Friday, November 6, 2009

nyc marathon: journey to the start

i woke up on race day before my 4:30 alarm. i wasn't feeling 100% as i had hoped, but i also wasn't feeling as bad as i have before. i was assigned to the 6:00am ferry, and we needed to leave the hotel a little after 5:00 to catch the subway down to the staten island ferry. as j and i walked to the subway station, we saw a few people returning from their halloween parties and passed a club that had a small crowd of people leaving. wow people, how do you have that kind of stamina to party til 5am? the one drink i had saturday night put me to bed! there were also a few halloween creatures on our train, but it was mostly filled with dedicated runners from a variety of countries. i sat next to a rather smelly non-runner man for most of the ride which didn't help the nausea much.

while on the train, j helped tape a couple of my homemade pace bands around my wrist. i know i can get frustrated when i fall off pace, so i had a few 'backup' plans to keep me from giving up mentally. in reality, my "a" and "b" goals were probably too lofty considering how much the nausea interfered with my training. when we got to the ferry station, j taped the third pace band on ("plan b") and i decided to go ahead and ditch "plan a". i was still feeling slightly nauseous, and i knew it wasn't race-nerves. i wasn't nervous about the race and my performance like i would be normally; i was still worried about surviving but that's caused by the nausea and not the other way around. with plans b (big pr), c (less as big of a pr), and d (pr by a couple seconds) around my wrist, i said goodbye to j and boarded the ferry. i found a seat facing sideways (i don't do well with riding backwards) and tried to ignore the not-always-smooth ride; which was not too soothing for the nausea. (seriously, this crap has been annoying!)

the ferry ride took a little under half an hour, and then it was a short bus ride to fort wadsworth. it was cold and dripping -- not raining and not drizzling, just the occasional drip -- but that didn't last long (thankfully, as i spent almost three hours sitting outside waiting for the race to start). after a slow walk to/through the security tent to show your bib number and clear plastic bag, i was officially in the runner's village. i went in search of some coffee; i wanted to expedite some business along and warm up a little from the inside. i found the dunkin donuts tent and then basically hung out. i visited the porta potties 3 times (i think?), sat down for awhile, tried rolling my left quad with a bottle of water (it had randomly started aching saturday afternoon and was still whiny), and listened to my pre-race playlist (all 3 songs). yes, 3 songs, on repeat, for a couple of hours; you may think i'm weird for that. it worked for disney (when there were only two songs); i added jay-z's "empire state of mind" for this occasion. i ate a couple of homemade oatmeal bars and people-watched. some of you were treated to this lovely photo of an italian man:


i know, i'm so lucky to have witnessed this in person. imaging sitting there, minding your own business, and then you look up and see frank and beans a few feet over. thanks italy! shortly after he applied his anti-chafe (i assume), a few of his countrymen also dropped trou to rub their legs too. most of them had on spandex shorts at least.

i got up to ask the medical tent for ibuprofen (for my quad) but they didn't have any. i dealt with crappy at&t service not letting me send/receive texts for most of the morning, but was able to get in touch with rick the marathonman. thank goodness at&t wasn't a complete fail because he was sharing a couple of much-needed gu's with me! i had packed 5 gu's when i left south carolina two weeks ago but could only find 2 when i was packing in kentucky for the race (oh how i love living on the road). while emailing with rick during the week about meeting up, he offered to bring a few to the race for me. how awesome are our fellow runners? :o) {thanks again rick for the gu's!}


a little before 9am, i headed back over to the ups trucks to turn in my bag and change into my racing flats. i was glad i had worn a different pair of shoes because it was wet and muddy in the village. i wore the same pair of saucony grid type a2's that i wore in the disney half marathon in january, the race that qualified me for nyc. i hadn't raced since then, so those shoes still had well under 50 miles when i put them on for nyc. i met rick, got the gu hookup, and we chatted as we headed to the water tent. i didn't realize how close it was to my starting time until i heard announcements that wave two runners could head towards their corrals. umm, i was supposed to be in wave 1! we said a quick good-bye, i made one last trip to the porta-potty, and hustled over to the starting corrals.

major cluster. there were people crowding the corral entrances which were blocked off by volunteers and i had no clue how to get in. i saw a couple guys climb up and over the 8-foot fence, and i knew i'd have to do the same. i noticed the fence was "secured" by being tied to the next section of fence, but what else could i do? i stripped my $10 walmart sweatpants, hopped the fence, and was caught by a guy on the other side. (thanks, random runner guy for making sure i didn't fall.) i looked around and most of the bib numbers were for corral g (i was corral d). no big deal, at least i had made it into my wave. although i arrived to the race site with three hours to spare, i still managed to almost-miss the start. go me. the crowd began shuffling forward as we were herded towards the start line.

37 comments:

  1. ok...its like the 30 minute episode of the Office---I want more!!!!

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  2. That's one thing that I don't find fun about such big marathons, getting there so early in order to take care of bidness. Franks and beans though, that almost makes up for it.

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  3. Ahhhh, I want to hear about the race!

