Saturday, November 5, 2016

NYC Marathon Expo and Race Prep

I am ready to run the marathon in the morning!

This race has had so much hype and I am told is the best marathon in the world so I am excited for the moment to finally be here to experience it for myself.

I arrived in New York City on Friday morning and after getting to where I am staying and dropping my bags, I immediately head over to the race expo. The race expo was by far the BIGGEST and most complex race expo I have ever been to. The Javits center is huge and it was just buzzing with runners from around the world coming in to get ready for the race.

The process of getting my bib and t-shirt was really fast and seamless and the volunteers were everywhere. They even had volunteers standing around with shirts that you could try on to ensure that you got the size that you wanted. I loved that! I wish more races had that option because I have so many shirts from races that I actually really love, but will never wear because the shirt size was just way off from what I had predicted.

I checked out the merchandise but didn't purchase anything for like the first time in a long time of any race expo that I can remember and then immediately walked into the beginning of Meb Keflezighi giving a talk at the expo at the Powerbar booth! It was super cool and I stopped to listen to the whole thing, hearing him talk about his victory in 2014 in Boston and the Olympics this summer. When his talk was over, they said that they would start autographs and pictures, beginning immediately with where I was standing! It was a pretty weird coincidence but I ended up being about 3rd in line to be able to have Meb sign my race bib and pose for a selfie.

When I rounded another corner, I ran immediately into one of my other running idols, Katharine Switzer! She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and a huge contributor to changing regulations in order to allow women to even be allowed to run marathons. She is also a Syracuse University alum, so of course I think she is incredible! I hadn't realized she had written a book so I waited a few minutes to be able to buy her book, say hello, and get my second picture and bib autograph from a running legend!

The rest of the race expo was pretty uneventful. It was actually so large it was a little overwhelming to me. I walked around a bit but really just wanted to get out of there. It was extremely crowded and I was anxious to get something to eat and enjoy the outdoors. My friend Sergio who used to live in Atlanta had joined me for the expo and following it we stopped and grabbed some pizza. New York City is famous for much, and great pizza is one of them!

After relaxing for a bit, I then had the opportunity to meet up with my dad and have a very cool experience of going behind the scenes to see the marathon finish line! For the second year now, my dad has been working as a contractor for the marathon events group and in order to even have any time to see him this weekend (since he is working) I was able to join him and other members of New York Road Runners and the events team for a dinner at Tavern on the Green. It is right by the finish line set up, so I joined the staff for a walk through and geeked out for the third time that day taking tons of pictures by the finish.

This is the first time I have had one of my parents at one of my marathons (which is not their fault - I am the one that picks far away races!) so it was really nice to see him on Friday evening!

Saturday morning I slept in then started the day with a short shake out run. I ran for 15 minutes with some easy running and then a few surges/sprints/pace mix ups to get my legs awake. My watch did not find a GPS signal for the whole time I was running today, which does not give me high hopes that I will be able to find a signal tomorrow for the race. I have been mentally prepping myself that I will be running "blind" and hoping maybe for a miracle in the morning.

I stretched and foam rolled after and ate a big breakfast of an egg and cheese bagel. The day was pretty easy going, I relaxed for most of it and gave myself one final boost of inspiration by painting my nails with the NYC Marathon colors and "NYC" on one thumb and "26.2" on the other. It's tacky and cheesy, but I love it because it also reminds me of my first marathon when I decorated my nails and ended up in hysterical laughter after teasing back and forth with my friends. My cheesy designs today are in honor of my running buddies from Paris Marathon, who helped get me into this whole crazy marathon world thing.

I met up with my friend Kristen, walked around a bit, watched part of the football game where Syracuse got slaughtered by Clemson, drank a beer, and ate some pasta and bread for dinner. I think I am pretty sufficient on the carbs for today!

My outfit is lay out for tomorrow, I have my bag ready and my race plan prepped. I am hoping to remember all the places where I should see my friends along the course and excited to just get this show on the road! The morning logistics have me a bit nervous as it is a little more complex than any other race I have done. I need to walk to the NY Public Library, then take a bus (at 5:30 a.m.) to Staten Island. I arrive there at 7:00 a.m. (approximately) then have 3 hours and 15 minutes to wait around until the marathon starts. I am hoping I don't drain my phone battery in that time, that I am able to stay warm, find bathrooms, and figure out a plan to eat with such a long time between when I wake up and when I race.

Thanks for reading along and for everyone who has already sent me messages wishing me good luck. I will be thinking of you all tomorrow!! XOXO

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