Cat & Ang Run a Marathon

We are running the New York Marathon on November 3, 2013. We want to run it in under 4 hours. We're still going to try our best not to die.
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A couple people have commented that Ang and I looked a little too happy in the pics posted toward the end of the marathon. I even got in a conversation with someone where I tried to express how much pain I was in but they replied “but you looked fine!”

Facebook lies. Do you know what doesn’t lie? Marathonfoto. Also, the pics our friends were kind enough not to post. Here they are, submitted with captions.

Ang’s NYC Marathon Recap

To run this race through 5 boroughs, through countless neighborhoods that celebrate a variety of cultures, is AMAZING!  The fact that so many friends and family came out, made signs, stood in the cold, and screamed their lungs out to encourage us, showed me a whole new level of love that brings tears to my eyes even as I think upon it now.

It’s easy to say what my least favorite part of it was—when I lost Cat, hit “the wall” in the Bronx, slowed down to a walk, and began to question every decision I’ve made up until this point with thoughts of—how did I get here? it hurts, everything hurts!! did I gain 1000lbs? it’s so hard to move! I am so hungry, is it ok if I eat all the rest of my cliffshots now? what if I have a heart attack?

The blaring music, people cheering and dancing, kept me up and moving, and I was glad to get back into Manhattan.  Getting to the finish wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t terrible because of all the excitement and love that saturated the streets.  Those last miles, I needed the strangers of NYC, and they came through for me—again, all tears.  And when our friends went bizerk as I ran by, that just propelled me through the last mile, finishing not too far behind Cat, and I couldn’t wait to see her!

My favorite part of the race?  That’s harder to pinpoint because it was all so awesome—running with Catherine, our fans, all the other cheerers, the music, the live bands, and of course—it’s New York City! ain’t nothin’ like this place.

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I don’t even know where to start. I’m still reeling from all the emotions I felt running the NYC marathon. Chicago was amazing, but there’s something about hometown turf that packed an emotional punch that hasn’t left me yet. I think the best way to do the post is not through miles but through emotions.

Pride: I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs living in NYC for 6 years, but there’s nothing quite like a marathon to remind you why this is the greatest city on earth. No matter where I live in the future, I don’t think you’ll ever be able to make me change that statement. I’m proud to live here and proud of my run. This city made me a runner and rewarded me with the best marathon experience someone could ask for. I finished in 4:09.59 - I’ll save sub-4:00 for another day. Suck it, Chicago time; Suck it, sub-4:10 - I owned you!

Joy: I ran with one of my best friends - the incomparable Andrea Ng (aka Ang…duh). I just felt so much joy running with her. She’s just a joyful person anyway. We did the YMCA, we danced to Robin Thicke the 1000s of times Blurred Lines was played along the course, we high-fived countless people and we teared as we discovered no street was less than 3 people deep of crowds.

Pain: And extreme pain at that. Someone asked me how NYC compared to Chicago. Fans aside, I described the course as Chicago’s PMSing older sister (no offense to my own older sister who is a delight) - it was intense and seemed to never quit throwing obstacles at you. That course is no joke. I’m generally ok with hills - but I’m generally not ok with hills at mile 23. Also, I’ve run Central Park a bazillion times and I never realized the uphills that happen around mile 24. Why are those there? Take them out, please.

Confusion: This feels like an awfully long 10K - this should be over soon, right? Wait, I thought we went into the park at 96th street? Why is that guy a cow? Is he a cow? No someone said he’s a dog, but wait he has horns. When did I eat my last Clif Shot? Should I do another just in case? Now my hands are sticky. How do they know my name’s Catherine? Right, I wrote it on my it’s on my shirt ::thumbs up:: ow, I can’t lift my arms like that anymore.

Anger: After seeing my dad then my friends before the Queensboro Bridge, I got mad all over again about the Boston bombings. I was fuming the entire bridge. How could someone do that? To take advantage of a moment in time when a city stops to support each other - I will never be able to understand. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get past the anger I feel about it either.

Numbness: People say crossing the finish line is this amazing experience. For a lot of people I’m sure it is, but for me I just wanted it to be over at that point. The finish line was a safe haven, but I was in shock. I needed water, I needed foils, I needed hugs. I felt like a zombie. It didn’t really hit me what had just happened until I got out of the park and immediately started crying. Four months of training, two years of making sure Ang and I would run this thing.

