My First Marathon

26 Nov

Well.. mission accomplished. I successfully completed the 26.2 miles before my 26th birthday, and it felt absolutely amazing.

Here is a map of the course

I have never really set myself up with such a large goal, which took 2 years (with the planning and training) to reach. When I finally crossed that finish line on Sunday my whole body was overjoyed.

The race itself was such a wonderful experience. I beat my personal record for my half marathon time by an entire 5 minutes! I also crushed my marathon goal, which was four hours and thirty minutes by finishing in 4h 21m 54s! Here are my official finishing stats:

The part I could hardly believe was that I didn’t stop once during this marathon to walk. I ran the entire course from start to finish.Here I am between mile 26 and the finish line, ready to feel that victory as I crossed the finish line! :)

The first 20 miles went by pretty smoothly. In fact, I didn’t even start to feel any pain until about mile 17. At mile 20 I was starting to get worried about the dreaded ‘wall’ but it didn’t really hit me until mile 21 and a half. Throughout the race I had been so focused taking a GU at every 20 minute interval and I really believe that’s what made the difference. There were certainly several times where I wasn’t really wanting a GU, but I forced myself to take it anyway and I think that’s what enabled me to not give up at the end.

I know they say you really shouldn’t switch up your nutrition so close to race day, but I made the decision to switch to GU on Friday the 16th (so two days before race day) because I knew that I would not be able to eat an entire pack of Sports Jelly Beans every 20-30 minutes, but that I needed about 100 calories every 20 mins. I think I made the right call. I tested the GU out on Friday and although I didn’t particularly care for the extremely sweet taste, I knew I could power through it on race day.

That being said, at mile 22 I was feeling pretty exahusted. I called my friend Nick (who I ran the Philly half with a few months earlier) who was waiting at the finish line and asked him if he could come help me push through the last 4 miles because I was starting to struggle. He came running as fast as possible and we actually met up at around mile 23 and a half. He tried his best to offer words of encouragement but at that point I just needed someone to run with me because my mind was getting the best of me. I had seen a few runners fall at the sidelines and was worried my legs might give out. Despite his nice words of encouragement “You’ve got this, you can do it” I just had to keep asking him to remain quiet. In the last few miles hearing “you can do it” really should give you a boost but for some reason, I guess because I was beginning to doubt myself, I didn’t want to hear “you’ve got this” until I really had it for sure.

Here we are between miles 23 and 24. Legs were hurting pretty badly at this stage!

When Nick left me, just before mile 26, his words of encouragement at that point were much more appreciated. There was certainly a loud crowd of people rallying the runners on, but at that point all I could hear was his voice screaming “YOU’VE GOT THIS FABIENNE!” and it gave me that little boost I needed to sprint to the end and raise my hand up to give the Mayor of the city a huge high five. I also got to see my parents and Adam at mile 26 which helped me finish strong.

It was a pretty hard high five – check out that follow through! I was so happy to be finished :)

Along the course, I only saw one other person in a Team Challenge jersey, but it was still nice to have at least seen one! In those last 4 miles when I was really hurting (particularly in my legs and feet) I reminded myself of why I was running this race- for Adam and for all of those who suffer every day with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease and I just kept pushing. I saw one girl along the course whose shirt read “The pain you’re feeling right now is temporary, the glory you’ll feel one you’re done will last forever.” So, when my feet and legs started to hurt at mile 22 I kept reminding myself that this pain was temporary unlike the pain that people who deal with UC or Crohn’s Disease battle with daily.

Lots of runners had encouraging messages on their shirts, which were great to read, especially when I was struggling. In my next marathon (New York 2013) I will certainly write something funny or encouraging on my shirt to help others behind me.

I still can’t believe its all over!  I am so happy that I decided to enter the Philadelphia lottery rather than just allow myself to wait until New York 2013. I feel so accomplished and proud to have achieved one of my life goals, and now I don’t even feel guilty about what I ate over Thanksgiving knowing I just ran 26.2 miles the Sunday before! :)

This picture says it all. I am so happy to have completed my race! :)

 

Not Giving up!

12 Nov

So as most of you I’m sure have heard New York was hit pretty hard by Sandy a few weeks ago and subsequently the New York City Marathon was cancelled.

