ok. I saw plenty of friends and I tried to wave, but my arms hurt. I could feel chafing on my arms, legs, and sports bra. At 23 miles, I said: 5k to go. You like 5ks, 5ks are your favorite. I hit mile 24 in 8:32. My slowest race mile ever. I didn’t care; I was making it to the finish.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Then at mile 24 of the New York City Marathon, I recognized buildings I ran by during my shakeout run the day before. Okay, Hollie, you’ve run by these. 2 miles to go. I hit mile 25 in 8:15 and I felt better I was slightly faster. I knew I would be well above 26.2 miles and tried to prepare myself for that mentally. I hit mile 26 in 8:21 and just proceeded on.

The final countdown was there. I just focused on the New York City Marathon finish and what that would feel like. I kept trucking along and finally, I heard (in a familiar Ali F podcast voice:) Hollie from New Jersey.  I crossed the TCS New York City Marathon finish line in 3:27.19 and collected my things.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

TCS New York City Marathon Thoughts:

I’m happy with my time and effort at the New York City Marathon. I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest marathon and I was happy to finish healthy. It’s motivating to me, and I’m hoping I can resume training with a fully healthy hamstring.  I had such an enjoyable experience from before theNew York City Marathon to the end. For now, I think I’m done with marathons for a while. I prefer shorter distance and to get speed back.  Finally, thank you to New Balance for allowing me the incredible opportunity to run.

TCS New York City Marathon me running

Questions for you:

Have you run the New York City Marathon?

What is your favorite distance?

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Training: I Ran a Marathon

Training: I Ran a Marathon

Wow, what a fun thing to say. I had an incredible weekend at the New York City Marathon. It wasn’t just the race but the entire weekend in general.  I obviously have a lot to say about the New York City Marathon, which will deserve its own race recap.  My goal was to start and finish healthy. It wasn’t to run X time, but I wanted to start and finish healthy.

Monday: Easy 30 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: 10 miles with a fast finish
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 2 miles with New Balance
Saturday: Easy 3 miles
Sunday: New York City Marathon 3:27.19

Thoughts:

Most of the week was dedicated to the New York City Marathon. I had so much fun just relaxing in the city.  I even got to meet both Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson.

New York City Marathon (3:27.19)

After being on my feet most of the weekend, I could tell my legs didn’t “feel good.”  Sure, I could have skipped all of the fun activities, but my goal was to start and finish healthy, plus have fun. It was a weekend to celebrate my ability to run and health. Is PRing fun? Of course, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen and it wasn’t a secret goal of mine.

My goal was to do it more as a long run and the race itself went by fast. I took it out “easy” and ran up the Verazzano Bridge in 7:40.  That second mile is downhill and I ran a 6:53 at the same effort (maybe I should do a downhill marathon JK). The rest of the miles clicked by and I averaged between 7:25-7:40 depending on terrain. I did stop to use the bathroom at mile 5. Up the Queensboro Bridge, I ran an 8:15, then most of my miles afterward were between 7:45-8:15 with my final few at 8:15-8:30.

I crossed in 3:17.19, which I’m proud of. It was an extremely short buildup for this and just six weeks ago; I didn’t think I would be able to run. While it’s my slowest marathon, I’m equally as proud as any other marathon I’ve run. Now I’m looking forward to getting back into shorter races and getting my speed back.

Posts from the Week:

New Balance 890v7 Shoe Review

October Training Recap

The Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Pennypacker Park Cross Country Open 5k (21:00)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

Have you run the New York City Marathon?

Have you met someone famous?

October Training Recap

October Training Recap

I can’t believe October has flown by, but that’s been the theme of 2019. As most people know, 2019 hasn’t been my year of running. I’m okay with it and I’ve enjoyed running, but I’ve run 5, 10, and even almost 15 minutes slower in my favorite distance: the half marathon!

As I move into NYCM weekend, I have come to terms with marathon running isn’t for me. This is the last month of marathon training for a very long time (maybe ever, who knows). I’m looking forward to getting back into shorter stuff.

Anyway, Back to Training:

Miles Run: 220
Range of Paces: 6:07-11:15-untimed
Races:
Cow Run 10 Miler 1:15.00
Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)
Gritty 5k (20:45)
Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:36.27)
Pennypacker Park Cross Country Open 5k (21:00)
Rest Days: 5
Cross Training: 4 (hiking or swimming)

Thoughts:

None of my races were “amazing,” but I had an enjoyable time at each one. I actually never felt good at any.  All of the shorter distance were fine and served to get speed work in without going to the track or a structured speed workout.

The Atlantic City Half Marathon didn’t go as planned. It was a personal worst by about 4 minutes.  The goal that day was to get 20 miles without my hamstring bothering me.

Speaking of my hamstring, it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve felt any sort of twinge or hard pain. I have a hunch it might hurt I get into a 5:5X pace but since I’m not in that fitness, I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t feel it on easy runs or even running in the high 6s, low 7s, which is all I need for NYCM!

