My Experience Running the New York City Marathon

Streakers

Every year we travel to New York for marathon weekend because my husband, Chris is a Streaker. Streakers are people who have run 15 or more consecutive New York City Marathons. This year was Chris’ 21st. It’s incredible. I’m continually amazed by his abilities and drive.

The streak is SO important to Chris, he even ran and finished the race 5 months after breaking his hip! (You can read more about that here.) It’s a story his orthopedic surgeon shares with pride, and now his hip doc can add qualifying for the Boston Marathon to his story as Chris ran a 3:37 this year.

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

My Race

After I completed the Imogene Pass Run in early September, which is a legendary mountain pass race here in Telluride, Colorado, I asked Chris if I should run New York. I ran it twice before in 2005 and 2006 (that’s 12 & 13 years ago for those that don’t like math). It’s been a WHILE. Never before had I turned to him and asked that question. I literally had ZERO desire to run let alone run a marathon, but somehow this year was different. I thought, well, I’ve already been training all summer, and we are already scheduled to go since Chris is running…so WHY NOT?

Let’s talk more about why…

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

Why?

“Why?” was one of the funniest signs that I saw along the race course. The young, bearded guy holding it up has a solemn look on his face, and simply shrugged his shoulders when we made eye contact. I started laughing.

Why? is also the first question my mom and good friends asked me.

I used to run as a form of therapy, to run through pain. I ran through a mountain of childhood crap, dysfunctional relationships, the death of my dad. But, why…now? I’m not in pain. In fact, maybe for the very first time in my life, I’m REALLY happy.

I wanted to run this race to show my sweet son, Gage and daughter, Elizabeth, that mommies can do amazing things too. I wanted to run this race to prove to myself that I could still do it. I wanted to run to reconnect with the inner athlete and make sure she was still there somewhere. I wanted to run to revive my relationship with running, in a more joyful and positive way. NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

Right After Crossing the Finish Line… a Very Emotional Moment

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

From Disbelief to Relief to Joy!

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

My Incredible Race Running Partner, Patti!

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

My Race

My goal was not to run fast, but to truly enjoy the experience…the bands, the fans, and high fives. And, I really did. I high fived all the kids I saw, read all the hilarious signs. I laughed and cried. At a couple of points while running, I was overcome with emotion and felt tears streaming down my cheeks. The race is just that special. There is also something so powerful about setting a goal, working hard to achieve it and then realizing you are actually doing it. It’s the ultimate runner’s high.

I felt AMAZING until about mile 23, then I hit the wall. I didn’t implode or have to stop and walk, but I was digging REAL deep to finish. It’s kind of like having a baby, you conveniently forget how hard it is. I forgot how hard the NYC course is… SO many hills, especially on the back end of the course. 5th Avenue before you turn into Central Park is a sneaky killer! It doesn’t seem uphill, but it is a slow and steady incline for sure. I just wanted to save up enough energy to smile for my kids who were waiting patiently by the finish line.

Mission accomplished, when I saw those little faces in the grandstands, I knew that every grueling run, the 20-miler from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach, the 18-miler at 9,000 feet where I lost a toenail and accrued 2 blood blisters, the daily battle to carve out enough time to run while trying to juggle everything else… ALL WORTH IT!

The first thing the kids said to me, “Mom, you looked so happy and great. It looked like you could keep going.”

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

Why This Race is Special

There are other marathons all over the world, but in my opinion, no race is as amazing as the New York City Marathon.

The course is special because you run through all five boroughs. You literally feel like you are traveling around the world. It’s hard to pick a favorite area of the course, but if I had to… I think I would say running through Brooklyn, and running onto 1st Avenue from the 59th Street Bridge. It’s pin-drop quiet on the bridge, and then you slowly start to hear the crowd roar on 1st. There’s nothing like it.

Let’s talk about the fans. They are UNREAL. In some spots the crowd is 10-deep! Even the notoriously quiet spots were not quiet this year. The support and the way New Yorkers come together for race day is nothing short of incredible.

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

NYC Marathon 2018 fashion blogger Erin Busbee race experience

Sharing This with Chris

Since Chris was running a fast race, and my plan was to take it easy, we didn’t run together, but we rode on the bus to Staten Island together and I got to hang out with the superhuman Streakers before heading in the corral.

He reminded me to have fun before one last hug, and then we went our separate ways. That’s exactly what I did. I had a BLAST! It was an experience I will never forget!

Special thanks to the incomparable Patti for running with me.

