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Race Recap: New York City Marathon

Race Recap: New York City Marathon

Happy Friday, all! So I’m finally here with my recap of the New York City Marathon!

Let’s start from the beginning. I woke up at the asscrack of dawn (3:30am) to get ready. Todd, being the fabulous man that he is, was going to drive me the 45 minutes to catch the bus at the Meadowlands, which would transport me directly to the starting line.

I got dressed in the day’s “costume” — I won’t tell you how long it took to pin my crown into my hair, lol — and bundled up in about 12 layers of zip-up hoodies and sweatpants and gloves and scarves to help me brave the cold and wind for the next 4+ hours.

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We were out the door around 4:30am, and had no troubles getting there. Todd let me out of the car and I proceeded directly to a line to get onto the next bus. Standing there for just 3 or 4 minutes waiting to board, I was hit with GUSTS of wind and bitter cold like I can’t even tell you. I knew the weather conditions were going to make for an interesting race experience. I just didn’t yet know exactly how interesting it would be.

I sat on the warmth of the bus and tried to keep my composure. All around me, fellow runners were chit-chatting and laughing and eating bananas and bagels, and I just sat in silence. I was so, so excited for this moment, and I couldn’t believe it was already here. Of course, my calmness was interrupted a bit when our driver kept making WRONG TURNS and was about to take us to through the friggin’ Lincoln Tunnel. Everyone in the front of the bus started yelling at him (as politely as possible, of course) and telling him which way to go. Frankly, I didn’t even care if we got lost for a little while, because I knew the only thing waiting for me in Staten Island was the cold ground to sit on for the next 3-4 hours.

Our bus driver did eventually get his bearings and we succesfully made it to the starting village. I was wanded (nobody said anything about the torch I was carrying to complete my ensemble — I was afraid security might try to take it away) and headed to the orange village. First things first — I had to get in line for my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and I grabbed myself a bagel and found a nice piece of grass to plant myself on near the bridge.

758489-1001-0005sI ate and read some books and magazines (running-related, of course) along with my $3 used copy of A Race Like No Other. I also fatted it up with some hot chocolate (which was HEAVENLY in the cold) and Belvita as it got closer to my starting time. And, of course, I made sure to spend some time in the porta-potties to avoid any mid-race issues. As disgusting as they were, it was nice and warm in there, and I was almost tempted to hang out for a while.

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Honestly, the temperatures themselves didn’t feel THAT cold, but when the wind would gust it was absolutely brutal. Everyone was sitting around shaking, huddled up in everything from blankets to garbage bags. I wrapped my scarves around my face and tried to remain as calm (and warm!) as possible.

The 3.5 hours flew by a lot faster than I anticipated. Before I knew it, they were calling wave 3! I made my way to the corrals — not before getting one more picture of myself dressed like a homeless person, of course — and waited for them to let us into the starting area.758511-1020-0016s

Because I pretty much waited until the last second to get in line for my corral (they were to close at 10:10, and if you weren’t there, then you had to wait until the next wave), I was among the last people to be let into the starting line area before they shut the gates. I started ditching my throwaway clothes, tying my shoes, adjusting my iFitness belt and finishing the rest of my water bottle, and by the time I made it to the starting line, it occurred to me that most of my corral had already started!

I figured, eh, what was the rush? I HAD to get a picture in front of the bridge, and a nice runner offered to take one for me when he saw me struggling to do a “selfie,” haha.DSCF1461

By the time I made sure my torch was in place through a loop on my belt, and adjusted my crown one final time, it was time to officially cross the starting line of my third 26.2-mile journey.

Running across the Verrazano Bridge was QUITE the experience. Thing is, another corral had been released on the other side of the median, so there were a ton of runners to my right. But since my corral had pretty much left me in their dust, it was just me and a handful of other runners making our way across the bridge.

That meant I had nobody to hide behind. It was just me and these 40+ MPH gusts of cold wind. Throwaway clothes that had been left on the bridge were flying everywhere, people were losing their hats, and I was holding onto my crown and torch for dear life as I tried to make my way up the incline of the bridge.

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But then I saw THE VIEW, and for a second, I didn’t even notice that I was being blown over. I honestly wasn’t planning to take pictures along the course because I really wanted to focus on my finish time…but that lasted all of 30 seconds. I just had to stop. I may never have this opportunity again, and I wanted to capture it.

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I started out at a pretty comfortable pace, and the incline wasn’t bothering me too much. What was bothering me was the fact that I felt like I had to hunch my shoulders and head and expel all of my energy just to keep moving forward against the wind.

