Friday, November 11, 2011

New York City Marathon: Race Report

I'm sure you've all noticed that I haven't really been around that much lately. It's not for my lack of running or lack of passion for the sport. Ever since we moved to Louisville, I've been slammed. I took a new position with the company, in a new department, and things have kind of been crazy. Good crazy. But, crazy nonetheless. Let's just say that there have been some 12-13 hour workdays each week. I love the new job, but I love running more. I've kept running, but my mileage has suffered.

In August, I ran one 15 miler. Since then, my longest run has been a 10 miler - and to be quite honest, I probably only did that every other weekend. During the week, I'd run 3-4 times - 5-7 milers. I stopped doing speed work, but kept up my pace. My average pace on all of my runs was between 7:45-8:15.

I could tell I was getting stronger and still running well ... But, with a long run of only 10 miles, I wasn't so sure how my body would handle the full marathon. I thought that I could probably pull off a decent half, but I wasn't so sure about a full. In fact, I was kind of concerned about even attempting the full.

But, I did it. I planned the trip and was so excited to see Penny! I analyzed past blogs and training cycles and realized that I am SUCH a better runner now in so many ways, but that I just didn't have the distance. So, with 9 days to go, I decided to convince myself that I was superwoman. Yes, superwoman! :)

Since I opted to go on vacation and only run a 5 miler as my long run 3 weeks before the race and then with 2 weeks to go decided to race a 4K (FUN - 2nd overall female), I decided with one week to go that I should run 10 miles again. I had convinced myself that I was running the NYC marathon no matter the pain. I was good through 10 miles - so, I thought worse case I'd be struggling through the second half.

Goal - have fun! Try to run the entire time. Use this run to get back in shape :)

The time before the race flew by. I had so much time chatting and hanging with Penny and Keri that I really kind of forgot that we were running a marathon. On the outside, I was reminding everyone of the training that I hadn't done. But, on the inside, I was convincing myself that I had been training for 4 years (which I have been running regularly for 4 years now) for the race and that the past 12 weeks didn't offset that!

We jumped up and down, sang outloud and smiled a lot. Before we knew it, the race started.

The first mile was a little insane. Technically, I walked during the first quarter mile of this race. We couldn't go. There were so many people. Penny and I managed to stay together and crank out a 9:09. Once we got to the top of the bridge and started going down, I could tell Penny was in a lot of pain. My body was wanting to go; however, I was scared. It was early on and I didn't know how my body would handle everything. We ran a 8:14 for mile 2.

Coming off the bridge was nice. Brooklyn was sunny and welcoming. I had already tossed my arm warmers - which means that it really was hot because I wouldn't just part with those bad boys!!

I decided early on that I needed to take care of my body - as in an over the top kind of way! I was asking a lot out of it and I needed to fuel early and often. So, that's exactly what I did. They had gatorade and water stops every mile from mile marker 3-24. I took gatorade or water, but mostly just gatorade at every.single.stop!! I ran through them all and it slowed me down some, but I drank it! :) I also gelled every 4 miles. In the past, I've only gelled every 7 miles.

I ran through the 5K time at 26:45. I had lost Penny right around this time. I kept trying to look back. I was praying for her and her foot ...

My pace hovered around the 8:15ish mark for a while. I was just taking it all in. I was trying to be cautious and just enjoy myself. I was very anxious for what was to come and just so happy to be running the NYC Marathon!!

10K time - 52:21

15K time - 1:18:15

From mile 9-10, I decided to high five every single kid. It made me smile even more. I was feeling good and just kept talking to myself. Literally at least 20 times per mile I would keep repeating "You are so strong. You're determined, Jaime. You're stubborn. Today is your day and no one is taking it away from you! Strong!! Believe!! You are so passionate about running. You've worked 4 years for today -you've got this. Then, I would repeat "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This was seriously on constant repeat all day!!

I remember hitting mile 10 at 1:23:xx and being elated. I kept getting faster and kept feeling better!! I think this is about the time that the song cheers for the freakin' weekend song came on. That made me smile :)

I kept cruising through Brooklyn and as I knew that the half way point would come on the Brooklyn bridge. I hit the half way point, still feeling good, in 1:48:58.

