Nov 04

NYC Marathon Race Recap – Mistakes Were Made, Perspective Was Gained

I’m deeply inhaling and exhaling as I begin to write this. I have so many conflicting emotions as the pictures from my 26.2 mile journey flash though my head. Marathons are unpredictable animals and this marathon had it’s share of surprises, setbacks and obstacles. Bear with me as I take you though the rabbit hole/roller coaster that is my body, mind and heart, one day after running the New York City marathon.

At the expo, ready to RUN FOR LIFE!

At the expo, ready to RUN FOR LIFE!

Since I feel like there is a monkey running around in my brain scattering my thoughts, it may be best to take this as a timeline, to help keep it on track and understandable. I’m not making any promises but here goes…

Early Morning – Transportation to the Race 

Of course I couldn’t sleep. I usually sleep pretty well prior to a big race but not this race. I was worried about logistics, my kids and the stupid clocks changing. Yes, I know it was an hour back so the worst that would happen is me being early but…

3:22am – I needed to wake up at 4:30 to give me enough time to shower, dress, eat and catch a cab to the bus pick-up. I woke up several times during the night and finally at 3:22am. I laid awake in bed, trying to visualize a perfect race.

4:10am – I finally gave up and just got out of bed.

5:00am – I gave my sleeping kids one last glance, made a silent promise to make them proud, then slipped out with just my approved, clear plastic race bag that held food, water, extra gloves and a hat. Being without my cellphone made me feel very strange but I did not want to carry it though the race. So many missed photo ops!

5:30am – I was searched and let onto the bus to Staten Island.

6:00am – Arrival at the starting village. Remember how I was supposed to get on the bus at 6:00? Well, here I was already in the village and my race start time was 9:50am. Yep. My designated bus time was 6:00am and it said to allow 90 minutes to get to the village and make it though security. It took about 2 minutes after arrival. And it was still dark. Thank God the weather was amazing and I wasn’t even wearing gloves – just my throw away sweats. The bridge was all lit up and just gorgeous. I remember taking it all in and feeling in awe of being at the start line.


Pre-Dawn in Athlete’s Village

The entire race from start to finish was incredibly well organized. The village was separated into corrals and waves by number and color. There were complimentary bagels, water, Dunkin Donuts coffee, tea, hot chocolate and Gatorade gels, mixes, and drinks.

There was also plenty of port-o-potties with plenty of toilet paper and they remained relatively clean. That in and of itself was a phenomenon I have never before experienced.

6:00am – 8:30am – I met some very friendly runners (one even gave me an extra blanket to sit on), and I drank about 20 oz of water, ate an everything bagel, banana and two chia bars over the course of two and half hours. I felt just right and was able to use the bathrooms several times with zero lines.

Brooks gets the award for most creative dressing room at the expo!

Brooks gets the award for most creative dressing room at the expo!

8:40am – They moved us into the corrals. I was talking with another guy from South Africa and I started to feel a little light headed but I chalked it up to lack of good sleep, sitting around the village for the last three hours, and demanded I not freak out even one little bit.

Hind sight – That “dizziness” was a huge warning sign I should have recognized.


9:50AM – After the National Anthem, and a speech by the Mayor, we were finally on our way!

It was super crowded going over the bridge and we even stopped at one point! I stayed clam and kept reminding myself that I had a long way to go and the timing of the first mile (8:47) meant almost nothing. I rolled with it, tried to take it all in and realized…I was freaking HOT!

I had to take off my arm sleeves almost immediately. I decided to do it sooner rather then later, when I would probably be delirious. This meant taking off my watch, which was kind of tricky. In doing so, I must have hit something on the watch which caused it to go into “lap mode” so I could only see the current mile I was in and get my split. I had no clue of my overall time, which, by the end, was a very good thing. I also did not realize this until about mile seven because I was not looking at my watch but running by feel.

Right away I felt a little off. I still had that kind of dizzy feeling, but “dizzy” is too strong of a word. I was just off. Again, I didn’t panic but thought maybe I should just start fueling a little. So, about 20 minutes in, I took my first chomp. I usually start fueling about 45 minutes in, so this was very early. I also took Gatorade and water at each aid station from mile three.

On cruise control...until I wasn't.

On cruise control…until I wasn’t. Mile 15 was the long slog though the covered bridge so my GPS is inaccurate. People were freaking that they lost signals. Runners are cray cray.

I cruised along, really enjoying my pace, keeping my head and looking around smiling at all that is the NYC marathon. I was enjoying myself and started to think big thoughts.

Hind sight – taking in chomps early caused my body to work overtime from the start.


