NYC Marathon!

*For future running posts, follow me at JustAllieRuns. New York or bust!

I’m finally in! After 3 long years on the wait list, I finally got into the NYC Marathon! I started ‘officially’ training on July 3rd, and in an effort to stick to my training plan, (and make it across the finish line in one piece!) I’m going to attempt to take a picture of every training day. I’ll be running three times a week + one long run on the weekends + doing one day of crosstraining. Here’s a link to the plan I’ll be following- feel free to cheer me on (or call me out if I miss a day!) 🙂

Day 1: July 3rd; 3 miles

Day 2: Happy 4th of July! Waited until 9p to go running, still hot as Hades; 3 miles

Day 3: July 5th; Took a break from the heat to watch trash TV and run on the treadmill; 3 miles

Day 4: July 7th; 6 sweaty miles in hot, hot Central Park

Day 5: July 8th; 60 minute Flow @YogaVida

Day 6: July 10th; 3 mile struggle before work, definitely needed some jams to keep going

Day 7: July 11th; ~5 mile Lululemon group run with Sheeva- had always been intimidated by group runs, but loved this one!

Day 8: July 12th; FAILURE. Just couldn’t get out of bed- starting to realize the mental commitment it takes to really train! Let’s hope this doesn’t happen often…

Day 9: July 14th; Back home in SC! Sending twin sis Elliott off to Australia/London/Paris for a year- read about her adventures here! Only had time to run 6 miles instead of the scheduled 7, just didn’t plan well enough to squeeze everything in!

Day 10: July 15th; Still in SC 🙂 Cross-training day, felt guilty about the missing mile so did hill intervals on the treadmill for 30 minutes followed by a Nike Get Training workout (have you done one, that junk is hard!)

Day 11: July 17th; Can you tell I desperately need to do laundry // invest in new running clothes? Donations gladly accepted! ~3.5 miles

Day 12: July 18th; Planned on joining the Lululemon running group again tonight, but the weather had different plans (see pic). 4 treadmill miles instead at Blink.

Image credit: @dhanijones

Day 13: July 20th; Early (rainy!) 3 mile run before work, after which I refueled with some delicious chocolate milk. Fun fact: I don’t buy ‘regular’ milk for my coffee, I only buy chocolate milk like a 12 year old 😉 (It’s skim, too!)

Day 14: July 21st; The schedule said 5 miles, but I decided to switch this week’s mileage and next week’s mileage- 9 miles. My mom, aunt, and cousin are in town next weekend, and I just didn’t see how I could manage sight seeing (and celebrating a 16th birthday!) + a 9 mile run. I ended up doing around 9.5 miles and felt great! Now let me introduce you to my long distance pal- the ‘Fuel Belt Tool Belt.’ Absolutely ridiculous looking, but a lifesaver when you need a sip of water.

Day 15: July 22nd; Cross-training day! Beautiful Sunday afternoon, rode bikes in Central Park with my partner in crime. What’s not fun? The ride UP to Central Park- the only ‘easy’ way up there with dedicated bike lanes is THROUGH TIMES SQUARE. SHUDDER.

Day 16: July 24th; Went to the gym and running for 30 miles just seemed like an impossible feat, so I did an interval workout where I changed speeds every minute. Definitely made the 30 minutes fly by and push me out of my comfort zone- I’m a very comfortable, slow 9:30/mile girl on the treadmill, but the workout pushed me up to 7:30/mile pace! Here’s the interval workout I followed, will probably be doing more when running seems daunting!

(adapted from FitSugar)

Day 17: July 26th; 3 very slow miles on a humid morning. Was just one of those days where nothing felt right- but that’s more motivation to go out tomorrow! Not a picture of me, but what I wrote about at work today- it’s amazing how dedicated Olympic athletes are!

via PSFK

Day 18: July 27th; FAILURE. I’m starting to realize how hard it is to balance a social life with running. I prefer to run at night, which means if I have after-work plans, I need to wake up early in the morning, which is the ultimate struggle for me. So it turns into this never-ending saga: miss a night workout by being social, too social to wake up to run, yada yada. Need to work on finding balance!

Day 19: July 28th; Does shopping count as cross-training? My aunt and cousin were visiting (to celebrate my cousin’s 16th birthday!) so my time was limited this weekend. We went shopping/touring on Saturday, so I’m counting it as my exercise 😉

Day 20: July 29th; 5 mile run in Central Park. Forgot to take a picture, so here’s a more glamorous picture of a fun outing for my cousin’s birthday- blowouts at DryBar!

