11 Days Until I Run The Five Boroughs

Here we are, eleven days out from my second attempt at running New York City’s five boroughs. Last year, I nailed my time goal by almost a minute. This year, I had high hopes of smashing my 2015 TCS NYC Marathon time, along with the time I hit on a much more difficult course,  the Sandhollow Marathon, in Hurricane, Utah a few months after New York.

I was set with my training and diet, July was a great month of running, following a strong June. August was a different animal, with my first 200 mile month, ever! It was also my fastest average pace month of the year!

September though, that’s where everything went off the rails. On September 3, my wife and I were getting ready to get out of bed, me for a run, her to attempt a run. At 8:38 am she let us know our world just changed. Her water broke, seven weeks early, and off to the hospital we went. By 7:27pm, we welcomed our daughter into the world.

She would spend the next six and a half weeks in a wonderfully staffed NICU. I tried to maintain a running schedule for the first couple weeks, then going to visit her. Our nights stretched too late, and I was getting too worn out to continue running. September was a 41 mile month. No big deal, I got this.

October hit, and we started out the month still visiting the NICU daily. So far, I am up to 8 miles for the month. Maybe I will hit double digits for October.

Good news is, we brought our baby home, bought our new home, and have begun renovating it, to make it a more suitable home for us, and especially, the baby. In doing so, I could spend an hour or two logging miles, or take that time to get our house prepared for the floor installers in a couple weeks.

With a lot of the house, ripping out wallpaper is damaging the walls, so we are learning how to prep and repair drywall, stripping out popcorn ceilings, and the like.

Not one to do the most logical thing, and defer to run the race in 2017, I opted to continue my plan to run it in 2016. While trying to book my stay at Park 79 again, I discovered they were shut down, and I was going to have to find alternate lodging, very late in the game. Luckily, I decided to give AirBnB another try, and found, what I hope will be a great place to stay.

Right after booking my AirBnB lodging in New York City’s Upper West Side, the NY State Legislature passed a new law that could have damaged my lodging plans for a second time. Dodged a bullet there, so one less thing to stress about.

Bib assignment has been received, I am in Green Wave 2 Corral D, with a scheduled 10:15am start time. Under the bridge I begin again, perhaps this year, I will run close enough to the side to allow my watch to maintain a GPS signal throughout the entire covered portion. That threw me off in 2015, as my watch was a quarter mile off, and I did not accurately remember the time we actually started the race.

While I was hoping to get a chance to run atop the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, I do like the Green route, and not having the throng of 50,000+ people to contend with all at once. By the time our group joins the Orange and Blue waves at mile 8, the crowd will be relatively spread out, allowing for an amazing run.

Looking at the weather forecast for November 6th’s race, it should be a mid-50’s, partly sunny sky, with 6 mile per hour winds. Near ideal conditions for running. Hopefully the pre-race gathering at Fort Wadsworth is not too chilly or rainy.

Things for me to remember for the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon will be to make sure I have the right shoes and socks for the race, throw away/donation clothes for getting to the start line. A full battery on my Garmin, and a hand-held bottle of Gatorade will be great, too.

To be decided, do I give myself a mohawk for the race again, or not. I am leaning toward yes, as I need a haircut, and who doesn’t like a mohawk on race day?

For 2016, I hope to pay more attention to the neighborhoods as we run through them. I thought I did a good job last year, however, after seeing Helli on the bridge leading down to 1st Ave, I do not recall hearing the “wall of sound” everybody, Bart Yasso included, have noted you hit after exiting the bridge. The biggest thing I recall at that point was Tiki Barber posing for photos with fans along the side of the course.

Overall, I hope to have a great, quick trip in New York City this year. I plan to wear that medal from the moment I cross the finish line, until I go through the medal detector (badda bing), and onto the plane. Seeing everybody walk around the streets of New York with their medals on in 2015 was a great experience, connecting us with a bond only 50,000 people in 2015 share.

Here’s to a good effort, despite bumps in the road. That’s what runners do though, overcome obstacles and never quit!

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