My power had gone down on Monday so I was without electricity and hot water, which made preparing for the marathon a little trickier than I had anticipated. I found myself cooking pasta at candlelight (thank goodness I have a gas stove), going to a gym- not my usual one as that one was out of power as well- for hot showers, bouncing between coffee shops to do my work and having to carry my laundry to a friends place to wash my clothes. Although it could have certainly been worse, it didn’t make the preparation easy. On Wednesday Mayor Bloomberg announced that the marathon would still be taking place as planned, so I carried on thinking I would be running the race as expected. I found it hard to sleep, not only because of nerves but also because the usual city buzz was silent. I couldn’t hear the usual sound of cars outside my window and a week without light really makes you realize how much we usually take it for granted. At one point on a walk home from a friends house I took two pictures:

Facing West (where the power was still on)

Facing East (where the power was down South of 39th street)

On Thursday, I happened to be emailing a friend of mine who works for the New York Times and he ended up passing my contact information on to a reporter covering the marathon. She eventually called and interviewed me on my experience with getting ready for this race during the storm. Subsequently, once the marathon was cancelled, she had to adjust the story a little so I spoke to her again on Friday.

Here is a link to the story

On Friday, two days before being scheduled to run my 26.2 it was announced that the marathon would not be taking place. My phone signal was down all week at home and being that I didn’t have power, my TV was obviously not working. I had stepped outside to make a phone call when I received this picture message :

About 10 minutes later the Times reporter called me and asked me how I was feeling. To be honest, a part of me felt relieved because the week had not exactly been stress free. That being said, I had worked hard to get into this race and trained even harder so I was also, understandably, disappointed. On Thursday I had been to the expo to pick up my race number and was beginning to feel excited about the race!

I even bought a few items at the expo to remember what I thought would be my first marathon. I took pictures and met people from all around the world who had flown in to run this race after hearing it would still go on, on Wednesday. I’m sure they were extremely disappointed when they heard the news that it would be cancelled having paid lots of money to fly over and most likely having taken time off of work as well.

Sandy certainly was devastating, and in New York alone 43 people lost their lives. Homes were ruined, subways were badly flooded and hundreds of people were displaced. The financial impact must have been astronomically high. Considering what was going on in the city, especially in Staten Island and the outer boroughs, I understand why so many people protested the event going on. That being said, the New York City Marathon is a big economic stimulator for the city. It brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city who all spend money on hotels, food and so on. Beyond the monetary benefits, I believe the marathon would have also raised morale. I think changing the route should have been a consideration, perhaps 4 loops in Central Park, as it originally was when Fred Lebow first started the race. I don’t disagree with the Mayor’s decision to cancel the marathon, particularly in terms of runner safety but I do wish he had cancelled it on Wednesday instead of waiting an additional 2 days. Either way, the decision was made and rather than getting upset or frustrated I decided to try to remain positive. I enjoyed a glass of wine or two that night being that I was no longer going to be running.

Marathoner support for those impacted by Sandy was truly incredible. Hundreds of people went out to volunteer on race day which was really amazing. The New York Team Challenge team exchanged lots of emails discussing ways that we could pull together and help out. Donations, blood drives, and trips to Staten Island were all discussed. It’s amazing how people really do pull together in times of need. Some people decided to still run 26.2 miles on race day, even if it was unofficial. I must say I really respect that. For the donors who gave hundreds of dollars to help us raise a collective $40,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis this season, I really admire those who ran their unofficial 26.2.

I took a little time to think about what I was going to do. Originally I thought I’d just run the same race next year, but the more I thought about it, the more I kept on thinking about all the hard work I put in to train for this race. All those early morning runs at the track, all those early Friday nights to run long runs on Saturday, and all of those super hot summer days I’d pushed through the discomfort to achieve a life goal, not to mention the thousands of dollars raised from my generous supporters. It also occurred to me that if I didn’t act soon, I would not achieve my original goal of completing a marathon before turning 26.

On Tuesday morning I read a fellow blogger’s (Ali) blog post “From 4:13 to 3:31: My Manchester City Marathon Recap”  about running the Manchester City  Marathon since Sandy had cancelled the New York Marathon. I immediately emailed her to congratulate her and to ask her how she had found one so soon. She emailed me back quickly with three races that were happening in the next few weeks. I stared researching immediately. The three races she mentioned were Harrisburg, Rehoboth Beach and Richmond. As I started looking up race information I kept thinking about the size differential between these races and New York. Part of the reason I chose to make New York my first marathon was for the grandiose experience. Rehoboth Beach, although probably quite scenic doesn’t have the same ring to it and the other two were the upcoming weekend. I decided I’d wait instead of rushing to sign up for a marathon just to complete one.

