Tag Archives: nyc

I’m Running the NYC Marathon Tomorrow!

My heart is racing from adrenaline right now, and my heart is full.

This week has been absolutely surreal in all the best ways.

[I may write longer posts about some of these events next week, but I wanted to get a quick update up while some of this was fresh in my mind.]


Yesterday, I picked up this little piece of paper that I paid a lot for and will wear on my shirt for hours and hours tomorrow to prove that, yes, I am crazy enough to run 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City. It also contains a strip of magic on the back that will help you track me. I wandered the expo with Ashley and handed over my credit card more than a few times to get some gear that will help me think I can run faster or that I can wear for years to come to prove that, yes, I ran the New York City Marathon.



I ran home (not literally) for a quick conference call and then turned around to head out to happy hour with some of my favorite Tumblr ladies. A bunch of them are going to be watching from Bay Ridge, and they all wished me luck before I headed out for the next event.

I really hope my form looks better than this while running.


Event numero dos:


Yeah, the runner’s bible had a party to celebrate one of the most popular marathons.

I thought I had died and gone to runner’s heaven.


Do you recognize that guy? That is BART FREAKIN’ YASSO. [For non-runners, he’s the Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World and creator of the infamous Yasso 800s that are supposed marathon time predictors. He’s also awesome.] Jess and I geeked out…oh, just a little bit.

I asked for marathon advice, and he said to just start out slow and pick it up in the second half. I also asked him to predict my time based on my half PR and my training pace, and he predicted 4:20. I think I can do it!


Hey running buddy Sue! Side note: going to a cocktail party two nights before a marathon? Very different. I nursed one glass of wine and wore flats. Um, what? Still fun!


The girl on the left is Meghan, who is the voice behind @runnersworld. She also has a Tumblr, and I sent her a totally geeked-out message a few months ago when someone reblogged her and I realized that someone I “knew” on Tumblr worked at Runner’s World. She’s followed my Tumblr for awhile and recognized me and we had a completely geeked out meeting. I embraced every bit of my dorkiness last night.


AND THIS MORNING I RAN WITH RYAN HALL. He’s part of Nissan’s Innovation for Endurance campaign, and the Nissan people invited me to run with him and then have brunch after.


[Thanks to Jess for the pic.]

Of course, I asked him for marathon advice, too.

He said that since I’d be tired by the end anyway, I should just start out fast.

Ryan Hall, I am not you. I cannot run a half-marathon in an under an hour. I will be starting out relatively conservatively and picking it up in the second half, thank you very much. But thank you for your kind advice and running slowly with us.



Meeting all these interesting people was amazing, but the DailyMile brunch this afternoon at Josie’s was a nice way to start to wind down with some familiar faces: Ben, Rebecca and Ashley. Thanks to Erica for organizing it. And for untangling my necklace.

And now I will attempt to slow down this adrenaline and prepare to run for hours and hours and hours…

Inspiring Stories: Running to Overcome Challenges

So, I know me losing 50 pounds and running marathons is inspiring to some, but this morning, I heard from some actual inspiring people.

The Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge is a race within the marathon. Each borough is represented by one runner who has used running to help them overcome a major challenge in their lives. They’re not the fastest runners (although they are fast–they’re hoping to keep an 8-minute pace), but they will run together for the first half, and then race each other to the finish. The fastest runner becomes the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge winner, and gets this snazzy Tiffany platter.



[photo via NYRR]

I arrived a bit late and missed her talking, but Michele King Gonzalez is the athlete representing Staten Island. Deployed to Iraq three times, she used running to manage the stress of her life there.


Andrew Rausa, from Brooklyn, started running a few years ago when his dad, Sam, was diagnosed with cancer and told he wouldn’t have more than two years to live. The two became depressed at that prospect and started running, since that was something they could control. Three years later, Sam has run six marathons and is in remission.


Elizabeth Maiuolo, from Manhattan (but originally from Argentina), had two major heart attacks at the age of 28 and was in the hospital for 9 days. She felt completely helpless in the face of all that, and thought, “If I start running, they [the doctors] will leave me alone.” Like most runners, she hated it at first, but slowly she felt like she was back in control of her body. At first, doctors told her she was pushing herself too much, but eventually, they saw how much it was helping her, and finally told her that most people don’t recover from the double heart attacks like she had, and that the running was helping heal her. Things might seem scary, she says, but find a way to push through your fears. She did, and she’s run approximately a gazillion races since then.

She’s volunteered at the marathon every year since 2005 and saw that post-finish glow everyone had about them and thought, “I need to do this.”


Salvatore Polizzi, from Queens, says, “We each have a story to tell.” His story is his mom’s diagnosis of cervical cancer. He was terrified of losing her. He’s run the NYCM every year since 2009 on Fred’s Team, to raise money for a cure. I just stalked him on Athlinks, and he did the Staten Island Half in 1:24:49. The man is FAST!


The last athlete we heard from was Rob Vassilarakis, from the Bronx. My stalker, Jess, and I definitely teared up at his story.

He says he always had poor self-image as a kid, and he was always running from something. Running from rejection, running from his self-identity issues. At the age of 17, he came out, and his family disowned him for being gay. He lived on the streets, and he battled crystal meth from 1991-2006. Before he turned his life around, he thought he was at the end of the world, that he’d die on the streets. But he kept trying to make his life better. “Don’t quit until the miracle happens,” he says.

Until he started running, he’d still had relapses in his recovery, but now, running has become not only part of his lifestyle, but part of his recovery.

A few years ago, he went to spectate a friend running the marathon, and got off the subway and was “hit with runner’s high.”

“I saw young people and old people. I saw a man in his 70s running and juggling. Everyone looked so beautiful to me.” I don’t want to just feel this, he thought, I want to be a part of it, running it.


As if I wasn’t excited enough already, their excitement and passion was so inspiring, and this is how I feel on the inside.



Although, as a former reporter, being allowed special media access is nothing new for me, it was something totally different being behind-the-scenes of an event I’m about to take part in that means so much to me.


After the event, I walked through the park a bit. (That is not a yawn, that is shock and fear on my face.)

THE FINISH LINE IS UP. I will be crossing that just a few days from now, likely on the verge of tears or crying big, fat happy tears.


The grandstands are going up!


And the weather is perfect in NYC right now.


I also got this awesome media guide, which I’m excited to devour and share interesting facts with you.

For example…

36.8 percent of runners are single–that’s 15,044 single runners. 15,043 if you take me out of that.

62 percent of runners are men.

That means, there are thousands of single men running this race. Those, my friends, are stats relevant to my life.

Why do you run?