Touring New York City

Well, touring the city was definitely more enjoyable having snagged a PR. I had a little more pep to my step you could say 😀

We got started the day after. Yup, we weren’t wasting our time. I figured the walking would help with recovery anyway, right? Ja!!

The main things on my list were the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. An early morning alarm woke us up and I honestly didn’t feel too bad considering I’d finished a marathon the day before. We arrived at the ferry around 9 a.m. and it was nice beating the crowds.


It’s been a dream to see this statue in person. I mean, I’ve read so much about it in school growing up and honestly–sitting in a desk, it just seemed like fiction. But up close?? Man… And then to go to Ellis Island and read/see what the people arriving to the United States felt about seeing the statue–it leaves you a different person, really.


My parents are U.S citizens. My mom’s mom wasn’t (but became one late in her life before she died). My dad’s dad isn’t and lives in Mexico.

I’ve seen firsthand the emotions one feels not being able to be with family. I’m not going to turn this into a political post, but I do have to say, I wish the process were easier. And I wish people had more compassion to those who have family in America and long to be with them.

We read and learned a lot during our visit to Ellis Island. The process was not easy then….and some things never change.

After our morning in the museum, we headed to the World Trade Center/One World Observatory. We went up to the top and just had the most breathtaking view of the city. It was another surreal moment as we looked out the massive windows.



All in all, the day after the race totaled a whopping 10 miles of walking. I have no idea how I functioned, lol!

Tuesday, Election Day, was bittersweet. I was excited to be in New York City on a historical day but of course you already know in what capacity it was such.

We visited Central Park, a spot I had on my list I wanted to see.


And then we made our way to the Hilary Clinton Block Party, which coincidentally was at the same place as the marathon expo.

at the expo

at the expo

at the block party

at the block party

When it started getting late and things were not looking too good, we decided to call it a night. 😦

Wednesday was the day I’d been waiting for……NEW YORK KNICKS DAY!!!

If you remember my sob story a few months ago, I was super sad that the only games playing while we were in the city were the day of the marathon and the day we were to leave. Well, my husband decided that this was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity so we extended our stay one more day!!!

I had breakfast with a blogging buddy (who sadly no longer blogs) and then in the evening, my husband and I had a pre-game celebration with the amazing Colby. It was seriously the best way to begin the night ❤

Me and the beautiful Colby--LOVE her.

Me and the beautiful Colby–LOVE her.

And then we watched the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden!!! Seriously guys, you have no idea how excited I was about this. Basketball was my first love. And while running has taken over, you never, ever forget your first.

HUGE check off my life list.

HUGE check off my life list.

We jam packed our New York City vacay and I absolutely had the time of my life. It was a stark difference from desert living but I think that’s why I loved it so much, lol!

In all, I’m so happy that whenever I think of New York, I’ll only have positive memories of a great race and a great vacation.

–Have you ever been to New York? If not, what would you want to see/visit there?

–What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City?

–Do you tour a city when you go on a race-cation?


NYC Marathon: The Saturday Before

So I’ve already written about The Race, and I thought I’d share a little about what happened the Saturday leading  up to the big day.

Saturday morning before the marathon, I joined up with Run, Selfie, Repeat’s shakeout run. I “knew” a whole bunch of We Run Social and IG people attending and I was excited to finally meet some social media friends in person. It was a great turn out  (i.e. a shit ton of people) so we broke out in mini groups; it was a perfect 2.5 mile fun run.

BL: Me with Kelly aka-Run, Selfie, Repeat; M: Me with Gregg aka-NYC Sweat; BR: Me with Carlos aka-Carlos the Runner

BL: Me with Kelly aka-Run, Selfie, Repeat; M: Me with Gregg aka-NYC Sweat; BR: Me with Carlos aka-Carlos the Runner


Saturday night was my charity’s pasta dinner. This was quite different than when I ran Chicago for the Ronald McDonald House. The V Foundation was more private and close knit which was really cool. The food was absolutely amazing but the biggest deal were the guest speakers.

Andy Katz from ESPN was the main speaker and he shared his story for why he has chosen to run for the Jimmy V Foundation the past few years. He talked a lot about how much more meaning a race has when you’re running for something other than yourself–which is a big reason why I think a lot of us do this (run for charity).

Andy Katz, me, and my husband

Andy Katz, me, and my husband

Then, he introduced his friend Seb Bellin. Seb was a professional basketball player turned successful businessman. He was in Brussels during the horrifying terrorist attack at the Brussels airport and very badly injured. Seb shared what helped him survive his near-death experience and his story brought the room to tears.

Seb almost died. But, less than a year after, here he was standing right in front of me. He related to us that while he’s never run a marathon, he can imagine that there are moments during the race where we felt like quitting. Where we felt the pain was too strong for us to keep going.

Seb recounted how there were many moments when he felt like that in the Brussels airport. But because he remained calm and in the moment, he allowed himself a chance to survive. He didn’t hope for the impossible–walking out of there; his legs had been severely damaged. Instead, he focused on what he could do: see, talk, and move his hands. He used his strengths to help find a way to get out and get help.