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Even though I pretty much cemented my crown to my head and my torch had been securely fastened into my belt, I was so afraid they were going to fly off and take out some poor unsuspecting runner. So I held onto my head and clutched my torch and continued trying to make my way across the bridge. (In case anyone was wondering…yes, I did, in fact carry a ridiculous plastic torch the entire race. It was really light so it actually never bothered me! And, no, I refused to let the weather forecast keep me from wearing my crown, LOL.)

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I chatted with a couple of fellow runners and enjoyed the moment, and before I knew it, I was on the streets of New York and met by this wall of crowds like I never could have imagined.

It was everything I had hoped it would be.

For the first couple of miles, I felt FANTASTIC. I tried to keep a close eye on my Garmin because I knew I was going a little faster than I should (I was hovering right around a 10-minute mile, but no faster than a 9:45). But I felt freakin’ amazing, and EVERYONE was cheering, and I had the world’s goofiest grin on my face, and I didn’t care. I was having a blast. Pacing? Couldn’t have cared less at that moment. I WAS RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!

There were bands playing and so many people and SO much excitement and I loved it. I kept telling myself, “I can’t wait to tell Todd, we HAVE to do this race together, I’m putting my name in the lottery every year for the rest of my life,” and so on.

And, my favorite part — everyone was cheering out for “LADY LIBERTY!” I have to say, I would NEVER run a big race like this without a costume, EVER. The personalized attention I got all morning totally helped, whether it was “STATUE OF LIBERTY!” or “LADY LIBERTY JEN!”

I was loving every minute of it.

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The first few miles flew by. I remember seeing the 8-mile marker and thinking, “already?!” I was still keeping a pretty steady pace somewhere in the 10-10:30/mile range, and stopping only to walk through water stops and dilute Gatorade with water, as per my usual race-day plan. I was also taking a Honey Stinger every 5-6 miles, as needed, and as I went along, took a whole lot of things from random kind strangers, from bananas to pretzels to tissues.

I felt AWESOME. Seeing so many different people out on the streets, and experiencing the boroughs of New York in a way I never had, was giving me a runner’s high that I can’t even put into words. It seemed every corner you turned, the crowds just got bigger and louder and more excited. I gave more high-fives than I could count that morning.758582-1607-0044s

In fact, I never even listened to my iPod! I normally can’t run without it, but I kept turning it off (and eventually put it away entirely) because I didn’t want to miss a single moment of this experience. My only issue in the early miles was finding a port-a-potty without a line — I had to go (damn coffee!), but didn’t want to waste precious minutes standing around. I eventually gave in and waited in line for one around the 10-mile mark.

Then I hit the halfway point. I finished the first half marathon pretty quickly, around a 2:20.

But, suddenly, I didn’t feel so amazing anymore.

My feet started to feel like they were on fire. I don’t remember them EVER hurting this much, with the exception of right after I crossed the finish line of the WDW Marathon after completing the Dopey Challenge. It was so strange to go from feeling so great to feeling the death all over the span of just a couple of miles. I never would have expected this, and with the exception of probably going out a little bit too fast (my usual mistake in just about EVERY race I’ve ever run), I really didn’t know where I had gone wrong.

My lower back? KILLING me. It’s felt sore at various points throughout my training, but usually during karate classes…very rarely while running. My legs were still feeling okay, but it felt like everything else HURT. I downed another gel, made my walk breaks through the water stations slightly longer, but every step started to feel harder than the last. I tried to soak up the energy from the spectators, and enjoy some of the incredible views.

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Meanwhile, the wind was bad enough…but had I known just how challenging this course would be, hill-wise, I would have lowered my expectations right from the beginning. It felt like we were never really running on flat ground at any given time, and when I started to struggle, the sight of runners climbing the next rolling hill was enough to crush my spirits right then and there. It was as if we kept climbing up, but without the reward of getting to make up for lost time on the downhill. I knew then that I DEFINITELY didn’t train for hills the way I should have, and I ended up paying for it.758412-1241-0036s

And then I was met with the challenge that is the Queensboro Bridge. Honestly, I felt like this one-mile stretch of road was the hardest of all the 26.2 miles I would cover that day. There were some fantabulous views, don’t get me wrong…but the crowds are gone, it was yet another long stretch of hill/incline, and there’s nothing to do but listen to the footfalls and breathing of fellow runners. A lot of runners were stopping to walk, but I couldn’t allow myself to do that — “only at water stations” is my rule, and always has been. So I kept running. Slowly, mind you…but I kept running.