There is really no other way to put it. Around mile 16 my stomach starting cramping. I have never in my life experienced that – not in training, not in a race, not freaking ever. Still I did not panic. The marathon is so very long that I always remind myself things come and go. I thought this too shall pass…until my quads started cramping.

My family was going to be at mile 18 so I stayed strong. I was uncomfortable and nervous about what the hell was happening but I didn’t want my family to know anything was wrong and worry. I’m an excellent actress. I was also trying to convince myself that this would pass, even though I knew it wouldn’t.

I could not wait to see these two!

I could not wait to see these two! They were ready with cowbells and kisses.

I almost missed my family because they were tucked right underneath the ‘Mile 18’ marker and even kind of behind the time clock. If I had been on my goal time, I would have missed them as I cruised by, but since I was hurting I actually stopped and went back when I heard my husband’s shout. I have also never done that in a race! I gave the boys each a quick kiss and was off again.

By Mile 20, I wanted to curl into the fetal position against a dirty curb, and gently rock my aching muscles away. I was scared because I thought my legs were going to completely cramp and not work. I didn’t know what was happening or how to fix it. Instead, I slowed my pace and my mantra became “nice and easy.”

It sucked.

I wanted to cry and feel sorry for myself.

I willed my body to be strong, but it was failing me.

I thought of all the people tracking my time and the collective “ut oh!” when they realized my pace had slowed by more then 1 minute per mile.

I basically did everything you’re not supposed to do, but I did not give even one shit.


It seemed like all of a sudden this race became everything I never thought it would be – a disappointment, a failure, a complete and total suffer fest.

I knew I had to get my head right.

My family was going to be at Mile 24 so I focused on getting there. It was no easy task. My quads and stomach ached. I felt like I was shuffling along but I tried to focus on my form and staying tall. I pumped my arms and willed my legs to follow. I continued my “nice and easy” mantra although there was nothing nice or easy about what I was doing.

I also thought I needed to continue to take in fuel and I was so, so thirsty. I would choke down a Chomp right before the water stations, then – thank God they were filling huge cups to the very top with water – I would down the entire cup. I continued this agonizing cycle for the next three miles. My stomach would cramp and then it would pass. My legs cramped the entire time and I was just begging them for one more step…one more step…one more step – all the way to Mile 24.

This is what a train wreck looks like on paper.

This is what a train wreck looks like on paper.

I also walked through the water stations at Mile 22 and 23. Another first time event for this runner. I seriously could not believe I was walking in a marathon. But, I had no choice. I had to make decisions based only on me finishing the race.

Hind sight – I should have been only taking in Gatorade. My stomach was cramping because it couldn’t digest the chomps since it was too busy trying to cool my body. I was making myself worse without knowing it.


I somehow made it to Mile 24, and I saw my family, as I was walking though the water station. My dad knew something was really wrong when he saw me walking, but he just smiled and whistled. I walked toward my boys, and bent down to kiss them. They looked me right in the eyes and said “Don’t stop!!!! Keep running mommy!!!!” I picked my head up, and that was it. I did as I was told.

I started taking in the crowds (they were just as amazing as everyone says!) and I started thinking about my mom and what she was doing at my age. She was in a hospital bed enduring chemotherapy and dying of cancer. What the hell did I have to complain about? A missed goal? I was running the NYC Marathon and was two miles away from the finish!

Then I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read “Run for Those Who Can’t” and it was just another sign.

I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and to stop robbing myself of the joy of this race. I made a conscious decision to run happy to the finish.

Mission accomplsihed.

Mission accomplsihed.

As I was coming down the final 400m to the finish line I saw Natalie (Nat Runs Far) in the stands. Her and her husband, who I have never even seen or met before in my life, were cheering so loudly and smiling so big, and it lifted me up. I saw in their faces that my time didn’t mean a thing, I was about to finish something amazing and if they were that happy and excited for me, what the hell was my problem?

I finished in 3:31:00 happy and proud.


We walked for what seemed like forever though the finishers chute. I finally made it to the beloved race poncho and an angel wrapped me in it, told me I was beautiful, wished me congratulations and sent me to find my family.

It was a little tricky and I had to borrow a stranger’s cell phone but, I finally met up with my husband.

We grabbed the very fist thing with wheels to get us back to our hotel…



It was a sweet ride and our driver/rider even played Frank Sinatra and took this picture of us. Then, in classic NYC fashion, he robbed us blind. Our 19 minute ride from Central Park on 61st, to 54th and 6th, cost $120.00. It was worth every penny.

I had the best, hottest shower ever (no chafing!) and promptly went out for beers and a bacon cheeseburger.

