Are you running the 2010 New York City Marathon? Congratulations! Chances are that you are feeling excited, perhaps a tad nervous and relieved that the taper is almost over! Here are 26.2 ways to help you have the time of your life (and successful) New York City Marathon!
BEFORE THE RACE
#1) Expo! Go to the expo Thursday or Friday. You'll have your choice of what logo'd clothing to buy. And in your size! And you can hear me speak about It's All In Your Head too :)
#2) Weather! The 2010 weather forecast is predicted to be chilly. So, go rummage in your closet for old sweats, sweatshirts, gloves and hats. You'll be up very early & looking for any warmth you can get! Just before the race begins you can strip down to your running clothes. Don't worry, the awesome volunteers scoop everything up after you leave Staten Island & donate it to people in need.
#3) Saturday! On Saturday your goals should be to stay off your feet, don't try anything new to eat & hydrate.
photo by matt.hutchinson
#4) Get Ready! Lay everything out. Shoes, race bib, chip, clothes, food, water bottles, watch, sunglasses, etc. You'll probably want to make a special bag to use before the race. Include some
#5) Hydrate! You need electrolytes, potassium, & magnesium. Coconut Water is a good choice or a tablespoon of chia seeds in your water bottle (just keep refilling with water) and even Kombucha. On race day drink Vega Hydrator. Avoid sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade- they contain harmful food dyes that cause disease. Remember you can't cram hydration!
#6) Time! This year (2010) the time will change, so you get an extra hour of sleep. And trust me, you'll be thankful for this. So remember to set your clock BACK an hour.
#7) Photo op! Bring your (small) camera. You'll want to document the race of a lifetime!
#8) Transportation! You'll have an assigned bus departure time, so make sure you are there BEFORE it is supposed to leave. There are plenty of friendly (you are in NYC after all!) volunteers to direct you where to go. Don't miss the bus! The bus ride is about 45 minutes. Make a friend. Curl up beside them & sleep. Kidding. (Kind of.)
#9) Runners Village! The Runners Village is a sight to behold. It's amazing really. You'll see everything from pillows to inflatable rafts to sleeping bags. People from all over the world are here. To run. You'll hear a lot of different languages. You'll see some people confused (perhaps sleep deprived?). Take a moment & see if you can help them.
#10) Runners Village (part 2)! They will have water, plus porta potty's & large tents. They will also have food, but bring your own like a cup of superfood oatmeal (you just need cold water!) and a banana or Vega Pre-Workout. Don't bring the kitchen sink (you can't run it back to NYC after all!) but don't come empty handed either. I would bring a small blanket, some extra, heavy duty trash bags (to lay on the ground- it will be wet). I would also bring a roll of TP (toilet paper) or moist wipes. You'll thank me later :)
#11) Runners Village (part 3)! Try & get some sleep + relax. Race wave 1 doesn't start till 9:40am. And you arrive at the village as early as 5:30am. You'll have plenty of time to rest!
photo by Edgar Zuniga
LET'S RUN THIS CITY!
#12) Wave/color/corral. Your bib tells you where to go. Pay attention. Here is a really good explanation of the colors/numbers.
#13) Corral! You'll be in your corral for some time. Don't start shedding your throw away clothes till just before your corral starts.
#13) On Your Mark.... Once the gun goes off, it could be up to an hour till you actually cross the start line. Breathe.
#14) Get Set... Use the porta potty's that are by your corral. DON'T PEE ON THE BRIDGE!
#15) Go! Once you cross that start line, your only two goals should be a) to finish b) to have fun!
#16) Bridges! You'll run over a bunch of bridges, which include the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Pulaski Bridge (13.1 mile marker = halfway home!), Queensboro Bridge, 1st Avenue Bridge & the Madison Avenue Bridge. These bridges can be deceiving- be prepared for winds & slight incline (hilly!). TIP: Don't arch your back to get up the hills, lean into them. Let the hill come to you, don't come to it.
photo by WTL
#17) Neighborhoods! The NYC Marathon course is famous for lot of things, but in particular in its famous for the five neighborhoods you'll run through. Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and of course Manhattan! Each has its own flavor, culture, smells, and crowds. I distinctly remember watching people leave the services at the synagogue. Sweaty runners & church goers- a very interesting mix. I think they pray for us.
#18) Crowds! Tell your friends and family you will be on the right or left. Or have them tell you where THEY will be. Its a large course, its VERY easy to miss them. Wear something that they can tell its you. Costume is also an option:)
photo by sarahhheiman
#19) Wind! Besides the hills, be prepared for wind. Even on a calm day, its windy. Statistically its hard to run a PR on this course, so treat the marathon with ease & grace. And a grain of salt. With some GU.
#20) Pace Yourself! The key word being pace, start out slow. While this is sage advice for every race (the goal should be a negative split) its wise advice for this course. Not only will you have bridges, hills, and wind, but also 39k OTHER runners all vying for the same piece of pavement as you.
#21) Aid Stations! Runners will naturally come to dead stop at the first table with cups. Don't be one of them. They'll be tables on each side of the course. TIP: run in the middle, then get over to one of the last tables. It will be calm. Also, watch your footing. The longer you run on the course, the more cups will be on the ground. Its an amazing sight to behold- really!
photo by Saucy Salad
#22) Home Stretch! You can start hearing the screams of Central Park miles away, but remember you still have a few miles (and ANOTHER hill) to run yet. Take it in stride. Make it to the finish line (preferably in one piece).
#23) Finish Line! Its finally here- you can hear the crowd scream your name. You can picture the finish line. And then, there it is, in all of her glory, the words you've run to hear "Congratulations, you have finished the NYC Marathon". Okay, they may not announce that specifically, but you get the idea.
photo by fergie_lancealot
#24) Medal! After you cross the finish line, the first thing you want to do is sit (and perhaps cry). But that's not an option. Keep walking. You don't want your body to freeze up. Keep moving! Also, you'll need to pick up your bag you dropped off at baggage check at Staten Island (and for some of you, you'll have to walk a long ways to get it. And if you are lucky enough, also reunite with friends & family. .
#25) Nourish! Get some protein in you as soon as possible. It aids in muscle recovery. A plant-based meal is the best option because it gives your body the nutrients it needs to recover. I like quinoa, bok choy, kale, sweet potatoes, avocado.
#26) Recovery! Get a shower, an ice bath, a good (healthy) meal, (I swear by Vega Recovery Accelerator) and then sleep! You've been up for a while. Save the party for another day.
#26.2) Celebrate! Tiffany's has some amazing little trinkets to help celebrate your finish. But besides the tangible, you have the priceless memory of running 26.2 miles. Be it 2 hours and 9 minutes or 6 hours, you did it. Through blood, sweat and tears, you ran New York City Marathon. Be proud. Be happy. Never stop running.
#26.3) Pray! Whether you believe in God or not, I encourage you to pray that you will have a safe, fun & swift race. Faith can get you through tough times!
I ran the New York City Marathon in 2009 and it was an incredible experience!
Cover photo credit: Axel