The wife and I flew to New York City Friday for her to run the New York City Marathon 11/3/19. As some of you may recall, she ran this race four years ago and was highly disappointed in her time because she hurt her hip half way into it. At mile 16 when I saw her, she was limping and was in pain but she still finished.
This was her revenge race and she did awesome, but was hurt again. Here is a video and pic of her at mile 16.2 this year, smiling and waving. Much different than four years ago. This is called Thunder Alley because the runners come off Queensborough Bridge where it is frighteningly quiet and then hit the crowd of noise.
Her goal was to be under 3 hours and 30 minutes. She just set a personal record at Boston earlier this year at 3:32:28. She was on pace to be under 3:30 until mile 21 when her upper thigh/groin started to hurt.
She had to stop and walk/run the last four and a half miles but still finished at 3:34:31. She did a great job and was not disappointed even though she wishes her leg would not have started hurting so she could have pr’d. Look at her finish results, she was 3329 place out of 28465 USA runners and 7173 out of 53508 overall runners. Top 14% of all runners. Can you believe there were 25043 runners from other countries? That is crazy.
We had a great time being alone together for more than a dinner date for the first time in forever. It was nice to have some one on one time. Very proud of her.
Saturday she did not want to site see so I took the subway to see Yankee Stadium and do a little site seeing on my own. I wanted to see places we did not see four years ago.
Here are the pics of the leading push rim and women and men runners.
Let me just say I-80 across Pa is one long, boring drive. It seemed like I was the only car on the road for most of it. I didn’t come up with any new poems or thoughts to write about because I was so bored. I figured my mind would be going everywhere but it went to sleep while I drove.
Saturday was just check in day and Expo day. We went to the Expo to get Kim’s running bib. Of course if you go to an expo, you have to spend money. We bought a few Boston shirts. Spent less than two hours there and had to pay $40 for parking garage. Seriously, $40 for two hours. Let’s take advantage of the runners and their families. I don’t know, maybe parking is always that expensive in Boston.
We went to a place called Fire & Ice in Harvard Square to eat dinner. Interesting experience and the food was yummy. We actually ate there Saturday and Sunday night. Basically, the food is set out raw and you go pick what you want to eat, take it to the middle where the cooks are and they cook it up for you. Look here, after I was up for forty hours, with only a 30 minute nap, look who bonked out at nine, not me. I was out shortly after.
I know Boston is east and I know the sun rises in the east, I just didn’t expect it to be coming in our hotel window at five am. I was going to get up at six anyway to go for a run but wasn’t expecting to be woke up at five by sunlight. I went out on my run to conquer Heartbreak Hill, which I mapped to be five miles from our hotel. Being in the zone like I was, I went down Beacon Street to Chestnut Hill Ave Reservoir to Commonwealth, but I went right like an idiot instead of left. Just running along and not paying attention, saw a sign for Commonwealth and took it. See the pic below where I made a right,between miles 3 and 4, I should have went left around the reservoir. Interestingly enough, there was a big hill exactly at the five mile mark and it was exactly half a mile long, just like Heartbreak Hill. So I didn’t actually go to Heartbreak Hill but I did run a pretty nice hill that was the same length as Heartbreak. This was the best I felt on a run in a long time. Only stopped to take a few pics below.
I did go home and ran the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill on my treadmill. Wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t run the 20 miles before it either. 🙂
The rest of Sunday was just Kylie and me day. Kim stayed at the hotel to rest for the race. Kylie and I went to the Museum of Science, she loves stuff like that. We had a good time. Spent three hours there then took the subway to Boston Commons. We then decided to walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. Lots of history and places to see. We didn’t actually make it the entire way. Once we crossed the bay we decided to go left back to the Museum of Science and call Kim to come pick us up. Our legs were hurting. Mine probably more than hers but she was tired also.
It was a great experience for our family. I don’t know if I could live in downtown Boston area but Cambridge, Harvard area, oh yeah. Loved where we stayed. I could run by the Charles River and over to the path by the river by The Museum Of Science or can run to Heartbreak Hill, the right direction.