My boys, my beer and my bling makes one happy mama.

My boys, my beer and my bling makes one happy mama.


I was genuinely happy after the race. Of course I was disappointed that I missed my goal but I still had no idea why my body was cramping so badly. I was still on a high from finishing and my family was proud of me. That was all that seemed to matter.

My cheering squad!

My cheering squad!

I read all the Facebook posts and comments and congratulations and I felt a swell of pride, with a twinge of guilt. I definitely had feelings of letting people down, of not accomplishing a goal and the “f” word kept creeping in on me – failure.

By Monday morning, I was feeling all the emotions. I was crying into my coffee, texting my bestie with all my sorrows and emailing my coach asking for a call so we could figure out what happened.

This is what happened:

  1. I drank way too much water and zero electrolytes, in the 48 hours leading up to the race. Yes, zero. I was focused on hydrating all day on Saturday and then I had about 20 oz of more water the morning of the race. That dizziness I felt was my blood being diluted with water.
  2. I didn’t drink a sports drink prior to the race because I never have! I get easily overwhelmed with sweetness and I have never had any electrolytes before a marathon, half marathon, or long training run. I usually only drink supplements DURING the run or race and nothing new on race day so…
  3. The issue was that I never drink that much water either. I had way too much in my system and, when I started taking fuel in early, my body couldn’t digest the Chomps AND work overtime to cool my body with zero electrolytes.
  4. I feel like a moron. I actually did this to myself and then made it worse by forcing Chomps down my throat and only drinking more water in the later miles.

My coach was pretty astonished that I started the race already depleted and still managed to finish in the time I did. At one point in the conversation she said “My God Allie you are SO tough!” but what I think she meant was, “you’re so dumb!”

She texted me this on my ride home Sunday night:



As I sat here feeling sorry for myself and crying over what I thought was a failure, I was reminded of so many things from my wonderful friends and family:

No one seemed to know or care that I was gunning for a 3:15 and failed miserably. My social media feed was filled with “You are amazing!,” “You are inspiring!,” “You killed it!,” without one single “Sorry you didn’t reach your goal. Maybe next time.”

My bestie reminded me that I run because I love it and not to lose sight of that. She said she was following me mile by mile on the app with her son and he was amazed by what I was doing, never noticing a change in pace, just a huge finish in a fast time.

Another friend texted me that I’m way too hard on myself and reminded me that I did something that only a very few can say they did. < – – I tend to always lose sight of this, which is easy to do when running with 50,000 others!

All I can say is THANK YOU. I am so very grateful for all of you who motivate and inspire ME. Each time I was starting to spiral back downward, I would re-read your words and your cheers. You have no idea how very much I appreciate all of it.



And now, I get to drown my sorrows and myself in sunshine and cocktails, as I head to Miami at the end of the week for a family wedding.

I can’t wait to run in the sun by the ocean!


What are your final thoughts?

Have you ever experienced muscle cramping in a race?

How do you turn your mind around when things are going badly?



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  1. oh allie.
    I devoured every word of this and felt as though I was right there with you the whole time.
    you, my friend, are amazing.
    <3 <3 <3
    CARLA recently posted…5 healthy habits for beating energy VAMPIRES.My Profile

    1. Thank you so much Carla!! It means so, so much. xo

  2. I’m so proud of you for finishing. The NYCM is not an easy course by any means and you really powered through and made the best of it. Congrats on what will be a lasting memory I’m sure. I remember when I ran the full two years ago they said it would take a long time to get through security, etc and it didn’t. I found myself in a similar situation of being at the race start a lot earlier than I would have liked.
    Hollie recently posted…Training OctoberMy Profile

    1. Oh there are so many things I would have done differently but, I’m just glad to have finished! I still cannot believe that was your first marathon. So amazing!

  3. Congrats Allie! I’m so sorry you felt like crap during the race but you did an amazing job and you are super tough for pushing through. I would have given up. You are amazing!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Visiting Brazil’s NortheastMy Profile

    1. No you wouldn’t have!! Thanks Britt 🙂

  4. Damn, girl. you ARE tough. My husband is a doctor and over-hydration has become a big issue over the past decade, particularly with runners–previously, dehydration was the worry! You were having the most incredible race up to the point that the wheels fell off, but what is most important is that you made smart decisions (well, aside from the chomps), and you got your mind out of the abyss that it was in. I know that this race was really really tough for a lot of experienced runners–you are in good company. And you still have so much to be proud of!!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Dealing with Injury: Scared to MoveMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much and yes, I’m normally a horrible hydrator which is why I think I got so carried away – plus we were sitting around for so many hours that I just kept drinking. Lesson learned!!