Day 21: July 31st; 3.5 mile run along the East River. Stayed at work late, so it was a really pleasant, cool run!

Day 22: August 1st; 5 mile interval workout (adapted from fitsugar) at Blink, my second home. Fun fact: Blink is a no-frills, only $20/month gym but STILL has more cable channels (including HBO!) on its cardio equipment than the $80/month gyms (cough cough NYSC). If I’m running on a treadmill, I’m going to need to watch a little TV, ya know what I’m saying?

Day 23: August 3rd; 3.5 miles; Felt like I was back in SC on my morning run… aka it was hot, sticky, and ugly. I’ve learned how to handle the heat (somewhat)- no cotton anything, carry water, and get out as early as possible, but even with all the heat precautions sometimes it’s just plain hot. And I’ve noticed that lately even a sweat-wicking t shirt seems too ‘heavy’ to run in. Currently craving any and all of these Lulu tops!!

Lululemon tanks
Day 24: August 4th; 10 Miles! 1st double digit run of Marathon training. Slow and steady, but it felt great! Ran on Summer Streets before tackling the Harlem Hills- not an easy run by any means!

Day 25: August 5th; Cross-training: Yoga. And an important milestone in training… I had to flip the calendar to August, meaning I’ve been training for an entire month! Over the month, I’ve only missed two training runs, very pleased with myself. Now only 3 months to go 🙂
Day 26: August 7th; ~3.5 miles; Trying to be better about running in the AM so nights are free… while reading Runners World for motivation before the run, came across this article about blogging about running for motivation. META.
Day 27: August 8th; 6 miles BEFORE WORK. That’s the most I’ve ever run before work before 😉 And it was a disgustingly hot and humid morning… sweat much? (disclaimer: I don’t have overactive stomach sweat, it’s where my fuel belt hit)
Day 28: August 9th; 3.5 miles on the treadmill, working on speed 😉 Stocked up (on Friday) for future long runs with my 1st ever BOX purchase of Gus. I don’t really like Gus, but my sister introduced me to the peanut butter flavored ones, and I’m hooked! I usually take one if I’m running more than an hour.
Day 29: August 11th; 11.5 miles. Really disappointing, awful run. I thought I had perfectly mapped out 12 miles the night before, but it turns out I was more than a little off (was supposed to run 12 miles). I ran on Summer Streets, which was an awful decision- it was hot, crowded, and worst of all, every few blocks we had to stop for cross-town traffic- I couldn’t get into a rhythm to save my life. Lesson learned- stick to the park or trails that don’t require stopping. After my awful run, I consoled myself with a Gatorade the size of my head.
Day 30: August 12th; does dancing into the wee hours count as cross-training? I was technically active on Sunday morning 😉
Day 31: August 14th; Starring  a guest runner who accompanied me on my 3 mile run along the river! Sike. He hates to run, but he did bike!
Day 32: August 15th; Another rainy Wednesday in Manhattan, so another 6 miles on the treadmills at Blink. Got a fun package in the mail today from GE- a few weeks ago they tweeted me and asked if they could send me a gift for being healthy. It’s part of their new HealthyShare program on Facebook, which encourages people to help each other get fit. The gift was a high-tech water bottle that tracks your daily hydration needs- perfect for Marathon Training, but in the spirit of the program, it’s yours for the taking if you want it! 🙂

Day 33: August 17th; 3 miles before work. Not a picture of anything running related, but saw this display later in the day and nearly died. Halloween is October 31st, the race is November 4th… advance holiday advertising is making me feel like the marathon is TOO CLOSE!

Day 34: August 18th; Not in NYC! 🙂 Took a quick trip down to DC to catch up with one of my best friends, and had a great 7.8 mile run along the National Mall!
Day 35: August 20th OOPS. Couldn’t do any kind of cross-training on Sunday since I was on the bus back to NYC, planned to go to yoga tonight after work. But then I forgot my clothes and stayed at work until 7:45… next week it’s cross-training or bust!
Day 36: August 21st; Ran ~3.5 miles in the morning before work- apparently picking out matching socks in the AM is tough.
Day 37: August 22nd; Salt Monster! Even though it wasn’t even 9 in the morning, after my ~6.5 mile run in Central Park I was craving salt… so I had plantains as my early morning ‘snack.’

Day 38: August 23rd; ~3.5 miles by the river before work. Pink legs! My shins were starting to hurt, so I put on my compression sleeves, which really seemed to help!