Kim did qualify for next year so maybe we will see Boston again. I won’t drive next time, be cheaper to fly and avoid all the parking garage fees.
No music today, will just leave you with some pics.
I will post about the race today and our trip tomorrow.
First off, I want to say how proud I am of my wife, Kim. She completed a marathon that most runners can only dream of being able to run. She didn’t get the time she wanted, 3:30, but it was warm for running and there was a head wind. Even the winners had slower times than expected. The commentators kept asking experts why do you think the pace is slow today. The winning male was 2:12 and female 2:29. Pretty slow to me lol. However, her time of 3:46 did qualify her to run it again next year if she decides to.
Most of my comments will be from my wife obviously, since I did not run it, but I will add my two cents here and there. Kim loved the athlete village and the corals. She felt like it was much more organized than NYC. Maybe that was because there is half the amount of runners as in NYC. She felt the course was more congested than she thought it would be. Since a lot of it are on two lane roads going through neighborhoods, she felt for the first half she was constantly having to hold her arm out to keep from running into people or them running into her. Several times her feet were clipped by other runners but, luckily, she did not fall.
(image credit Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(image credit Bill Greene/Globe Staff)
A quick recap of the winners before I get back into Kim’s race:
Below are the winning push rim (wheelchair) for male and female. The men’s race came down to the last few feet. What an exciting finish. The male winner,Marcel Hug, defended his title by less than a second. The female winner, Tatyana McFadden, won by a minute and fourteen seconds.
Below are the winning men and women about 100 yards from the finish. If you did not see the race it was crazy. The winning women, Atsede Baysa, was 37 seconds back at 35k. In the last 4.5 miles or so she made up that 37 seconds and passed the two leading women at mile 24 and won by 44 seconds. Do the math, in the last 4.5 miles she was running about 19 seconds per mile faster than the leaders. Crazy.
The men’s winner, Lemi Berhanu Hayle, was equally impressive pulling away in the last two miles. Mile 24 was a 4:56 pace. Only in my dreams. Put your treadmill on 12 and try to run as far as you can. He was going faster than that….. for longer.
Back to Kim:
The congestion affected her time first 5k time (8:06 per mile) was about a minute off where she needed to be to finish at 3:30. Her 10k split time was a little better. Through 10k (6.2 miles) she had improved to 8:03 per mile for this 5k section. She kept improving and her 15k time she was 8:01 per mile. She slowed down for the next 5k and her 20k time she was at 8:08 per mile for that 5k section.. At the half way point she was at 1:45:42. ( 8:03 pace) and was only about a minute and half off her goal for 3:30. Not bad considering the congestion but she still had the hills to go. Might I add she was also pretty consistent for every 5k.
She said the crowds at Wellesley College were crazy. The crowd noise was so loud she couldn’t hear her music but it was inspirational. A good pick up of encouragement.
(image credit David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
She slowed down for the next 5k section and averaged 8:26 per mile at the 25k mark. She then hit the hills of Newton for the next 5k and averaged 9:02 per mile. She then hit the section with Heartbreak Hill and averaged 9:34 per mile for 30k to 35k. She said by that point it felt like her quads were going to fall off. She stopped and applied leg cramp creme that they were passing out. By this time they were running into a head wind and Kim was sick of running in wind. For training it is all we had. I think she mentally checked out and walked some. Her next 5k time to get her to 40k she averaged 9:43 per mile. She picked it up to the finish line and did the last little bit at 9:16 per mile and had an overall pace of 8:39. This was 40 seconds per mile off what she wanted to be at to finish in 3:30 but she is happy with her time. She finished and wasn’t injured. And still qualified for next year.
Kim, in the pink, finishing strong :
She really isn’t hurting or sore now. She seems to be in good shape and knowing her like I do, she is probably itching to go for a run. It is hard for her to stop and rest. I have to keep reminding her that even the best like Meb and Shalane and Amy Kragg all take two to three weeks off after running a marathon. I can’t imagine Kim ever taking three weeks off, she would go bonkers.