Then, on November 7th, I received a text from my friend Courtney – the one who had originally bought me the book ‘A Race Like No Other’ when I signed up for the New York  City Marathon. In her message she told me that the Philadelphia Marathon had opened 3000 lottery spots for New York marathoners. My initial reaction was, well I’ve accepted I’m not running a marathon this year so I’m not even going to look it up. As the day went on, it kept eating away at me so I looked up the course and the elevation chart- it looked pretty flat.. And a good portion of it was the same route as the Rock ‘n’ Roll half I had run in September. Race date was November 18th so if I got in I’d still accomplish my goal of running a marathon before turning 26…though only just, since my birthday is November 19th. After talking to several friends, my parents and coach Jay I decided to put my name into the lottery and let fate decide. Those were a tense 72 hours. We weren’t even sure when we would find out if we got in, we just new it would be before Monday. On Friday at 1:30pm Courtney sent me another text message saying she had gotten in, I immediately checked my email and there was my race confirmation- I was in!!! I could hardly believe my eyes.

So, this week I am back to prepping, hydrating and tapering. I went to Philly this weekend to run the last 10 miles of the race- I ended up running a little north of the race route but still along the Schuylkill River and what a great run it was. I didn’t stop once, it was pitch black out and the weather was absolutely perfect. I am beyond excited for next Sunday! Philly, here I come!

T-1 week!

28 Oct

So.. again I know its been quite a while since my last post- life has been absolutely crazy the last few weeks, so much so that I was starting to consider possibly withdrawing from the marathon. I had lost the excitement and was finding myself with new injuries at each run- most likely because  my stress level was so high! I didn’t want to give up though because I’ve put so much work into the preparation that it would be a shame to put the race off for a year and have to prepare all over again next year.

Yesterday I went for a nice run and it reminded me of how unbelievable this next week is going to be and it got me really excited again to run this race. I headed out for an hour and a half run – I had originally planned on running along the West Side Highway but as I headed outside I decided to go to Central Park instead. As I was warming up outside the park I saw this sign, which put a big smile on my face:

Then, as I started running into the park I saw orange signs on the lamp posts. Being as I was running into the park I couldn’t see what was written on the signs until I turned around :

That also got me quite excited. They were hung on all of the lamp posts and it was wonderful running next to them thinking that next weekend I’d be alongside the other 47,000 runners following the marathon route!

The park in general looked absolutely beautiful with all of the fall foliage. The leaves were all changing to orange, red and yellow.


As I passed Engineers’ Gate on 90th street, I snagged a picture of the Fred Lebow statue. Fred Lebow was the founder of the New York City Marathon and in fact ran the inaugural marathon himself and placed 45th out of the 55 finishes- can you believe it now has 47,000 runners?! My friend Cristina is actually running on Fred’s Team, which was established to raise money for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and to honor Fred Lebow who died of cancer in 1994.

My run itself also went quite well yesterday. For the first time in my last few runs, my feet felt good. I’ve had quite a bit of foot pain the last few weeks and was starting to get quite concerned. Hopefully, that’s behind me now! I cut my run short to an hour instead of an hour and half, just to play it safe. I got to six and a half miles and felt it was better not to push it.

The end of my run finished close to Tavern on the Green, which is where the marathon ends. I ran past it and then ran back in the other direction to feel what the last few hundred feet of the marathon would feel like. There’s a little hill right before the finish, but at that point I think I’ll be so glad to see the finish line I won’t mind (at least that’s what I’m hoping!). The spectator stands are already up, and tourists were taking pictures pretending to run across the finish line (which isn’t up yet).

I wonder if they clear all the leaves up before the race, there are tons of leaves on the ground!

This weekend, other than running through the park and getting excited for the race, I focused on myself. The CCFA coach said that this is the week to be selfish, so I scheduled a massage at Bliss for today and enjoyed every minute of it. I got the Extreme Sports Massage, which I had never tried before and it was great. I also relaxed in the steam room and sauna for quite some time afterwards and indulged in a few too many of their mini brownies (those things are soooo good!).