One or two runners tapped me on the shoulder to tell me I was doing great and to keep it up, so I must have looked like I was struggling. I spotted a few runners taking pictures on the side of the bridge, and for a moment, I argued with myself about stopping — I was already slowing down and seeing my time goal slip from my reach, but once again, that feeling of “who knows if/when I’ll ever have this opportunity again?” came over me.

Another friendly runner took one of my favorite pictures of the entire race. I wasn’t sorry at all for stopping.

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After I survived the bridge, I knew I had a LOT of excitement awaiting me on First Avenue. And the crowds didn’t disappoint. I felt a little better and tried to soak in all in. It was AWESOME. Running this race makes you feel like an absolute ROCK STAR, there’s no question about it.

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But, unfortunately, the excitement I felt turning onto First Avenue was short-lived. By mile 16, I was in tears. I didn’t think there was ANY possible way I had 10 more miles left in me. It was the first time I really, honestly thought I might not finish a race, and that terrified me. This was something I felt SO ready for, and I worked SO hard for…and here I was wanting to quit. I knew there was nothing that was going to keep me from that finish line, but at the same time, I was afraid I may not have it in me.

Those cheers I just LOVED in the first half of the race? Now I wanted everyone to leave me alone. They were still cheering for “STATUE OF LIBERTY” but it was at this point I started to hear my name a lot more. People were yelling “Go Jen!” and “Go Lady Liberty Jen, you’re awesome!” But I felt anything but awesome at that moment. I wanted to curl up into a ball and just die. I’ve had more than my fair share of difficult races before, but I’ve never, ever felt this bad. I didn’t know why my body felt like it was falling apart. I trained so hard for this, and I really did feel like I was more than prepared for this race.

I didn’t know it was the wind or the hills or starting out too fast or if there was something I did wrong in training (too much karate, perhaps?)…but things just weren’t going my way.

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By mile 18, I felt like I was on the verge of some sort of panic attack. I stopped for water and let myself tear up like a little baby some more, hoping that would help me feel better. But I started to feel even more panicky, so I tried to cut it out. Mind you, I am NOT typically a very emotional person, and definitely not somebody who cries in public. Ever.

People were still cheering for “STATUE OF LIBERTY!” and I tried to muster a half-hearted smile and a quiet “thank you” in return, because I really did appreciate their encouragement. But I felt absolutely horrible that I was struggling so much.

I promised myself I wouldn’t let the weather get me down — because, hey, at least it wasn’t HOT — but when I was already struggling just to put one foot in front of the other and every couple of minutes a gust of wind would come and make me feel as if I were being blown backwards…well, it really wasn’t helping. My upper body was tense and my form was terrible as I waited for the next gust of wind…and I just kept doing everything I could to keep moving forward.

After an eternity passed and I saw that 20-mile marker, for a moment, I felt better. I thought, okay — I know this is going to be hard, but it’s “only a 10K.” I felt myself perk up just a little bit for the next two miles. My pace had slowed quite a bit, but I was trying everything I could to keep it to under a 12-minute mile. I had “marathon brain” so I had no idea how to calculate my finish time, but at that point, I thought if I could somehow force myself to speed up for these last few miles, I might still meet my goal of breaking five hours.

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And then I crossed the mile 22 marker, and I was crying again. This was getting ridiculous now, and I was PISSED. I had trained HARD for this. For MONTHS. And here I was falling apart. I knew I likely wouldn’t meet my time goal, and I hated how I was getting such a crappy attitude about it and letting it ruin my experience.

My walk breaks at the water stations were getting longer and longer, and my feet officially felt like someone had taken a match and lit them on fire. I didn’t know what I had done to deserve that kind of agony. To top it all off, my back was completely stiff and my legs were tightening, and my efforts to stop and stretch did absolutely nothing to alleviate my discomfort.

Miles 23 and 24 were a blur. I just kept telling myself — out loud, no less — to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I told myself I would be fine, I was almost there, I’ve come so far. It was somewhere in those final miles when a few runners approached me to congratulate me, and some even told me I was an inspiration. I didn’t even know what they were talking about, but then I remembered the back of my shirt.

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And for a moment, I remembered WHY I was doing this in the first place. This wasn’t about time goals. This wasn’t about medals. This was about celebrating the person I am now, and remembering just how far I’ve really come.

