NYC Marathon goals and worries


I am going off Tuesdays on the Run topic this week of favorite winter cross training, to put all my last minute NY race thoughts out there. Goals, worries, preoccupations, emotions…. here goes.

Race goals :

  1. A goal : Finish in under 4:45.
  2. B goal : finish in under 5 hours. My last marathon was done in 5 hours 11 minutes in 70 degree weather. Sunday’s fall weather will hopefully help me a bit.
  3. C goal. Finish. Period.

What is worrying me :

  • Bridges and inclines. I didn’t train on any hills. None. Zip. Nada. I had started to, but then had some issues with my Achilles tendon aching and snapping, so I backed off. I actually don’t mind hills and they do not scare me, I am just not as prepared as I probably should be.
  • Not seeing my family along the course. In Paris, I saw my husband and kids 3 times and he met me at the end. As he knows the city it was easy for him to zip around on the subway and rendez-vous at our designated meeting spots. He can not do that in NY. Not knowing the city well, AND the fact that the subway is complicated, makes seeing each other several times unlikely. He will be with my brother and SIL, but still, I am not counting on necessarily seeing them. Since they kept some of my fuel, I will need to carry everything I need, just in case.IMG_0358
  • The 3 hour wait. I am taking the bus out to Staten Island. I leave on the 7 a.m. bus, but my start time is 11:10. Ugh. Why ?
  • Managing my run/walk method. It is quite easy to do generally speaking, but hard when there are lots of crowds. Anyone know if there is a specific way to signal you are going to start walking ?
  • Breakfast. I need protein, as in eggs. Not sure if anything will be open at 6 a.m. Can I buy breakfast the day before ? Maybe Starbucks would be the best option for a hard boiled egg ? I avoid gluten, so a bagel is not an option.20160905_071228
  • Dressing for the race. I HATE being cold and I know you need to bring several laters while waiting for your start. I know I will be overdressed or underdressed. I have been trying to pay close attention lately to the temps / weather I have been running in here, in order to know exactly how to dress in NY, but still, I am unsure I will get it right. One of my first races in freezing temps :CnC2012 001
  • Cramping. This happened a bit in my last marathon and I don’t know why. I am wondering if it was lack of salt ? I have never tried salt tablets and am planning on pretzels. Any thoughts ?



  1. Excited. The weather looks like it is going to be great and I haven’t read anything negative about this race (except the initial wait and finding friends / family AFTER).
  2. Positive. Many people have asked me about jet lag, but if I start the race at 11:10, that is actually 5 p.m. for me. Should be fine.
  3. Calm. I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, and don’t get upset if I don’t hit my time goal. This is about the experience, and so I see no point in stressing out over what could happen, might go wrong, pains or niggles I could have…

Any last minute suggestions ?

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Erika at MCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run.


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Comments: 19

  1. Chaitali November 1, 2016 at 6:33 pm Reply

    Excited, positive and calm make for a great pre-race mindset! As far as the walk/run thing, I’ve done it in some crowded races and it’s been fine. I think the main thing is to not change speed abruptly. So when my watch signals a walk interval, I look behind me to make sure no one is right there, raise my hand so people behind me know something is up and to pay attention even if they don’t understand exactly what it means, and then slow to my walk speed. I generally run near the side anyway but if I’m more toward the middle for some reason, I try to move to the side as a walk interval approaches. Things may actually be open at 6am depending on where you’re staying but if not, I would think being able to get hard boiled eggs from either Starbucks or a convenience store the evening before should be a safe bet. Good luck!
    Chaitali recently posted…Race 13.1 Baltimore training week 9My Profile

  2. Lacey@fairytalesandfitness November 1, 2016 at 8:58 pm Reply

    Staying calm is so important. When I put too much pressure on myself on races, it reflects in my performance and I do not end up doing well. Like you said, it is what it is. The three hour wait time does not sound fun. Make sure you have plenty of layers to stay warm. I always heard when you want to start running always move to one side and put your arm up. Good luck!
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…It’s the Wicked!My Profile

