Before I jump into my Flashback Friday NYC Marathon Edition I just wanted to share a few things….. some more fall foliage pics I took while walking the dog yesterday. because every single year I in awe of Autumn…

I felt like I was in a fairy tale as I walked this path

I felt like I was in a fairy tale as I walked this path

treasuring this view

treasuring this view

the colors!

the colors!

And I went for a short run yesterday to test the waters after running the Trenton Half this past Saturday. I even wore my 2015 NYC Marathon Finisher’s shirt.

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All thing NYC Marathon this week!

All thing NYC Marathon this week!

I’ve been involved with the NYC Marathon every year since 2011 in one capacity or another from running it, to spectating and then there was the year it was canceled.

Here’s a little timeline:

2011: My very first full marathon. I finished in 5:28 and swore I’d never run another full marathon again. My brother and niece and nephew came out to see me in 2 spots in Brooklyn and also at mile 23 in Manhattan.

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about 5k into the race. Hugging my niece and my nephew is video taping me.

Hanging with Lisa....the much more experienced marathoner

Hanging with Lisa….the much more experienced marathoner

Hi. I'm running my first marathon and haven't hit the wall yet :)

Hi. I’m running my first marathon and haven’t hit the wall yet :)

a little past the 10k mark

a little past the 10k mark

2012: Somehow I forgot what I said after running in 2011 and was all ready to run in 2012 until Hurricane Sandy had other plans. I was actually at the expo crying because of all the conflict (I live in Staten Island and we got hit hard and the race starts in Staten Island) and within 20 minutes of leaving the expo I found out the race was canceled. As a Staten Islander I knew I needed to do something so on 11/4/12 (the actual date the marathon would have been) I still ran 26.2 miles…..only it was to and from the local shelter where displaced Staten Islanders were staying. I delivered activities for the kids to keep them occupied  and warm socks and gloves as many had lost everything.

Even brought a few teddy bears.

Even brought a few teddy bears.

26.2 miles of running to and from the shelter

26.2 miles of running to and from the shelter

2013: This was the only NYC Marathon than I ran sub 5 squeaking in at 4:57. Here’s my recap of the 2013 NYC Marathon

I was so taken with emotion I stopped running about 10 steps before the actual finish line

I was so taken with emotion I stopped running about 10 steps before the actual finish line

Being silly at the halfway point and tweaking my back in the process.

Being silly at the halfway point and tweaking my back in the process.

2014: I spectated at mile 22 and had an amazing time spotting 7 of my friends, some random costume clad runners and this man: Dave Obelkevich.

David

David Obelkevich

Just last week ESPN asked to use the photo for an article they were running on him. So I now have a photo credit on ESPN. Here’s the link to the article.

I found Waldo!

I found Waldo!

My friend Carey

My friend Carey

Here’s my recap of spectating at the 2014 NYC Marathon

2015: The morning of this race was super special because my friend Jane and her friend’s Claire, Anne and Kerri all came to my house and we stayed here until it was time to head to the start. I drove us all there and we parked and entered into the secret back entrance for easy breezy access. start It was also super special because Mr. SOTSS and his family were out on the course to see me.

Cutest darn spectator. (And she's also a runner. She is part of Girls on the Run, an amazing organization that I really wish I had time to volunteer for. Thank you so much for making that sign. You rock!

Cutest darn spectator: Mr. SOTSS’ 11-year old

And the most serendipitous part was bumping into Lisa just as we entered into Central Park at mile 23ish. We ran the last few miles together and crossed the finish line together. Such a highlight! I haven’t run a full marathon since. I’ll see if 2017 changes that. Here’s my recap of the 2015 NYC Marathon

D.O.N.E. We did it! This was lisa's 13th NYC Marathon and 52nd marathon overall.

D.O.N.E. We did it! This was lisa’s 13th NYC Marathon and 52nd marathon overall.

And this Sunday I’ll be out spectating again! I have no idea if I’ll ever get the chance to run the NYC Marathon again but it will always be special to me. My hometown marathon and my first 26.2 ever run.

To all those running this year (especially my friends Lisa, Mike, Valerie, Erin, Cindy, Roger, Colene, Cathy, Pete, Robin, and anyone else I forgot) have an AMAZING day! and I’ll see you at either mile 18, 23 or both!