  5. Thank you, Allie, for making me cry!!! I’ve had those exact same feelings oh so many times but in the end it boils down to you CAN do this so run for those who can’t. Be proud of your tenacity. Be proud of you. Love ya girl!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Stitch Fix #5My Profile

    1. Thank YOU Angela! You raise me up!!!! Love you xoxoxo

  6. AHHH!! I have been waiting to read this. Allie, you seriously did amazing despite the circumstances. I totally know where you are coming from though!! We have these big goals in our heads and we are hard on ourselves, but there IS a lot to be proud of here (and I’m still working on trying to give MYSELF credit for my 15 min PR)’s hard! And reading your recap, I realized that we had similar race situations minus the travel. It was warmer and more humid here as well AND all I drank was water in the days leading up!!! No electrolytes! Very parallel races minus the speed 😉 Congrats lady, you definitely perservered in this race and that is something to be proud of!! xoxox
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Cookies and a Fit Body Bakery GiveawayMy Profile

    1. I know you totally get it Sue! I was thinking of you and that picture of you touching all of the signs of the fallen soldiers. I was trying to channel your spirit!! And yes, it’s oh-so-hard to be happy with a race like we both had but seriously, a 15 minute PR is freaking awesome. Don’t rob yourself of celebrating that!!

    • Sara on November 4, 2015 at 7:39 AM
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    Allie – you are amazing…..despite the setbacks you experienced you still had a great race. I appreciate that you share all the good, bad and ugly. It helps me to know that even a great and experienced runner like yourself experiences similar feelings as I have in races. It gives me the motivation not to give up on my goals. Thank you for sharing – and be proud of what you have accomplished!

    1. Never give up!! That was absolutely a mantra for the last half of that race!! Thanks so much Sara and you will always get the truth here – it’s so important to share what we all experience so we can ll learn from each other!

  7. Can I admit something a little stalker-ish? When I saw you post on Facebook, I got on the results website and looked yours up. I shared them with my daughter who said “wow! I can barely run an eight minute mile when I’m running 1 mile!” I felt proud when she said that, as if it were me she was talking about and not my awesome friend Allie.

    Wonderful recap to a fabulous race. I even cried a little when you wrote about your boys telling you to keep running. Congratulations, my friend.
    Dana recently posted…Who I amMy Profile

    1. oh Dana! Now you’re making me cry! That is so awesome and I love that you shared that with your daughter. Thank you so, so much and yes, those boys get me every time! Miles told me later that he wanted me to WIN 🙂 Yep – that’s my boy!

  8. What a roller coaster of emotions!! An amazing race and amazing time mixed with all the behind the scenes issues you were dealing with- how in the world did you pull off a 3:31?! Your coach is right, you are so strong. Congrats on the NYC marathon!!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…WIAW + Day in LifeMy Profile

    1. I have no freaking clue! Seriously. When I made it to mile 24 (I think?) at 3:15 I thought, wait? That’s it? I think I blacked out and someone carried me 🙂 Thanks Laura!

  9. I talk about the too much water thing A LOT because I too learned it the hard way. NYC was also my toughest marathon ever, the first one I really just didn’t want to finish at all. BUT also where you couldn’t help but just take in everything and be grateful.

    Kudos to you for sticking it out and for finding all the good.
    Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted…12 Ways to Spot a RunnerMy Profile

    1. I’m happy to know so many people learned this lesson the hard way…it makes me feel less like a complete moron! And, in Florida, I’m sure you are now hyper aware of it.
      Thanks so much Amanda!

  10. Dang, girl! I’ve been there before. Stomach cramps are the worst and almost indescribable. They have ruined plenty of races for me! I’m so impressed that you were able to not only finish with such a great time but more importantly, regain that perspective and finish with a smile on your face. That’s not an easy thing to do under the circumstances. Sounds like having the boys there with you was a great decision and that they had fun, too! Congratulations!

    1. It was!! As you know there is just no describing how your friends and family can pull you though a race. My mind was set on getting to them at 18 and 24. Not sure what would have happened had they not have been there!!
      Congrats on your latest marathon too. Maybe one day we can meet at one? I’ll cheer for you 🙂

  11. Okay Allie? Seriously. You have me crying right before I have to meet with clients. Your boys telling you not to stop – so sweet. Thanks for that. I’m so freaking proud of you. I’ve said it before but you are AMAZING and so freaking tough. It was hot out there and it’s a tough course. NYC never makes it easy, huh? But you have accomplished something few people can say that they have. Congrats friend.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…How to Survive Marathon Training and Running With Your Significant OtherMy Profile

    1. Oh no! Sorry Christine but you know how it would be if your boys were out there!! I was looking for Jasper’s cheesehead 🙂 I hope he wasn’t too disappointed with the loss!
      I honestly did not think the course was that bad but probably because I was dealing with the cramping issues. I would not like to run it again but I absolutely love the crowds and seeing you at mile 7! Thank you always for your support!!

