TCS NYC Marathon

Well, I had every intention on keeping a weekly training diary. But then my blog broke and I couldn’t get WordPress to work on my iPhone anymore. And it would have taken me too much time to troubleshoot, time I don’t seem to have these days. So, I just let it go. And now here I am, stealing a few minutes while Walter naps, vomiting up anything I can think of since my last update.

Marathon shirt.

I’m just going to dive right in, ok? (Warning TMI ahead.) I finally overcame all the gut issues I’d been having. They are a thing of the past. Thank goodness. And given what took place right around the same time, I think I know why I was having so many issues. I got my period out of nowhere six weeks ago and went through a pretty rough hormonal shift. If you’ve ever had children, you might know how awful those first few cycles can be. It’s as if your body is making up for lost time. Hormones hit with an intense vengeance, you’re sweating one moment, freezing the next. You go from laughing uncontrollably, to sobbing . You’re doubled over in intense pain. Just getting by can be difficult let alone running 15+ miles. But I tried. And it was terribly difficult.

I became discouraged. And nearly threw in the towel. But then Corie reminded me about that postpartum shift, so I relaxed a bit.

Then I broke my toe tripping over Walter’s bouncer. I knew this was more than your average bash because I nearly threw up on impact. Then I almost passed out. Nausea poured over me like a bucket of bleach removing all the color from my skin. When I finally composed myself, I assessed the damage. The top part of my middle toe on my left foot was sideways. I took a deep breath and yanked it back into place, taped it to the other toe, and did what any smart human person does: try and pretend it didn’t happen.

I took time off to let it heal, 7 days. Then I did a quick 4 miler. It hurt a touch, but it wasn’t awful. I could run ok. But I decided it was time to get some X-rays. I needed a doctor to tell me one of two things: “Go for it!” Or “You must stop, you’ll lose your foot!”

Long story short: it was a tiny break. But given where the break occurred, I was told it won’t get any worse and if I can run, to go ahead and run. So that’s what I have been doing, albeit slowly and not as often as I should be.

The following weekend I put away an easy 15.

The weekend after that, I ran 20. Twenty miles was really, REALLY hard. Mile 18 onward I found myself talking to clouds, Jesus, pigeons and geese. My body was having trouble, but I swear I could see through time! Other dimensions were perfectly visible to me. I was blissfully losing it. I realize now I needed to hydrate. I finished off my Gu Gels and my Gatorade way back at mile 11. So, yeah. Hydration is important. Also: salt. I am hoping this doesn’t take place during the actual race (should I make it that far) since they will have fueling stations at every mile.

I’ve been tapering ever since. And I haven’t done much in the way of weekly runs in hopes of letting my toe fully heal. It still aches from time to time, particularly before it rains. Weird.

Guys: I’m nervous as hell. No, actually, I’m terrified. I keep having these half awake, half asleep nightmares at 4 AM. I’m alone on the Verrazano Bridge, dark autumn clouds taunt me from all around. The city looms in the background. I’m cold and I’m looking for my family. I think: I can’t do this. That’s what I believe at 4 AM. And those raw, 4AM thoughts are often my most truthful.

back of my NYC Marathon shirt

I’m terrified.

I’m excited, but mainly terrified.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so afraid.


  1. You can do it! You can finish! You got in your 20-miler, you’re resting your body in the taper. You have already achieved so much – you trained for a marathon with 3 kids, in the first year of Walt’s life! That alone is so hard, and well worth being proud of. The crowds for New York are SO AMAZING. They will cheer for you and carry you. It’s a little thin crowd-wise in the Bronx bit, so if you have any friends willing to schlep up there and yell their heads off for you at 20 & 21, that may help. Then it’s the home stretch. One mile at a time. Anyone can run a mile (this is what I said to myself for each mile past 18). You will not believe the crowds once you get to Central Park, and the people cheering for YOU. YOU!


  2. I’ve run a marathon, and I was terrified at the starting line. I had just gotten my first phone with a decent camera and the photo I took looks almost exactly like the one of you above. Once I started running, though, the fear went away and I knew what I was there to do. This past summer I ran a trail relay that involved me running a very difficult trail that was covered in 10 inches of mud at midnight. I thought I was going to puke while waiting for my teammate to enter the exchange chute. I was afraid I couldn’t do it or that I would really hurt myself in the trying. Once I started running, however, I knew what I was there to do. Once you start across that bridge, the fear will melt away and you will know what you are there to do. And you will do it and it will be amazing and a week later you will think to yourself, “I ran 26.2 miles? That’s insane!”


    1. God damn I love you people.


  3. Don’t be silly–the bridge is at the beginning of the race. You’ll never be all alone while crossing that thing. :)
    Your 15 mile training run experience sounds like my childbirth hallucinations. Wheeee!
    GOOD LUCK lady. If you’ve run 20, you Can.Do.This. I’ll be thinking of you while I run my puny Half Marathon this weekend.


  4. You’re going to do great. I just finished my 2nd Marine Corps Marathon and didn’t run anything more than 15miles. Granted, I was quite sore the next day, but I finished. And you will, too. Enjoy it. Enjoy the spectators, too. My advice is to take out the headphones for just a bit and listen to everyone cheering you on. You will be surprised how motivating that can be. Goodluck!!!


    1. Haha! I just read there could be a dusting of snow on Saturday. And that on Sunday we should expect wind blasts of up to 45mph.

      I’ve run through blizzards and loved it. I run in the pouring rain, enjoy that immensely as well. I run in the bitter cold, doesn’t bug me one bit. I tolerate the heat. But gusts of wind? This is my least favorite way to run.



  5. I think, once your group begins to move and you begin the downward descent of the Verazano, with Brooklyn stretched out before you, that you will find your terror transform itself into a sort of elation, and you will feel that each time you move from borough to borough, mile to mile.

    It’s your city. You will be running through each borough. Yes, it will likely hurt. Yes, you’ll probably cry. But you will also be bursting with a pride and excitement that only comes from that thrilling combination of pushing yourself to a physical and emotional limit, while at the same time submerging yourself into an incredible sense of place.

    The only comparison I’ve ever been able to think of is childbirth. You know it will hurt, it pushes you to the brink, but you are determined because the accomplishment is irreversible joy.

    You can do it! Own that fear.


    1. Thank you for this Corie. It means the world to me and is greatly needed and appreciated.


  6. I have the marathon app and I’ll be following some friends. Will you share your number so we can follow you, too? I watch from between miles 8 & 9 in Fort Greene.


    1. I sure will! I’ll post it later today when I return from the expo.


  7. Since you’ve gotten in a 20-miler, you can do it. When I ran my one and only marathon back in 2012, I only had time to get in one 20-mile run. I was able to complete the marathon, although the last few miles were hard. I swore I’d never ever run another marathon again! The next day, I was already planning my next marathon and how I would improve my time. I haven’t run another marathon yet, but have plans to run one in 2015. Good luck! I’ll be cheering you on from Canada and watching you online!


    1. I only did one 20 and it was VERY hard. No idea where the remaining six will come from within me. But I’ll try. Or just stop and call it a day.

      Thank you, all for your words!


  8. Good luck, Michele. Just thing of all the random internet people wishing you on for the final 6 miles!


    1. Thanks, Huw!

      Also: everyone who asked: my bib number is 68236. I am literally in the last corral of the last wave. Hahhaha! Slow as molasses. Here’s hoping I make it! God I’m nervous.


  9. I sent you a message via Facebook but I realized you would probably never see it since it will go into your secret folder. Good luck tomorrow! I hope you feel great and enjoy your city!


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