I did not run the marathon I wanted; I ran the marathon that I trained for

A few months ago, I once heard someone say this after a race and I have incorporated this saying into many of my races. For the past few weeks, we all know that I have been up and down with regards to running this race. Even on Saturday, I was still on the fence about running this thing. Although I did not run this race as well as I wanted to, I did finish and had a somewhat fun experience. Then again, I knew what to expect because my longest run (15 miles) was completed back in September and did not really run in October.

For this “race report”, I will divide it into sections.

One quick thing before I start. I ran into one of my friends, her husband and her 3-year old. Of course, I gave the little guy a high five. Later on in the day she sent me this text.


So cute!!!!

Pre/pre-marathon (Friday and Saturday):

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I recently accepted a new job (***, and I start on Monday). Because of my marathon expo debacle (***), I made it to work around 3 PM and I did not finish work until 3 AM. I wanted to email my letter of resignation, organize my work files, clean up my stuff, and organize biological reagents, supplies, compounds, etc. My boss can be a little temperamental, and I wanted to clean up all of that stuff before Monday. Just in case he would have pulled a “Your services are not not needed” response to my resignation email. Plus, I had to go back to lab at 8 AM the following morning to finish a couple experiments, then teach my class from 12 PM to 3 PM, so I was very tired on Saturday. After riding my bicycle home from class (around 3.5 miles), I decided that I would run this thing. The route I took home was part of the marathon route in Brooklyn and I felt inspired.


Marathon Day:

I was really responsible, because I packed all of the crap I would need and was in bed by 9 PM. Which was a change from the first NYC marathon that I ran in 2013. For that marathon, I was out drinking and smoking till around 11 PM.

My outfit(s). The one on the left is what I had originally planned to wear and the one on the right is that one that I actually wore. Before taking my shower on Sunday  morning, I had my morning smoke and at 4:30 AM it was kind of “warm”, so I figured that I would not need the tights. Random fact, this is the same tank top that I wore for my first NYC marathon.

Let’s get into this thing. Basically, my strategy for this marathon was to have a decent run for the first half and see where it would take me for the second half.

Prestart/Staten Island:

I did not have too much of an issue getting to 6:45 AM ferry, although I did cut it kind of close and had to take a cab from the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge to the Staten Island Ferry.

I had a little fun at in the Marathon Village, because I ran into a former coworker and we pretty much chatted the entire time. Time seemed to fly by. Next thing I know, it was final call for baggage drop and I did not even get to stretch as much as I wanted too. However, I knew that I was running this marathon just to do it rather for any time.

Staten Island (start):

Wave 2, Corral C

Right at the start, we started to feel light rain drops and I thought the rain would be great or a complete disaster. Basically, the Verrazano Bridge is the only part of the marathon that is on Staten Island. To be perfectly honest, running this marathon is the only time that I cross this bridge. Obviously, I felt strong during this part, because it was the beginning of the marathon. Although I think I should have moved to a higher corral, because these folks were FAST. However, it made me a little more competitive during this chunk of the marathon . . . except while taking selfies.

Brooklyn (Miles 2-13.1):


To be perfectly honest, running in this borough is really fun for me, because the crowds are so pumped up (probably because it was fairly early in the day). Running through Brooklyn, has to be the most interesting part of this marathon because:

  • it’s at the beginning, so you have fresh legs.
  • a large portion of the the marathon is in Brooklyn.
  • you run through so many different and diverse neighborhoods (e.g. Bay Ridge, Greenpoint, Park Slope, Williamsburg) in the borough.

This part was a little bitter sweet because I live and work in Brooklyn. However, I will not be working (at the end of the week) or living (at the end of the month) in Brooklyn. Running-wise, I was doing pretty well (for me) of running a 9:30 min/mi pace. Is it me, or do people like when race routes have a lot of turns? I do not why but I seemed to get reenergized for every turn in the course, because I knew we were getting closer to the halfway point with every turn.

Queens (Miles 13.2-16.5ish):


Even though I never officially lived in Queens, I always felt like a Queens boy. By living on Roosevelt Island, I frequented Queens, especially Long Island City, pretty much every weekend.  I really loved the views of Manhattan from the Pulaski Bridge – it was quite inspiring and fascinating that I live in this great city.

At this point, my job was done. I think once once I hit the 13.1 point on the Pulaski Bridge my mind (and body) kind of checked out.


I definitely had to walk a few blocks in Queens and I pretty much walked most of the Queensboro Bridge, which is the toughest part of this marathon for me. I really tried to run the bridge, but my right inner thigh was cramping up, really badly. On the bridge, I actually had to stop and stretch for a bit. But, I was not going to let this bridge take me out. As I posted on Facebook, “Man, fuck this bridge.” (yes, I was texting and posting on Facebook after the 13.1 mile mark).

