cover photo credit Alex Goodlett
If you’ve been following along than you know that I ran the NYC Marathon for my FOURTH time last year … yes my fourth time, and it was more amazing than the first, second and third times (as you can see)!
Running is one of the things that truly makes me feel alive. It has become extremely therapeutic and really helps me as a business owner; enduring so much pressure and stress on a daily basis. Running is a very humbling reminder that I need to always be very grateful for my health and to not get distracted by “things” I may want or haven’t yet achieved. It’s hard to look at life that way some days, especially in a world where everyone posts their “best life” on social media … but running is what brings me back, and keeps me grounded.
Regardless of my explanation, I am still always looked at with such shock and awe whenever I nonchalantly talk about running and marathons. To me it’s become just a regular part of my life, but I do realize this is not normal for most people! Everyone always asks “What do you think about for 26 miles?!” First of all, I always correct them by saying “it’s 26.2 miles” ha-ha! And explain my thoughts through miles …
Mile 1 – I tell myself – Ok, here we go, 4th NYC Marathon, you’ve done this 3 times successfully, you’ve got this, just take it slow, breathe, relax, let everyone pass you and don’t let it be a distraction …
Mile 2 – Still feeling amazing, just got over the Verrazano Bridge, Staten Island is always pretty quick and painless …
Mile 3 – (Officially in Brooklyn) Ok, we are here until mile 13 so you better settle in and enjoy the sights & crowds in Brooklyn, things tend to get crowded on the narrow streets so just take it slow, it’s not a race yet, we are still warming up …
Mile 6 – (Still in Brooklyn) I personally mile mark in my head 3, 6, 9, etc. so that I am breaking up the race into sections and not counting mile after mile … hitting that 6 mile mark and knowing there are 20.2 miles left is still stressful but I am continuously telling myself to stay slow, stick with my pace, don’t go too fast, I am my own cheerleader through this.
Mile 9 – (Still in Brooklyn) Why are we still in Brooklyn!? Ah! Ok I’ve got this, by the time we hit 12 we’ll be SO close to Queens!
Mile 12 – Creeping into Queens, we are so close, cutting through Williamsburg, I can almost see it!
Mile 13 – Hello Queens! 2 boroughs down, only 3 to go, you’ve got this!
Mile 14 – I am so happy, taking in the crowds, giving high fives, but I can’t use too much energy because I know that Queensboro Bridge is going to require a lot of stamina to power through …
Mile 15 – (Queensboro Bridge) It is pretty silent, you can sometimes hear other runners yelling “let’s go guys we got this!” and it’s really motivating. I usually save my energy, I stick with being a cheerleader in my head, I don’t want to yell or use up the energy I am going to need later. This may be beyond the halfway point but the workload ahead is only getting started!
Mile 16 – We’re starting to turn off the bridge and I can see the crowds in Manhattan – woo! Manhattan! Here we come! 3 boroughs down!
Mile 18 – I usually get carried by the crowd after the toughness of that bridge that I don’t even notice where I am until mile 18, which is another mental mile marker for me.
Mile 20 – This is when we begin to enter the Bronx, and I am feeling pretty good now because this is also when it’s time to focus and get that final 10k done, and done strong. I just put in TWENTY miles, there is no way I am stopping!
Mile 22 – We are officially on fifth avenue, and this is an uphill battle to the finish line … 4 miles left may not seem like such a huge deal but a slow incline after 22 miles feels exactly like I am running with sneakers full of cement … but I power through, I keep telling myself you’re already this far, let’s go, everyone is watching and cheering, they know you can do it, you know you can do it, so let’s do this!!!
Mile 24 – (Central Park) This year in particular I remember yelling into someone’s camera, while they’re videotaping, “Central Park hell yeah!!” and some people in the crowd started laughing and cheering. It was a pretty big moment for me since in years prior I would be walk/running at this point … not this time, I was still running and holding onto my steady pace.
Mile 25 – This always feels like complete hell, if I am going to be honest – In my head I always wish it felt faster going from mile 24 – mile 26 ( I wish we could just skip mile 25!) but it doesn’t, it feels like you are running in slow motion …
Mile 26 – This is it, the last mile, I tell myself to enjoy it, take in the crowds that have filled up Central Park, enjoy these final minutes of what you worked so hard for and what you are about to accomplish yet again!
Finish line – I actually had energy this year to yell and jump when I saw my family, and to power through and do a little dance right through that finish line. There are no words that can explain the emotion that takes over from start to finish, and everyone has a different journey, but the end result is always the same – to finish.
I have motivated others to run the NYC Marathon so maybe you’re next!
In my hopes to get you motivated, here is (some of) my NYC Marathon playlist (because it is sort of a pain finding new music + my actual marathon playlist is 50+ songs!) … download these songs, get yourself excited for the new year, and great things to come … and if you think you may want to run your first marathon = yay! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me for advice or help!
- Animal – Zayde Wolf
- Higher – The Score
- My Type – Saint Motel
- We Run This – Missy Elliott
- Glorious (feat. Skylar Grey) – Macklemore
- Warriors – Imagine Dragons
- Take Over Control (feat. Eva Simons) – Afrojack
- Cinderella Man – Eminem
- Legend – The Score
- Natural – Imagine Dragons
- Here Comes the Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
- New York Groove – Ace Frehley
- Dirt Off Your Shoulder – Jay Z
- High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco
- Feel Again – OneRepublic
OXO Michelle Elaine