  12. First I am so incredibly proud of you and how you dominated this race despite it ALL. Can I tell you a funny similarity in our race, I somehow hit laps as WELL on my garmin like around mile 13 so I had no idea what was going on (that pace band became quite useless. LOL. it sure was hot and I also had a ton a stomach cramps but I have no idea from what.

    congratulations my friend, you DID IT and you did it VERY well and you are my hero!!!
    Nellie recently posted…The Social Media Network for Healthy Living EnthusiastsMy Profile

    1. Oh no!!! That is very strange!? I swear I could not repeat that function if I tried. Crazy. And yes, it was way hotter then I thought since I was cold in the village and waiting at the start.
      I’m so very proud of BOTH of us and still so happy we were able to HUG and HANG! How are those OOFAS treating you? 🙂

    • Jane on November 4, 2015 at 8:57 AM
    • Reply

    Oh my….amazing,awesome,actually finishing….with your stop on the bridge and feeling so crappy….how did you do it in that time…….we know that your mom put her wings around you and kept you going…..strong ladies ..both of you! Congratulations on following your dreams and letting the rest of us be lifted up along the way with your beautiful love and spirit. Thank you for sharing,
    Love always,

    1. Thank you so much Jane!!! I swear, thinking of my mom and all she couldn’t do at the end of her life just snapped me right out of the funk I was in! She is always with me, especially at my lowest points. Love you!!

  13. I can relate to this in so many ways….after four marathons I’ve experienced both highs and lows, massive feelings of failure, and muscle cramps!! Learning your body and how much fuel is requires is half the battle and I still don’t get it right sometimes! You truly are tough lady! And those boys… Too too precious!!! So when’s the next marathon?! 😉
    Jess @ run pink recently posted…Wisdom Wednesday: Why Me?!My Profile

    1. LOL – never! You are so, so right about fueling and I truly thought I had it all figured out this time!!! Sitting around that village and drinking all the water, just did me in!! It’s funny though because as much as I want to be done with the marathon, a part of me was like “damn! I should have registered for Boston!” But now, I’m glad I didn’t!! Next year I will focus solely on triathlons…and proper fueling 🙂 Thanks Jess!

  14. I love that smile! Even though you are disappointed in your finish time, you FINISHED! And that is always a win when you’re feeling crummy.

    When I ran Chicago this year, i was shooting for a BQ (for me that’s sub-4). My training times were completely on track with that. But I cramped at mile 16, and that was that. I decided to salvage what I could of the race and finish with a smile on my face. And I did.

    Oh well! This is running….

    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Pushing outside of the zoneMy Profile

    1. Good for you!!! It was incredibly hard (as I’m sure you know) to slap that smile on and change my attitude but I’m so glad I did. Congrats to you on finishing Chicago and yep – back to the drawing board with this running thing!
      Thank you Wendy!

  15. You absolutely did an amazing job and had an amazing time…and your smiling pics both close to the finish and after are fabulous. But I’m getting a little scared reading this…. the whole fueling and hydrating plan for a marathon seems like a big mystery to me. I feel like I read and hear conflicting stories all the time. Some people love gatorade, other people hate gatorade and do water…. It seems like you ate a good amount of food in the 2 hours while you were waiting with your water, so it seems like that should somewhat make up for the no electrolytes…. anyway, you did great! I am just having a little panic attack about water/fuel, etc. I’ll need to figure this out! recently posted…PainMy Profile

    1. Don’t panic. You will figure it out and, the reason for conflicting reports is because everyone is different and everyone’s bodies require different amounts and types of fuel. Your training runs are where you are supposed to work all of that stuff out! I thought I had it figured out but ended up drinking way more water then usual when I was sitting around the village. Don’t worry or overthink anything. The marathon training process should weed everything out and this is the very first out of 7 marathons where I have experienced anything like it.

  16. Yes to focusing on all the good that went down–and there was a ton of it! What I kept thinking as I was reading through the “sufferfest” is that you would end up with a 4-hr time or something. But no, 3:31, which many people would kill for–perspective again, right? You’re a champ!

