NYC Marathon Medal 2017

TCS New York City Marathon 2017 – Part 1

When something is so epic, writing a blog post about it, is SO hard. I will never be able to do this race justice! This race report is also written in parts, so I am going to show the different sections, so hopefully the time frame makes sense! If you want to read about my training for the New York Marathon 2017, please click here.

Part 1

So, I am currently sitting waiting for the arrival of my family and friends, to start the final celebration of my 40th birthday, and oh boy what a birthday it has been!

For many years, when anyone spoke about me approaching my 40th birthday, I always told them that I was going to run the TCS New York Marathon for my birthday. I have never been to New York, and the marathon date is always so close to my actual birthday, it seemed it would be rude not too. What a way to celebrate life beginning at 40, than to visit the city that never sleeps (that isn’t actually true!) and run another one of the World Marathon Majors. Some people, mostly non-runners thought I was made, but it just seemed perfect to me.

As 2017 got closer and closer, I decided I needed to make this dream a plan. On January 1st 2017, I contact 2:09 events, and then had the shock of how much the whole adventure would cost. At this point, I wondered if my NYC dream, would be just that, a dream that never materialised.

When the lottery/draw (ballot) opened for the marathon, I decided to enter it, just in case. I remember saying to my husband that I would leave it to fate. If I got a place, then it was meant to be, if I didn’t, I would have to have a big think as to whether I would go with a tour company. To be honest, I think I had pretty much made up my mind, I was running, it was more how I was going to find the money to afford it!

Then on the 3rd of March, I got the email that said I was in!!!!

When the £300 (ish) was taken out of my bank, I knew there was no going back.

I had decided  at Christmas to buy a tin money-box – one that I couldn’t open without a can opener – and then added £1 for every mile that I ran.

I had originally planned to open it just before going to NYC, but then the new pound coin was issued, and I wouldn’t be able to use the old ones after October. So, when I booked my flights in April, I opened the money-box, to put the money towards my flight. Surprisingly, I had managed to save £350 and that was exactly what I needed for the flight! I booked my hotel through booking.com, and not knowing NYC choosing a hotel was difficult. The choice was huge and the range in prices were huge. I ended thinking it’s a birthday treat, so went VERY expensive and stayed at Park Lane, which was directly opposite Central Park.

Part 2

Lets get on to the weekend and the race. I flew on the Friday morning from London Heathrow Airport, with Delta. Ideally I would have loved to go out a few days earlier, but teaching means you can’t have time off, and when you school are as kind as mine, it all has to be unpaid leave! Lucky to get the time off, but loosing pay makes the trip even more expensive, so I had to do the quickest turn around possible.

We arrived at JFK around mid afternoon, and it was SO warm! We navigated our way to the hotel, the subway was easy to use and it was relatively cheap. By the time we got to the hotel, checked in, it was time to get the United Airlines Parade of Nations. I didn’t know what this was, but I had been chatting to people via Instagram, and they were in it, so I rushed out to see it. Luckily, being in a hotel 2 minutes walk from Central Park, meant we just made it in time.

The atmosphere was crazy and so exciting, and after the parade NYRR put on the most spectacular firework display over Central Park. I had planned to go to the expo on the Friday evening, but by the time the fireworks finished and we got something to eat, we decided to head there Saturday morning.

On the Saturday Morning, I was awake early (time difference joy!) but I was quite glad of this, as it meant I could go for a shake out run in Central Park early, before heading to the expo. Running in Central Park should be on every runners bucket list. There were SO many runners out, the skyline was amazing, and I got so emotional on that run.

I joined with a Japanese man running, and I asked if he was there for the marathon. He said that he was only there for one day, but if he lived in New York, he would run the Central Park every day. There is just something special about the park, I felt like I was running through a film set, and the buzz around the place was indescribable.

My only wish that morning, was that I was with people. I thought about my friends from my run club. I wished I had been able to share that run with them. They would have felt that magic too!

We got the subway over to the expo. Knowing that the Saturday was likely to be crazy busy, we got to the expo at 9am, and there was NO ONE in my line to collect my race number! WOW. It was simple, show my idea, and receive my number and good luck wishes from the guy handing me my number. From there, we had to go pick up our free runners top, and they had the genius idea to have samples to try on, so you knew exactly what size to collect. Nothing worse than having race shirts that are too small or big – I know I have lots!

Ok, warning coming, New Balance are the new kit sponsor for Virgin London Marathon, and they were for TCS New York Marathon too! They know how to produce kit, that you just can’t say no too! I don’t know if this really was the case, or just that I was away and spending money on holiday is different, but I wanted it all! It’ll be interesting to see what the London Marathon kit at the expo will be like.

