Tag Archives: running

A Love Letter to the NYC Marathon (+ Chances to Win Guaranteed Entry!)

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of New York Road Runners.

I’ve run four marathons: Chicago, Marine Corps and the New York City Marathon twice. 

Whenever someone tells me they’re sort of thinking of a marathon, and sort of thinking of NYC, I tell them that they absolutely have to run it.

nyc marathon

I’ve run more than 50 races in the past few years, and I’ve never smiled and teared up more in one race than at the New York City Marathon.

Marathon Day and the weeks leading up to it excite me the way Christmas did as a kid does.

There’s the usual excitement of finishing a long training season and getting closer to your chance to get out there and make your goals happen, but there’s also the way the city gets into it.

The way those flags line Central Park in the weeks leading up to the race. The way Columbus Circle, the buses and the subway all get in on the act.

NYC Marathon Alec Baldwin from Marc Beroza on Vimeo.

You guys know I’m full-on obsessed with that Alec Baldwin marathon video, but it’s so, so true.

We New Yorkers are good people deep down, but in that rush to get where we’re going, we jostle each other. We don’t have patience for those slow tourists that stop in the middle of the street or don’t understand to move in on the subway.

But on Marathon Day, all of that gets brushed aside as 45,000+ New Yorkers and people who have flown in from around the world line up at that same starting line in Staten Island. Millions of our family and friends come out to cheer us on, and cheer on those whom they’ve never met, but who wear their names proudly on their shirts.

It’s a 26.2 mile party through the greatest city in the world. While Manhattan gets most of the glory when people think of NYC, the marathon celebrates all boroughs. (Although Queens and Staten Island get a little bit less love, with most people cursing the Queensborough Bridge.)

The last few (tough, humbling) miles take you down Fifth Ave, into Central Park—where, no matter how much pain you’re in, you can’t help but smile at least a bit at the crowds that line the park—out across Central Park South, where the roar of the crowd is intoxicating, back into the park, to that beautiful orange finish line, wet with happy tears of finishers and sticky with Gatorade.

…but I’m not the only one who feels this way about this glorious race. The NYC Marathon is notoriously difficult to get into. Statistically, I think it’s easier to get into Harvard or win the actual lottery. For years, we’ve all heard rumors about the different solutions NYRR has contemplated to accommodate the demand for this storied race. While they haven’t yet done anything crazy like have it on two days or hold two separate NYC Marathons, they are offering some more chances to win a spot this year.

NYRR will be running a weekly sweepstakes, starting today, 2/3, for the next six weeks. They’ll be pulling 1 winner from each borough and 5 national/international winners every Monday, for a total of 60 winners. Each winner will receive guaranteed, non-complimentary entry to the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. You can apply at tcsnycmarathon.org until March 18, at which point you’ll be put back in the general pool.

NYRR is also hosting a Twitter chat with the hasthag #tcsnycmarathonapply on February 6 at 9pm with Coach Jon Honerkamp, who’s been coaching runners for the past 15 years. His own personal marathon PR is 2:44, and he’s coached Apolo Ohno and my new bestie Summer Sanders to big PRs in the past few years, so he knows a thing or two about running.

Although I think I don’t really want to run a marathon this year, I still couldn’t help but throw my name in the lottery (I haven’t spectated it since 2010, and I can imagine some SERIOUS FOMO watching it, and not running it this year.

Have you ever run the NYC Marathon?/Are you running it this year? What’s your bucket-list marathon? I will tell you that this marathon really spoils you. I have a few other marathons I want to run some day (including Big Sur), but nothing lives up to the magic of this one. And having that homefield advantage ain’t bad, either.

That Time I Didn’t Run the Miami Half

So, remember how I was going to Miami to run a half?

Yeah…I didn’t run it.

It basically came down to this: we just didn’t want to do it. And how often in life can you just not do something because you don’t feel like it with no further consequences than money you’ve already spent?

We went for a run Friday morning, and it was brutal: hot, humid, sunny. Tough when you’re used to those conditions, basically hell when you’re not. We spent the next day filled with uncertainty over the race, and finally last night decided that we just wouldn’t do it. It was really hot (glorious for laying out, not so much for runners from NY not acclimated to these conditions), none of us had been training much and we would have had to wake up at 3:30 or 4 to make it to the 6:15 start time. No thanks! (Meggie said it well, too.)

And not a single second of remorse was had. We woke up around 7:30 this morning and went out for a little run of our own. No bibs, no Garmins, just the four of us and the beach. Perfect. Afterwards, we headed back and took classes at the resort. Canyon Ranch=adult camp, basically. There’s fitness classes all day long. I took a yoga class, which was a bit more athletic than I’d realized. There were lots of deep, deep stretches that hurt like hell and really got into your muscles.

The rest of the weekend was lovely and relaxing.

Friday was spent lounging at the pool, and then going to Joe’s Stone Crab for dinner. We’d all heard a lot about it, and wanted to try it. The crab was delicious, but the prices seemed a little incongruous with the decor and ambiance (which seemed like it would be more suitable for Disney World.)

NewImage

Saturday, Gia had a meeting downtown so I tagged along, eager to do at least a little exploring of Miami, knowing that we’d be spending most of the rest of the afternoon at the expo and the pool. Her meeting was at Panther Coffee, which I heard great things about. I didn’t stop in, so that I wasn’t the total sketchball crashing her meeting.

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I walked around the Wynwood area for a bit, ducking in and out of shops, and just taking some time to meander and take in the water. It was such a nice, recharging solo morning.

We went to the expo, which was PACKED. We did our best to get in and out so we could get back to the resort for more pool + class time.

The four of us all have a lot of big things going in our lives, and we decided at dinner that we just needed some time to chill and not push ourselves to get up early and run a race none of us wanted to run…so we didn’t.

You might think that we then decided to go out and have a wild night in South Beach…but we’re old. We drank some wine and were in bed by 10, and it was amazing. (Yes, we are caricatures of all of those Buzzfeed articles about people in their 30s.)

And now I return to NYC, where it’s hopefully going to be a bit warmer this week. Even if it isn’t, I had a nice little break getting away from the cold.

Have you ever totally just bailed on a race like this? Did it feel this great?