New York City Marathon Route Guide

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Jon running the New York City Marathon in 2014

By Jon

This year, That Class Couple chose to sit the NYC Marathon out, but lots of Friends of TCC are running, so we thought that we would share the email outlining the marathon course that we sent to our friends running the NYC Marathon for the first time. To all of you running–GOOD LUCK, run fast, run safe, and, most importantly, have a blast!

 The marathon itself is an incredible experience, but the New York CityMarathon is especially incredible. I’d be shocked to find another city that treats the marathon with so much respect and awe. You’re going to see New Yorkers and visitors of all types out on the course to cheer you on. There are spectators for roughly 95% of the race (with two notable exceptions that I’ll discuss in a bit), and most of them are going to make you feel like you’re Mariano Rivera running into Yankee Stadium.
Here’s what marathon day is going to look like:

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2016 Staten Island Half Recap

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Jon really needed a beer after this one

By Jon

This year, TCC set two running goals, first, to complete the “9+1” necessary to qualify for the 2017 New York City Marathon, and second, to complete four of the “Five-Borough Series” races necessary to qualify for the 2017 New York City Half. Since Caroline ran the NYC Half earlier this year, and the two of us ran the Brooklyn Half, Queens 10-K, and Bronx 10-Miler together, the only thing standing in our way of completing both goals was my running the Staten Island Half.

Ugh.

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Queens 10K Review

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By Jon and Caroline (note: Caroline’s recap is in bold, Jon’s is in regular text)

You know that feeling when you wake up one morning, look at your phone, and go, “wait, how in the world is it the end of June already?” Yeah, that’s what we’ve been dealing with. So with apologies for our radio silence, between work, weekend trips, and feeling sorry for ourselves if we spend any of our free time inside, blogging has taken a bit of a backseat these last couple of weeks. But we’re still here! That Class Couple has also been busy sweating, so we’ll be posting as often as we can over these summer months, we promise!

Two Saturdays ago, we ran the Queens 10K, part of our quest to run every NYRR five-borough series race (and get the perfect Instagram shot of our medals after) in 2016. Like all of the other races in this series, this involves a trade-off–run a NYRR race, with all of its perks, in a new location (change of scenery!), but have to travel further than normal to and/or from the race. First world problems, right? Well when you’re already waking up before sunrise and dealing with pre-race jitters or post-race exhaustion, that long (and stinky!) subway ride really does not hit the spot.

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2016 Brooklyn Half Recap

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By Jon and Caroline

(note: Jon’s recap is bolded; Caroline’s is italicized)

I remember my first Brooklyn Half (God, I’m old.). I was about to graduate from law school, the following day, in fact, and was so incredibly amped up to run my second-ever half marathon in the borough from which much of my family hails. I looked at the race as a metaphor; if I could get through three years of law school, of course I could get through 13.1 miles, as painful and tedious as they could be. I listened to a carefully curated Brooklyn-themed pump up playlist before the race, wore my law school’s name across my chest, and high-fived my entire family as I made the turn at Nathan’s from Surf Avenue towards the Coney Island Boardwalk, grinning from ear to ear the entire time.

That was three years ago. This year, Caroline and I were rudely awoken at 5:00:00 am by what sounded like 10 different alarm clocks, looked at each other with half-open eyes, and groaned “ughhhhh, why????????” Oh, how times change…

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I have recently struggled to maintain my motivation to run, about how feeling the obligation takes the fun out of what used to be such a source of joy. Take that feeling, multiply it by a factor of one-million, and you’ll understand how little we wanted to get out of bed on Sunday morning. “What if we just don’t go?” Caroline asked, though we both knew that staying home wasn’t an option. “Ughhhhhhh, fine,” we both groaned as we scarfed down bagels and coffee, pinned our bibs on, and ran out to head to the outer reaches of civilization (aka Brooklyn).

It’s that moment at 5:00am when the alarm goes off, that you say to yourself, “god, why was I so happy to be in wave 1, wave 2 people get to sleep in SIGNIFICANTLY longer”. At least I went to get Ess-A-Bagels the night before; that was definitely the most motivating part of the early wake up situation. But in general, I was excited–this was going to be my second half-marathon after coming back from an injury last fall (which led me to defer my New York City Marathon entry to this year), I was going to be running with a close friend (both still being a little injured, we run “our pace” aka a nice and easy jog- we also did this for the NYC Half in March), and Jon would be waiting at the end…I just hoped I wouldn’t get injured. Recovering from the injury hasn’t been easy. Every time I go on a long run, I find myself in so much pain with an inflamed lower back, needing constant PT. It been a hard road, full of thoughts including “maybe I shouldn’t run” and “well I’m happy my back didn’t snap in half after this race”. But, the high I get from these races is something that in my mind outweighs the negatives, so I keep ignoring it and pushing on.

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Runner’s Block

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Caroline and Jon after last year’s Brooklyn Half

By Jon

Today’s Wall Street Journal featured a piece headlined “How Millenials Ended The Running Boom.” As one of those oft-maligned millenials apparently responsible for the degradation of society with our reckless and dangerous cord-cutting, music festival attending, Snapchatting behavior, I read the article with an eye towards learning how we are also ruining exercise for everyone else.

I won’t rehash the whole article, which is very much worth a read, but, in a few words, the Journal blames Classpass and the rise of “non-competitive” bootcamp classes for millenials’ preference for boutique fitness studios over the crusty old 5K race.

Now, you can argue with the premise of the article, and point out that bootcamp classes are hardly competitive (just ask the girl at Throwback Fitness  who once groaned to Caroline that the third member of their “team” wasn’t pulling her weight on the rowing machine), or that non-runners avoid Facebook on Marathon Monday because “if I see ONE MORE MEDAL PIC…”.

But for me, the article hit home. Hard. I’ve been struggling with a lack of motivation to run for a while now. Until last year, running was my life. I ran at least four days a week, averaged 15 races a year, including multiple half marathons and a marathon, and thought of “running season” as a baseball player thinks of his. Everything was thought out, the pre-race playlist, the post-race brunch, the mantra to get through that awful, awful curve on Harlem Hill.

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