Saturday we were up and ready to hit the expo! The subways were a little tricky to figure out but it would be good practice for how we would get around race day. The expo was ginormous-tons of vendors and tons of things to buy. I escaped pretty cheap with only 2 long sleeve tech shirts for $30. We had our pictures taken on a fake Runners' World magazine cover and enjoyed ourselves for a couple hours. At dinner we were able to catch up with some friends and enjoy some downtime. Our new room was facing the street and seemed to be better all around (later we would realize how much worse it was). It was Halloween night and we were settling in to go to bed. However, we never slept a wink. The street noise was constant all night. By the time we were up at 4 am and walking to the subway to then catch the ferry we were on about 2 hours of sleep and I had a migraine. Waiting for the ferry you would run from side to side of the terminal trying to get through the terminal doors to the boat before they shut them on you. It was a cluster. I eventually got on the ferry and headed towards the buses which would take me to the start village. The buses were quick to pick you up but they hit traffic and we just sat on the bus for 30 mins. Finally I arrived at the village. I only had to wait about 45 mins and I was in my corral. My head was killing and I thought I was going to throw up. I even thought about not running I felt so sick and tired. But the horn blasted and we were off.
The race started across the Verazzano Bridge. I was under the bridge...not as cool. I was in wave 2, corral D. I didn't think there would be too much congestion in only wave 2. I was wrong. I was passing walkers and joggers everywhere. I had a hard time moving at all really. No one was running even an 8:30 pace. I was wasting energy trying to pass so I just went with the crowd....9:21 pace. This was way off my mark. So the second mile, which was coming down/off the bridge, I made up for it. Maybe a little too much. I ran a 7:57 mile. So I knew I was not doing anything according to plan. I found myself eyeing my watch constantly. I wanted to maintain a 8:50ish pace and stay with it. Every mile was a water stop. Trust me they stopped- stopped in the middle of the road and walked. So every mile I can to a complete halt. By mile 16 I was done. I couldn't move around people, I was exhausted from trying and I was plain angry. A smarter person would have slowed down and enjoyed the experience but I was out for a PR. I bonked and started to have to walk here and there. I was so sick by the time I entered Central Park I wanted to cry. I PR'd by 21 mins but knew what I could have done had I not had a crowd to fight for 26.2 miles.
It took a mile out to get out of the race area and a mile back to the meeting zone. I couldn't find Jared anywhere. I walked and walked but no Jared. I started to cry and finally found two girls willing to let me call him with their cell. He found me and we walked and walked and walked. At last we found a cab and then went to the hotel. I hadn't eaten all day, ran a marathon and then hopped in the car to head home. Let me put this in short, I will never do a big city marathon again.
I am thankful for the work Jared did to make the day special and to get me to and from places. Marathon 2 is in the books. Now to focus on a smaller marathon and my first 50k!