Member Naomi Tancred reports on her amazing Marathon effort.
Having done the New York Marathon two years ago I knew what I was up for. I however went into it with an expectation that I would run much faster having an extra two years of training under my belt.
Having trained for around 60-70km per week on the last occasion, I was convinced I needed to up the intensity and the kilometres and so I did. I maintained a base but started running around 100km per week for a period of 14 weeks which was intense and exhausting but I had only one number in my head that I wanted to achieve and that was a 3.15 marathon, having run 3.29 two years, that being my previous PB.
Travelling to New York solo without my husband and children was daunting. I left Sydney a bundle of nerves, travelling across with some running buddies and met up with Tatts members whilst there, namely Michael Dodd and Richard McGrath. The atmosphere in New York was amazing, everyone is so marathon focused which didn’t seem to help the nerves very much. I had five sleepless nights before the marathon ruminating about what may occur on the course. What if I can’t finish? What if I can’t run fast enough? What if I let everyone down?
Lots of doubt crept in but as soon as I arrived at the village on the Sunday I knew I was ready. I didn’t train this hard for nothing. I spent around two hours in the village waiting for the start as everyone had to be shuttled over to Staten Island before the race began. I had approximately five slices of bread and three bananas before the race began, sipping on water throughout and then it was time to start.
The American National Anthem was sung which sent goose bumps around my body and then the cannons fired and the race began. From the outset I felt euphoric. There is something to be said for a true taper (lots of pasta/rice and little running for a few weeks). Having gone out slightly too fast I backed myself and kept running at the pace hoping to maintain it. The crowds were amazing, everyone would call out your name (having your name on your t-shirt). This carried through the entire race until the finish line.
Having reached 30km unscathed and running up First Avenue my quads decided to send a signal they were not happy and they suddenly felt like two pieces of lead being transported along a conveyor belt but I was not giving up by any stretch of the imagination. I reached 35km with a slight drop in pace. The crowds around Central Park carried me through the last seven odd kilometres until the finish line was only 400 metres ahead. I have never sprinted so hard (it felt like a sprint, probably more a shuffle).
The tears flowed when I saw I had run 3.15:38. A 14 minute PB!! I was so proud of myself and realised that putting in the hard work pays off. Marathons are unpredictable and no matter how fit you are things can still fall apart on race day. The weather, the conditions and nutrition all play a part. The weather was a perfect 13 degrees with no wind. The conditions and crowd carried you through and the nutrition seemed to work although the body didn’t feel so great when taking that last step across the finish line.
The shuffle back to the New York Athletic Club took about one hour to cover the 1.5km and the champagne in the tap room went down a treat. A hot spa followed and then a night out drinking red wine and eating steak with Michael and Kylie Dodd, Richard McGrath and Michael’s family together with my running buddies was one of the best nights ever. We drank, we laughed and we told stories about our own experiences that day. We were all elated to finish the race. Michael, Kylie and Richard all had great races. Tattersalls brought us together.
The New York Marathon is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you ever get the chance, grab it with both hands.
I just want to say thanks to all those closest to me for their support, mainly of course, Damian Tancred and also to Simon and Jack for massaging me (and poking me with needles) for the last however many weeks. Weekly massage is an indulgence and for a period there I felt like an elite athlete. A huge thanks to my coach, Peter Good (Athletics Easts).
As I was training for this marathon I thought there probably won’t be another for a while but now that I’ve finished Tokyo 2020 is sounding like a good idea! But now, it is time to relax, indulge and recover.
Congratulations Naomi on your amazing marathon result and good luck for Tokyo 2020!