"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lady Gaga?, NYC Recap + New Groove

Well well well, I'm finally back in AZ and updating my blog! :) I didn't bring my computer to NYC so I wouldn't have to worry about checking email, facebook, etc. I'll try to keep everything somewhat brief, since I've already had over a week now to think about my race.

The week leading up to the race left me feeling pretty relaxed and not rushed or panic-stricken that I didn't have enough time to put my feet up, as is the case at some races. I had the pleasure of driving (or should I say sitting) in NYC traffic at rush hour, (we moved 3 blocks in 1.5 hours)..laughable now yet worst experience driving EVER! :0( Anyway, mom and I had fun watching Sammy and her team race at the Big East Championships in Syracuse and then enjoyed a few days with her before settling smack dab in the middle of mid-town Manhattan the last days leading up to the race.

I had a blast decorating my bottles with leopard print duct tape, bright pipe cleaners and some frilly red stuff to add some fun. I attached my Jet Blackberry GUs, labeled them for my specific tables, took pics (as you can see above) and dropped them off at the hotel. The pre-race technical meeting got my heart racing and I had to take a few deep breaths when I felt incredibly nervous. Mom, Sam and I went to dinner together and came back to the hotel to relax for the night.

Surprisingly I slept pretty well for the few hours I managed to fall asleep. Mom and Sam walked me to the big charter buses awaiting all the elite athletes. Police cars and motorcycles escorted us through the city and over to Staten Island. I hung out and relaxed in the nice heated tents before warming up and eventually heading to the start line with the rest of the women. I made sure my awesome leopard arm warmers were in place and also put vaseline all over my legs and some on my face to protect me from the wind and cold. I found out after the race that Toni Reavis likened my clothing style to "a faster version of Lady Gaga" on the NBC broadcast, LOL...who knew pink and leopard is so eye catching? :)

The race started off at a pedestrian 6:54 first mile..I looked at my watch once when I felt like we were jogging and we were!!- 7 min pace at one point! I thought to myself "please don't have this be another Boston-2009 race"...thank goodness things swiftly quickened at the mile mark and the race got rolling. Some women took off super fast but I stuck to running around my goal pace and not kill my legs in the first 5-10k. I eventually passed all the women ahead of me and at one point I knew I was making ground on the lead pack and someone yelled to me that I was only 36 seconds back. I felt great and excited to be hitting my goal of running my miles in the 5:40's.

Unfortunately everything changed around mile 10. I started to have a side cramp on my right side and it wouldn't go away. My pace gradually slowed as the pain felt like a knife going deeper and deeper. The last 10 miles I had hope to at least run 6 min pace or just under, in order to at least run sub 2:35. As the miles ticked away my hopes and dreams slipped down the drain as well. I started to get upset and fought back tears while trying not to have a major asthma-type breathing freak out moment. I'll spare you the horrible thoughts that went through my head but they were so awful and things someone should never think about themself. It's amazing what pain and feelings of embarrassment can do to your mentality. Somehow I managed to finish in 2:41 flat and walked back to the hotel with legs that felt like they had just done a hard long run. I have to say though that the crowds this year were AMAZING. I have never had so much support and screaming from everyone on the sidelines! I think having my first name across my bib helped yet it still shocked me how great they were. I got through the hardest moments in the race because of the people cheering. It definitely tops the list for best crowds now...:)

Right now I am not sure on when I will do another marathon. I have thought as early as a couple months from now or I may wait a bit longer. It all depends on how the next few weeks go for me. I took two days off after NYC, did not feel sore AT ALL and my runs every day since last Wed when I started running have felt good. I'm planning to go with my gut instinct and race when I feel I'll be ready to tackle it all over again. I know my fitness still exists and I desperately want to show myself and all my supporters what I am REALLY capable of. The NYRR do such a fantastic job taking care of us athletes and I cannot thank them and all their staff members enough! Hopefully I'll be back someday to race a much faster marathon :)

I definitely enjoyed the past week of eating the foods I didn't eat for 82 days!! I had some fun doing a little shopping at my favorite store- True Religion!! :):) and brought back some goodies for D and K. Now only if they made dog shirts, hehe ;) I went to New Haven, CT with a friend of mine to watch Sammy race in her NE Regional XC Champs and that was fun. The weather was beautiful and I lost my voice (still) from screaming at her so much. Now it's time to get in a new groove of training and racing, continue to have fun with what I do and most importantly, stay relentlessly positive about making all my dreams come true. One sub-par performance can't tear you down forever...

Pics: From Sammy's races, my special fluid bottles and me before the race at the hotel

Quote for today: "Our greatest battles are that with our own minds."- Jameson Frank


  1. Sally, I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have the kind of race you were hoping for, but it sounds like you toughed it out when the going got tough. It goes to show how strong you are. It takes a lot of strength and courage to hang in there when things are not going your way. Congrats on still finishing in an impressive time. I would love to have the time you finished as my PR. :-) You will no doubt have many more great races to come.

  2. AWWWW I looove the pics of usss =] I love you so much Sal and to have you and mamma here with me was amazing!! I enjoyed watching you race so much!!! It was also emotional for me to see you so strong! I teared up when you blew me that kiss at mile 8. I don't care what you say, you did amazing for being in so much pain. You are a rockstar =] I love you!! 29 days!!!! XOXOXOXXOXOXO<3 <3 <3

  3. I too am sorry to hear of the problems you had during the race but you hung in there and overcame the negative talk you had going on in your head. I'm so proud to know you and see the awesome things you are doing.