It's funny. This was my sixth marathon. #3, #4 and #5 all had a goal of sub 3:40. This is the first time I came through the half way point ahead of that 1:50 goal - and I wasn't even stressing over time. I still didn't let myself think ahead .. I was just being strong and running in the moment. I started letting myself go here. I'd think ahead to the next gel or think it 2 mile increments. Like, if you can make it two more miles, then you only have 11 left. You can do anything for 11 miles. You know, that kind of talk.

I hit 15 - still feeling great.

25K - 2:13:04

I hit 16 - still feeling great despite the two mile bridge into Manhattan. Funny enough, I rememebered every single step of this race from 2009 - except that bridge. I remember that bridge not being so bad. It was long and hilly and kind of rough. But, I pushed and knew wait awaited me .. Manhattan! I can't even describe this moment. There have got to be very few moments in life that top coming off of that bridge and into Manhattan. I took out my ipod and listened to the crowd and to "New York" play so loudly.

I started picking up the pace. I don't have my garmin on me now, but the next 5 miles were all between 7:44 and 8:05.

This was the first time I started looking ahead, too. I figured that even if I crashed, I wouldn't stop and so worse case that mean 10 minute miles. My predicition at mile 16 (with 10 ten minute miles): 3:53. Knowing I had run a 3:56 in 2009, I was elated .. and that probably pushed me even more.

At 18, I predicted again.

30K - 2:42:08

19 and 20 were great. 20 is a huge milestone. I continued to count down the time until I'd finish each time predicitng a little quicker. I'd start to wonder when I was going to completely crash knowing that it could happen any second but tried really hard not to let my mind go there.

Around 22, I saw Keri and her dad. Keri was very encouraging as I ran past them. I kept going ... until Mile 23. At 23, the wall came. I felt like I was crawling I was running so slow. But, I was determined to keep running and not give up. I knew it was 5K left. Everytime I looked at my Garmin, I was somehow mustering a 9:10-9:15 pace. I was content with that to say the least. 23 and 24 were happy miles. We were in Central Park and approaching the finish line. But, 23 and 24 were long miles, too. I knew once I reached 25, I could do it! One mile ... yes! :)

I tried picking up the pace a little at 25. In NYC, this actually is possible. The crowds are unbelieveable at this point that you can't help but smile and pick up the pace. I just love finishing the NYC Marathon and I'd dreamt of running this last mile again ever since I finished in 2009. There are few moments in life that will top that feeling!! The signs continued to count down and I just tried passing people :) 1/2 mile ... 400m ... 300m ... 200m ... 100m ... Finished!

I crossed the finish line completely spent with the largest smile on my face. I stopped my watch.

26.45 miles 3:41:08

I realized around mile 17 that I had lost almost 2 1/2 minutes of signal on the bridge into Manhattan. So, I'd say since my time was 3:43:36 - I probably ran a good 26.8 miles.

Official time: 26.2 miles: 3:43:36

Passion. Stubbornness. Determination. Belief. Call it whatever you want, but it was my day :)


  1. YAY!!!! LOVED your recap! you rocked it! way to push the pain away with positive thinking! my garmin was a little off too...and said I ran 26.6ish. I wish i would have met up with you while there!! how about you come to California and run a marathon with me?!? xoxo!

  2. Great job!!! That's amazing! I love your top, the colors are cute. I can't wait to run NYC some day :)

  3. WOW! awesome job ESPECIALLY considering you didn't do any long runs!!!! CONGRATS! :)

  4. Yayyyyy Loved reliving this race through your race report! You got some fantastic pics! Did you watch any of the tv coverage? They caught us at the start!

  5. Hi Jaime,

    I found your blog while looking into running NYC. Well done, and now I want to run it even more! I hope my name gets drawn.


  6. Wow!!! What an amazing race! Well done!

  7. Wow, a big congrats to you. Recover, recover, recover and savor your achievement!