Bad Hombre With a Good Pace: New York Marathon Recap With Marcela Pelaez

I’m not entirely sure how Marcela and I hit it off in college.  We’ve discussed this at length, and we cannot determine where our friendship began.  But hey, ten years later and we still text/make each other laugh every day.

Marcela was one of the biggest cheerleaders I had when I moved to New York.  It only made sense that when she won the NYC marathon lottery, I’d cheer her on with equal enthusiasm.  It’s been a particularly brutal couple of years for my pal, and I knew that finishing a marathon would be an awesome way to cheer her up and give her a fresh perspective.

Marathon training is great medicine.

This bad hombre braved the terrible weather and came in just a little over four hours.  Not bad for a first marathon attempt.  Let’s see how it went, shall we?

New York, baby – congrats! How did it go?

New York was one of the best experiences of my life. It was rainy and windy.  I missed my time goal by 20 minutes, but I’d do it all over again.

What was the best part of the marathon?

The best part for me was in Central Park South.  I was getting crazy cramps down my quads with a mile and a half to go.  I had to stop because I was in so much pain, and a lady that was running behind me asked me if i was ok.

She told me we were almost there.  Then, she ran with me to the finish line.  She didn’t leave my side.  I’ve never experienced that type of running camaraderie before, and I am so grateful for her.  After we crossed the finish line, we hugged and I thanked her. Wherever she is, I hope she reads this!

What was the worst part?

The worst part was hitting the wall so hard in Harlem.  Also, I did not want to eat anymore gels!

You’re an international. Is there anything that strikes you as an experience only an international can have when running in the States?

I feel safer in general running in the U.S.  People are more respectful here.  I’ve been groped a couple times while running in Colombia, and it’s definitely not fun.

Do you have any advice for other international runners?

Not really. Just in general when you’re traveling, plan your runs ahead and figure out which route you’re going to take. Getting lost while running is not ideal.

You trained in altitude.  Were there ways this helped your performance?  Were there ways it hindered your performance?

Definitely.  Training at 9,000 feet of altitude was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I felt SO GOOD running the marathon because I had so much oxygen in my blood.

I don’t think it hindered my performance at all. I really recommend training at altitude – I might even start my own altitude training camp in Bogota. Haha.

What’s your favorite way to sweat?

I love a good run when it’s cold out. But I also love a good barre workout, especially Physique 57.

What was your key takeaway from the NYC Marathon?

My key takeaway was to enjoy every minute of the race and have fun with it.  High five the kids and dogs in Brooklyn, smile to the crowds on 1st Avenue, dance with the bands in the Bronx. After all, no one is forcing you to run through the best 26.2 mile block party in the world!

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring marathoner, what would it be?

Listen to your body.  If something hurts, if you’re sick, if you feel like you have no energy – it’s ok to take a couple of days to rest and asses the problem.  Recovery is just as important as training.  Also, get a foam roller!

Do you think you’ll be signing up for another marathon?  Which one?

I definitely want to. I want to apply for London 2019.  For 2018, I want to give Chicago a shot.

Hell yes!  Let’s all take a moment and give Marcela a round of applause for crushing the New York Marathon.  I’ve never met someone who loves this city more, so it was really a treat to see her cross the finish line.  If you want to follow Marcela and her adorable Frenchies – you can find her here.

I know for a fact that she hopes this post will make her #instafamous.

P.S: This year, it’s really been awesome to sit on the sidelines to watch my friends become marathoners.  Finally, I can talk about negative splits and tempos without people responding, “Um, what?”

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