    And I’ve made that exact same water mistake, a few times over. I have gotten much, much better at it but still have to keep myself in check with the water consumption. Read Waterlogged by Tim Noakes–very interesting insights into this very subject!
    misszippy recently posted…My podcast is live!My Profile

    1. I had the same thoughts – trust me. I was thinking maybe 3:45 but somehow I pulled together a 3:31. It was a gift. Yes, perspective. Glad to hear you have made the same water mistake and I’m not a complete idiot. My coach also confessed to having done it during IM training as well. Thanks for the read suggestion – I’m on it!
      Lastly – NO MORE MARATHONS!

  17. Congrats on powering through and finishing!
    Nicki Lewis recently posted…Add Social Media Buttons to Blog Post Signature: Tuesday TutorialsMy Profile

    1. Thank you!

  18. You really are a rock star…I felt anxious reading about those last miles and I’m so glad that you had some good cheers from your family, your mother (in other ways, of course) and Natalie; you got there, and that’s all that matters!! Thank you for sharing your lesson with us; overhydration is not something I’ve given much thought to, since I spend most of my time trying to stay hydrated. This is definitely an important topic to keep in mind, especially for those races/workouts when we start later than normal and have to make different accommodations. I’ve yet to experiencing cramping like this, but I do know that “dizzy” feeling – unfortunately! Way to push through, get it done and win the mental battle; YOU ARE STRONG AND FIERCE!!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Nonfiction November: My Year in NonfictionMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Tara and YES learn from my mistakes! I usually struggle with dehydration which is why I went overboard. At least I learned this lesson when nothing but my pride was at stake!

  19. Great post! I really, really love your attitude about the race! You are one tough runner. I had a rough marathon a few weeks ago and have been beating myself up. I so wish I had finished with a smile like you – and that comes down to attitude. Thanks for being so inspiring!
    Molly @ Motherhood and Marathons recently posted…Halloween and Last Week’s Running RecapMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much for saying that Molly. It took a lot of effort to turn my attitude around but I just wasn’t having it. I’m so glad I did and that I have happy, smiling pictures even though I’m still feeling sad and frustrated!
      Good luck getting back in the game and going for it again!!

  20. New reader. I ran too. Well I was just pining for a sub 5. But the big factor was the humidity. I felt as if it were one of my August summer training runs. I cramped and felt the need for Gatorade at almost every aid stop. Thank god my belly handled all that sugar. But I slowed so much from 18-26 that I had my second slowest time ever.

    You might not have hit your time goal but damn girl you hung in there and finished despite the cramping and stomach issues.
    Small @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted…Goal C it isMy Profile

    1. I have heard this a lot about the race so I’m now thinking some of it had to do with the humidity as well. I’m sorry you were suffering out there with me but we finished!!! Congratulations!

  21. I feel like the “mistakes” you made based on how you were feeling are ones that the majority of us runners would have made. Assumed you needed the fuel + water. SO sorry you had to deal with that this time around but you still ran really well for being in such a dark place. Last year I was cramping like crazy (most likely bc of the frozen tundra that we were stuck waiting around in – I was supposed to be in a tent but last minute they took away all tents bc of the wind and I was not prepared!). I gave up on the race if I am honest so your mental fortitude when feeling that awful = inspirational.
    Enjoy Miami!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10KMy Profile

    1. Thank you for saying that. I really wanted to quit and, I cannot imagine what you endured last year, sitting around and freezing in the wind all that time and then running though it!! The fact that anyone finished in that mess last year is impressive so congratulations!

  22. This: “I saw in their faces that my time didn’t mean a thing, I was about to finish something amazing and if they were that happy and excited for me, what the hell was my problem?” gave me chills. Wonderful perspective. I have a good friend (and fellow teammate) who had a BIG goal for MCM and didn’t quite make it. She (like you) still ran an INCREDIBLY fast time (she was the 22nd woman in a race of 30k) but was disappointed because she had a goal. I think it can almost be harder when you are super speedy like yourself because lots of people don’t understand why you are disappointed. I’m not a speedy bird, but I get it. HOWEVER, like you said, no one really cares about your time but you. I’ve experienced leg cramping in races and it is AWFUL. The fact that you held the pace you did is simply incredible to me. Kudos & enjoy r&r in Miami!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Delicious Dinner in 25 Minutes or Less!My Profile

    1. Oh Courtney! I was thinking of that picture of you, running MCM, when you look so excited to see the Oiselle cow bell corner and it lifted me up!! I swear, it was in my head at mile 21 and 22!! You didn’t know it, but you were out there with me too. Thank you so much for your comment and yes, perspective is something I’m trying to focus on!