Do you have a memory to share for Flashback Friday?

Ever run the NYC Marathon

Yesterday I was at my shoulder physical therapy appointment. The exercises I had to do were so painful. I cried it hurt so bad. I cried some more because I felt so weak and even the easiest tasks just seemed impossible. Here it is almost 3 months since I fell off that snowmobile and I can’t wash a window with my right arm. I can’t put my hair in a ponytail (unless I bend down and do it upside down), I can’t lift myself off the couch or do a push up or plank….and the list goes on. All the pain, frustration and tears turned into anger and since I’m not a naturally angry person, that anger quickly turned into determination and I pushed through to finish my exercises and scheduled my next appointment.

I then posted this to Facebook:

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And then I had my “aha!” moment. This is one of the many reasons I run marathons. It makes me stronger just as much on the inside as it does on the outside. Training for a marathon and the marathon day itself show me I can get through hard things. I can take the impossible (how on earth can i run 26 miles?!) and make it possible (baby steps! start with a long run of 7 miles and 14 weeks later run 20.). And with every marathon and training cycle I learn more about myself, my strength, my endurance and my capabilities. I learn through injury that I have weaknesses too. But I also learn that I can use my marathon training mind to get through those injuries.

I just need to stay in the mile i’m in! Just going to remind myself i’m only in “mile 1” of rehab for the shoulder. So my mantra for Sunday’s race has now become my mantra for shoulder rehab too. And if when there comes a day I’m not injured or rehabbing I’ll be able to apply this mantra to some other aspect of my life.

Setting my PR of 4:38 last year. Best moment ever!

Setting my PR of 4:38 last year. Best moment ever!

Running marathons have given me confidence and to a degree an identity. If you’ve ever had the chance to see my Dicks Sporting Goods “Every Runner Has a Reason” video I said “I’m becoming more and more Sally, the runner rather than Sally the widow”.

I’ve also created some amazing friendships and just feel so at home in the community of runners.

Me and Lisa at my first marathon—the 2011 NYC Marathon

Me and Lisa at my first marathon—the 2011 NYC Marathon

My Ragnar Relay family!

My Ragnar Relay family!

Jane and I at mile 25 of last year's NJ Marathon

Jane and I at mile 25 of last year’s NJ Marathon

running and chatting

running and chatting

I really learned this after taking on the part time job working for the NJ Marathon. Speaking of, here’s a great interview with Joe Gigas, the race director of the NJ Marathon and a huge source of support and encouragement for me. This man cares so much about the runners!

That's Bre, Joe and me representing NJ at the Philly expo this past November. Photo: RunJersey

That’s Bre, Joe and me representing NJ at the Philly expo this past November. Photo: RunJersey

Lastly, while I was shooting for the Dicks Sporting Goods campaign a couple of years ago I met some amazing runners including Leah Thorvilson.

Me, Leah, Meggan (Rest in Peace-she lost her battle with breast cancer this past fall. ) and Tara—who's also running NJ on Sunday!

Me, Leah, Meggan (Rest in Peace….she lost her battle with breast cancer this past fall…I thought of her last month while running the Philly Love run right when I had that moment that I decided to stick with the full for NJ ) and Tara—who’s also running NJ on Sunday!

She’s run a 2:42 at the Olympic Trials and won the Mount Desert Island Marathon last October with a 2:49 after hamstring surgery no less! Now she’s faced with another huge setback a hole in the cartilage of her knee and she needs another 2 part surgery that will happen far away from where she lives and will keep her from any type of exercise for at least a year! But this girl is determined to run. And she has the biggest heart and gives so much of herself to others that I’ve decided to pledge money toward her traveling expenses for each mile I complete on Sunday (which will most definitely be ALL 26.2 even if it takes me all day). It’s not so much the money aspect but the return of support. She should know that the community of runners that she’s inspired is there for her as she undergoes another challenging year.

Oh I could go on all day about why I run marathons but I’ve got to head out for my last run before the big day.

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans? 

