Sunday, July 3, 2011

Leading up to Race Day - NYC 2010

Asics! NYC is all about running--my kinda of town.

In less than one day, my training for NYC is going to start. As I sit here and reminisce about what I love about the NYC marathon and what made it so special, I thought I might as well share with you how my experience was leading up to race day, Nov 7, 2010.

Heidi and I flew to Newark Thursday night. The flight was cheaper compared to flying into LGA or JFK (we saved over $200 a piece, but not the case this year.)  Heidi arranged for a Lincoln Town pickup which made us feel like rock stars and we got into Manhattan in about 20 minutes tops.  We stayed at the Pennsylvania Hotel which is across from the Madison Square Garden. It was late so we decided to go to bed so that we can go to the expo the next day, Friday, to take advantage of the thin crowd. When I awoke Friday morning, I was aghast  to see the view from my window. When I drew the shades open, "Is that the Empire...? It can't be. We both looked at the map, and it was.

 My first thought was I hope we ain't paying a premium for this view.  Haha!

Our room at Pennsylvania Hotel. No bed bugs.

Our bed-bug-free room

Ah Starbucks! How nice to see you.  We love their oatmeal, bananas and the very awesome, grande soy latte with one pump of ginger spice. That would be our breakfast template for the next 3 days.  After eating, we were off to the Expo.  We'll skip to the part where we got lost and was headed in the wrong direction for about 30 minutes on foot. That just adds to the adventure, but all was well, that's what we get for not wanting to go back upstairs to our hotel room to retrieve our map.

Javits Expo Center

 The Javits Center Expo was a gigantic hall. When we got there it was still fairly early, not crowded yet, but it was starting to fill up with runners. The volunteers and organizers, were super friendly, and they all wore great hug big smiles to welcome us.


This guy checked my registration. See the smile? There was no line.

Happy runners getting checked in.

Heidi checking in.
After getting checked in, our info pops up on the monitor. Notice the people from all over the world?

There was a line forming to take the pic. I got my bib number.
Heidi and I with our bibs.
Back at the hotel, we investigated our merchandise and low and behold, we found out that Heidi was overcharged. Made a few phone calls to settle the matter and we were off to shop some more for my family.  My daughter wanted a gray sweatshirt with the words New York in it. So we're in the hunt for that.
This was my purchase, my NYC marathon jacket and stuff for the family.

Back at the hotel, the loot all spread out.
Found it: A gray hoody with the words NY.

Walking around after we got our stuff from the Expo.

While exploring NY, who should we run into? 

We couldn't pass this up.

Heidi found the Singing Cowboy while here I was with Elmosito.

Friday was a great day, we had a nice dinner at the corner store with pizza and salad. No fanfare but the price was right. We got back to our hotel to relax and called it a night. The next morning, Saturday, we were up early to take a small jaunt at Central Park.  We took a cab after our Starbucks breakfast and ran the last 3 miles of the marathon course. The Friendship 5K run was also going on the same time at the Park so we got to see that. Sorry I didn't have pictures to show you of that day, since I left my battery at the hotel. No wonder my camera was light. What a dufus I was.

Saturday: 3 miler shake out in Central Park with my buddy Heidi. Am I really that short?

Saturday: Oops! Was told to put my camera away at this Broadway show.

After our run at the park, we got back at the hotel and got ready for the Broadway Show.  My birthday gift from Heidi was tickets to Wicked!  This was my very first NY Broadway show ever and it was awesome.  I would highly recommend runners visiting NY to see a show the night before a marathon.  It kept us relaxed, less nervous and somewhat took our mind off the race for a little bit. 

After the Broadway show, we stopped by a restaurant to have our carbo load on. It was one of those restaurants where you pick your ingredients. You tell the cook behind the counter what you want in it and you can see  right there as he whips it out in matter of minutes.  Again, the price was right. After dinner, we walked back to our hotel room and it was all business.  We laid out our running gear, inlcluding breakfast for the race the next day.   We called it a night.  I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. as I had to be at the Ferry by 6:30.  But in order to get there I had to take a cab first. 

  My Brooks Ravenna ready to accompany me to an eventual PR.

 Bib info: Wave 3, corral #44, Blue Village
Got my two fuel belt flasks, with 6 Power gels, ipod, sunglasses, arm warmers, Athleta tank, my Sugoi Mid-zero tights and my Sugoi running cap.

These are my throw-away sweats that I bought from a thrift shop in San Luis Obispo. A truck picks up the clothes to give  back to charity.
Race Day Sunday: Gear on and ready to go at 5:30am

For all the details on Race Day, you can check out my blog and page on "My First NYC Marathon".

All cleaned up after the race
Me after the race, getting ready for dinner.

There were three things on the agenda for Monday after the race: get our medals engraved, go to Tiffany's and meet up with Julie and her husband for the taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show. It turned out to be a great plan since we really needed to do a lot of walking to shake off the stiffness associated with the soreness after running a marathon.  

It was a rainy Monday. Thankfully, we dodged the rain by one day. We set out for Central Park to get our medals engraved. That was a first for me, as I never do. The cost was $20--oh that's why I never do.   After the Park, we hailed a cab to Tifanny's.  I was going to be good and walk out of there with nothing...I almost did.
Monday: The day after the race, there's the blue bag.

After romping around Tiffany's we had about an hour or two to kill before the taping were to start. We had time to walk around Rockefeller Center, got to walk around the NBC store and I found this shirt for my daughter that she's been wanting.  We also had time to find the famous Magnolia's Bakery. In less than two minutes the cupcakes were gone.

Elena's favorite show.

 Rockefeller center: We missed the X'mas tree ceremony by 7 days.

  Another famous NYC landmark

 Famous Catholic Church, St. Pat's Cathedral

Thanks to Julie for getting those tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show. By the way, Jimmy's show was great. His guest at the time was Scarlett Johanssen. They talked about her marriage with Ryan Reynolds and how things were going great. Days later, she would announce her separation and impending divorce!  We were not allowed to use our cameras inside the studio so all I took was this picture from the waiting room.
Waiting for Jimmy Fallon...

On the flight home Tuesday, we both proudly wore our hardware. Many people inquired about our medals, from the flight attendants, vendors, cab drivers to waitresses.  We readily shared our experiences and the fun we had.  Non-runners are so receptive to our experience, I lost count of the number of times we've heard so many people say, "I might have to try that next year."  That was music to our ears. Our heartfelt response is always, "Of course, you can.  We did it. So can you."


I can't believe it's over.


  1. Hi Eileen- Enjoyed reading your NYC 2010 experience. The NYC 2011 will be my first Marathon. Good luck on your training!!

  2. Hi MMV, Thank you for reading. Good luck on your training too. I guarantee it you will have the greatest time of your life. The crowd support is unbelievable--they will carry you through your finish.

  3. By the way my husband is from the Philippines, I am originally form Lima, Peru. I'm trying the Novice 2 and modified it a bit. So you are saying that you do hills every 3 wks?

  4. MMV, So are you learning a few Tagalog words? Yes, the hills repeat: hills,tempo,speed,hills, tempo, speed--for 18 weeks. It's great b/c it gives the body a chance to recover from the new stress that you're introducing it to. I'm much more careful now about spacing out my hillwork, since I've hurt my achilles and aggravated my piriformis for doing too much. I would love to hear how your training is going. Stay in touch!
    Happy 4th!