Have you run the NYC Marathon? Or do you have questions? Share your stories and questions in the comments below.

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  1. You are so incredibly inspiring! I am soon to be 54 and had 3 orthopedic surgeries last year. I have not done any kind of race in the last 1 1/2 and your story and Chris’ has me wanting to set a goal of participating again in 2019!! You looked so happy crossing the finish line!!💜

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your surgeries, Christine. I hope you are healed up. Sometimes you have to push yourself, I think. It really does amazing things for your mind as well as your body.

  2. Im so proud of you! I use to run years ago when i was in the navy. Im a career firefighter and have knee injurIes that pRevent me from running so i now do yoga. My goal is to retire in 6 years, that will give me 30+ years. I love yOur channel and love everyting about you. You inspire me daily not only in fashion but in everything you do. Thank you aNd again well done. Ps your kids already are proud of you, no marathon needed. Just like all of your suBcribers.

    1. What a beautiful note. Thank you SO much for writing me and sharing your kind and supportive thoughts. I think yoga is awesome. I need to do it more often… I also love your goal. What will you do when you retire??

  3. Awwwwww! I absolutely loved reading about your marathon experience! I started to get emotional! I was born & raised in NY….Brooklyn to be exact and I’ve always wanted to run the NYC Marathon. I’ve watched on it TV for as long as I could remember and always envisioned myself doing it but of course I chickened out. The longest race I’ve ever done is a 10K. However, one year I was supposed to do the half marathon but I had pain in my foot and when I got finally got it checked out the Dr said I had a stress fracture…2 weeks before the race! I was soooo sad. After hearing your experience, I’m really going to try for 2019! Congratulations to you and your husband! Maybe I’ll see you there next year! 🙂

  4. Erin, I NEVER ran a Marathon, I never liked running. But I have 2 grown girls, who are incredible athletes, did run more than one. (Philly and SF) Reading your story on this run brought me back to all the emotions I felt just watching them run. I so get it! Reading your story I Teared up!!!! Congratulations on this achievMent and have a great time in Poland!

    1. Aw, thanks so much! And huge congrats to your girls. I can’t imagine what it’s like watching your kiddos do it. Hopefully some day I’ll be cheering for Gage and Elizabeth! Erin xo

  5. I really enjoyed reading this piece. I admire your honesty, strength and fortitude. You deserve every bit Of the happiness and success yOu’ve achieveD. Thanks for all of the inspiration- youre aweSome! 🙂

  6. Erin, you are incredible! You have a very full plate yet you managed to train for and run the nyc marathon..and finish it! Congratulations! I have to admit i got a little teary looking at the picture of you at the finish line with a huge smile on your face! You are Inspiring To us all. Congratulations again. MH

    1. It’s such an emotional race. Even when I watch, I tear up. It’s so incredibly moving to watch people run and finish this race. Nothing like it!

  7. Ohhhh erin this was so wonderful to read. Amazing to see that big bright smile at the end. You are a true inspiration that just keeps getting better and better. The smiles on your family’s faces shows how proud they are of you. Hugs, MaR.

    1. Thanks so much, Marlene. I loved seeing the kids in the grandstands at the finish line. It’s a moment I will never forget… truly special.

  8. Amazing! You look happy glowing and it sounds like you really enjoyed your run. I’ve never run the Marathon, don’t really consider myself a runner but I’ve been feeling the urge to pick up the sport. I have done the 5 Borough’s bike ride, which is the first weekend in May and loved it. I’m into cycling, bike packing, hiking…but running looks like it might be in my future. I know a few individuals that do the leadville run, and i’ve been wanting to start training for that. have a great weekend! another question is it possible to receive the basic checklist again, i misplaced mine. thank you

    1. And. it has been really amazing to set these big goals and accomplish them. It’s different than a family goal or a trip. It’s something you work hard for and feel so proud when you are done. I highly recommend setting a big goal like this… it makes you feel like, if I can do THIS… I can do ANYTHING!

  9. Erin, this makes me so happy to read! I feel the same way about this magical race and This sPEcial city. Similar to you, i seriousLy picked up running again some 12 odd years ago to feel like the athlete i used to be. Since then i have enjoyed races of every distance (including 10 marathons) but nothing compares to Nyc! You describe everything so perfectly. I need to run it again. Im 50 in January, so maybe it’s divine timing for 2019. Thank you sooo much for sharing your gIfts!! I was drawn to you for fashion, so this is an added Bonus!!