Day 39: August 25th; 1/2 Marathon, Baby! Well, technically it was just a training run, but I’m going to say it was my 4th 1/2 Marathon! I was feeling really good (my shins stopped hurting, thank goodness!) and I ran through 13.1 to 13.5… small victories.
Day 40: August 27th; Cross-training! Yoga at Yoga Vida. I love that I can ‘tell’ a difference when I take yoga… at the beginning of class I can’t touch my toes, but by the end it’s easy! Also, a you-know-you-live-in-NYC moment… the co-owner of Yoga Vida (and instructor) is married to Alec Baldwin.

image credit: USA Today
Day 41: August 28th; 3.5 mile run in the morning along the East River. Woke up thinking it was rainy out… nope, just cloudy and humid.
sun trying to break through…
Day 42: August 29th; 7 mile run before work! These Wednesday runs are getting longer and longer… The one piece of advice I’ve gotten about running NYC is to train on hills to get ready for the challenging course. So this little guy has become my ‘best friend.’ He marks the top of ‘Cat Hill’ in NYC, and I run by him at least 2 times a week.
image credit: Runner’s World

Day 43: August 30th; a terrible, no good, very bad day. I was 1 day away from a perfect August, but I had to miss my run to get an emergency hair cut. Sounds vain, but I was trying to save a little money and had used a Lifebooker the day before, and the ‘salon’ gave me the worst haircut of my life. So bad that when I went to get it fixed at another salon, the hair stylist said it looked like a blind person cut my hair and the owner of the salon came over to see it. Yeah, BAD. And here’s non-vain proof, because I’m looking something awful. Can you believe the salon wouldn’t give me my money back??
Hmm, is hair supposed to be different lengths on either side?

Day 44: September 1st; 10 miles before two sweet friends got married! The wedding was in Minnesota, so that makes it the 4th state I’ve trained for the marathon 🙂 And because you’ve seen countless running pictures, one in normal clothes with my handsome date!

Day 45: September 2nd; Yoga at Yoga-Vida. Came home to eat the favor from the wedding- isn’t this the cutest idea? (And I didn’t steal Jason’s, I just wanted a picture of both of them!)

Day 46: September 3rd; Multi-tasking at its finest- ran 3.5 miles to the grocery store.

Day 47: September 5th; holy-moly it’s hot. Whoever said summer is over after Labor Day is wrong! The humidity was killer today on my 7 mile run- it literally started raining as I walked into my apartment building. A little rain would have been nice while running!
Uhh, sweat much? PS: running is a really attractive sport…

Day 48: September 7th; A tough 3.5 miles. I got out the door late, so didn’t have enough time to do my scheduled 4… so I was already in a pretty bad mood. And then every single light I could hit, I did. All reds. Which made me even more irritated, which made my run even worse. Goes to show just how MENTAL running is- positive mood=positive run.
Day 49: September 9th; 15.25 miles aka the furthest I’ve ever run! The .25 may sound silly, but I always try to ‘run through’ my distance, however small, to feel like I’ve fully conquered that distance. I’m also a little OCD about mapping my runs- I map them the night before on, and then while I run, I track them with Nike+. I just wish Nike+, Runkeeper, Mapmyrun, etc. were more accurate with real-time-tracking- I’ve used all of them, and all of them stink. My run on Sunday with Nike+ was more than 2 miles off- not a huge deal since I also mapped it, but a little annoying. Really thinking about biting the bullet and buying a Garmin!
Day 50: Cross training…. celebrating a birthday? Oops!
Day 51: September 11th; 4.25 miles. I remember 11 years ago running in a cross-country meet– in SC, we were so far removed it was almost like a delayed reaction. I remember watching everything in art class, but only for about 30 min before life resumed as normal. Nothing changed that day, but the next day is when it really started to sink in. Now, living in NYC, I feel so much more connected now than back then.
Miami Ad School
Day 52: September 12th; 8.7 miserable miles. Nothing felt good, and I struggled through every single one of the miles. My legs felt like lead, I had a serious case of runner’s tummy, and I just couldn’t get in a rhythm. My hips were tight, my calves were cramping, and jack ass bikers kept coming within inches of hitting me. But the best thing is… it’s over. And it’s just one run. I can try again tomorrow. So I whined a bit and then put on my compression socks and headed to work. Tomorrow’s a new day.
Day 53: September 13th; 4 miles. Took a look at my countdown clock and I’ve now trained more days than I have left to the marathon! Woo woo!
Day 54: September 15th; 16 miles! We were visiting Jason’s family, so that makes PA the 5th state that I’ve trained for the marathon. My phone died at mile 13, but I ran for about 40 more minutes, so I’m pretty confident it was a little over 16 miles. And the best part? Jason knows how obsessed I am with Chick Fil A, so he got it for me after the run 🙂
Day 55: September 16th; Cross-training! We rode bikes to get the best Italian sandwiches at Mamas of Corona. (we also had to try the tiramisu and cannoli) We were out near Arthur Ashe (where they play the US Open) so we rode around the park for a bit. A great fall afternoon and great cross-training- we rode about 18 miles- crazy to think I ran almost as much!