I don’t think anyone ever feels 100% ready for a big race, I know I never do, no matter how hard I train or how many races I run. I’m doing everything I can to stay relaxed in this last week. I’m making sure to always have a full glass of water next to me so that I am well hydrated. I’m also trying to focus on my nutrition, this last week I’m having at least one protein shake per day and I think I’ll increase my egg consumption too cause they say protein is really important. I’m also going to try and go to bed early, although with everything that’s on my mind these days, sleep has been pretty hard to come by, and I’m avoiding sleeping pills because my Dr. said its not good to take those (or caffeine or alcohol) in the days leading up to the race.

I’ve stocked up on Sports Beans and I’m 99% sure on my race day outfit. This evening, we found an old ski suit which hasn’t gotten much use in quite some time, so I’ll be wearing that pre-race on the Verrazano bridge. All clothes that runners discard on the bridge are donated so it will go to good use afterwards. My chiropractor told me that ski suits are the best thing to wear in the morning to keep warm. I’ll be on that bridge for about 4 hours so I really don’t want to get cold.

As usual, I’ve also jazzed out my race day singlet so that spectators can call out my name and people behind me can see why I’m running.

The last thing on my to do list was to swing by the apple store for a backup plan in case my iPhone battery bails on me mid race. I purchased an iPod shuffle, for $53.35 (including tax) which was well worth the peace of mind. Maybe my iPhone will work the entire race but I’d rather be safe than sorry, because if my music fails at mile 16 I can see myself in a world of panic trying to finish the race! The man working at the apple store told me that I could actually return the shuffle within 14 days even if I had used it in the race- how crazy is that! He told me he sometimes purchases phone chargers when he’s going on a trip and returns them when he gets back.. I’m not sure if he should have been encouraging that sort of thing but oh well.. good to know!

So, hopefully by this time next week I’ll be a marathon finisher!

Any words of wisdom for me before the big day? Also, if you have any tips for me along the course they’d be much appreciated!

20 miles! Ice please…

1 Oct

Its been a while since my last post- life’s been a little busy…

After the Philly Half marathon I had to jump right back into my training – the NY marathon is 5 weeks away- 33 days to be precise! My sprints jumped from quarter milers to half milers which are pretty rough! Here’s the breakdown of my last 4 runs at the track:

First set of 800′s, I thought I was going to collapse after the first quarter mile..

We went back to 400′s for one more week .. now the rest of my schedule only has 800s

Compared to week 1 of 800s, I improved my time quite a bit! :) My last set was 1 second faster than my first set of week 1

Here’s last week’s splits- pushing through that second lap doesn’t seem to get any easier each week!

I was getting a little worried about my long runs.. I had a 16 miler scheduled for last Saturday which I ended up missing so the following Tuesday I tried to run it at night. I kept a decent pace but it got dark so I cut the run short to 12 miles. When I set out to run, it was day light but I guess winter is rapidly approaching and the days are getting shorter. The sun set before I was even at the halfway point

I really enjoy running along the West Side Highway – its so much less crowded than Central Park and way flatter! I also love being able to run along the water the entire way, its so pretty. I eventually got North of the George Washington Bridge, at which point I felt it was probably wise to head back south since it was getting pretty late- I snapped a picture of the bridge before heading home:

George Washington Bridge

After only completing 12 miles on Tuesday I spoke to Coach Jay to see what he suggested doing the following weekend since race day is approaching and the most I had run at that point was 14 miles! He told me to try running for 3 hours straight and see how many miles I completed…

20 miles later…I’m feeling much more confident mentally about the marathon. I’m not saying its going to be a breeze, but it feels a bit more attainable now that I’ve run one 20 miler!

I took a few pictures along the way:

Freedom Tower

After running the 20 miles I tried my very first ice bath and although it certainly was freezing cold, I definitely felt the benefits the next day.

I would have thought that 10 lbs of ice would have been sufficient, but it all melted almost instantly. I’ll have to stack up on ice before race day!

I was expecting to be sore for at least the rest of the weekend but come Saturday my legs felt pretty great. I had no problem walking up and down stairs as I usually do after a long run. I was pleasantly surprised! :)

Here is the breakdown of my 20 mile run:

Finding a place to run 20 miles in NYC was not easy.. sure, I could have run 3 big loops of Central Park for 18 miles and finished the last two on my way home but I didn’t want the monotony to affect my performance. I decided to go to the West Side Highway and run North for four miles before heading all the way down to Battery Park and then back up. I finished the last 2 miles running through Times Square. I knew it would be crowded with tourists but it felt great to be running through the heart of New York and after 18 miles I didn’t mind if my pace was slightly slower because of all the people.

