• Getting Psyched for NYCM

    October 26, 2011

    The New York City Marathon is just 10 days away. Yikes! Obviously, I’m freaking the f out nervous, but I’m also getting really excited for it. From what I hear, it’s not just a marathon; it’s an experience.


    Last night, I started a new book called The Long Run by Matt Long, a New York City firefighter who comes back from a serious accident to become an elite athlete.

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    I’m only part way through the second chapter, so I haven’t gotten to the accident part yet, but first chapter really struck a chord with me since it recaps Long’s experience running the New York City Marathon. He writes:

    Running up First Avenue on Marathon Day is like roaming the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday. From miles 16 to 18, it’s one big cocktail of cheers, laughter, music, and screams coming from rowdy spectators lined up three deep on each side of the avenue.

    French Quarter on Fat Tuesday? Umm, that sounds like a blast to me. Of course, I’ll be running 26.2 miles and not boozing face, but still… I can’t wait for Marathon Day!

    Also, helping me gear up for the marathon was the Runner’s World live chat this afternoon. Below, I posted a bunch of the questions and responses that I found particularly helpful. I thought those of you running NYCM might find them helpful too.

    Coming from FL I am a little apprehensive about the bridges and 1st Avenue (from what I hear), I have been training with hill repeats. Any other tips?

    Jeff Dengate: No one hill is too bad, but there are a good many of them in this race–starting with the first mile. Be sure to stay relaxed in that first mile up the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It’s your biggest hill of the day.

    What’s the best way to stay on pace when dealing with the crowds and bottlenecks on the NYC Marathon course?

    RWTish: To stay on pace, try to stay focused. And don’t freak out if you slow a little–better a little slow than a little fast! Don’t waste energy trying to weave around crowds.

    I’m the most worried about waiting 5 hours to start. Any suggestions on how to stay warm?

    RWTish: I wear a down jacket and stuff it in baggage check at last moment.

    Bart Yasso: Dress warmly and bring lots of extra clothes you can leave at the start. Bring something to read and something dry to lay down.

    For a first timer, what is a good pacing strategy for the first 5 miles, given the bridge and crowded field?

    Bart Yasso: I suggest running about 10 seconds per mile slower than goal pace for the first 5 miles.

    Jeff Dengate: Your best bet is to stay relaxed. Don’t worry if you’re a little slow of your goal pace. It’s better to be slow in the early miles than too fast.

    What are the biggest mistakes first timers make?

    Bart Yasso: Running the first mile to fast, it’s all uphill & picking it up a mile 16 when the crowd goes crazy.

    I live in the Dominican Republic I have no idea how I should dress.

    Bart Yasso: Depends on the weather it could be 38 to 58 at the start. Bring a hat & gloves and a few layers.

    Jeff Dengate: The weather can really vary in early November in NYC. Best bet is to be prepared with a hat and gloves to stay warm, and pack a garbage bag to wear before the start in case it’s damp.

    RWTish: I always wear gloves! Take them off when get too warm, put back on when get cold again.

    At what point in the race would you pick up your pace? Mile 16 is too early, but I may not be able to in the latest (22-26) miles.

    Bart Yasso: Don’t pick it at mile 16 its uphill from 16 to 19. I would wait until 21ish.

    What’s the best area to ask friends and family to spectate?

    Bart Yasso: 1st Ave and 5th Ave, very easy walk to each section.

    Is there any one tip that is most important for first timers?

    Bart Yasso: Just enjoy the journey and don’t worry about your time.

    RWTish: Yes, soak up every minute! You only have your first marathon one time, and NYC is a great one for your first time! 🙂

    Jeff Dengate: If you feel good, do NOT speed up.

    What a great chat. It definitely got me even more excited for the marathon. I actually didn’t end up asking any questions because all of the ones that I planned to ask were answered right at the beginning of the chat. I guess a lot of us had similar questions. All I know is that I am psyched for NYCM!

    A certain someone in my house, however, is not nearly as excited about the marathon as I am. I mean…


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    I don’t even know what to say about that pug face.