I obviously didn’t want to do lots of walking for the rest of the day, so we hopped on an open top bus, and toured some of the sights on New York.

I feel like this post is going on and on, so I am going to sign off now, get this one live on the blog, and start on my actual race report!

So, to be continued…..

New York Marathon Training – Week 11, 12, 13 and 14

Can you tell by the title that training really ramped up! I have been training, working, training, working and in-between all of this trying to sleep a little and pack up my house! It is no excuse, but something had to give and unfortunately it was this blog.

But I have a spare 5 minutes (surrounded by boxes!) so I wanted to document what training has taken place!

Week 11

Monday

Wednesday

I gained company for my tempo runs and I have really started to enjoy them! Tough, but great feeling when finished!

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What do you do when you've had a long hard day at work and you are tired? Go for a 9 mile tempo run, obviously. . The joys of marathon training!! I am so lucky to have great club mates who ran with me tonight, sorting the route and pacing me. I know I would have struggled to make it out tonight, and def wouldn't have stuck to that pace without them! #loverunning #teamies . . . . . . . #tcsnewyorkmarathon #nycmarathon #NewYorkMarathon #marathontraining #temporun #run #runner #running #runnerslife #instarunners #igrunners #runnersofinstagram #runnersofig #runclub #runhappy #RunnersRepost #runningcommunity #marathontalk #thisgirlcan #thisgirlruns #worlderunners #runningandfunning #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #fitblogsuk #runnr

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Thursday

Saturday

I hadn’t fuelled well the previous day, so this run was tougher than I would have liked! Had amazing support from my club though, and that certainly made this possible!

Week 12

Monday

Never miss a Monday!

Wednesday

I really wish this happened on a Tuesday, as I so want to call it #tempotuesday, but Wednesday does not have quite the same ring!

Sunday

Week 13

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

Whoooppeeee Taper time!!!

Week 14

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

 

So there you have it! I have been putting in the hard work, and we are now less than 2 weeks away! Hopefully in that 2 weeks, I will actually move home, but still get in some rest, so that I am raring to go on the 5th November!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Marathon Training – Week 9 & Week 10

Life has been hectic, but training must go on. I have missed sessions, but I’ve done as much as I can, and that’s all I can do!

Week 9

Monday

3.1 miles at run club consisting of hills, 400m, 800m and steps! Can you believe no picture as I left my phone at work!

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

Week 10

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

You can tell that my runs are now getting to the business end of training, as my photographs are pretty poor. No action shots as I can’t stop to take them, and during the run i’m concentrating too much to remember – this must be a good sign right?

Only 6 weeks to go, and it’s about this time that I wish I had completed every session, stretched more, completed more strength work…. The usual. Ballot results from London will be happening in a week or so; maybe if I get a place, I’ll actually do all of the above! Or maybe I’ll blog about wishing I had done it AGAIN!

Anyone else repeat the same mistakes over and over?

 

New York Marathon Training – Week 7 & Week 8

Marathon training is hard! If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. To make things tougher for me, I have been ill, I have started a new job, I am in the process of moving house, and this week my mother-in-law passed away. I can handle all of this, and training, but I am writing it down here, to remind myself to stop beating myself when life gets in the way of training.

I have missed a few sessions, and I missed last weeks training post, so here goes:

Week 7

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[TEMPO] I am not a fan of the tempo run!! Is anyone?? I dread Wednesday's as I know my plan says Tempo run at 9:15 pace 😱 . I'm sure if I ran with a friend, running this pace, I would be able to keep up with them and squeeze out the odd response in a conversation (mainly lead by them! 😃) . But put me on my own, with 5 miles of tempo running, and I constantly tell myself I can't do it, and have to stop to give myself a talking too! . But, it's done, its more miles banked and tomorrow I will be stronger! #loverunning 🗽🇺🇸. . . . . . . . . . #tcsnycmarathon #NewYorkMarathon #nycmarathon #marathontraining #run #runner #running #runnerslife #runslikeagirl #runningcommunity #womensrunning #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runnersofinstagram #instarunners #igrunners #runnersofig #RunnersRepost #runhappy #runstagram #runspiration #worlderunners

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Another weekend, another long run, preparing for @nycmarathon With only 9 weeks to go, this is getting real! . Decided to run @northamptonhalf with additional miles to clock this weeks miles. So much more enjoyable running with people and especially running with @kteeea – she is truly awesome company! . Felt quite strong in parts of this run, but now getting to the tough end of marathon training, so time to dig deep #loverunning . . . . . . . #northamptonhalfmarathon #tcsnycmarathon #marathontraining #run #runner #running #thisgirlcan #thisgirlruns #instarunners #runnersofinstagram #runnerslife #runnersofig #runnerscommunity #RunnersRepost #nycmarathon #NewYorkMarathon #LongTrainingRun #longrun #igrunners #runnersofig #runningcommunity #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runhappy #halfmarathon #teammnd #runmnd #getouttorun #movedme

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Week 8

I really enjoyed my long run this week, I felt strong for the first time this marathon cycle. Getting back in to a routine with work will help with training, and I am trying to make sure that I eat and drink when working. Sounds silly, but school are so hectic, it is easy to miss lunch time and then not be fuelled for club sessions.

