NYC Marathon: The Race of My Years

Training for the TCS NYC Marathon

 

Hi everyone, Sara Broyles here. I’m an Ambassador for atlasGO based in San Francisco. I’ve been running since 2015, and I’ve been an altasGO Ambassador since 2017; you can read about my running journey in my first atlasGO blog post.

It’s been a little over a month since the TCS New York City Marathon and I’m still riding the high. If you’re a runner or any type of fitness enthusiast, you know what I’m talking about: that indescribable feeling of finishing a grueling race where you know you gave it your all – maybe set a PR – and you’re simply exhilarated. 

That’s what this year’s NYC Marathon was for me. I set a 29-minute marathon personal record and finished at 4:01:00. 

Picture: Me at the finish line of the TCS New York City Marathon, November 2019

My experience in the marathon

 

The race started out sunny and in the mid-50s, and stayed that temperature throughout – ideal running weather. The crowds were electric for all 26 miles, which completely carried me. Throughout the race, I loved seeing the most outrageous costumes, giant fat heads of people I didn’t know (a.k.a someone’s beloved runner), and hilarious and inspirational signs that read things like, “You’re running better than our presidency!” and “Run like someone just called you a jogger!” and “If I see you collapse, I’ll pause your Garmin!” Needless to say, the New York City crowd brought incredible, unparalleled energy.

As any marathoner knows, training isn’t always easy. In fact, many would argue training is much harder than race day itself. That’s certainly the case for me. It’s all the time and energy that you put into training – all the long runs, cross-training, speed workouts on the track, or in my case, around Oracle Park – that makes running a marathon hard. It requires time, focus, and unwavering grit. 

Picture: All smiles at TCS NYC Marathon 2019

The race and the atlasGO community

 

Luckily, I had several great training partners on the #roadtoNYC: atlasGO run club crew, and Helen and Joe. Joe is a fellow atlasGO Ambassador and good friend, and Helen is a funny Irish gal who’s part of another local running organization called Run365. We all became acquainted after finding out we got into NYC and, after realizing we’re about the same pace with the same goals, decided to train together. These two were incredible training partners, and I’ll always be grateful for them. 

Picture: Helen, Joe, and I during our 18-mile training run at Lands End, San Francisco
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The gift of running

 

Over the past five years of being a distance runner, I’ve come to find running as a type of moving meditation, one where I’m effortlessly focusing on my breath and my movement, where my mind runs free of any thought, to the point where I don’t even think about anything at all. It has become a peaceful, pure experience – one that exudes a type of raw freedom that I have yet to feel doing anything else.

The NYC Marathon only hardened these feelings and I’m so thankful for that. I’m thankful for my ability to run, my health, and the community that I run with. Thanks for reading my post, and if you ever want to get in touch, or join me on a run, I would love to hear from you! Get in touch with me on Instagram at @sara_broyles. 

Run happy and run well!

Sara Broyles

atlasGO ambassador

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