I started out on Staten Island and headed over the Verrazano Bridge with the thousands of other runners. Once we got into Brooklyn, I was able to run at my goal pace due to the wider roads and the ability for all the runners to spread out. For the first 10 miles I felt fine and was able to run at the speed I wanted to, but as I approached the half marathon point from there, I could feel myself start to lose steam. By the time we crossed the bridge from Brooklyn into Queens, I knew I had lost it and my legs started to give. I tried to push through, but had to begin alternate running and walking.
In the 2 miles in Queens, I realized that I was not going to have the race I had planned to, but I was more than halfway done and needed to finish my eighth marathon. The uphill on the 59th Street bridge was tough but once I crested it, the downhill felt much better, since I could let gravity carry me. From the bridge I could hear the crowds on 1st Ave, and it was invigorating to know the big crowd was right around the corner.
The energy of the crowd is infectious as we turn off the bridge and onto 1st Ave. Seeing friends and family helped my morale as I left the bridge and headed north towards the Bronx. Unfortunately 1st Ave is an incline and it affected my running, but I kept going up to the Willis Ave Bridge to loop around the Bronx. It definitely helped to have one of the American Cancer Society Team DetermiNation coaches run with me for a little bit before leaving the Bronx, but even that wasn’t enough to keep me going strong before leaving the borough.
Once back in Manhattan, it was three miles until running into Central Park, the final leg of the race. Although Fifth Ave was also an incline, much of the park was downhill, which felt good and let me move at a pace closer to the one I had hoped to run that day. Exiting the park at mile 25, we ran on 59th St along the outside of the south end of Central Park, where I was able to push through the pain and finish strong. Turning right to head north and back into the park at Columbus Circle was a straight run up the west side of the park to finally finish the 26.2 mile journey.
While I did not have a good race by my own standards, I was happy to have completed my eighth marathon (and fourth NYC Marathon). My finishing time was 5:10:57, which just gives me a goal of bringing me back to my former times in my next races as I look to achieve the goal of running all six marathon majors.