So, half way point, NYC Marathon is in 8 weeks, the runs get long and this is the tough end of the training, but it’s fine, I’ve got this! (I hope :-))

My concerns now are turning to my marathon outfit! (Yes, I know SO girly!) I will be wearing my Team MND vest, but I fancy some running capris that either have some link to England/Great Britain or blue and orange. I’ve searched and searched but haven’t found anything, so if anyone has any suggestions/links, please leave a comment below.

New York Marathon Training – Week 6

Finally, I am feeling a bit more like myself, and even though I didn’t manage too many hard sessions this week, I did manage to bank the miles and complete 4 sessions.

Monday

Wednesday

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Early morning miles along #Brighton beach this morning. . Should be #Tempo Wednesday, but try's no to keeping the effort level relaxed and just bank the miles this week. . Didn't look at watch as didn't want to worry about pace. Breathing all good, legs felt heavy and stiff still. Wanted to say quit for most of the first 3 miles, then it appeared that my legs warmed up and enjoyed the final 3 miles. #loverunning . . . #run #runner #running #runnerslife #runhappy #instarunners #runnersofinstagram #igrunners #runnersofig #runstagram #runslikeagirl #thisgirlcan #thisgirlruns #marathontraining #NewYorkMarathon #tcsnycmarathon #nycmarathon #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runningcommunity

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Thursday

Sunday

My long run this week was quite strange. I almost feel like I have lost a bit of my mental toughness. I spent the first three miles telling myself that I wouldn’t be able to complete the run and that I was too weak. As I tried to block the negativity, I realised that it was all in my head, as my legs actually felt fine and I wasn’t even really out of breath! Ridiculous how your mind can make or break your runs. I really need to find some mental strategies/toughness for the next 10 weeks!

If anyone has any tips for mental toughness, please post below and let me know.

5

New York Marathon Training – Week 5

I know that marathon training is difficult, but this cycle seems to be challenging me no end. So, I finally got antibiotics and my sinusitis is clearing up, but training still hasn’t been easy or too enjoyable this week. I have really struggled to recover from my long run last week. My quads are really sore and calves tight, so Monday I had a sports massage and changed my 400’s on the plan to a recovery run. It was really, really slow and so hard!!

Wednesday is my tempo run day, I am always apprehensive about this run! I found it tough from the off. My legs were heavy and every step was hard. After my mile warm up, I tried to pick up the pace, as I am supposed to run these at 9:15 min/mile. I struggled to get to that pace and felt like I was at full sprint! I felt SO disappointed, I had to give myself a talking too, as I just wanted to abandon the whole run. I managed to convince myself to clock the miles, although I did cut it a mile short!

Thursday I managed to go to run club, and oh how I love those people! I was feeling pretty rubbish about my tempo run and generally how I was finding running so hard. They were all so supportive and gave me great advice. We did 200’s, 400’s and 600’s, all with a massive hill in them, and I ran steady. After all the advice, I didn’t even really look at my watch during the run, and when I checked after, my pace wasn’t too bad. A few people suggested I cut back my long run at the weekend, or even take a week off training and recover fully. My body is trying to fight an infection so is struggling to help me recover too! Even though I knew this, when others were telling me, I felt like a huge pressure was lifted. Only pressure I was putting on myself, but this weeks 16 miler was probably not going to happen and that had to be ok!

With the pressure off, I optimistically prepared myself for my long run on Saturday morning, just incase by miracle, once I started running, I felt amazing, then I would run the whole 16 miles. So my hydration pack and gels were loaded, I avoided the alcohol and Indian takeaway the family had Friday night, and set off early Saturday morning. I knew pretty quickly 16 miles wasn’t going to miraculous happen, so decided to enjoy the sights, the lovely weather and complete a 5 mile loop. I walked when I needed and ran when I wanted. I was disappointed not to complete my long run, but at the same time, I really needed to enjoy the run.

So, that’s my week. Again, not my best, but some miles are banked, I’ve now finished my antibiotics and I hoping for a return to form. Training plans are good, but they have to be flexible to suit you.

I think I would benefit from having a better recovery strategy after runs.

If anyone has any tips, please leave me a comment below.