    After breakfast, I headed to the gym for Body Blast, a strength training class that incorporates body bars, resistance bands, and free weights. The first half of class was kind of boring (it was no Body Pump!), but the second half was a lot more fun. We did more challenging exercises and a bunch of core work.

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    After Body Blast, I hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes. I planned to go longer, but my stomach started growling, so I headed home to EAT.


    Lunch was a leftover smorgasbord from the refrigerator: spaghetti squash, turkey marinara sauce, and stir fry veggies. It was a tad random, but it worked. On the side, I enjoyed a Sweet Potato Spice Muffin.

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    Just a few minutes ago, I whipped up an Apple Crisp Smoothie as an afternoon snack because it’s ridiculously delicious. I want to drink them all of the time now.

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    P.S. The voting is still open for Shape Magazine’s Best Blogger Awards: Healthy Eating Blogs That Make Us Go Mmm…! You can vote for your favorite healthy eating blog (Carrots ‘N’ Cake?) here!

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    { 21 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jenn @ Lotus and Pie October 27, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Aww I loved reading this. I can’t wait to run my first marathon.. It would be such a thrill! And wow.. pug face.. so cute! How do you leave the house with a face like that?


    Katie @wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com October 27, 2011 at 6:05 am

    I am so excited for you! You sound more than prepared and will do great! I haven’t run a marathon yet, but if I do NYCM is on my list and your chat with RWTish was very informative, thanks!!

    Love that pug face!


    Ali @ Ali Runs October 27, 2011 at 7:15 am

    I’m excited to hear about your experience running the NYCM. It’s a race that is on my marathon bucket list. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to run it. 🙂


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers October 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Wow, the New York Marathon! Good for you! I love reading your travel adventures!!!


    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop October 27, 2011 at 8:03 am

    So excited for you and the marathon!!! Which one will this be for you? I know you’ve done at least 1 before. My friend ran NYC and she said the crowds were just amazing. She said it was perfectly quiet on the bridge and then when she rolled into Manhattan the noise was just insane!


    Tina October 27, 2011 at 8:09 am

    @Angela @ The Chicken Scoop: #2! I can’t wait! 🙂


    Molly @ RDexposed October 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Who needs books, TV, music, movies, art…when you have a pug face to look at??


    Dave October 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Good luck in NYC. For some reason, I always get freaked out when I see the pictures of everyone running over the Brooklyn Bridge.


    Cat @Breakfast to Bed October 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

    That first hill is the worst. The rest are cake after the VZ. Every time I drive over it now I think, you know, this bridge IS a REAL hill. Can’t believe I ran this in the first leg of a 26 mi run!


    Ashley Fahr October 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Hi Tina,
    Sarah (SarahFit) just mentioned your blog to me, and I’m so happy to know about it! I write about recipes for one, and I’m really impressed by your creative use of seasonal vegetables (I’m really looking forward to this sweet potato spice muffin recipe). I will definitely be checking in often to get more recipe ideas. And of course, best of luck in the marathon!


    Meg October 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Good luck!


    Anne P. October 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    This post got me psyched FOR you!! That’s going to be so freaking awesome. Also, I miss Murphy.


    Amy October 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Haha Murphy’s pug faces slay me!


    KylieB @ OhsoMiscellanea October 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I cannot get over how adorable Murphy is. I think I have fallen in love. Best of luck to you in the race 🙂


    Tina October 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you! 🙂


    Alicia October 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Good luck in the NYCM! It has been so fun to watch your training progress! You’ve come so far even after your injury. And how awesome is it that you can do training runs with Theodora in NYC!

    I couldn’t help but notice that the loveable Murphy was laying on some great sheets and comforter! Where did you find those?


    Tina October 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

    They’re from Ikea, but many years ago.

    Thanks for the well wishes! NYCM is SO soon!!


    Laura @ Unchartered 20s October 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    This all sounds so interesting! I’m not a runner, but I am a NYer! Sounds like such a fun and energetic day. Hopefully it’s not tooooo cold here! (Supposed to snow *this* weekend:P!)


    Christina October 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Good luck in the NYCM!

    Enjoy the book too! It’s really heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. I loved it.


    Tina October 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks! 🙂


    Kelsey November 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I heard about that book on tv! It was the Today Show I think.


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