My training cycle for this race was rough. Right about the time I started training, I got a promotion at work that significantly increased my workload and quickly began draining me of my energy each day.
Then in July, around that same time, I had a spot removed from my hairline that turned out to be basal cell carcinoma. I had to return to the dermatologist in September to have more cells removed, and both times, I took a week off running due to needing to let the area heal (aka, not get sweaty and gross, which it inevitably would when I ran in the Louisiana heat).
Regardless, I still got in several long runs, including a 20-miler two weeks before the NYC Marathon. My goal going in to the race was simply to enjoy it. Enjoy every mile, enjoy running a race I had dreamed about running for a long time, enjoy the culmination of eight months of planning. I got accepted to the race in March, booked plane tickets in May, booked our hotel in September. It felt like it would never arrive, and then finally, we were flying to New York.
We got to the city the Friday before the race, taking the airport express from Newark into Manhattan. We got dropped off at Port Authority, took the subway down to our hotel, which was pretty much a stone’s throw from the 9/11 memorial, checked in, then hopped back on the subway to go to the expo.
When we walked into the convention center and saw all the signage for the marathon, I got SO EXCITED. It finally felt real that I was going to do this race! I had to wait exactly 0 seconds to go up and get my bib – there was no one in line! This was awesome!
Then… I got to the Asics apparel section where official merchandise was located. I picked out a long-sleeved pullover, a hat and a pint glass, all adorned with the NYC Marathon logo, then got in line. FORTY-FIVE minutes later, I got to check out with my stuff. I seriously waited in line that long. It was craziness. I don’t even want to imagine how bad the expo was on Saturday for merchandise lines.
After waiting so long to check out, I was tired and a little over the expo. I also bought some PowerBar gels, then we left and got lunch at a little Italian cafe nearby. I got tortellini, which was really good. That night, we went to see “Matilda” on Broadway and ate a really late dinner at a cafe near our hotel.
On Saturday morning, we went to the 9/11 museum, which was really sad. I was definitely enthralled with all of the artifacts and information, but it was just so tough to take in, especially since the museum is right where everything actually happened.
After about 2 hours walking around the museum, we got lunch at a food court in Brookfield Place near Battery Park. We both got noodle bowls from a place called Num Pang. The food court had a really nice view of the water. After we were done eating, we got some cupcakes and coffee from Sprinkles Cupcakes.
I have to say, I really didn’t heed any warnings about walking too much before a marathon. We walked A LOT – but I did wear compression sleeves under my jeans.
That afternoon we went to the West Village area and walked around Bleecker Street, Washington Square Park and NYU area. We got ice cream, found the exterior of where Carrie Bradshaw supposedly lived and saw tons of police getting ready for a Halloween parade. Since we just visited NYC in May 2014, we had done all the big touristy stuff back then like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, etc., so our plans weren’t as jam-packed as they would have been otherwise.
That night, we found a neat little place in Little Italy called Piacere for dinner – I had orecchiette with sausage and broccoli as my main dinner, plus a small piece of pizza from my husband’s meal. We got awesome scallops and mushrooms as an appetizer, plus they gave us free bread. I definitely felt carbed up after that. We then got some rice pudding from a place called Rice to Riches – that’s all it is – different kinds of rice pudding – and it was SO GOOD. We got a cheesecake flavor and had strawberry topping mixed in.
The observatory of One World Trade Center, which was right by our hotel, was lit up in different colors for the marathon the night before the race. I took a photo before heading up to our room for the night at 8 p.m.
I got all my race morning stuff together, made my marathon playlist, and read NYC Marathon race recaps and looked at people’s posts on Instagram that had the tag #tcsnycmarathon (Everyone was posting their race outfits!)
Finally, I made myself try to go to sleep, despite my excitement.