Here is a map of my run:

Looking at it on a map makes me realize how far I actually ran! One day I think I’ll try running from the West Side Highway over to the FDR.. I’ll also have to explore Brooklyn- I’m sure they have some nice running paths.

Whats your favorite place to run?

The Philly Half Marathon

18 Sep

What an awesome course! The Philadelphia half marathon is probably the nicest race I’ve run. Virginia had some beautiful country scenery but Philly combined parks with city streets, and was relatively flat the entire way, which I was really grateful for. There were about 20,000 runners in all so it wasn’t quite as big as Vegas but much bigger than Virginia.

As usual, I laid all of my running gear out the night before and hardly slept Saturday night as my nerves got the best of me. I don’t know if the pre-race nerves will ever subside… I would have thought that by now (half marathon #4) I’d be a little calmer.. but no!

I only just beat my PR on this course… didn’t quite make it in the time I was hoping for but considering my Achilles tendon wasn’t feeling great at mile 10, I didn’t want to overdo it and I was happy to beat my PR at all. My official finishing time was 2 hours 11 minutes 31 seconds.

Recap of my half marathon races to date:

Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon December 5th, 2010

  • Time 2:12:54

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon June 4th, 2011

  • Time 2:12:08

 

Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon December 4th, 2011

  • Time 2:12:16

 

Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon September 16th, 2012

  • Time 2:11:31

Even though I didn’t crush my PR as I had hoped to, I had a blast running this race. I ran it with my friend Nick, who kept pace with me until mile 10- impressive considering he hardly trained for this race :)   I usually run alone so it was a nice change to have a running buddy by my side for most of the race. Somehow, even though we didn’t sign up together, our bib numbers turned out to be sequential – it made looking up pictures and times much easier!

The finisher’s medal was pretty cool… although Virginia still takes the win for best medal since it has a wine stopper on the bottom of it!

 

Here are a few pictures from race day:

Here I am at around mile 4- still feeling pretty good!

Not sure at what point this is, but glad they got a smiling picture! :)

Here we are at the Rocky statue post race- still going strong! :)

Adam in front of the Art Museum

 

For the first time, I’m having to bounce right back into my training post half marathon. I usually take a few weeks to rest, but being as the full marathon is only 6 weeks away (Oh my god!), time is of the essence. I received my NY Marathon Registration form on Monday, so now I have my bib number, which is: 56442! I also found out that I’m in the last wave of runners so I won’t be crossing the start line until 10:55AM – great, plenty of time to get anxious!

What do you do to suppress nerves on race day ?

Recovering

11 Sep

Last week we vacationed to Orlando- we had a great time but I had a long run on my to do list and I thought I’d rather get it over and done with than have it looming all weekend. Friday morning the alarm was set for 5am, I figured I’d try to beat the heat and humidity by starting extra early. The day before I had asked our concierge for a running route and the most they could offer was a 4 mile loop around the hotel – you’d think in Disney’s ginormous complex they’d have a much longer running path- I did at least, but no, they don’t. I headed out for my first loop, which Adam joined me on and the humidity wasn’t so bad at this point- it was super early and pretty dark out..

 

On a side note, the distance set for this run was 14 miles, which is longer than my longest run to date. I kept telling myself to slow down cause I had quite a ways to go. At the end of each loop, the valet was kindly waiting with mini bottles of water, bananas, and a towel- I wish all runs could be like that! By the third time around my legs were starting to fatigue and the heat was building up rapidly. Part of my route involved running past both swimming pools and at this point I was ready to plunge, but I kept going..I completed all 14 miles which I was really happy about and then went to the gym to roll out and stretch. After that, I headed back to the room to find Adam completely passed out in bed… I guess the 5am alarm might have been a bit too early for a vacation.

The rest of that day we spent at Universal Studios and my legs were certainly letting me know how tired they were.

About mid way through the day I said to Adam ‘I think I may have done something to my Achilles tendon’. My calf felt so tight, I kept trying to stretch it out- waiting on line gave me lots of time to do so. The next morning it still hurt but the throbbing was less so I figured it was just tired from the run. I rested the remainder of the weekend and enjoyed every minute of it!