Manhattan, Part I (Miles 16.5- 20ish)

This section probably is the most popular part of the marathon, because of the sheer energy from the crowds upon entering Manhattan. Plus, when most people hear “NYC”, they automatically think of Manhattan. Actually this portion of the marathon held a special piece in my heart, because my daily commute (when I was a postdoctoral fellow at Weill Cornell Medical College) involved walking from the Queensboro Bridge to E69th Street along 1st Avenue.

It was kind of nice to see some of my old lunch spots and some old coworkers along the way.

HA! I even greeted this group of spectators who were offering “shots” of beer. Yes, I took a couple shots of beer and they were delicious!!!


Entering Manhattan was the turning point of the marathon for me. I pretty much coasted through Manhattan without any care for time. I tried to alternate between running ten blocks, then walking two blocks. Pretty soon that became run 5 blocks then walk 5. That became run whenever the hell you feel like it and grab free candy. For me, this marathon was fueled on Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, SweetTarts, and Twizzlers. Phew, this is getting long. At one point, I was running this thing like Jade from “America’s Next Top Model”. You know they episode where the models had to ad lib a CoverGirl commercial. Yes, I watch too much reality TV.



The boogie down Bronx (Miles 20ish-22-ish)

C’mon is this damn thing over?!!! You breeze through the Bronx so fast that you really do not have a chance to take in this borough.

Manhattan  . . . Again (Miles 22ish – 26.2). 

Ok let’s finish this damn thing. During this part, I was actually getting quite annoyed. I was cranky, wet, tired, and over the whole thing. I feel really bad for saying this. At first, I was getting really annoyed with people continuously saying “you got this KOS”.  I wanted to scream out “NO I DON’T GOT THIS. I HAVEN’T HAD THIS SH*T SINCE QUEENS!!!” My inner voice was saying that; but deep down, I was very happy that spectators were still out there cheering us on in the rain. Plus, I did sign up to do this and no one made me do it. However, I did crank up my music, so I would not hear the crowd as much – my arms were super tired from waving and thumbs up’ing.  BTW, my Zumba playlist (songs that I Shazzamed from Zumba class) really got me through the last five miles. I actually started continuously running . . . except when I was texting 😉

I will say that I really enjoyed the running through Central Park, because the changing colors of the leaves looked beautiful. LOL, the BF texted me when I entered Central Park,  and congratulated me for finishing. Umm Buddy, there are still a little over 2 more miles to the finish line.

Finishing (Mile 26.2)

It’s about time.

Y’all non-smokers are going to hate me for this buuuuuut.


I needed that cigarette like a crackwhore, needs his/her pipe. In my defense, I did not have a cigarette since 6:00 AM Since we are on the topic of smoking, I think that I’m going to try to quit . . . again. I spend too much between $1240 – $2809/year on cigarettes.

Post Marathon:

I managed to limp my way to the nearest Crunch Fitness for a much needed date with a foam roller and a shower.

After stretching, rolling, and taking the most painful shower (the chafe was real), I met with some friends to have Mexican food, margaritas, shots, gin n sodas, and a few more cigarettes.

Although I did not have the marathon experience that I wanted, in terms of performance, I did kind of/sort of enjoyed running/walking for the sake of doing it. I did not even know my time until my friend told me at dinner.

Would I do it again? . . . Hell yes!!! But, I would like to train properly for the next go around.

What’s on the horizon?

Since I finished the marathon, I can still qualify for NYRR’s 9+1 2018 marathon but I CANNOT miss anymore races and I have to register for two more.

Race to Deliver (4M) – Nov 19th – Registered

NYRR Ted Corbitt (15K) – Dec 9th – Registered

So, the only races that I can run are the NYRR Jingle Bell Jog (5K) and NYRR Midnight Run (4M).

Ok, finally done with this report.

Oh one more funny picture. It looks like one of the marathon photographers caught me texting about how much “fun” I was having. 😉



  1. “I haven’t had this shit since Queens!” My thoughts exactly Kwame, my thoughts exactly!
    You’re amazing, you pulled it out. Congrats. Oh, and I vote for quitting smoking! Take a trip with that 💰!!


  2. Great report Kwame!

    I was right behind you in D and I’m pretty sure I remember seeing the “I’m Kos” shirt somewhere along the way

    BTW I quit smoking 18 years ago and am glad I did. But I know it’s hard to do. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I AM PROUD OF YOU!! You went out there and did what you said you would do despite not really feeling it leading up to the race. Way to bust it out. I love the story about your friend’s little kiddo in the beginning 🙂 We need to run a race together one day.


  4. I think I say Fuck this bridge whether I am sitting in traffic in a car or whether you are running the marathon over it! CONGRATULATIONS! Why not smoke a cigarette – everyone has their vices and I have been guilty of cracking a beer right after my races! Kudos to you for finishing – best of luck the remainder of the year on your races!!


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