Friday, November 4, 2011

New York City Marathon Guest Post

While I'm enjoying the city, enjoy this post from my friend Tracey who grew up and NYC and fulfilled her dream of running the NYC marathon in 2003.  Here is her account.  

November 2, 2003.  The day I ran the NYC marathon.  Seems like so long ago. 

I don’t even know what made me apply that year.  I had run two previous marathons: Chicago in October of 2001 and Pittsburgh in May of 2002.  Then I got pregnant.   I ran through my pregnancy,  but only three miles or so at a time.   NYC was always a marathon I wanted to run, since I grew up in Queens and had watched it on television every year.   I guess I never thought I would get in, so I applied right after my daughter, Megan, was born.  I figured, with my luck,  I wouldn’t get picked in the lottery for three years in a row and then I would automatically get in the fourth time.  Nope.  I got in on my first try.  Lucky me.  I think I was delusional thinking I could train for a marathon and take care of a newborn (my first child, too- I had no idea what to expect).  It then turned into, “I will train to lose the baby weight and just run it to finish.”  In the end, my training was a blessing in disguise because it kept me sane between nursing, changing diapers and cleaning up spit up.  It gave me “me” time.   It was hard to do, but I was on a mission and I was going to run the NYC Marathon.

Training went well and before I knew it, it was November.  I was coming off of three weeks away from home. My husband and I spent three days in Las Vegas for a wedding, followed by my sister-in law’s wedding in upstate NY.  Then I went to Long Island for a week to celebrate Halloween with my nieces and nephews.  Definitely not the best idea to travel with a six month old for three weeks right before a marathon!  Anyway, the morning of, I was lucky enough to have my parents drop me at the start.  I remember having to be there early and having at least three hours to waste waiting to start.  I sat for a while and people watched, which I love. I was also on the lookout for P. Diddy (or whatever his name was at the time!).  He was the “famous” person running the marathon that year.

Finally the race began and I had to wait a long time for my corral to start.  All I remember is starting and running over the Verrazano Bridge thinking about how many times I had watched the marathon on television and now I was actually running it.  I was on the bottom level of the bridge and it didn’t seem too crowded until we came off of the bridge and all converged a little bit later in Brooklyn.  Then it was wall to wall runners.  I loved it.  I took in everything- the runners, the spectators, the sights.  My friends were cheering for me around mile 13, so I stopped and said hello to them.  I saw my family around mile 17 and 21 and it was wonderful.  My husband, Nate, was there, with Megan in the Bjorn carrier (too cute!), my parents, my sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew.  I stopped and chatted and posed for a picture and then I was on my way to the finish.  The last four miles were pure torture.  At this point, the temperature was in the upper 70s and I was exhausted. The crowds definitely helped me finish.  There is nothing like entering Central Park with thousands of spectators screaming and clapping and cheering.  It gives me chills as I write about it.   I turned that last corner in Central Park, and gave it all I had.  I finished in 4:42:44.   (21,636th out of 34,729 finishers).

I got my medal, started through the long chute to go and meet my family and friends and got very lightheaded.  I sat down for a bit and then found them after what seemed like a mile walk.  It was so nice to have them there and I was so excited to be done! 

Overall, I loved running the NYC Marathon.  It wasn’t my best marathon time-wise, but it was my most memorable.  Running through the five boroughs and over all of the bridges I had driven over growing up was an amazing experience.  The runners and the crowds were unbelievable.  It is a day I will never forget.

Someday I hope to run NYC again.  Maybe by the time one of my kids can run it with me, I will be able to get in!

***Oh, and P. Diddy ended up beating me.  But, I bet he couldn’t walk at all the next day.
Then again, neither could I!***

Good luck to everyone running this year.  I hope the weather is on your side.  Enjoy every minute of it and take it all in.  You won’t be disappointed!


Gptirch said...

Great job, Tracey. Really nice post

G. said...

Very well told - nice job Tracey! G.

tracey smith said...

Thanks! I don't write as well as Susan, but I try!

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