I remembered how, in the past, I had been a MISERABLE person, and in far worse emotional agony than I could ever experience during a marathon. I remembered that I was so very lucky to be physically capable of taking on this enormous challenge. I remembered that I am healthy and strong and fit, and needed to stop throwing myself a pity party about some stupid time on a clock and realize what this race was really all about.

If I could have stopped to kiss the handful of runners who said something about the back of my shirt on the course, I would have. I SO needed that reminder of why I was subjecting myself to this in the first place.

It took forever, but finally — FINALLY — I saw Central Park. With just about a 5K to go, I couldn’t WAIT to stop running, and I couldn’t WAIT to cross that finish line. My spirits perked up and I really knew that I was going to DO this.

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By that point, I knew my five-hour goal had passed me by, and frankly, I didn’t care about anything but getting to that finish line. I wanted to finish this race. I wanted to prove that no matter how much I doubted myself along that course, I was about to finish THE EFFIN’ NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. I would be running over the same finish line that these incredible, elite athletes had crossed that day (albeit, hours and hours ago, haha). This was a BIG deal, and I’d better suck it up and savor the moment.

So I did.

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I still struggled a bit through mile 24, but when I saw that beautiful mile 25 marker, my pain started to subside. I picked up my pace as much as I possibly could, tried to ignore my aching back and the pain in my feet and legs, and before I knew it I was passing that glorious 26 mile marker.

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I saw that sweet, wonderful finish line in the background — and scanned the bleachers for a sighting of my sweet, wonderful man, holding up a sign just for me (because, yes, he actually does call me “JenNelson,” lol). I’ve never been happier to see him. He has been my “race manager” for all of these months, and all joking aside, I don’t know if I could have done any of this without his support. I can’t wait to return the favor when he runs the Philadelphia Marathon in a couple of weeks! :)

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I was overwhelmed with emotion, and when I finally crossed that finish line, I remembered exactly why I put my body through the months of training it takes to run a marathon. It was so, SO worth it.

Nothing will ever top running my first marathon in Walt Disney World this year, but I have to say…this was a pretty close second. :)

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I was handed a medal and a volunteer wrapped me up like a baked potato, and all of my pain (okay, well, SOME of it) faded away.

758534-1073-0003sI was still disappointed by my finish time, which I knew was something around a 5:15…but I was just oh, so happy to be a FINISHER. And then, as per my usual MO after a big race, the enormity of what I had just done hit me like a ton of bricks and I started sobbing like an infant. To the point where several volunteers asked me if I was okay, and runners patted my arm to soothe me and tell me I did a great job. (Have I mentioned that runners are, like, the absolute BEST people ever?! And so are race volunteers!)

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I gathered myself and began our slow death march out of the finish line area. Remember how I said the Queensboro Bridge was tough? No, THIS was the hardest part of the day. When you’ve finished your race and your body temperature has plummeted and you’re freezing cold and all you want to do is sit, but you can’t…you have to walk and walk and walk what felt like 26 more miles to get out of the finish line area.

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A lovely volunteer draped that warm poncho over me, and I kept walking (okay, hobbling) to find Todd in the family reunion area.

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We walked around just a bit longer (to scope out the official finisher merch, not gonna lie), and then headed to dinner. I made reservations for Joanne Trattoria because they were part of the NYRR “Run the City” deals, and offered 10 percent off to runners. After enjoying some delicious wine and chicken parm and spaghetti (which I thought was also very reasonably-priced for NYC, I might add!), I was feeling much better.

I got changed into my marathon shirt and the jacket I couldn’t wait to wear, and paraded around Manhattan in my NYCM marathon gear and medal like I was just the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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We had also booked the NYRR discount tickets to see Rock of Ages, which was awesome. It was the perfect show to watch after running a marathon — it was loud and lively and with a pretty basic storyline so I didn’t have to do a lot of thinking to follow the plot. Plus, I got to SIT DOWN for 3 hours. Heaven. :)

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And then we caught the train back to New Jersey, and found a special surprise from Todd’s parents waiting for me. They’re the best! A missed time goal and a tough race? Who cares — at the end of the day, I really did feel like I was #1. :)

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Honestly, I still have SO much to say about this race, but I’ll save it for my next post! (If you’ve stuck with me this far…BLESS YOU).

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this particular race experience and what went wrong and how disappointed I was not to meet my goal…but in the couple of the days since then (as I recovered by sitting on the couch and pretty much doing nothing), I’ve realized that no matter what, the experience of running any race is always going to trump my finish time. Period.

