Tag Archives: NYC Marathon

Inside the finish of the NYC marathon

I learned from my own NYC Marathon finish in 2014, that the volunteers are a special breed of human.  From a runner’s perspective, NYC Marathon volunteers, wear official jackets, along with unofficial halos.  They take the time to look you in the eye, grant your every wish (mostly), restore your anxiety to a sense of calm, listen to you as if you were the most important person amongst a sea of thousands, and let you know that no matter how much pain you are in, everything will be all right.  These are the volunteers that make up an army of 12,000 to support the 50,000 runners on NYC marathon Sunday.  I wanted to be a part of that army of angels – or at least try.

I arrived at my designated location on 33 Central Park West to sign in for my shift.  Our shift was from 10AM to 6PM.   I was assigned to “Zone 3” in the NYC marathon finish area.  Zone 3 is a location 5 city blocks past the actual finish line.   When you run the NYC marathon you are not actually finished when you complete 26.2 miles.  That’s just part one.   Part two is the additional mile walk that all runners must endure.  It is the longest mile you can imagine, and your body has only one thought.   It want’s to shut down.  But no, you must keep walking. Continue reading Inside the finish of the NYC marathon

The New York City Marathon – an epic ride

If you only have time for the headlines – here it is:   I started.  I finished.  And I’m going to take some time off to recover.  Just a little.  OK?

Now, if your curiosity is piqued about what this adventure was really like, the nitty-gritty, the behind-the-scenes-adventures – then keep reading.

fortwadsworth_startI could tell you that the story of NYC marathon Sunday was the 20+ mph headwinds for 20.5 miles, the wind gusts to nearly 50mph, the crosswinds that snatched your feet out from under you, or enduring bone chilling 20 something degree wind chills for 4 hours waiting for the run to begin.  I could tell you that 5 layers of clothing and 2 heat sheets were not enough to keep you warm at Fort Wadsworth.   I could tell you that the weather conditions were so severe, that the race organizers had to modify the start for the wheelchair division athletes — so that they avoided the 2 mile Verrazano Bridge. I could tell you how I watched the winds rip loosely fitted clothing right off runners crossing the Verrazano Bridge, and at one point I even felt the need to hang on to my step-daughter Emma who was running next to me. I could tell you how the headwinds in the South Bronx were so strong, that I actually stopped moving forward.  For a few moments, I ran “in place”.  No forward momentum. Continue reading The New York City Marathon – an epic ride

Times Roman 9

Within days of the NYC Marathon — my thoughts are busy studying the weather forecast for Sunday Nov 2, 2014 (currently predicting wind chill at 23 degrees and 30 mph headwinds!), wondering if I have trained enough, wondering if the “taper” concept really works, and examining that elusive question – “Why run?”.   For the longest time, I sought out a sole answer to “Why run?”.  I’ve read countless books and running magazines that try to make sense of that question with sensible answers.   Answers that range from “it’s childlike and adults need more childlike”, “it’s playful and adults need to get more play time”.  There are more answers too — from feeling a sense of accomplishment, to having a gym the size of mother Earth, to not needing to pay a monthly membership fee, to leaving your responsibilities behind — to just plain “me time”.   All of these make sense, and all of these I can resonate with at any given moment. Continue reading Times Roman 9

Taper 12: Seeking effortless

 The final long run before the NYC Marathon has arrived.  A shorty (12 miles) by prior long run standards – but possibly one of the most important practice runs of all.   The run that imprints a positive state of mind.

The day began earlier than I would have preferred.   I had over-committed my day, and my running start time would be sacrificed.   My alarm goes off at 4:45, and I’m eating breakfast by 5:00AM.  I’m not the least bit hungry, but force down 1/2 wheat bagel, peanut butter and a banana.  It sits in me like a boulder.  Digestion is taking it’s sweet time, and by 7:30AM my gut is not feeling especially “well”. Continue reading Taper 12: Seeking effortless

A trip down NYC marathon memory lane…

My NYC marathon bid is apparently on a 15 year (approximate) cycle.   In 1985 – I ran/finished my first NYC marathon….followed by #2 in 1999….and #3 yet to come – Nov 2, 2014.   So many things have changed…. Continue reading A trip down NYC marathon memory lane…

Say good-bye to the injury gremlins

This week’s long run was scheduled to be a 14 miler – which fits nicely with the Baltimore Running Festival’s Half Marathon.   While the 13.1 mile half marathon is 9 tenths of a mile short of the goal distance — we made up for this fact by including a 6 mile bike trip as part of the commute.  Close enough!

While my fellow marathoner contacts are busy worrying about “don’t get injured” during the taper weeks before marathon day — apparently this vibe has now rubbed off on me.  Suddenly, I’m becoming hyper focused on that lurking injury or accident!   And while the distance of a 13.1 mile event seems “short” — my mind was busy telling me to stay alert!   The injury gremlins, wearing a scary Halloween costume are waiting for me! Continue reading Say good-bye to the injury gremlins

Taper tales from a running junkie

15365193309_9d1bc74e51_zA decrease in running volume the final weeks before a marathon – is called “the taper”.   The purpose of the taper, is to allow the body a chance to repair and recover – before the BIG day (Nov 2 – NYC Marathon).  With 5 months of steadily increasing toll and stress on the body – just 2 days into “the taper” feels like a running vacation.   Suddenly, I have time on my hands.  Suddenly, I am sleeping more, and my daily runs begin well after 8AM (the o-dark-hundred days are over!).   I have more time for my cat, drinking coffee in the AM, productivity has soared (in my mind), I’ve caught up on replying to emails, and my inbox miraculously has less than 50 emails, I’ve updated all my accounting entries into QuickBooks, and I have started cleaning the house.  All because I have a few more minutes in my day – not running. Continue reading Taper tales from a running junkie

19 miles of visualizing the NYC course

With 3 weeks to go before the 2014 NYC Marathon, today’s long run was scheduled to be 18 miles.  It was also scheduled to be the final “simulation run” where every nuance from nutrition to sleep to clothing to hydration to temperature and – oh yeah the run – was to build confidence and learn from any challenges.   I will also be visualizing and coordinating my mile markers — with the NYC marathon course.   Now, that’s what I call a simulation run! Continue reading 19 miles of visualizing the NYC course

20.6 miles of pure joy!!

Leading up to today’s planned 20 mile long run – was a monumental shift of my eating habits.   A macro-nutrient shift — so that the majority of nutrients come from Carbohydrates.  Today, I would put my learnings from last weeks “fume run” to the test.   Today’s run – my longest training run prior to the NYC marathon, needed to push back the wall and stoke the fires of my confidence.   I was feeling the pressure. Continue reading 20.6 miles of pure joy!!