Overall, it was an enjoyable event for our family. We had beautiful weather. I wish there were more places we could have seen Kim during the race but that just isn’t possible with Boston Marathon course.
I know this was a lot of running jargon with pace per mile and split times and all that but I hope you enjoyed reading about Kim’s race experience.
Now that I made you cry for three days with sad poems, let’s end the week with a picker upper. A rare two posts in one day from me. Look out Boston, here we come.
This will be our first trip driving east, we flew to NYC. We always drive south where it’s warm. At least the weather forecast looks to be about perfect for all the runners. I plan on running from our hotel Sunday morning to Heartbreak Hill and back. Which, if I mapped it correctly, looks to be five miles or so to Heartbreak Hill so ten miles total. Of course it will be mostly uphill on the way there, downhill on way back. Maybe I will take the train to Boston College and get closer to Heartbreak Hill. Hmm. Oh, be tough and just run it all. That’s what my mind is telling me. Our hotel is on the other side of the water by mile 25 so if you check out the elevation chart below, it’s all uphill from the hotel until mile 20.5 of the race and it’s about a mile from our hotel to the 25 mile mark of the race so maybe it will only be like 4-4.5 miles uphill. I can do it. I have to keep plugging away to get where I was three years ago before I tore my meniscus. I have lost the weight in the last five months since I started running steadily again but was hoping muscle memory would kick in and not take this long to build up my endurance and speed but it is what it is.
Also have to get some locals advice on where we can see Kim, other than near the finish line. Since it’s like a straight line we would have to be able to get a train or bus from x to x to be able to see her multiple times, like we did in NYC. If not, we will be waiting at the finish. I know we can take the train, as mentioned above, to see her around Boston College/ Heartbreak Hill, but don’t know how fast we can get back to the finish area.
Of course our hotel swimming pool is under construction so Kylie won’t be swimming indoors. I am sure there will be plenty to do to keep us busy while Kim rests Sunday and runs Monday. Look for a post next week on our travels and the race. With that being said, I doubt I will have a post on Monday, race day, or Tuesday, after driving back all night Monday.
Anyway, we would appreciate prayers and thoughts for safe travels and an awesome race for Kim. Let’s pray she doesn’t hurt her hip like she did during the New York City Marathon. Let’s also pray for all the other runners, spectators, volunteers, the police and security, and all those involved for a safe weekend.
Hay is in the barn, trust in your preparation and run your race. Be strong, Boston strong.
Running On Pride by John Voci –
So Good (The Boston Song) by Vincent Sneed & Eyton Nicholson –
Boston (You’re My Home) by Kenzie –
Boston Strong by Steve Balsamo –
Keep On Running by Carly Tefft –
Strong (Boston Anthem) written by Amanda Carr feat Charlie Farren –
Well here I am home from NYC. Be prepared for a long read. As you know I was thrilled to find out that last year running the Columbus Marathon that I qualified for NYC marathon and Boston. I do what I love to do and it is to run. I ran my long runs and ran the NYC marathon on our treadmill (we have one of the ifit google map ones where we can run anywhere in the world) over and over again. I was also battling my back issues with L3-4 injury along with bulging disc. Went on with training and starting to have hamstring issues and glute issues as well. I just kept training and icing. There were times while training my runs would consist of my left leg buckling under me on the road or on treadmill. The only way I can explain it is I felt at times that I was going to fall. I continued to fuel ( w/ Arbonne) and eat clean, like I always do. I wanted to do my best when NYC was here. I was aiming for 3:30 finish time. I did Columbus in 3:42 so why not do better. I can say that NYC is a tough course! It was truly an experience from getting up at 4 am to walking to the subway to get to Staten Island Ferry and catch the ferry at 6am to then get on a bus to take us to the start. Once off the bus you then walk to your village to stay there and wait for your wave. I was in the orange village. Once in your village you are just outside waiting for your start time ( mine was 9:50). Imagine being outside that long just to start a race! Just sitting on the ground keeping warm and stretching and talking to whomever or sleep. Your wave gets called and it is time. Time to pound the ground for 26.2 miles through the city of New York and crossing 5 bridges. What a true way to see the city. The start came and I was able to get some pictures when I took off. It was packed! As my race began I was feeling good. Did not feel as nervous as I thought I was going to be once it started. My first half ( 13 miles) I felt good. I thought I had a good pace going and was able to look around and take in the crowds and see some of the buildings. Then mile 14 I felt pain in my back and it would go down my left leg. That feeling of buckling under came and went throughout the rest of the race. I told myself I was not going to stop.
