Chicago Marathon Medal Engraved

And Just Like that…

It’s back to reality with a thud! My focus has been the Chicago Marathon for what feels like an eternity, I don’t think I have thought post Chicago many times.

The running part of my adventure to Chicago didn’t quite go how I would have liked it too. During the end of the training cycle I remember thinking NEVER again, during the marathon I remember thinking NEVER again, after the marathon, I thought NEVER again, that’s it.

So why is it, one-week post-marathon, I have already logged on to the Berlin Marathon website and thought more about the Six-Star Challenge! WTAF

Originally, I thought the London Marathon was going to be my one and only marathon (Read about them here). I just wanted to tick it off my bucket list and that would be that. Then when New York Marathon fitted so well with my 40th Birthday celebrations, I just had to stick my name in that ballot!

New York City has always been on my ‘To-do List’ for as long as I can remember. Surely everyone watches films and falls in love with NYC?? The New York City Marathon was 4 days prior to my 40th birthday, so that became my dream. When I got I got a place and then had a great run in New York, obtaining my marathon PB (Read here), it ignited my passion for marathons again. It also made me think about the Six Star Finish again.

Wow, wow, wow

I put my name in the ballot for both Tokyo and Berlin in 2018 but didn’t get places. So next was Chicago, so what was the harm of adding my name to the ballot for that too. When I got the place, my World Marathon Majors six-star finish was back on!

I feel like running like marathons is like child birth. The pain and turmoil at the time is intense. Then it is all blocked from your head and you think doing it again is a good idea.

I do already have the Manchester Marathon booked for next year (April), but I still keep being drawn to the Berlin Marathon ballot. It closes at the end of October, yet I know currently I don’t have the funds to apply; it’s 125 Euros.

This six-star challenge doesn’t come easy or cheap, but luckily doesn’t have to be finished in a time period. I just now need to find my dream job that will allow me the time off to go to these marathons and pay me the wages so I can afford this crazy adventure!! Not asking much am I??!hehehe

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 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 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.

New York Marathon Week 1

New York Marathon Training – week 1

I’ve been pretty useless on my blog lately, and I’m still questioning do I want to keep one? But as my NY Marathon journey has started, I have decided to document it, so that I have it all in one place, and can look back when I need too!!

Sorry if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, as you would have already seen these pictures! I will try to be more inventive in future posts!

Recap of training

Pro

  • I completed all my runs.
  • I enjoyed my long run, even though I had really worried about the pace I had to hit!
  • I did some strength work to compliment my running.

Areas for improvement

  • Stretching
  • My foot is sore and I’m really hoping it’s not anything bad! So if it could improve quickly, that would be helpful.
  • As always keeping my water intake up!

One week down, 15 more to go. Is anyone else training for New York Marathon?

New York, New York

 

In New York, you’ve got to have all the luck, Chuck Bukowski

This year I will turn 40! How the hell did that happen? – I still feel like a kid, and when I was a kid 40 was old!!!

It will happen in November, so what better way to celebrate than run the New York Marathon – ok I know that only runners will understand that thought – Non runners will think ‘why not have a party!!!,

Since turning 39, I had this idea that I would run the New York Marathon in 2017, as it is being run the weekend before my birthday! Also, I have only ever been through New York and have always wanted to go. Perfect plan I thought. I told everyone my plans, and then forgot about it for a while. At Christmas, my husband gave me a card with money in, saying this is for New York! 2017 started and I realised I should start looking into how I can make this happen.

I had assumed that I would go with a Sports Tour company, as it would be hassle free and you get guaranteed entry into the race . When I started looking in to it all, the realisation of costs soon made me doubt if this was just going to be a dream. I have the added complication of being a teacher, so getting time off isn’t as easy as just booking holiday time!

The more I looked into it, the more I thought that it was going to be a no-go. I grumped about this for a while, and then decided to stick my name in the ballot, and leave it to fate! If I got a place, I would have to find a way of going, if I didn’t I wouldn’t (that probably isn’t true, I’d probably grumped some more, and looked at organised trips again!)

So, March 2nd and I knew the ballot draw was going to take place – it’s quite nice that you don’t have to wait as long to find out if you have a place as London. I frantically checked my phone and bank account all day, but nothing. I went off to run club in the evening, and on our rest breaks I checked my phone. Still nothing. Training didn’t go quite to plan, as my hamstring was very sore and I was full of cold. I missed the last hill set, and went home feeling totally fed up.

Waking up Friday morning, I still don’t feel great, but I opened my email, and got this!

 

As you can imagine, I was buzzing! I still am! Slightly scared too, as now I have to make this happen! Somehow, I need to get time off work, I need to book flights, accommodation and all the other stuff, and pay for it all!!!

So, if anyone has ANY advice as to how to make this happen, I sure would appreciate it. Tips on; where to stay, how to get around New York, how to keep the costs down, and so on. Any experiences you think would be worth passing on, please post them below in the comments.