First Marathon – First Time In America

Hello my friends,

How come that I ran the TCS New York Marathon?

First of all, I didn’t plan to run a marathon in 2019. I just started running in the end of April 2019 and I ran two half-marathons before. At some point I saw that there was a “lottery” in our Berlin Midnight Runners group on Facebook. They had three bibs for the TCS New York Marathon 2019. I didn’t know anything about it and thought lets just do it, you never know.

I always said to myself the first marathon that I run will be the New York Marathon. I knew that before I started running. It was one of these gut feelings. I always wanna go all in so New York was my ALL. I didn’t know why I wanted to run a marathon before I didn’t even finish a proper 10 km race.

TCS Marathon Expo 2019

A couple of years ago a saw Diana(@doandlive) on her journey with New Balance. She ran her first marathon in New York and I was impressed. That was actually the beginning. The beginning of my New York Marathon wish.


IT IS OFFICAL I WILL RUN MY FIRST MARATHON

In the end of august I received an email from the captain of the New York Midnight Runners. When I read “you will soon be running through the streets of New York” I couldn’t believe what just happened. I will run my first marathon and not just any marathon I run the New York marathon. So I actually won one of the three bibs for this marathon.


TRAINING BEFORE THE RACE

So it was official I will run my first marathon but how do I train for that? I had no idea and I was in Sweden at that point. So all of my running friends were still in Berlin. Lucky me I also won a summit membership for Strava. They had a Marathon training plan that I used for my training. I used the McMillan marathon plan. This plan is a 12 week plan but I received the message six weeks before the race so I had to skip the first couple of weeks. Before that I just ran 10-20 km per week. After the Sportcheck half marathon in Berlin I injured myself and had to stop running for two weeks. That was also the time when I received the confirmation email from New York.

I knew that I will run the marathon and my friends said I still have enough time. But I was quite scared I had no idea what will happen. After these two weeks I started running and followed the plan. I felt great and I got used to the hilly area here in Sweden. I run 30-55 km per week. I also started to focus on the time and not the km or the pace anymore.


TRAINING EXAMPLE

Monday: recovery day

Tuesday: 00:54 h, 108 m elevation, 07:21/km

Wednesday: 01:10 h, 158 m elevation, 07:01/km

Thursday: 01:56 h, 207 m elevation, 07:43/km

Friday: 00:38 h, 44 m elevation, 06:50/km

Saturday: recovery day

Sunday: 02:00 h, 304 m elevation, 08:48/km

Total: 06:40 h, 817 m elevation, 51,8 km

Alright so I had seven weeks of training before the race, but I was also traveling in between so in some weeks I couldn’t stick to my training plan as I wanted.


WELCOME TO NEW YORK

Central Park

I arrived in New York on the 31. of October (yes Halloween and yes I went to the Time Square). No jetlag nothing. I felt great. On the 1. of November we had a 6 miles shakeout run with the Midnight Runners in New York. I was extremely thankful to have these lovely people around me, because I didn’t know anyone else in New York. The day before the race we went to an Italian place and everyone ordered pasta (typical pre-marathon pasta party) but I decided to stick to my plants. I had potatoes, beans and vegetables. The food was amazing and super clean. Everything I needed. I tried to sleep as much as possible the night before the race and I had no difficulties with falling a sleep.

Brooklyn Bridge

RACE DAY

I started my day with oatmeal and headed to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. I met one of the Midnight Runners there. Lovely Olivier from Boston. I was glad to have her even if I didn’t know her before it helped me to have someone around me who ran a couple of marathons before and she gave me a lot of tips before the race.

When we arrived in Staten Island we took the bus to go to the starting area. It took forever and I thought I would have much more time. I was freezing cold because I didn’t know that I had to bring a “throw away” jacket. I dropped my bag, had three bananas (which was a bit too much for me) and went to my corral. I started in the last wave. There was no going back. I knew I was ready for this.


3, 2, 1 GO!

We stared and I have to admit that I was quite annoyed that everyone was so slow and it was also pretty cold. I passed quite a lot of people and wanted to go faster and faster. When we arrived in Brooklyn I was overwhelmed with all the people who cheered on the sides of the street. I had tears in my eyes a couple of times while I was running. I couldn’t believe that I had the chance to run this race. I was so thankful and happy to be there.

I run a new PB on the first half and thought “wow that is actually super easy going”. After mile 14 I had one Lärabar and I also knew that the Midnight Runner crew will cheer at mile 18. I was so happy to see them and I got my coconut water from one of them. Electrolytes, everything I needed. At mile 20 I realised that it wasn’t that easy anymore. It was so loud around me and I just wanted to finish it. My legs weren’t tired but my mind wasn’t with me anymore. I passed Queens, Bronx and finally arrived in Manhatten. My wonderful friend Joy was there and I didn’t expect that. I was so glad to see her. She ran with me for a while that gave me so much energy and I knew I will finish this!

I arrived at the Central Park and a couple of days before the race I check out the final stretch so I knew what will come. I saw the finish line and I did it. I finished my first marathon and not just any marathon I finished the New York Marathon.


AFTER THE RACE

My legs felt a bit weird and we all walked like penguins. I got my bag and drank my kale juice right away(by the way while the race I just had water and no Gatorade). I just wanted to leave. There were so many people even at the subway. At some point I finally made it to the bar where all the other Midnight Runners were and I was so glad to see them all. So proud of everyone who ran the race and myself. We were heroes!


THE DAY AFTER THE RACE

People told me that I wouldn’t be able to walk up the stairs after the race and that my legs wouldn’t be that strong anymore but I felt great I almost felt nothing. I went to the recovery center for a recovery session. Everyone was complaining and I was the only person there without any pain. I knew it was because of the nutrition. POWERED BY PLANTS.


LAST DAYS IN NEW YORK

10 km New York Midnight Runners Boot Camp

I used the last days to do all the tourist things in New York. Two days after the race I started running again and ran a 10 km run with the New York Midnight Runners.

New York Midnight Runners

The last day was my birthday and I had a couple of hours before I head to go to the airport. I decided to go for a last walk. I had such a wonderful time and it felt so wrong to leave New York. I truely loved it and I wanted to stay. It was one week but this week was packed with emotions, new people, live podcasts and so much more. Big thanks to the Midnight Runners and everyone who stayed with me in New York.

Peace plants namaste,

Elli

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