{Traveling to the} Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made

New York City.

Wow. Where do I even begin? The race was nearly three weeks ago and I’m finally able to sit down to write about my experiences. Not because I finally have time, but because it’s taken me this long to reflect on the impact of my journey without bawling.

And I mean bawling. Like, ugly cry on my bed in the fetal position surrounded by my NYCM clothes as I clutch my race medal. Okay, maybe that’s a little overdramatic. Only 75% of that statement is true, but I’ll never admit which parts.

Here’s a play by play of day 1 in NYC! If you’re looking for solely the race recap, stay tuned!

We flew up to The Big Apple the Friday before the race. My mom, dad and brother were on the same flight from Dallas to LaGuardia as my husband and I, so it was really nice to get to fly and arrive together.

We were on board with lots of other marathoners, so I eavesdropped on conversations throughout the flight to get as many race tips as possible. I’m not sure why, but it actually made me more nervous to overhear the tidbits of details from past participates who were going at it again. I think because I couldn’t ask them questions. So I eventually forced myself to stop listening, even though I wanted to know all the details of what I could expect.

I suppose ignorance is bliss, especially when wanting to be surprised and entertained. I hardly looked at the race map prior to race day because I didn’t want to overthink the course. I knew the first half of the race was fairly flat, but the second half contained hills, with the race ending uphill in Central Park. But beyond that I didn’t know much about the course. I wanted everything to be a surprise so I would enjoy it more.

My excitement continued to grow when the plane finally broke through the clouds and I actually got to see the city. Views from an airplane are always the best.

Seeing the city and knowing that I was about to run all around it was such a surreal feeling! 

After the most confusing baggage claim situation ever, my family and I climbed into a super crowded Uber and headed to our hotel. The first of many selfies. Get ready.

On our way we saw several construction signs notifying drivers of road closures on race day. Our Uber driver was explaining to us that there were a lot of people in town for the New York City Marathon, so we explained to our driver that he was driving around an NYCM participant 🙂

We stayed at the host hotel, which was super convenient (but more on that later),  and had a little view of Central Park. Here’s the view from our room.

After we got settled in, the hubs and I went for a 2-mile shakeout run at the hotel gym. 

I know what you’re thinking. Why do a shakeout run on a treadmill? Honestly, I wanted the first time running in NY to be at the marathon. Plus, I did 100% of my marathon training on a treadmill, so why not?

Then we looked up and noticed we could watch ourself running. It was awesome. Let me show you a picture.

After a quick shower we headed to a pasta party with my Race to Stop MS team. So we jumped in another Uber, where I saw Times Square for the first time. It was beautiful. I kept saying, “ohhh it’s so pretty!” It made the race seem even more real. Gosh, I’m lucky.

The New York City chapter of the National MS Society had a thoughtful (and festive) dinner for participants and their family members.

I really loved talking to my teammates for the first time! Most people were running the race in honor/memory of a family member or a friend, but I found one other girl who actually has MS. We swapped stories of how we were diagnosed and how we’ve continued to run.

After loading up on gluten-free pasta, the hubs and I walked back to to our hotel, by way of Times Square again

Then we paused for a photo op in front of Radio City Music Hall.

Then we headed over to Rockefeller Center to join the rest of my family, including my sister, her husband and their daughter who came in a few hours after we did.

Day 1 in New York City was amazing, and all I hoped it would be! I’m beyond blessed that my family was able to travel to support me! There are no words to describe how much better they made this experience!

Stay tuned for Days 2, 3, 4 and 5, plus a full race recap!


Let’s chat!

  • How often do you travel?
  • Have you ever been to NYC? If so, what was your first reaction?

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2 thoughts on “{Traveling to the} Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made

  1. 50statecanuck.com says:

    I'm the same way…I often like to avoid looking at the race map and just have it as a surprise…I'm not always happy about that decision half way through the race when I NEED to know if there is another hill around the corner! LOL!

    I travel all the time for races – while it has its challenges, I love being able to learn about new places…and get a medal for doing so at the same time! Ha!


  2. Kristen Runs says:

    How funny! I'm glad there are more people like me who like to be surprised when it comes to races! Where have you traveled for races?! Races are quite an investment, but SO worth it! The medal is always a good incentive, haha!


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