The hot mess that was The New york city marathon

Jesse Specs Spellman

Well, it was hot. Usually, the first Sunday in November tends to always have a brisk chill in the air with fall temps and cool air. The key word there is “usually” but for some reason the weather decided to be different this year for the NYC Marathon, gone we’re the cool, brisk temps and in we’re the early summer temp feels along with some humidity. If you know me, you know I don’t respond well to humidity and that was ever present at this past Sunday's New York City Marathon.

So here we are at the start line, literally at the line. This was my first time on the line at the front, it’s definitely a different experience and perspective being on the front of the line. I’d recommend that if you’re in the front of the wave/ coral to make your way up for this experience. So here we are mind racing, thinking about how we’re going to get through this day, asking myself if I hydrated enough, did I eat enough, how hot will it be etc. etc. etc. Cannons go off and up the bridge we go, me and BMRNYC run brother Pete, off the top we shoot out at a 5:56 for the first half mile and my first thought is “this isn’t a 5k”. 

The first couple miles went off as normal without a hitch, we entered Brooklyn and 4th Ave which is where the party started, looking down at the watch to make sure we were on track for the goal and that we weren’t going all out on pace due to the warmth. For NYCM my mindset is to always get to the next person/cheer zone. If you’ve run NYC, you know these are non-stop as out of the 26.2 miles 24 of them include an insane amount of crowd support. 

10k mark, first body check and report. Something felt off, couldn’t pin it but the run didn’t feel as smooth as London. As runners we all have this, and this is where training and long runs kick in because it really teaches you how to mentally lock in even when things are off. We get to the first cheer zone Black Men Run NYC, Mike 7.5 the brotherhood is always live and really pushes you off and sets the tone for the remainder of the race. Now the focus starts to really try to lock in but it’s just not happening, why can’t I get locked in like London? Why is my breathing off? Why can’t I get my cadence right? 

Black Men Run NYC Mile 7.5

Running though Lafayette we’re still on target zipping through the narrow roads of crowds on Lafayette Ave, hearing the roars, the bells all with the goal of getting to the next stop which is mile 9 with Adidas and Kim. Thoughts were to stay focused and get to mile 9, straight down Lafayette left turn on Bedford, a few 100 yards there she is!!!! Thank goodness, Maurten mix on deck, small pit stop to fix the compressions and we’re off again. Still on target BUT it’s getting hot!!! Next target mile 11.5, we’re getting there but now I’m starting to feel as if it’s time to throttle back as I'd rather finish up right than to not finish at all, but we still push on for as long as we can. 

Mile 11.5 a few former coworkers with a care package of oranges and some salt water, at this moment I’m barley hanging on, I’m not in any pain or sore it’s just that nothing is working out. It’s not my worst run but I’ve gained enough experience through running to know that today is not the day. Left turn on McGuiness Blvd and onto the Pulaski bridge to the halfway point of 13.1 miles. I’m starting to see more people walking, my mind is saying shit keep holding on to this pace, but I can feel the fade beginning to set in slowly. All I kept thinking about was the hot summer runs and how I got through those. We’re in Queens now, get to the next cheer zone, TeamWRK then Wepa and BridgeRunners, I made it. I already told Pete a few miles ago peel off as I knew this wasn’t going to be my day. I know what a survival run feels like when it’s happening. It’s all about adjusting and hanging on and today was just that.

Queensborough bridge, as I’m making the climb this is where the reassessment starts to happen, do I continue to push for the time target, or do we pull back and start to enjoy the race? My mind is saying I don’t want to miss my target by minutes or seconds, and I’d rather live to fight another day. Off the bridge and onto first avenue. My mindset if officially changed to bringing the pace down and just to simply enjoy the race. Gone was the laser focus of the first half and arrived was the crowd interacting, smiling and simply having fun!!!! At this point I’m just hungry, hot, and thirsty BUT now is where the real fun begins as this was the first New York City marathon I’ve kind of not raced. For the first time I took in and enjoyed all the energy, didn’t count the avenues going up first and just had fun. Next stop mile 19.5 “GET TO THE COOKIES”. 

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