I did it! I completed back to back marathons. It is probably not the greatest idea to push your body to this extent over a short period of time but it was sure worth it.
New York was, although the same as any other marathon, quite a different beast. Who knew that I would walk a half marathon the day before just getting to the expo center, picking up my bib, and getting to my hotel. That alone threw me off, not even counting the interesting timeline the day of the race. I came to run New York to write it off my bucket list. It is one of the larger races in the world and it is an honor to be a part of it. If I could PR, that would be awesome, otherwise I am content just having a fun run. Spoiler: It was my slowest marathon time.
This run was everything that I haven't prepared myself for, other than the 26.2 miles, and many people ought to know what the run entails. Typically you get to the race maybe an hour or so before the official start so by the time you get through security and prepared you have 10-15 minutes to spare. To get into the mental zone. Typically, at least runs I enjoy, are curving with turns and cut backs where you can't see more than half mile ahead. Typically, there are sections where it is quiet. And finally there are typically sections of the run where the runners get thinned out. New York was not like this.
Firstly, I made the mistake of getting to the start line as I usually do. That's a no no, because I ended up waiting around for 2+ hours in the windy cold of Staten Island due to some travel time miscalculation. That is a serious motivation zapper. Secondly, this run was literally straight lines of miles. I understand it is New York and it is The City, but I suppose I am so used to trail running and suburban running that the mentality of seeing literally 2 miles of runners ahead of you is quite an eye opener. This really zapped me at the half-marathon point. Lastly, at no point during the course was there any thinning out of the pack. This was frankly amazing. It was jam packed basically elbow to elbow the whole way to the finish. Looking ahead you see miles of runners and looking behind you see miles of runners.
At the half-marathon, my motivation got zapped. It was combination of my mental fortitude of "when is the turn?" and "does this ever end?". Two statements you never want to go through your mind when you are running. I think the reason my mental fortitude broke down was that the course was so straight, which I am not used to. I enjoy and train on trails with the curves. Additionally, on the trails you can "zone out" quite easily. But with the constant running population and non-stop cheering, it was extremely hard to "zone out".
If you are thinking of running New York. Go for it. It really was quite an amazing and remarkable race through the greatest city in the world and amazing how so many people of various ethnic and culture backgrounds came out to cheer the multinational running population. I ran into folks from the Netherlands, Mexico, Germany, and Australia. But bear in mind that if you are partial to the trails, this course is quite different and if you have the ability to super meditate to build up your mental strength before the race, you ought to. It will really help.
All in all, I finished. I don't think I will run New York again. However, I am glad I ran the course and am happy to report that I ran with 50,000 of my closest friends. And with that, another one in the books.