I knew at times I would have to walk but I was not going to stop. Then I saw him and Kylie and pointed to my leg. I knew I was done, I knew I was not going to finish in the time I wanted and it started to get to me. I was getting disappointed and in pain. I powered through and recall texting Rob “pain” around mile 19. Needless to say I finished in 4:17 ( by far my worse run). I crossed the finished line w/ mixed emotions of joy, accomplishment, sadness and disappointment. What will others think of me after I told them what I was aiming for? What will Rob think of me let alone my children Kylie, Kelsey, Kayhla and Kirstie?
I looked up into the heavens and knew that God was proud of me! That I do know!! Once crossing the line all I wanted was to get to my family. The long walk to get them was nuts. You get the malar wrap to keep you warm and then a bag of recovery fuel and food then the warm poncho. Still no family. To walk that walk and to see all the other runners with smiles or pain was overwhelming. So many runners getting help from the medics for whatever reason was nuts. I had some that came to me and asked if I was okay. I finally got to my family and it was the best feeling ever. Rob and Kylie were so sweet and loving to me as we walked back to the hotel. I still felt disappointment, and pain, as we walked.
Not much was said on the plane ride back to Ohio or the ride home. I just wanted to shower and go to bed. Monday came and I was sore and still heartbroken. I believe I slept most of the day until it was time for my training sessions in the evening. Yep, right back to work I went (I just didn’t do the workouts). I felt like a failure when my clients came but they did not see me that way, they saw me as an inspiration, they saw me as an encourager, a fighter. Why could I not see myself that way? Tuesday was not any better, ever little thing set me off and I cried. Was this going to stop? Was I going to be able to put this race behind me and let it go and move on? I knew deep down I was going to get to that point of letting it go. Maybe God was waiting for me to learn from this experience before I could move on.
As I look back on this today ( while stretched out on the couch with pain shooting down my glutes and legs) I am wondering what does God want me to take from this? I am a winner, regardless of my time, I accomplished something only others wish they could do. He is teaching me that running does not define me ( regardless of time). He is also reminding me that I have to take care of the temple ( body) he gave me, it is the only one I have. I need to take time and recover, slow down etc. something I am NOT good at by any means. I always want to run. I need to remember I have a family that counts on me and wants me around for years to come. My take away from this. I know I am playing the should of, would of, could of thoughts in my mind and beating myself up. I can not let this get the best of me. As my new friend (Theresa) told me don’t let it get to me, grieve over it but don’t let it eat me. Grieving I am ( maybe only a runner understands) but I know it won’t define me. I know yesterday I did not wear my medal because I was down and for that I am sorry. Like I have been hearing I am a winner, I accomplished something huge, I FINISHED!
I know I beat myself up. I know I push myself way too much. It is time to scale back and take it slow. I am going to take some time off from running and will replace it with strength training, core work, and yoga ( I have to do something). I have Boston coming up in April and I want to be healed. I want to thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement along the way. I am a winner and I know that (even though it does stink at times when I still think about it) and I know I am loved and made people proud. It truly is a tough course, I will give NYC that. I am so glad I qualified. I won’t say I will not do it again because knowing me I will be back to conquer the course. #TCSNYCmarathon .
