Runlife
November 05, 2013

LIVE from New York: It's a Marathon Recap!

Sally Bergesen

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Some thoughts on running NYC this past Sunday:

1. 50,000 is an awesome group for a long run. My goal this race was to focus on the experience and make it positive. So I really just tried to chill the F out and keep it simple by thinking of everyone in the race as a big group of running friends.

2. Even pirates need a captain. This was my best training streak in 3 years because I followed Captain Fleshman's master plan of marathon-enjoyment-domination. A perfect mix of pragmatic intensity that let me drop a few workouts if my schedule got nuts, but ramp it up for just the right level of confidence (the sub-7 min 10 mile tempo was clutch).

3. Poop it out then move on. I had two sad bathroom stops (miles 11 and 13) but they were fast (30 sec?) and once I was rolling again, I felt game on. Best part? Duh. Poop talk. The universal language of runners…it unites us all.

4. It's not about me. Running for something bigger (raising awareness and funds for Every Mother Counts) allowed me to transcend the crazy brain that comes with being a competitor and the tendency to have your finish time = your value as a human. Boo on that.

5. Love your run neighbor. I got super smitten with the little French flag paint streaks that the Frenchies were applying to each other's cheeks at the start line, and so asked if I could be in the club. With laughs they humored me, and I got to enjoy a sharing ritual I've always envied from soccer: teams swapping jerseys at the end of a meet in a show of respect and unity.

6. Stop for selfie requests. Saw and talked to a lot of people on the course. Met this one gal on the Queensborough Bridge. She spotted my kit and shouted out that her friend was an ambassador, she wanted to be one, and would I take a selfie with her. Yeah sure, I offered to stop. She said, nah we can keep running. So we slow jogged through a few shots and then off we went. First marathon selfie.

7. Get on your gratitude. One thing Fleshy suggested was that I use the bridges to focus on gratitude (balanced by other parts in the course where, you know, I would destroy humanity in an assassination style push to the finish...) And because the bridges are quieter, this was perfect. I just let my mind get quiet and drift around to all the people I am so fortunate to have in my life…from my home crew, husband and girls, to The Nest who I felt bangin' their virtual cowbell…to the women who honor us by wearing the singlet and showing up for get togethers and cheering…to the #TeamEMC peeps who are like family…to my travel buddies @drlesko, @fastk8, @hutch_ec and @The_Woz_. And during the start, when no less than 8 NYPD helicopters hovered ominously at eye level along the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, I also felt gratitude for the level of protection we were given following the tragedy in Boston.

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Marathon. I still can't say I love you. But I respect you. And 11/3 was a good day to be alive and moving my legs. Finishing in 3:20:12 and feeling good at the end was a huge win. Best of all, the love from our #runfamily made everything amazing. Your energy = our inspiration. I can't wait to see where we all fly next.

xoxo

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