Monday, November 5, 2012

NYC Marathon, Seattle Style

As I'm sure everyone is aware by now, the New York City Marathon was cancelled on Friday evening. Let me preface this post by saying my thoughts are still with all of those still struggling from the effects of Sandy.

After not really agreeing with Mayor Bloomberg's decision to hold the marathon, I listened to his urges that the marathon would help the city's economy and mental state, and jumped on a plane to New York Friday morning.

I had a layover in Dallas before my final flight to NY, and when we landed I had several texts and emails asking me if I'd heard and alerting me to the news. I would not be running the New York City Marathon this year. After dealing with the initial shock, I decided to head back to Seattle instead of continuing on to New York. As much as I wanted to help out and to see my friends, I decided this just wasn't the time to be in the city. I was able to switch my flight back to Seattle without much hassle and ended up back in the city by  midnight. What a long day of pointless travel THAT was!

It wasn't until the next morning that it really sunk in. All these months of training and excitement, all the long runs, the painful taper I tried to give all felt like it was for nothing. On the other hand, I tried to remind myself that I genuinely enjoyed all the training and that I would have been training for another race if it weren't for New York.

That being said, there is no race like New York and I was well aware of that fact. I still haven't heard what they are planning to do for the runners. I'm hoping we can defer to next year, but I'm not holding my breath. That is a lot of runners that will take up a lot of spots next year! We shall see.

Little did I know that after all the cancellation drama, my friends were planning a "marathon" for me on Sunday.   They told me to meet at our Crossfit gym and we would carpool to the start line on Sunday morning. Truthfully, I was just grateful to have some people to run with. The icing on the cake was that I got to run a marathon anyways!

I got to the gym bright-eyed a bushy-tailed on Sunday morning (thank you daylight savings time!) to find Ultramarathoner Jess with a race goodie bag for me. Complete with a race bib!

"Level 4 Nooners" refers to our team that ran the Tough Mudder, which is the group of us that works out at our Crossfit gym at Noon. This *hit was official!

We headed out to Lake Youngs again and Jess had mapped out a perfect 26.2 mile course for us. Everyone was doing different distances, but they made sure there were always two other people running with me.

The loop around Lake Youngs is 9.6 miles. We started out with 4 ladies: Beth, Jess, myself and Von. We started at a nice, easy pace and I felt great for the entire first loop! Tons of energy and pretty much a fireball of excitement.

We dropped off Von after the first loop (she had run a 200 mile race the weekend before...whaaaatttt), and picked up Matt.

Matt, Beth, Jess, Me. Level IV Nooners! (some of us)
We took off on our second loop, and I definitely wasn't as peppy this time around! Although Lake Youngs is relatively easy trail-wise, it is still trail running and definitely more hills than I have ever run for 26 miles!

We settled into a good 9-9.20 pace, and I was just enjoying having so much company and so many people to talk to. I do most of my long runs solo, so not only was I happy to be running my "marathon", but also just to have company on a long run was amazing!

Beth is training for her first marathon, so about halfway through our second lap, she hit a new personal distance record. I love it when I get to be around for this stuff. I seem to get more excited than the people who are actually setting their record, but I think it's fun to celebrate those little milestones!

During the second loop, my neuroma started becoming a big pain in the arse. That darn thing hasn't hurt for awhile, so I guess it was due to make an appearance. It didn't help that I was on trails, either, so every rock I stepped on just hurt like murder. Well, maybe not that badly, but it certainly wasn't like running on marshmallows!

We finished up the second loop only 20 seconds slower than the first loop and dropped Beth off with a new distance record under her belt. Matt, Jess and I took off again, for a final 7 mile out and back. It was about 2 miles into this section of the run that I really started feeling the miles. I never hit the wall, which I was ecstatic about, but things were just getting creaky.

We turned around about 3.5 miles in, and from there I knew this was the final stretch. At this point, Matt started picking up the pace and my goal became to just keep up with him. He was literally flying those last few miles and I just tried to stay right behind him and put one foot in front of the other, neuroma be damned!

We finished up 26.2 miles in 4.16.58, which is technically a new personal record! It makes me wonder what I would've been capable had I run New York.

As we came around the final bend, Beth had set up a "finish line" of birthday streamers for me to run through. I started laughing but was so touched at the effort!

Running through my finish line!
Afterwards, Beth put a medal around my neck and gave me a "milar blanket" made out of a garbage bag. I have the BESTEST friends ever.

I was definitely tired and feeling the 26.2 miles, but as usual after any great marathon, I was a super happy camper and so thankful that my friends lifted the disappointment and put on a great "race" for me.

Seattle running besties Jess, me and Beth! 
Despite not getting to run NYC this year, I still had an incredible day and am so thankful for my friends who "understand" this crazy running obsession.

Now I'm itching to do another sanctioned marathon this month...stay tuned for details!


  1. I love this! So awesome of your friends to do this. Way to turn lemons into lemonade :) Are you going to do Seattle??? Also, I'm already dreaming big things about Eugene 2013!!!

    1. I know, aren't they awesome?! I think I am going to sign up for Seattle this afternoon! And I'm getting really excited about it. I ALSO can't wait to rock Eugene too! So many exciting things =)