I mean, I ran this marathon dressed like the Statue of Liberty…and carried a TORCH, for crying out loud!

And it was an experience I will NEVER, EVER forget. :)

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing. That was fantastic. I can totally relate to your feelings out there on the course from the elation at the beginning to the pain and despair when EVERYTHING was hurting and the finish line was so far away.
    Well done again NYC marathon finisher. I so want to run this race now.

    • Thanks so much, Kay! I would absolutely recommend this race…I think it’s something ever runner should do at least once! I LOVED it. But I guess no matter how amazing a particular race is, that “where’s the finish line?!” desperation is something we all have to overcome, haha. I hate that I struggled so much, but I have absolutely no regrets!

  2. Way to tough it out. A lot of the recaps I’ve read are about the struggle this race brought on. The conditions certainly looked BAD on TV, and even some elites struggled. You finished and you have that medal!

    • Thanks, Lesley! It definitely made me feel better to know that I was not the only one struggling out there! There are some things you can just never train/plan for, that’s for sure.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post (and your outfit)!! I felt I was running right with you and enjoyed reading all your posts leading up to the marathon and this recap. You take the best pictures!! One regret was not stepping for more pictures.. but then again.. I’ll just have to run it again :) When I got home I ordered the jacket since I didn’t pick one up at the expo. Your wrapped me like a baked potato like was hilarious!! I really laughed out loud.

    • Thanks SO much! It has been so fun (virtually) training and running this race with you! I only ended up stopping for a few pictures because towards the end, it was SO much harder to get started again after I stopped, haha. Yeah, I ended up with my fair share of NYCM merch, believe me…lol.

      LOL, I really hate the heat wrap — I find it annoying and it doesn’t seem to do all that much for me. So when a volunteer came and literally taped me into it, I really did feel like a potato, LOL.

  4. Great pics and recap! This seems like an amazing race! AWESOME job and congratulations!

    • Thanks so much, Lauren! It was absolutely amazing — everything I could have hoped for. Just wish my body would have cooperated a little better!

  5. You are so amazing, I loved this race recap and even shed a couple of tears reading it! You know, I had NEVER experienced any back aches until I ran the Portland Marathon. I bet the incline on hills have a lot to do with it since that was the one variable that was different for me in Portland (compared to my training course), and it sounds like you dealt with a lot of that in NYC.

    Go JenNelson! Can’t wait to hear what you’re going to tackle next :)

    • Aw, thanks Kristina! I appreciate that! :)

      Honestly, that’s what I was thinking, too — the course HAD to have something with the way my body was feeling that day! And let me tell you…I do NOT train on hills. Definitely paid the price for that one, haha.

      LMAO — totally “LOLed” at that. He’s been calling me by my full name (all one word) since we met…and now it sounds weird for him to call me anything else. Hahaha.

      Next up: Goofy Challenge. Here we go again… ;)

  6. You rock, congrats!

  7. Congratulations!!! Sounds like you had two totally opposite race experiences in one day–the best and the worst. Way to pull yourself through it! A marathon can be a roller coaster of emotions. And yeah, I often tell people that the NYC Marathon is a 27-mile race. That mile walk after the finish line is brutal. But the race is totally worth it! Can I just say this? You NAILED your race photos!!! That pic of you with the Chrysler Building in the background is amazing!!!

    • Thanks so much, Karla! :)

      YES — that’s exactly what it was like. I’ve NEVER been this emotional, ever; there’s just something about running these dang marathons all the time, I guess… ;)

      Hahaha, thanks! You know I’m all about the race photos. Even when I feel like I want to DIE, I still try to ham it up like an idiot for the camera. I know I’ll ultimately look back on the race — as much as it hurts in the moment — and want those memories!

  8. I love this race recap!! I love that you persevered through the crazy weather-I had a similar experience during wine and dine. I will definitely be entering the NYCM lottery next year and hoping for the best!

    • Thanks so much! That’s what a marathon is all about, right? Perseverance. :)

      Best of luck — it’s an amazing race. Every runner should do it at least once! IMHO. :)

  9. Wow, what an incredible experience Jen! I’m so so so happy for you! It always amazes me how complete strangers can help turn a race around for us, and it seems like you encountered many people during the race that did just that for you. And what a celebration you had after the race! All I ever want is a shower, but you got dinner and a show in. I don’t know how you did it!