First, he was able to grab something to use as a tourniquet for one of his legs. Then, he pleaded for someone to put him on a luggage cart and take him outside. Once outside, he told the rescue officials arriving it was imperative they put him in an ambulance; he was losing blood fast and time was not in his favor.

He did all of this in unimaginable pain.

As he was speaking, I couldn’t help but think that running a marathon felt so trivial compared to the very near death experience he was sharing. I simply couldn’t imagine being as strong as he was in that situation (and I thanked God I had never been close.)

But I thought a lot about Seb when I ran NYC Marathon. I thought about how lucky I was to be able to run, to feel pain. And his words definitely helped me. His words helped me to embrace the pain–to accept it and find a way to push through it.

This is the video he shared to us that night. There are graphic scenes, but you can see/hear Seb recount the awful moments of that day and how he was able to survive.

The New York City Marathon is a race I’ll never forget for many reasons, and his story is one of them.

Team V with Seb--the tall guy in the back :) <3

Team V with Seb–the tall guy in the back 🙂 ❤

–What thoughts get you through tough moments in a race?


Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 16

Well, that was ugly….

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Strength Runs–8:35

Easy Runs–9:40-10:40
Long Runs–9:30

I had mentioned in Week 15’s Sunday long run how I was sick and that continued on to this week. That, coupled with life, it was an extremely rough week.

Monday, October 17th–5 Easy Miles, 10:23 avg. pace

It was not difficult at all making sure this was done at an easy pace. I was still feeling sick–sweaty chills, stuffy/runny nose, achy body. Ugh…

Tuesday, October 18th–6.25 Miles, 9:05 pace

This was supposed to be a strength run of 1 mile WU, 4×1.5 miles (w800R), 1 Mile CD for 9 miles total. But going in I had the absolute worst migraine ever. I rarely get them and when I do, it’s brutal. Nonetheless, I met up with my run club to get the workout done. As soon as I started running though, I could feel the pounding worsen with each step I took. It was awful. After the warm up mile, I started the first the interval and felt like I was running with a hammer hitting my head with each stride.

I just felt so sick that I just threw the workout out the window and worked on just finishing the route.


Wednesday, October 19th–REST DAY

After yesterday’s awfulness and me still feeling sick, I decided I’d give myself two rest days, today and Thursday. My husband would be out of town on these days anyway which would’ve made running that much more difficult.

Thursday, October 20th–REST DAY

Early in the morning, my mom called to tell me that my aunt, her sister, had unexpectedly passed away. With my husband out of town, I wouldn’t be able to drive home til Friday.

Friday, October 21st–12 miles: 1 mile WU, 10 Tempo Miles, 1 mile CD

I knew I’d be driving home early to be with my mom so I woke up at 4 a.m. to get this run done. It was bad right from the start. My tempo pace of 8:45 that had always felt comfortably easy was just H-A-R-D. I knew I was sick, I knew that I was grieving, but I still wanted to do well so I tried, I tried. And I wasn’t completely far off pace–5 to 10 seconds on some miles-but it honestly made me feel worse, like I shouldn’t be struggling so hard with 3 weeks left of training.



Anyway, I finished and then drove 4 hours south to help my mom with funeral arrangements. My aunt had died in Mexico and it was difficult trying to organize a transport to the U.S. plus funeral arrangements in one day; we only had Friday to work with. It was very stressful as we were on a major time crunch and by the time the day ended, I had never felt so sick and exhausted in my life.

Saturday, October 22nd–REST DAY

I knew logistically it was going to be hard to squeeze a run in. The international transport was taking place early morning and the funeral immediately after. I thought maybe I could run once everything was done, but because I had been insanely busy the day before and still organizing arrangements Saturday morning, that by the time the funeral was over and my aunt was finally resting in peace, I could barely move.

And because I was crazy, I decided to drive the four hours back home instead.

Sunday, October 23rd–11 miles: 3.1 @8:15 pace and 8 miles @9:38 pace

It was my anniversary day and my run club had a 5k Halloween Run so naturally, we dressed up accordingly.

This "Runaway Bride" is never running away :D #6years

This “Runaway Bride” is never running away 😀 #6years

I have no idea how I was able to run. I had gotten into Phoenix late the night before and the run was early in the morning. But I knew I needed to get in miles so off I went…

My daughter yelling at me to "Run faster mommy!!" <3

My daughter yelling at me to “Run faster mommy!!” ❤

Then, after a LONG nap, I got in some more miles in the evening. I wasn’t going to worry about pace–this was just about getting in miles. But, after a few miles I felt warmed up and things started feeling a lot better. The last three miles felt amazing and I was on cloud 9 and so ridiculously happy that I was ending a run on a good note.


Week 16 ended with 34.7 miles. Not gonna lie, for a while I felt like all my weeks of training, all the hard worked I’ve put in, was going to be lost because of this awful week. Right now, I’m just focusing on getting better and thinking positive. I know one bad/sick week isn’t going to derail everything and I just need to make sure that I don’t let negative thoughts take over.

–Have you ever gotten sick towards the end of your training cycle? Remedies?