My God let me take on the experience of a life time. This marathon, regardless of how big I thought it was, does not define me. I am a runner, regardless if I finished at 4:17, I am a marathon runner. However, even running does not define who I am. So be it I was able to qualify for awesome marathons, so be it I am able to run each and every day. That does not make who I am. What makes me is that I am a child of God and He loves me regardless of my time on a race clock or a Garmin watch. I am a mother to four beautiful girls and three grand children. I am a wife to a wonderful, devoted Christian man and they love me regardless of the time on the clock. My family needs me and I need them. They need me to be injury free so I can be there for them any hour, any minute of the day. God needs me to be His obedient servant and use my talents that He has blessed me with. The people I help overcome the fear of running a 5k (3.1 miles) for their first time in Run For God classes. My clients that I push on a daily basis for them to overcome them saying “I can’t lift this, I can’t jump that.” The elementary girls that I served as their coach in Girls On the Run. That is what God remembers, He does not remember the time on the clock, the number of laps completed. He remembers us being His children. What defines us is how we overcome our setbacks, and this was a setback for sure. I did not get my time I wanted but I finished none the less. I accomplished something huge that November morning and it will forever be etched in my brain and on my heart.
This race defined how tough and determined I am and that I can do all things when God is on my side. He is the one who got me through to the end–to finish and I thanked Him for that when I crossed. I am taking this time and allowing God to come into my soul even deeper, I know there is a reason behind His works and it is not for me (or us) to question them but to have faith and know He is here and He has walked what we have experienced. I am not a failure!! I am a winner, I am a runner and more importantly I am a child of God who loves me regardless, as so does my family. To top this all off, God works in wonderful ways, He knows my spirits were down and He knows I was getting up and dusting myself off and what arrives in my mailbox Wednesday?…..2016 Boston Marathon Confirmation of Acceptance letter. Yep, time for me to let it go, rest, heal my back and hamstring, get a doctors perspective of my injuries and what to do because I have 5 months to show that I can and will overcome and I will be that 3:30 marathoner.
Running With God – Christian Motivation –
You Can Live Your Dream – Motivation –
The Sound Of Footsteps – Motivation –
Running Through Hell – Motivation –
Running In The Rain – Motivation –
I Will Fight – Christian Motivation –
The Strength of God Resides In You – Christian Motivation –
My wife, Kim, ran the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1st. She wanted to do 3:30 and was on pace for it for 14 miles then…
I call Kim the 7:30 per mile runner. She runs on a treadmill so much that she almost always is in that area. It doesn’t matter if she runs a 5k, 10k or 13.1 miles (half marathon). Her pace per mile is always within 2-3 seconds of 7:30. I pushed her, as well as a couple friend runners, to get out of that zone and she did. During training she actually ran a 5k race under 7:00 per mile and she did a couple long runs where she was in the low 7:10 range. Even on her longer run of 17-18 miles she was doing 7:40-7:45 miles. A couple training runs her left leg would give out on her for a second but we didn’t think much of it.
For the first time ever she actually scaled back before a race. She only ran 9 miles the week of the race, and usually she would do 20-25. She did everything right for this race. She was going to hit her goal of 3:30.
Then mile 14 her leg started to give out. By the time she reached where we were at mile 16 she looked at me and said pain and pointed to her left leg. Then at mile 19 she actually stopped and texted me PAIN!!!! Maybe she should’ve stopped but I know her and if you are a runner you know you won’t stop unless you are dead. She had to walk several times and actually had some miles that were 12-13:00 minutes. She did finish in 4:17, by far her worst marathon but it was still an experience.
My wife took it hard. If you know her you know she was mad, sad, disappointed, and heart-broken. She felt physically, mentally and spiritually broken…for a minute. Then she said she won’t let this define her or who she is. This is just one race.
Which brings me to today’s topic. We all have disappointments. Times when someone or something lets you down. Times when we think God has let us down. Times when our whole being is tested. Times when we think our whole world is falling apart.
How you respond is how you will live your life. You can get right back up or you can wallow in your defeat. You can get mad at everyone around you or you can welcome them into your home so they can encourage you and help pick you up. You can turn away from God or you can get closer to God.
How will you let your disappointments, setback and failures define you? Do you forgive those that disappoint you? Do you forgive yourself for your own disappointments, mistakes, setbacks?
Do you let it define who you are in God? God only sees you as His child. He loves you and wants you to succeed. Like any parent though, sometimes He lets you do it on your own so that your character will grow.