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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!