  23. Congrats on an awesome race! You are so tough and inspiring to push through those rough miles! I had cramping during my last marathon, and I’m starting to realize in part it was due to not getting enough electrolytes before hand – I didn’t drink any before the race or the day before. You look so happy in all of your photos – and how sweet of your boys to cheer you on like that!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…6 Tips for Eating Healthy When the Weather Gets ColdMy Profile

    1. Obviously I did not know the full importance of electrolytes as well! Hope this helps and THANKS so much!!

  24. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your race! You really are amazing!

    Second, THANK YOU! Your perspective on your race has really helped me rethink some of my races that didn’t go according to “the plan.” That doesn’t mean they weren’t an accomplishment, or a reason to celebrate.

    I ran NY a few years ago and also had to borrow a stranger’s cell phone. Good times! And agree – runners are crazy when they lose signal in the bridge!

    Congrats again! Enjoy your vacation.
    Marilyn recently posted…BIG SUR HALF MARATHON – GOALSMy Profile

    1. I’m so glad you wrote this! This makes me feel even better about my race. I’m so happy this can give you some perspective as well and help you re-think those “failed” races. It’s so, so hard but why suck all the joy out of so many hard earned miles – both in training and the actual race? And, thank goodness for the kindness of strangers 🙂

  25. Congrats on an amazing race! I can’t believe you finished as well as you did with everything that happened – your coach is right, you really are tough and mentally strong 🙂 I always say the races that don’t go well and we have to fight the hardest to finish are the ones to be the most proud of. The race was a great experience, but there were so many factors that make it hard to run a great race and run your potential. Everyone I know was off their goal. You have a lot to be proud of here (and a few lessons learned) – congratulations!
    Beth recently posted…NYC: training recap & goalsMy Profile

    1. You are not the first to say that to me and, you know what? I have to agree! I fought so hard for that finish and earned every second of my time. Thank you!!!!

  26. You know, Allie, I think if you had run a 3:15 and had a “perfect” race (is that possible to do in the marathon, though?) I would have loved reading your recap. You know what? I loved reading this more. You are so freaking inspiring and I’m not sure you realize how many people think you’re amazing and love how you put yourself completely out there, whether it be in a race or in writing or in sharing your goals. The fact that you finished strong, happy and pulled off a phenomenal time (yes, 3:31 is a killer marathon time) – you just blow me away. I’m not sure I would have it in me to push through that pain and discomfort, but the fact that you did will definitely keep me going when I get to dark parts of the next marathon I run.
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…Hydrate with FIJI Water – Giveaway!My Profile

    1. There you go again – writing exactly what I need to hear and something that really makes me pause. Thank you so much for your friendship Carly. I’m going to do my best to be in Burlington, as a living/breathing/shouting reminder to DIG DEEP when you’re towing the line there in May! I know you have it in you mama and I cannot wait to see you achieve it!

  27. Wow okay, seriously you did phenomenally well…. i mean, REALLY!!!!! i can’t imagine running a time that fast, i’d probably knock someone out with my fist pumping and hyperventilate with emotion!!! wow. but okay, if i could pretend that i was that fast and was going for an even faster time… well then that could really suck, but the point is at the end of the day, you LOVE RuNNing! just like your bestie said. you are doing what you love so thank god for that, and really. how many people can’t even run a mile? you are killing it out there, live it up, breath in all the glory and just freakin CELEBRATE how awesome you are!!!!
    danielle recently posted…Week in Review: work, pack, travel & wedding fun!My Profile

    1. LOL – I love the excitement coming though your comment Danielle. Thank you! I intend to celebrate BIG in Miami 🙂

  28. Oh Allie! I’m sorry, but you still powered through it! When I ran my one and only marathon, my legs turned into chopping blocks at mile 16…by the time I was done, I could barely lift my foot onto a curb. I was sore for a week. I was walking like the tin man. It’s always a learning process, I suppose! You did it though!!! Congratulations!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Apples and MustardMy Profile

    1. Oh no!! That sounds truly awful. I’m happy to say that I’m already back to climbing and descending stairs like a normal human being 🙂 Swimming has helped my legs recover and I’m going to test them out tomorrow 🙂

    • Tiffany Raymond on November 4, 2015 at 7:46 PM
    • Reply

    Thank you for your recap, Allie!! Congrats again on a big win!! When I think of you, this is what I see … Behind your smile is a strong woman with a passion for running and you prove to each and every one of us how experiencing the journey is just as important as a crossing the finish line even if that means not reaching a goal! As I read your blog I shed a few tears… Your family is so wonderful and supportive!! 3:31 is phenomal and you always impress me!! I talk to my friends about you and brag how awesome you are followed by I only run a 7:53-8:00 mile. Now if I had you as my coach to run the toughest miles with, well then maybe I’d consider a marathon, but for now I’m enjoying half’s with my husband and running in honor of my buddy with Down Syndrome. I admire your strength, discipline and dedication to everything you do!! Keep being a Rockstar and remember how awesome you are!! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Tiffany. I so appreciate your comments and words of encouragement – always! And, you don’t need me to run a marathon – you have it right inside you just waiting to run it out 🙂 Thanks again!!!