Come Tuesday morning, once we were back in New York, I headed out for my scheduled 8 mile run. 6 miles into it I decided I needed to stop. I immediately called my sports medicine Doctor and booked an appointment for the following day because something just didn’t feel right. I spent the rest of the day frustrated and worried about what the Dr. would say.. The next morning at my appointment he worked on my leg for about 30 minutes- at one point he was literally putting all of his weight onto the tightest part of my calf.. I thought I was going to pass out, but I got through it and I’m glad I did because it immediately felt better. He told me to rest it until Friday, maybe do some bike instead and then try running a short distance, 2 miles or so.. So, Thursday I headed to the gym to spin for 40 minutes, my legs were so not used to spinning (being as I haven’t done it since I started this marathon training) that when I got off the bike I felt sore in all kinds of new places, but I guess that’s a good thing .

On Friday I ventured out for my 2 mile run. I was nervous in case my leg didn’t feel better but also anxious to get back out there. I took it incredibly slowly, stopped a lot to stretch my leg and maxed my run out at 2 miles. I felt pretty good.

The doctor had told me that I could try a 5 mile run if I felt ok on Sunday but I decided to let it rest one more day. Today I’m scheduled to run 4 miles- I’m going to see how I feel this evening. I saw the doctor yesterday morning and he said the leg’s doing great and I should be ok for my upcoming race on Sunday! That being said I was back in his office later in the afternoon because my leg felt worse…

I’m trying to keep my head up and focus on staying positive but I must say I’m getting increasingly stressed about not being able to run at the moment.. especially considering I was hoping to set a PR in Philly. We’ll see how the rest of this week goes …

 

Getting in…

4 Sep

This post is a little late in coming, but better late than never, right?

Two years ago I ran my first half marathon in December 2010 with Team Challenge. As I was training for it, I remember several times thinking there is no way I’m going to get through this… I never thought for one second that two years later I’d be preparing to run twice the distance!

Immediately after the Vegas half however, I started toying with the idea of running the full marathon one day. Being that I have a ‘mild’ case of OCD, I immediately started doing research, and good thing I did since the sign up for New York Road Runners (NYRR) had to be completed before the end of January in order to be eligible for the 2012 NYC Marathon through their 9+1 program.

Here are the guidelines for getting into the New York City Marathon through NYRR’s  9+1 program, which is how I got in:

For eligibility for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2013, an applicant must:

- be a member of NYRR as of January 31, 2012, throughout the year 2012, and at the time of application to the marathon;

- complete nine (9) NYRR-scored, qualifying races during 2012 and have a current membership on race day;

- volunteer for one (1) NYRR event posted on the volunteer website (weekly races, registration/pickup, kiosk, etc.) during 2012.

Source: http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/about/9_1_guaranteed_entry.htm

Here is a breakdown of the nine races I ran in 2011 for entry into the 2012 marathon.

The very first race (NYRR Fred Lebow Classic) got cancelled because of snow so it automatically qualified as one of the nine races, without me having to run it, which was pretty nice! These certainly weren’t my fastest races, especially the 5th Avenue mile, which I ran sick, but had to run as it was my last race to qualify! I’ve actually signed up to run it again in a few weeks to prove to myself that I can run it faster on a day when I’m feeling 100%

On top of running these 9 races, I volunteered for the Japan race., which I really enjoyed.  My job that day was to make sure runners stayed on the running path and out of the way of bikers and runners not participating in the race.  It was fun to watch a race from the sideline perspective – I don’t get to do that all that often! I made sure to cheer a lot because I know how helpful that is for me when I’m running.

I kept an item from each of the 9 + 1 races as a memento to remind me of the races I participated in, to get into the my first marathon:

Getting into the NY Marathon wasn’t exactly a ‘cheap’ thing to do. Each of those races cost me about $30 to $45 and then once I qualified I received a notification in January that I could officially sign up… that cost me an additional  $216!  Luckily, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation was able to secure 5 spots in the race this year so since I already had my bib they refunded me the race entry which was very nice, so I am now part of the New York team with CCFA!

Getting into the New York City Marathon has certainly been a commitment that I started working towards almost 2 years ahead of the race. It has made me a stronger runner and has given me more experience with running races. I still get nervous before any big race, I think I always will, but at least now I know exactly what to expect. I know that I prefer to start my races at the back of a slightly faster coral. I know that Jelly Beans work for me while GU does not. I know that I prefer to run on the outside of the masses rather than bang slap in the middle.

I’ve enjoyed having a goal ahead of me that I knew I’d be working towards all this time. It has given me something to work and focus on. I have never set such a large goal so I am really looking forward to completing it!

What goals have you set for yourself this year?

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