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  4. This is all very interesting. I've never heard about marathon competitions from this perspective. All that corral and wave stuff intimidates me, but it looks like you know what to do. Heck with all the training you put into this, I'd probably jump a fence to make sure I raced too.:)

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  5. and the race was...??? great pre race report by the way...frank and beans sounds/looks so fun..especially when one is nauseous!...NYC marathon is one i want to do...not sure bout jumping 8ft fences though! go you!!!

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  6. Great meeting you. Glad I got the gels to you in time. I'm looking forward to your race report too! I'm having writer's block myself with my report. So, I'll attempt it again today or tomorrow.

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  7. That picture of frank and his beans is priceless! OMG!!

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  8. Wow, NYC is MUCH MORE chaotic than Boston. You won't have to hassle that much in April. Great report!!!

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  9. Ha! nice pic!! Great report so far. Can't wait to read the rest! See yatroa in Boston

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  10. I love the way your breaking up the race report nice job. I'm pumped about it.

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  11. You have me hanging on the edge of my couch... great pre-race report, felt the pre-race tension.

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  12. There is NEVER a dull moment at an international marathon...I love the "colour!" Frank and beans would have made my whole marathon, you're lucky!
    You had some many plans/goals but I know it feels good to have thought it all out, just in case!
    Can't wait to hear more!

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  13. frank and beans...LOL!!
    can't wait to hear about the race itself! :)

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  14. wow, i don't know if I could wait so long at the start to actually start running, that would make me SO much more nervous

    i also do NOT know how people can party til 5am...thats one thing I really don't like about ny, close earlier haha

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  15. That Italian guy brought back an image I was trying to forget of a European guy in Honolulu with a wet, white speedo.;) I've never run a race with corrals...sounds crazy.

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  16. You're killing me!!!! LOL! :)

    Girl I don't know how you have dealt with this nausea thing for the past couple weeks and on race day to boo! :(

    Anxiously awaiting the rest!!!!

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  17. Ugh. At least you made it in. There were no announcements or signage in the orange area either. I only knew to get over early because someone I spoke to almost got shut out the year before but man, was it crazy. The volunteers were shutting people out and yelling at the fence jumpers while I was still sitting on the ground in the corral. Nuts, and like an above commenter noted...its far more organized at Boston (where I was still in the port o john line close to the start when the gun went off, and still started with the first wave.)

    Also regarding that dude? Ew. The Italians were smoking over in the orange village.

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  18. Franks and beans ... thats hilarious ... it goes to show you that you never know what you'll see at a big marathon like that.

    I can't wait to hear the rest of the race report ...

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  19. LMAO at the frank and beans... glad you made in time for the race, nice ob on the suspense :)

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  20. Ohmygosh, the insanity! I'm on edge waiting for the rest of the story! (in that respect, you suck...because I'm antsy!! haha!) :)

    That picture of the dude's *ahem* junk is hilarious!!!

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  21. That's why big races stress me out. Awesome atmosphere, high probability of choas.

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  22. I love this post, and then I loved reading the companion piece: Rick's. Oh, when blog buddies meet. Well done on your dace - I can't wait to hear more about it! :)

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  23. What a way to get the race day started with some frank and beans!

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  24. love the detail in here....keep it coming

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  25. Thanks for continuing to tell us the tale, Lindsay--way to keep us engaged! (Though, to tell you the truth, I'm wondering now if I do want to run NY after all!)

    I'm still thinking of you and praying you're feeling well.

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  26. Now I know why my little 1/2 marathon was so enjoyable for me. No crowds, no time restriction, just drive there and go!
    Can't wait to hear the rest. I was enjoying myself and then it just ended!
    Next time, can ya get a zoom lens for the franks/beans from Italy??!!!

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  27. you always seem to find the friendly runners out there, don't you? marathonman gives you Gu, and a random guy catches you. nice!!

    what's been making you so nauseous lately? I'm so sorry you've been feeling like crap, but hey, you still got a huge pr in this race, didn't you? I find 6 minutes to be HUGE.

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  28. ahhhh i love this but i want it to keep going!!!! haha you love leaving us in suspense :)

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  29. I'm loving this report!

    I can't tell you how many times I have gotten into the corral late despite being there SUPER DUPER early. The time just flies by with all of those washroom visits.

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  30. Looking at your picture I realize that we were probably sitting really close to each other.

    I saw so many people jump over those fences, I hope no one got hurt.

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  31. Girl when do we get to read about the race....you're killing me here!

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  32. Being late into the corral despite showing up WAY early is definitely something I would do! Glad you made it in safely, though. Can't wait to read the next part! :)

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  33. Girl, you are a rockstar! That is an awesome race. I just read all your posts about the race...you should be proud of yourself. Congratulations on a great race!!!

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  34. I remember those days of being able to stay up late to party...don't miss them though! That frank and beans photo is awesome, but pretty gross!

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  35. HA, I had to laugh about that Italian guy just dropping trou like that in public. EUWWWW!!

    Glad you made it to the race start. Look forward to hearing more!

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  36. I had no idea the corrals were locked at 9 am and made it in on with only a couple of minutes to sapre. I saw people trying to fence hop, but the volunteers were stopping most of them -- so I think you got lucky sneaking in. Waiting 40 minutes for wave two would be a drag.

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