  29. Allie!! I had no idea what you went through in that race. You are indeed an Academy Award winning actress!! When we were tracking you and I knew at that moment I would see you and then… there you were, running like a rock star to the finish and then smiling so beautifully!!! It was a classic, wonderful run to the finish marathon moment and I would have never known the discomfort you were going through.
    You are tough, resilient, focused and strong. You are AWESOME. I can’t help but cry reading this!! I know you didn’t get your 3:15, but you rocked this race!!! You didn’t give up and that is what the marathon is all about.
    I am so, so happy I could be there to cheer for you – everyone around us was smiling, because we were so excited to see you. Now you’ll have to meet Jerold someday, and I’ll have to meet your husband!!
    You should be so proud of what you accomplished out there!!
    Someday, I’ll have to tell you about my race last year – running for 3:15 and finishing at 3:32… it definitely humbles you, but at the end of the day, you pat yourself hard on the back and be freaking proud of what you did!!!! xoxox
    Natalie recently posted…NYCM Trip – Day Four!!!!My Profile

    1. Oh Natalie, I just can’t thank you enough! Who knew you would end up being my angel at the end of that race? And, I know we talked about 3:15 being a goal for both of us, but I had no idea you had a similar race to what I just experienced. I would love to hear all about it. And, I’m afraid I would embarrass myself if I met Jerold because I would just give him the biggest hug!! Both of your smiling faces keep flashing though my head. You will both forever be linked to my NYC Marathon finish. So awesome!!! xoxoxo

  30. I’m glad you were able to figure out what happened and learn from it AND not let it ruin your day. You should still be proud– a finished marathon is still a marathon!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Easy Healthy Baked Acorn SquashMy Profile

    1. Exactly!!! I’m feeling much better with each passing day…and slowly recovering for all the miles feels so good. Thanks Julie!

  31. I am so proud of you for hanging in there when everything got so tough. You are a true badass for hanging on for dear life. I literally had tears in my eyes reading this. You ran with your family in your heart and although not the time you wanted your family and friends are so proud of you. The marathon can be such a tricky beast. I have played that dangerous game with hydrating too much with water and not enough electrolytes and man can bad things happen. Thank you for sharing your race journey with us!

    1. Thank you so much Sandra – this means a lot to me!! Good to know you have also wrestled with the hydrating demons! Maybe someday I will get it all right 🙂

  32. Hi! New reader running NYC this November (and stalking all blogs about the race, lol). First, super congrats on your finish and for persevering!! Second, I can totally relate with the cramping. I have yet to run a marathon to what I think is my true ability because each and every single marathon I’ve done, I’ve cramped to the point of immobility. After much talk with coaches and doctors, we’ve attributed it to exactly what you said, over hydrating with little electrolytes. I begin fixing my issues this year and ran a 1/2 PR in February. I’m so hoping I can finally run a “good” marathon at NYC. Finally, because I’m so goal oriented, it was so good to read about how you looked beyond your race time to just enjoy the race. I know that’s something I need to do and work on so that I enjoy doing what I love and not become so fixated on numbers. Thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Hi Helly! So glad you found my recap…and found it useful. Sounds like you already will not be making the same mistake I did so you will be ahead of the game 🙂 NYC is truly an amazing race, unbelievably well organized and crowd support like no other. I hope you enjoy each and every mile. Good luck!!

  33. Great job! Your fitness is coming back so quickly – you are so strong! I think my favorite part of everything you shared is your finish. Thanks for another inspiring blog!

  1. […] NYC Marathon Race Recap – Allie had me crying in her race recap. “I saw in their faces that my time didn’t […]

  2. […] NYC Marathon Race Recap from Vita Train for Life. She had a rough race and came out with a great perspective. […]

  3. […] NYC Marathon Race Recap–VitaTrain4Life […]

  4. […] Allie is sharing what NOT to do when it comes to hydration for runners…but after running the NYC Marathon a couple of years ago she (unfortunately) knows all too well about the dangers of over-…. She also confesses to being a terrible hydrator in general. Learn from Allie’s experience […]

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