Hi folks,

Happy Monday! It’s chilly here in New York today but I’m so happy that we finally have daylight at 6:15am again after turning our clocks back in the wee hours yesterday. I love daylight savings for that reason, although I’m not looking forward to seeing darkness at 5 tonight when I leave work. Time to take the flashlight now when walking the dog. Speaking of, yesterday I got up super early (another perk of daylight savings!) and took Duncan to the park. He had been trapped in the house all day Saturday since the rain just never let up. The leaves were peaking and just so gorgeous yesterday.

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Then I drove to my boyfriend’s house where I left Duncan to hang with him for the day. Once the doodle drop-off was done I hopped on an 11:30am train to Penn Station and then switched over to the subway to get me up to the north east tip of Central Park, 110th St. and 5th Ave. (gee, sound familiar to my commute to the Dash to the Finish Line 5k on Saturday?) I arrived just a few minutes past 1pm. The weather temps were perfect for running but the winds were way out of control :( I read today that there were wind gusts of 60mph on the Verrazano and 45mph at many other locations along the route. That’s tough for a runner. I’m proud to say that it didn’t deter any of my friends. They all finished!

 

Happy spectator Sally

Happy spectator Sally

Shortly after squeezing in and settling into my official spectator spot my friends started passing through. Some noticed me, others did not. First we had Robin…

Robin was looking for me as I took the picture.

Robin was looking for me as I took the picture.

She finally heard me screaming her name and waved! Next up was JD, who was running his first marathon. He was so in his zone he didn’t see me either…

In his zone! JD's first marathon!

In his zone! JD’s first marathon!

Then I was lucky enough to recognize this guy…

 

This is David

38 year streak! This is 71 year old David Obelkevich

Dave Obelkevich who is 71 years old, has run every NYC Marathon since 1976! I only recognized him in that split second because yesterday morning while having breakfast they had some pre-marathon footage on the news and he was interviewed! Crazy!

Next up was Carey.

Every Mother Counts...especially this girl. She's run so many marathons getting really close to completing all 50 states.

Every Mother Counts…especially this girl. She’s run so many marathons getting really close to completing all 50 states.

I even saw Waldo!

where's waldo

I found Waldo!

I missed seeing Cindy somehow but I didn’t miss Lisa. So here’s an AMAZING statistic. In the 43 years that the NYC Marathon has been in existence and with the 1,000,000th runner finishing this year, only 354 women have run the NYC marathon 10 or more times and my friend Lisa, the Lisa that inspired me to start running, is one of those impressive people. Yesterday was her12th NYC Marathon and 51st overall marathon. Can you say UNBELIEVABLE?!!!

Go Lisa Go!

Go Lisa Go!

Next up was Jorge with his infamous smile!

It's so easy!

It’s so easy!

And last but not least, another loyal NYC marathoner. My friend Pete (1 of 1,947 finishers) has run every year for the last 14 years straight! And get this? His training consists of running basically 3 miles a day every day and then he does a half marathon a month before. Easy peasy!

Go Pete Go!

Go Pete Go!

He even used his camera to take a selfie with me.

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photo courtesy of Pete!

I’m so happy that I chose the spot that I did to spectate. It was easy to get to and so full of energy. There was a band playing music and I was in awe of how many runners still looked so strong and effortless at mile 22.5! Here’s a quick 10 second video.

I had such a great time watching from the sidelines. It pumped me up. I’m only one race away from securing my spot next year. I thought I was done running NYC after running it twice but somehow it’s just contagious. If you ever get the opportunity to run it or watch it DO IT! Trust me, you won’t ever regret it =)

Hope your week starts off well.

Have you ever run the NYC Marathon?

Have you ever spectated at a big race?

 

I covered quite a few miles this year. Let’s start with some stats:

I covered about 1,255 miles through running (and walking) this year.

I ran across 12 bridges: 

  • Golden Gate in San Francisco, CA
  • Arthur Ravenel Jr. in Charleston, SC
  • Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn, NY
  • Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, NY
  • Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, NY
  • Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, NY
  • Madison Ave Bridge from The Bronx to Manhattan, NY
  • Queensboro Bridge from Queens to Manhattan, NY
  • Willis Ave Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx, NY
  • Pulaski Bridge from Brooklyn to Queens, NY
  • Calhoun Street Bridge from Trenton, NJ to Morrisville, PA
  • Trenton Makes Bridge (Lower Trenton bridge) from Morrisville, PA to Trenton, NJ

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