Day 56: September 18th; 4 miles in Central Park. I finally got my foam roller, which is half torture device/half amazing relief. I couldn’t get the best ‘action’ picture, but you get the idea.

Day 57: September 19th; 9 miles in Central Park. I don’t know what it is about my long Wednesday runs, but they have been awful for the past few weeks, and this week was no exception. I think mentally I’m not as focused as I am during my long weekend runs. Thankfully only a few more weeks of long-ish weekday runs! The highlight was seeing someone running barefoot, which reminded me of Born To Run, perhaps one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read.

Day 58: September 20th; 5.5 miles on a new route! On Sunday when we rode bikes, we rode over the Queensboro Bridge. And I almost died. The bridge is on the course, and I panicked. I kept thinking about how much of an incline it was and how I wasn’t going to be able to run it. So I faced my fear today and am happy to report I completely dominated the bridge. It was actually much easier to run over than bike over the bridge. And on another positive note, I got my bib number today!!


Day 59: September 22nd; Cross-training fail. Chose social over cross-training, and was very happy getting to spend a fall afternoon with friends (and with my pumpkin beer decision!)

Day 60: September 23rd; 18 miles!! I ran the ‘Tune-Up’ with NYRR and felt… surprisingly great. The course was 3 loops around Central Park, which isn’t the easiest run. I thought I would hate 3 ‘laps’ but I found myself tackling the hills better and better with each turn. Now only 1 more really hard run (20 miles) before the marathon!

Day 61: September 25th; a little over 4 miles on the East River. Two unusual things about my morning run: 1) I ran smack-dab into a NYPD training session (oops, sorry if I  messed up your mile time!) and 2) Security was a bit tighter than usual with the UN General Assembly in town. I tried to take a picture of the intense set up, but was afraid to stop for too long!

Day 62: September 27th; 9 miles in Central Park. Blah run, wasn’t feeling too hot. But I did get to wear one of my new Lululemon tops my mom and dad very generously gave me for my training! You can’t really tell, but there are reflective ruffles on the shoulders 🙂










Day 63: September  28th; No-go. Was supposed to run 5 miles, but woke up not feeling great so decided to skip a day and sleep!

Day 64: September 29th; ~15.5 miles before getting on a plane to Australia! My sister Elliott is currently working in Sydney and invited me to come visit… of course! Off to the land of koalas and kangaroos after 24 hours of travel.

Day 65: October 1st; cross-training! After 24 hours flying, I landed in Sydney, showered, and grabbed a coffee. And then it was off to start the Sydney adventures. We went paddle boarding- I mainly went knee boarding because my balance isn’t hot, but happy to say I didn’t fall off when I did stand up. 😉

Day 66: October 2nd; ~4.5 miles around the Sydney Harbour. Gorgeous view from the Harbour Bridge!

Day 67: October 3rd; a little over 8 miles at my sister’s gym. I had to go purely by time and calculate distance later since the treadmill was in kilometers! Instead of a picture running, a picture from our afternoon at the Taronga Zoo 🙂

Day 68: October 4th; ~3 miles around Syndey with my sister. Learning how to run in the heat again is tricky! To cool off, we rewarded our efforts with a sampler from a local brewery.

Day 69: October 5th; ~9 miles. It was bound to happen during training. I hit a huge mental block and just couldn’t run anymore. I stopped, thought about going more, and couldn’t bring myself to put one foot in front of the other. I was supposed to run 12 miles, so I was way off the mark. And as disappointed as I was in myself, I’m glad it happened before the marathon. Now I know just to slow down, think positive thoughts, and just keep going.

Day 70: October 7th; Last day in Syndey 🙁 For cross-training, we did a gorgeous cliff hike from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. It’s spring in Sydney, so although it was warmer during the week, it was a cooler day on Sunday. And incredibly windy on the cliffs!