    • Thanks so much, Kathyrn! That is SO true. Runners are the absolute BEST — I saw SO many examples of people supporting complete strangers along the course, and it really is amazing how a brief encounter with someone you don’t even know can change your entire perspective/experience!

      It was a blast! I figured we were already in the city…why not take in a show? Haha. After dinner (and, you know, sitting down in a chair, lol) I started to feel so much better!

  10. Did you know you made the NYT website? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/fashion/bill-cunningham-new-york-city-marathon-medley.html?emc=eta1&_r=1

    I ran NYC too. Super brutal winds, super hard course. Great job.

    • Oh, wow, I had no idea! That’s awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know about it!

      That’s awesome — CONGRATULATIONS! You can say that again! :-D

  11. Ummm, YOU RAN A FREAKIN MARATHON! CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so sorry this race was so tough and the conditions were horrible, but YOU DID IT! YOU FINISHED! AND YOU FINISHED WEARING A CROWN AND CARRYING A PHYSICAL TORCH! (as opposed to a metaphoric one). I’m glad you walked around NYC like you were the greatest thing since sliced bread because you are because YOU RAN A FREAKIN MARATHON! Congratulations again!

    P.S. Rock of Ages is the best! :)

    • Awww, thanks, Kellie! I appreciate your support!

      And I totally “LOL”ed at the metaphorical torch comment. Now THAT’S the way to look at it! I know you are SO right.

      I thought it was a great show! Just what I needed…something fun and loud and not too complicated to understand in my post-marathon state, lol.

  12. Oh Jennifer, I’m so sorry you had such a tough race! A marathon is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one and as much as we train for the physical one, sometimes we can’t control what happens mentally on race day. I’m so glad to hear that you battled through and finished with the right attitude!

    This race was very tough, forget the lovely winds we were treated to, those damn bridges SUCKED – especially the Queensboro! I was surprised at how much those zapped my energy and I definitely threw in a few extra walk breaks in the second half as I started to lose steam.

    Like you said, you finished THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON and that is something to be proud of no matter what! AND you got some AWESOME pictures to prove it!

    • Thanks, Danielle! That is for damn sure! I know a lot of my struggles were mental, and I know that sometimes, no matter how much you train/prepare…it doesn’t always go your way. I learned a lot of hard lessons on the course that day, and now I know what I need to work on for next time.

      Yep, I hear ya! The course itself was a lot more challenging than I imagined. I seriously would have lowered my expectations right from the beginning had I known, haha. But, in a way, it made the finish that much sweeter.

      Aw, thanks! At the end of the day…I’m all about the pictures. :)

  13. Great running costume! Loved how you always kept a smile on your face. Congrats on running the NYC Marathon.

    • Thanks so much! It was hard at times (REALLY hard…) but I kept telling myself that I was soooo lucky to be running that race, whether it was going my way or not!

  14. OK so now I’M crying! You looked as adorable as ever, LOVE the costume! WAY TO GO ON THAT FINISH! you are a rockstar, you earned the medal and the good cry! I am thinking of doing the 9+1 in 2015 so I can run in 2016, although now I am a little scared lol
    SO proud of you!

    • Aww, thanks, Kim! Appreciate it!

      You should totally do it! No matter how much I struggled that day, I would run NYCM again in a heartbeat. It’s a tough course, but there was NOTHING like those crowds…it was unbelievable! :)

  15. christi in ma says:

    congratulations!!!!
    your outfit and race photos are so awesome!
    and so are you for gutting it out during less than optimal conditions to rock the NYC marathon!

    • Thanks so much, Christi! Appreciate it! I figure you might as well try to get some cool photos along the way, right? ;)

  16. Hi there! I’m a fellow freelancer who stumbled upon your site while investigating examples for inspiration for my own site. I just wanted to say that your websites are awesome and your story is so inspiring. Congrats on the marathon. So glad you stepped back from the moment and realized how absolutely amazing it is that you’ve come from 262 lbs to another 26.2K! Not to mention the accomplishments in two different martial arts. SO anyway, thanks, just wanted to let you know I found both the site AND the content inspiring :)

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  2. [...] thought I’d start with a little update as to what the heck I’ve been doing since the New York City Marathon, and Todd’s last post on his adventures in running the Philadelphia [...]

  3. [...] I had such a tough time running the New York City Marathon, I NEEDED this. I needed a reminder of how running can be fun, and how much I really do love [...]

  4. [...] last year’s New York City Marathon, I had a full-on panic attack…not once, but at several points during the second half of the [...]

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