Even though none of my races were great, I’m happy with my running and building back miles. I’m looking forward to running the New York City Marathon and enjoying it as a final marathon for a while. My goal isn’t to run hard and I know I’m not in “PR Shape.” Right now, I believe I think a 3:30 is doable. According to my VDot and other race performances, a 3:20 is possible, but I don’t think I’ve done enough long runs for that to be possible. I’ll be happy to start and finish the marathon.

After this month, I’ll spend time recovering and then going back to shorter distance and getting speed back.

Posts from the Month:

The Anatomy of a Running Shoe
New Balance 1400v6 Shoe Review
New Balance Fuelcell Echo Shoe Review
New Balance 1500v5 Shoe Review
On Cloudstratus Shoe Review

Hiking:

Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park
Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve
Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite distance for training?
How was your October training?

 

NYCM Training Log: Recovery and Hiking

NYCM Training Log: Recovery and Hiking

Tis the season before the New York City Marathon and wow, where has time gone?

When New Balance offered me a chance to run 5 weeks ago, it felt like I had “plenty of time”. Time is up and I’m back to resting, recovering, and tapering.

Last week was more of a recovery week from the Atlantic City Half Marathon and 20 miler. I feel confident I’ll be able to finish the New York City Marathon, but my goals have shifted.

Monday: Hike with Shawn
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 10 miles averaging 7:52 pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Pennypacker XC Open: 21:00
Sunday: 15 Miles

Thoughts:

I didn’t mean to take 3 days off from running (originally I planned 2), but my body was tired and I have no regrets. My good friend and coworker went for a beautiful hike (and one of my favorite in NJ). The Stairway to Heaven is a tough hike but worth the view. It was by no means a rest day though.

Pennypacker Cross Country Open 5k:

I’ve wanted to do the Pennypacker Cross Country Open 5k for a while. This year the only way to make it work was to run beforehand and a fast finish 5k as the last 3.1 miles (for a total of 10.1 miles). I haven’t run cross country in a while, and it was a lot of fun. The Pennypacker Cross Country Course is used a lot of local high schools. I’m happy with my effort at the of a longer run, plus on cross country terrain.

Sundays Long Run:

On Sunday, I ran 15 and it was one of the hardest runs I’ve done in a while. The rain and wind, made it difficult and obviously my body didn’t feel great after the race the day beforehand. I am happy to get it done, although my confidence could use a boost.

Next Week:

As I go into New York Marathon weekend, I plan to taper down. My goal for the marathon is to start and finish healthy. Right now, I would be ecstatic with anything under 3:30, but I’m not putting a time goal out there. As I said last week, I do believe this will be my last marathon for a while and it will be nice to start and finish the race healthy.

Posts from the Week:

New Balance 1400v6 Shoe Review

Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:36.27)

Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

How was your week of running? 

Are you running New York City Marathon? 

NYCM Training: Increasing Mileage and Racing

NYCM Training: Increasing Mileage and Racing

As New York City Marathon looms closer and closer, I feel less and less prepared. My only goal is to start and finish healthy, something I couldn’t do for Big Cottonwood. I’m at peace with that decision, although I do wish my hamstring felt better than it does. Running doesn’t make it worse, actually walking and sitting is the worst. It doesn’t hurt or alter my stride, but it’s noticeable when I run faster than about 6:40 pace. Anyway, running is going as well as it could right now.

Monday Easy 50 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 50 minutes
Wednesday: 10 miles averaging 8:06 fast finish
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Heros to Hero 5k 20:30
Sunday: Gritty 5k 20:45 (total mileage 15)

Thoughts:

As you can see, it was a busy week. I got in miles. While traditionally, this should be “peak week” for NYCM, it won’t be for me. I’m hoping to sneak in one more week of bigger training for the New York City Marathon. I want to do a 20 miler beforehand because I want to know how my hamstring will respond to that.  It’s getting better but I do find I’m on the edge of pushing it, but not pushing it too far too set me back. I don’t want any surprises running 26.2 miles.

I don’t think I’m going to do any “traditional” speed work before NYCM because I’m already increasing mileage and with races, I think that’s enough.

I didn’t have the time to swim last week (because I chose to sleep).

Heroes to Hero 5k: 20:30

This is one of my favorite 5ks in the area. It’s flat, fast, and fun. The weather was ideal, but my legs just didn’t feel good. It wasn’t my hamstring but general soreness of upping my mileage. I could have stopped at mile 1 and not felt guilty about it, but it was a point to point course. I’ve come to terms with where I’m at fitness-wise right now.

Gritty 5k: 20:45

If it were most other 5ks, I wouldn’t have run two in a single week. The Gritty 5k was billed as a “fun run” with all proceeds going to charity. They didn’t do awards for winning, just best dressed. If you are any sort of Gritty fan, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not, I highly recommend it. Which is fine. It was a lot of fun and my legs didn’t feel as bad the second race (weird right)? I felt like I could have run another few miles.

Posts from the Week:

New Balance 1500v5 Shoe Review

Cow Run 10 Miler 1:15.00

Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Is anyone else doing NYCM? 

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