Day 71: October 10th; Back in NYC 🙁 5 miles across the Queensboro bridge… and I was the only runner on the bridge. It was a cold, rainy morning and the weather couldn’t be any more different than the warm, sunny skies of Sydney. Sigh.

Day 72: October 11th; 10 miles in Central Park- the most I’ll run during the week, thank goodness! I was a tired little lady afterwards. But good news about running 10 miles, I didn’t feel too guilty about eating these Halloween treats 🙂

Day 73: October 12th; 5 miles across the Queensboro Bridge again. Wish I had a picture of my run in with a friend! He was biking to work while I was running- yahoo! I’ve made my runs much happier by not tracking my miles- I know by now my average pace, so I map my run the night before and then run based on time. If it’s a good day, I run a little more- a bad day, run a little less. I think it probably evens out.

Day 74: October 13th; Cross-training…. concert dancing? Really bad about this cross-training thing!

Day 75: October 14th; 20 MILES. My friend Katie and I ran with an organized run, and I’m so glad there were other people on the run. I started off strong, but towards the end was feeling a little sick. If Katie hadn’t been there pushing us, I may have stopped. This run was the last hard run before the marathon. The next few weeks I’ll ‘taper’ to rest my muscles. Can’t believe the marathon is so soon!!

Day 76: October 16th; 5 chilly miles along the river. Nothing eventful until this came in the mail! I can’t believe the race is so close… I’m getting so excited/nervous/excited! And sick. I’m sick. Runny nose go away please!

Day 77: October 18th; 8 miles in Central Park; nothing eventful about the run but at work I had a BIG present waiting for me! New running shoes and a huge chocolate egg from Brooks 🙂 I didn’t get the shoes because I’m a runner, just because PSFK wrote about Brooks .

Day 78: October 19th; 4 miles… that didn’t happen. The cold finally knocked me on my feet, and I couldn’t even imagine running. I worked from home and focused on getting better.

Day 79: October 20th; Cross-training… dancing at a wedding counts, right?

Day 80: October 21st; 12 miles in Central Park. Went running in the afternoon after getting back from the wedding… woof. Was not feeling great at first, until I saw this (and several more) signs in the park. Banners for ‘marathon route’ were being put up, bleachers are sitting at the finish, and someone had written ‘See You At The Finish Line Nov.4’ on the ground in chalk. And to make things even better, I ran into Jason biking! Nice little boost 🙂

Day 81: October 23rd; officially in taper mode! 4 miles along the East River. I play this little game when I run… how many of these shirts can I see? I started seeing them every single time I ran so now I’m always on the lookout- I usually see at least 2, sometimes as many as 4!

Day 82: October 24th; 6 miles in the rain on the Queensboro Bridge. Next time I run the bridge, I’ll get to see my mom, dad, and brother (and hopefully friends!) at the marathon along 1st avenue! Very encouraging! Also encouraging? This graffiti 😉

Day 83: October 25th; 3 miles, and starting to freak out about SANDY. Grr. I’m hoping it turns out like the freak snowstorm we had last Halloween, which then turned into a beautiful, warm marathon day.

I’ll let you read the awful news for yourself.

End Days: Well I don’t need to tell you, Sandy happened. I ran 8 miles on Saturday, October 27th as planned, and then all hell broke loose. I lost power on Monday, snuck into Equinox on Tuesday to run 6 miles, snuck into NYSC to run 3 miles on Thursday, and then Friday learned the marathon was canceled. Am I upset? Sure thing. I’m not going to lie and say I’m personally upset I didn’t run on Sunday. But I know it was the right decision for the city. Even though I’m not officially a ‘marathoner’ yet, I’m grateful and thankful for the experience. I’m going to keep running and hope for NYC 2013!

Day 1 of new training: November 5th; ~5 miles to see the finish line and tell it I would meet it again after 26.2 in 2013.

For future running posts, follow me at JustAllieRuns. New York or bust!

  • Alliepwalker

    you go girl.  Uncle Harry is checking out your blog

  • Rwakler

    Stay with it!  The end will definitely justify the hard work!  Broken leg runner…

  • Skye Earls

    You Rock! I might have to check out this fuel belt…

  • H&PJ

    We’ll run with you anytime!  H&PJ

  • Rwalker3florence

    PJ says that he would bark at the cat hill.  Well, PJ likes to bark at just about anything.

  • Em

    ah, i’ve been suffering major shin splints for the past two months. do the compression sleeves really work?? maybe i should invest…