  3. Marcia November 1, 2016 at 9:41 pm Reply

    To signal a walk break move way over to the side of the road and put your hand up before you start walking. My husband only saw me at mile 19 and then at the end we met at the globe at Columbus circle. You can tell him exactly what corner you’re standing on and let him find you. He won’t be able to see you actually finish because they’ve got the finish line pretty well locked down.
    When I ran it was in the 30’s with crazy strong headwinds. I wore a throwaway parka and sweat pants in the runners village and was fine. Bring something to sit down on, like a heat sheet in case things are wet/dewy. I don’t remember what time my wave went off but it didn’t seem like I waited a crazy long time in the village. The bus ride took way longer than I anticipated. Have a great race! You’ve so got this!
    Marcia recently posted…You Say Winter Crosstraining, I Say RunbatticalMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:12 pm Reply

      Good to know about the bus. and I think we have to be in our corals 40 minutes before, so the wait should be ok

  4. Michelle @ Running with Attitude November 1, 2016 at 10:28 pm Reply

    I love your pre-race mindset!! When I take a walk break I always try to move over to the right and put my hand-up. I’m excited for you! Have a great race!!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Weekly Wrap – Training and a 5KMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:10 pm Reply

      Thank you Michelle.

  5. Coco November 2, 2016 at 1:16 am Reply

    I don’t have marathon advice, but … does your hotel room have a fridge? Maybe you could find a bag of the Eggland’s Best hardcooked eggs at a grocery on Saturday, or some convenience stores may sell hard cooked eggs. Otherwise S’bucks does have a Bistro Box with a HB egg …. As for keeping warm, a garbage bag (with a neck hole) really helps if it’s windy — maybe your hotel will give you one.:-) A lot of my MRTT friends wear an old fuzzy bathrobe, but you might not want to pack that for your trip — or steal one from your hotel. :-0 I’m really excited for you!
    Coco recently posted…I Survived Orange Theory Fitness Hell WeekMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:09 pm Reply

      Yes, got the garbage bags !

  6. LaChicaRuns November 2, 2016 at 1:54 am Reply

    Woo-hoo! That’s bound to be an awesome experience. You have a great plan and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  7. Darlene November 2, 2016 at 2:53 pm Reply

    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t loved their NYC Marathon experience.

    I would recommend Layers and layers. Throw aways. You don’t want to be warm running and it should be perfect weather.

    Meet your family at Columbus circle after. Tell them to bring a dry jacket. Though you will have a heat blanket to keep as a souvenir.

    Bon courage!
    Darlene recently posted…Wednesday Word: EsotericMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm Reply

      Thanks for the Columbus circle tip !

  8. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy November 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm Reply

    Also agree with throwaways. It should be good running weather! Although I don’t know why they start so late. I may have to bring a throaway myself — I hate doing it, but I may not have my sherpa (if he doesn’t want to go, that is).

    NY is the city that never sleeps . . . surely you can find something. Do you have a refrigerator in the room? There are drug stores and bodegas that might have hard boiled eggs. What about your hotel?

    Maybe your relatives will surprise you and you’ll get to see them, if not, there will surely be a lot of spectators cheering you on!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…It’s a small world after allMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm Reply

      I have tons of snacks but would really like a meal in the morning. I am sure I will find something.

  9. Mary Beth Jackson November 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm Reply

    Sounds like you have a lot of bases covered! Now trust in your training and enjoy NYC! I will cheer for you from Florida!

    • Karen - Fit in France November 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm Reply

      Thanks,I might need some of that heat at 7 a.m. !

  10. Elizabeth November 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm Reply

    The weather looks perfect for the later start. Have a great weekend and race!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Books of August – October 2016My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 8, 2016 at 2:26 am Reply

      Thanks, it was so cold today and perfect yesterday. We were so lucky. Seriously so lucky.

  11. Karen November 11, 2016 at 7:37 pm Reply

    Since I was away I didn’t get to read this until now…there is so much to think about, which of course i am sitting here doing today! I have agonized over outfit choice, how to carry what I want, and how I will do in crowds to manage walk breaks.
    I can imagine the logistics in NY would feel overwhelming.
    I hope it turned out to be everything you wanted it to be!
    it is so hard to stay calm…I struggle with that.
    Karen recently posted…How I decided to run a marathon…My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France November 12, 2016 at 1:56 am Reply

      You will do fine. Just stick with your strategy. They say the marathon race starts at mile 20 !

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