Friday, November 11, 2011

My first Marathon- NYC!!

I ran my first marathon on Sunday November 6th. It was the ING NYC marathon. This is one of the most difficult marathons to get into and I was SO lucky to have gotten in. I think I got in because I was only one minute behind the qualifying time from my NYC half marathon I ran (1hr.38), qualifying time is 1.37.  Anyway, I have been training for this basically since the half which was in March. I started to get really serious about my training about 16 weeks before the race. I trained by myself, which was hard. I am not going to lie, there were times I was asking my self why was I doing this. BUT, it all paid off last weekend. I have to say it was probably one of the best weekends of my life! So here is how it went...
So my parents were nice enough to support me and flew in all the way from SLC to support me in this race. They flew in Friday afternoon. Before they got in I was running around all day trying to get my bib and make sure things were in order so I could just enjoy their company and focus on race day. I raced to get my apartment cleaned mean while I could feel a cold coming on. When they got to NYC I was really excited to see them and my pounding headache went away. It was fun to see them and it got me even more excited for the race. We decided to grab some dinner at Angelo's pizza, just down the street from me (it is actually the pizza place right above the Letterman show). As we walk up the stairs to go to our table Scott had gotten up there first and he was just smiling ear to ear, I asked him why he was smiling so much and then I looked at our table and sitting there was my sister Kristina and her husband Rob!!!!! They had flown all the way from SCL to see me in the race!!!  When I first saw them I thought I was dreaming. I didn't believe my eyes! I had just talked to her the day earlier telling her I had wished that she could be there! And here they were! Kristina and my mom had planned it many weeks ago and had kept it a secret all that time! It worked out perfect because I my brother-in-law Rob was in NYC a couple days earlier and so Kristina just had to fly out.  SO I was on cloud 9!!! Saturday was fun we walked around Central Park and took pictures of the finish line we had a fun lunch and then went home to rest up before dinner. That night went to one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Apizz, which is an AMAZING Italian place and ate delicious carb filled food! We had some of the best butternut squash ravioli and gnocci with braised beef I have ever had. And of course all the pasta was home made! Then I hit the pillow, or at least tried! I actually felt my cold coming on strong and was up multiple times in the night, but when it came time to get up 4:55am the next morning I was SO excited! I took the subway to the Staton Island Ferry where we headed to our starting point the Verrazano Bridge. I was in the fist wave after the professional men. Mayor Bloomberg introduced the race and said, "Runners, New York City is waiting for you" and then the cannon went off and the music "New York New York" played over the loud speakers as I started running across the Verrazano Bridge. The weather couldn't have been better. The sun was shining, there was no wind, and it was a perfect 54 degrees. Perfect running temperature. I looked over the bridge over to Manhattan and thought, wow, I am going to be running all the way over there!  
I started out a little faster than I had planned, but was feeling great and just went with it.  My goal was to run a 8 minute mile and finish 3 hours and 30 minutes. We ran through Brooklyn, Queens and then over the Queen's Bourgh Bridge in to Manhattan up into the Bronx and then Back to Manhattan along 5th avenue into Central Park, along Central Park South and then finished  through Columbus Circle into the park where the old Tavern on the Green was. I was feeling great. At about mile 10 I got some cramps in my stomach but I didn't let them slow me down. I was loving every minute of it. There were fans along the side of the road almost the entire way!! IT was the fans that pushed me through it! I purposely ran right by them and worked the crowds to get some cheers! My sister Katie had recorded messages for me at mile's 13 and 22. As I ran past these miles there was a huge screen that played the video for me. They were at the perfect spot's because at mile 13 you are feeling it a little bit and then mile 22 you are feeling it alot! She said with my nephew in one message "MaryLynn we believe in you!" I started to cry when I heard that and I picked up my pace! The second message she said " Go MaryLynn, you are AWESOME" and of course I cried again! I honestly was smiling the whole way, just trying to take in every moment of this race I had dreamed of running since I moved to NYC. I was able to see my family at mile 16! It was SO COOL to hear them and see them! Seriously, I was so excited to see them, that was what kept pushing me through the first half of the race! It was at about mile 19 that my knee started hurting. This was at the top of 1st avenue where not many people were cheering. But, I told my self not to let my brain register pain and to keep plugging along. Thankfully they were passing out gue and I grabbed some and went on my way. Once I got over the bridge into the Bronx, I was so happy to see fans. They really helped me keep going. Getting back to Manhattan was super exciting! There was a DJ playing songs and yelling out cheers when we crossed the 3rd avenue bridge and I pointed at him and he did a shout out to me! It was so cool. One lady was yelling, you have done 22 miles, what is another 4! I knew I would see my friends and family soon in the park so I was really excited, but my phone had died so I had no idea where people would be. That was SO disappointing. I ended up not seeing my friends or my family because I didn't know where to look. They were all looking so hard for me but I was going pretty fast and I must have just passed them by. Anyway as I ran into the park, I knew I was really close. I got a burst of energy along Central Park South, which was the last mile of the race. I could feel the ending near. As I ran down the street I totally worked the crowd and everyone was cheering hard. As I turned on into Columbus Circle and headed into the park, I just started sprinting. I don't even know where the energy came from, but it just did. The street was lined with flags from all the countries who had people running the race, it streched about a half a mile. It was really cool. The cheers got louder and louder as I got closer to the finish line. As I crossed the finish line I couldn't believe I was done! I had beaten my goal! My time was 3.28 45!! It was SO amazing to finish this race. I had always wanted to run a marathon but always doubted whether or not if I could do it. But I had done it, it was a huge accomplishment for me. I had sacrificed many hours of running time and it all paid off.   Honestly it was my family, friends and the fans that made this race the coolest thing I have ever done. Never had I felt SO much support from not only my family but all of NEW YORK CITY!! The one day that everyone cheers just for you! WOW!! How do I top that! My family was waiting with flowers and huge hugs when I reunited with them! I was on CLOUD 9!! Thank you Scott for being SO supportive of this goal of mine, and thank you to everyone including my parents, sister Kristina and Brother in law Rob and ALL my friends and family who sent me texts, emails face book messages and who came to the race to support me. EVERY SINGLE message meant the world to me. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!! 
Oh and I found out I qualified for the Boston Marathon!! Maybe April 2013! 


nicokekeematipili said...

Congratulations! I miss you and your crazy self!

Keri Cannon said...

Yay! So fun to read the post! You are amazing! 2013 Boston here you come :)