The biggest race of my life as of yet has finally come and gone! And boy, was it the experience, I really could not have asked for anything to be better, okay well maybe a few things, but really, it was a great day and an even better race! I laid all of my stuff out the night before so that I wouldn’t have to do too much Sunday morning at the ass-crack of dawn.

I went to bed at 9:30 and surprisingly fell asleep rather easily, I would say I was sleeping by 10. But, one 3:30 am rolled around, I could not go back to sleep. I stayed in bed till 4:15 am and then rolled out of bed. I made a bagel with peanut butter to eat on the way on the subway because it was too early to eat. I also consumed a banana.

I met up with the Team in Training group on 97th Street and we headed over to the park around 6:30. I found my friends and we stood around for awhile and stretched, went to the bathroom, and so the anticipation began. Before I go on, I must certainly mention my amazing fiance and his enormous amount of support. He woke up with me this morning at 4:30 and carried all of my stuff so I didn’t have to put it in a bag check. He stood around with me and my friends and I really, really appreciate him and everything he did for me today 🙂

Sandy and I, the girl in the middle decided that we wanted to run the whole race together. We run at the same pace and can push each other along. It was really great having her there, I don’t think it would’ve gone by so fast if I was alone. We were also both aiming to finish in under 2 hours. At this point I kissed Derek goodbye and headed to the corrals. The race started at 7:30 and I think we crossed the start line at around 7:38 so we didn’t have to wait too long to really get moving.

The first 3 miles were probably the toughest, okay except for the last, but it took me those first three miles to really warm up. After the 3rd mile, the race completely flew by and I couldn’t believe it when it was already mile 10. The first 8 miles were in Central Park and by that time I was so ready to get out of the park. After leaving the park we headed down 7th ave toward Times Square and that was definitely the best part of the race. It was so awesome to see Times Square empty and free of cars. It was so open and flat and it felt great to finally have room to run!

I also saw Derek at this point and he snapped this picture of us. I don’t know what came over me, but seriously while running through Times Square, I got really emotional and almost started crying. I looked ahead and saw the huge crowd of people running and I just could not believe that I was really there doing this. I felt so proud, relieved, overwhelmed, happy, and sad all at once. It was crazy and I just wanted to let it all out. It felt really great though.

Also. my Garmin started freaking out while running through Times Square. It kept Pausing and Resuming over and over again. The pace was also messed messed up because at one point it said I was running a 2:02 pace! Haha, yeah right. So, my Garmin stat’s aren’t 100% accurate unfortunately. After Times Square we headed down the West Side highway into the home stretch! At mile 12 I was starting to feel really bad and I had no idea how I was going to make it to the end. I definitely hit a wall and Sandy and I were completely in our own zone of misery at that point. I just kept saying to myself only one more mile, only one more mile!

At about mile 12.5, I saw my friend Eugenia and it was such a huge and awesome surprise and she seriously saved me at that point. I was dying right then and I got so excited when I saw her and it gave me a huge burst of energy and motivation. So, thank you Eugenia! You were standing in the exact right spot and you really helped me finish that last bit of the race!

When I finally reached the finish line I tried to do the typical finish line pose where I threw my hands up, but seriously I probably looked so funny because I barely had the energy to put my hands in the air. I was all over the place and ran through the finish line so hard that I crashed into two people, oops!

13.1 Miles Official Time: 1:58:31

There were many photographers along the course so I am really hoping to have at least one good picture that I can buy. I literally thought I was going to puke at the end of the race because I was pushing myself so hard. Crossing that finish line though was so amazing and satisfying. I’ve never felt so accomplished in my life and I felt like I wanted to cry again. I got my awesome finisher’s medal and my goodie  bag and continued on the trek to the Team in Training tent so I could check out.

For some reason I love this picture of me. I look so happy and content and I’m all wrapped up in my foil blanket, ha! Although when they gave me that foil, I was sweating to death and did not need it at all. By the way the weather for this race was absolutely amazing. Perfect running weather, I was hot during a lot of it, but I could not have asked for better weather.

Team in Training had a little station set up for massages so I of course had to get one because I really needed it. It felt great, it was mostly stretching, but it was so nice to just lay there and relax. The medals were pretty amazing too and I was impressed with the weight and thickness of them.

A bunch of my friends came at the end of the race to congratulate me and of course we all went out to breakfast and consumed lots and lots of delicious food. We went to this place called Gee Whiz, which was close to where the race ended and was pretty packed. We waited about 30 minutes before we got seated and I was so ready to eat. The inside and outside of the restaurant wasn’t anything special, but they did have a pretty good menu. I ordered the Classic Eggs Benedict and it was delicious and satisfying.

It was an amazing day and my race was so rewarding and I am so proud of myself. All that hard work and dedication throughout the winter really paid off. On another note, my knee is killing me again 🙁  It didn’t bother me at all during the race, which was great and right now that is all that matters, but I am going to be taking a good amount of time off so my knee can heal 100%. I won’t be running for at least 2 weeks and after that I am going to be running shorter distances for a while.

Sorry this post was so long, but I hope you enjoyed it!

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: The ghost of Pebble Beach

  2. Hi Stephanie!

    It was sooo amazing to see you and my friends run today! I’m so glad my cheering helped energize you! Reading this entry totally made me tear up. I know how hard you trained and am so proud of you for finishing under two hours! Simply amazing!

    Congratulations for an amazing race! I’ll email you the photo I took of your running the last half mile of the race. 🙂

    Talk to you soon!

  3. Stephanie – YAY! Good for you. I was thinking about you yesterday when I was on my Sunday long run. You did such a great job – and man can you make a bagel and peanut butter look good! Congratulations! It won’t be long before you are racing another one I’m sure.

    Best from Austin! (don’t forget to sign up to follow me at Boston in 4 wks!)

    Joe

  4. Congratulations Steph! The race sounds awesome. We are so proud of you!

    Mark & Cheryl xo

  5. You look so young
    but great race:)
    especially so early in the season

  6. (Hi–I followed you from Xanga!) I didn’t mind the “long” entry–it was fun to follow! What an accomplishment the run was! I’ve never seen NYC that early in the morning but my husband has been promising me an overnight trip to NYC for YEARS now! Maybe then I’ll get to see the city in the morning light. *LOL* And I’m curious–where is Gee Whiz located? We sometimes hit brunch at a French restaurant near Hell’s Kitchen, but my husband LOVES Eggs Benedict and your pic looks yummy! Thanks for sharing your story!

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