Extreme Happiness: Seeing my friends, my dad and coworkers (they fit into the friend category too) along the route - it’s indescribable. I knew my friends were loud - but I didn’t know they were THAT loud. Any time I needed support they were there. Even when they weren’t there, I knew they were coming up. I’m tearing up thinking about it. You train and know it’s something you can do, but you just can’t do it on your own. I wrote my name on my shirt so the crowds yelled for me when I needed it, too. One guy said: “You all are beautiful, especially you Catherine.” He was lying. Lying HARD. But he picked me up when I was down and I started floating on air.

Thank you to everyone who made this day amazing. Even if you weren’t physically there, you were there. 

4 Days.

Where should I start? I love running’s simplicity. I love the fact that it hurts sometimes. I love that our sport’s stars are so accessible, and so down-to-earth. I love how a 45-minute run on a bad day can act like a “re-set” button, leaving me refreshed and energized. I love how each time I run a marathon, I swear them off forever – then keep signing up for marathons. I love that when I ran my first Boston and made the final turn onto Boylston Street to the finish, I cried. (What other sport packs that kind of emotional punch?) I love being part of such a fantastic global community; as a group, runners are the nicest bunch of people I’ve ever met. And I love being able to eat ice cream pretty much with impunity.
Mark Remy

The first of our 9+1 races to qualify for the New York marathon this year. I told Ang the faster we ran, the sooner we could go to a diner to eat waffles. #tbt #10Days #ingnycm

"Winning is not about first place, but giving it all you got on any given day. I sure did that day and had to use a wheel chair to get around the airport a few days later. Pain is temporary, but the pride of giving it your best effort lasts forever, just like all of the memories above." 

I adore Meb! He just wrote his favorite running memories to celebrate his family’s 26 years in the USA. What a neat guy. I’m so happy to be running in the same race as him on Nov 3 - even if I am a good 2 hours in his dust.

Cat saved my life! by telling me to eat a banana :)
Not even a third into our 12miler today, I was feeling lightheaded and faint—leaned up against a light post and told her and our pal Evan to go on, and I’d meet them at the park.  But she knew better, as usual—let me rest a while, walked me to a bodega, and a banana was literally waiting for me on the countertop.  I completed the 12miles, woooh!
Yesterday, my food intake mainly consisted of candy and potato chips.. not sufficient nutrients for a runner :/

Cat saved my life! by telling me to eat a banana :)

Not even a third into our 12miler today, I was feeling lightheaded and faint—leaned up against a light post and told her and our pal Evan to go on, and I’d meet them at the park.  But she knew better, as usual—let me rest a while, walked me to a bodega, and a banana was literally waiting for me on the countertop.  I completed the 12miles, woooh!

Yesterday, my food intake mainly consisted of candy and potato chips.. not sufficient nutrients for a runner :/

Total love/hate relationship with this video since it’s filed under “it’s funny because it’s true.”

I have to say - besides being sick a couple times during my 16 week training plan, my long runs have gone off without a hitch.  Sure, some have been tougher than others, but for the most part they’ve been smooth sailing.

I must have saved the worst for last. Saturday’s 20 miler was horrendous for me. However, I feel oddly more confident than I did after my last long run before Chicago last year.  Saturday, everything that went wrong involved my poor planning: substituting granola bars for my Luna bars, eating a crappy meal the night before (it involved bacon…a lot of bacon). Basically a bunch of rookie mistakes because I’ve been in the mindset that I’m untouchable. I’m not, and I did stupid things and it was a terrible run that made me want to slap the training groups along the Hudson that made it look easy. 

One thing that was awesome is that I noticed how much my mental toughness has improved - even with my body wanting to quit, my mind never did. 20 miles didn’t seem like a long period of time either. It was great to realized that when I finished. Apparently my mantra is “Focus on finishing” because that’s what I said over and over to myself when I wanted to stop.

Anyway, I’m weirdly confident headed into my taper. I think I needed a bad run to get my nutrition back in gear prior to the marathon (and to realize how much it’d made me improve).