I dont even know where to start with the NYC marathon. It was such an over all amazing experience for me. I said in a previous post that I have never run NYC well.
I ran it well yesterday. I ran it the best I have ever run it, by 17 minutes. And I did it just 3 weeks after PRing in Steamtown. I am pretty happy about my marathon season even though I have not hit my ultimate goal of qualifying for Boston.
This whole week was really amazing. I went to the expo on Friday with a buncha the FRNY ladies. Then team dinner Fri. night followed by the big traditional team breakfast on Sat. So many of my team mates worked so hard this year, it was very exciting.
Race day, I woke up at 5:40 am. It wasn't too bad getting up with the time change. I met 2 neighbors who were also running and we split a car down to the ferry. The ferry ride is so relaxing and beats the bus in every way possible.
Once on Staten Island, I hooked up with team mates, about 8 of us all huddled up together, just waiting. As time got closer to the start, I packed up and headed over to my corral alone. I needed a few minutes.
I lined up near the 3:50 pace guy and standing right next to me was Ela, one of my on line friends from the Runner's World forums. As we moved up towards the start, I quickly lost site of the pace group, before the race even started.
No worries, it'll be what it is.
Then the cannon went off and a huge cheer from all the people in wave 2. As we got on to the bridge, Frank sung New York New York and we all sang alone. Then Born to Run came on, a song I've always loved.
I hit my watch as we went through the start. For this race, I decided to go old school and where ye old timex ironman watch. The garmin just makes me nuts.
Ela and I ran the first 2 miles together
mile 1 9:48 nice and slow up the bridge
I see my team mate lynn, ask if she's seen anyone else. Tells me Hilary started with the 3:50. Hilary ran Chicago 3 weeks ago and was not happy about her race so she was out here too.
mile 2 8:17
cruise down the bridge and into Brooklyn. Ela was gunning for her Boston qualifying time and I lost her in the crowd.
mile 3 8:38
mile 4 8:48
mile 5 8:14
Some where around here, my team mate Ishii caught me. Our uniforms really stand out so it's easy for us to spot each other. We chatted for a few minutes as we ran together. Then off she went. I wanted to stay steady as I was in unknown territory. I took my first shot at mile 5.
Mile 6 8:45
mile 7 8:38
I felt like it was a little crowded here even with the wave starts. Every one is about to merge.
mile 8 8:57
Now my legs have that feeling. That getting tired and getting heavy. Oh no. Not already. I still have 18 miles to go, if this is happening now, what's in store for me later? I guess I'll find out.
Should I stop to pee? I hate peeing between cars. I dont wanna look for a portopotty. Really, I just dont want to stop. I'll just go away on it's own.
mile 9 9:04
oh boy, we're in 9 land. it's ok, still holding on, legs are still heavy but the effort is pretty steady. You shouldn't take advil while running. Well, it hasn't killed me yet, so here goes nothing.
mile 10 8:46
There we go. 16 miles to go. When did I get to the point where I'm like, ok! 16 miles to go!
mile 11 9:10
and there goes the pace band. I'm off and I'm fine with it. The thing was driving me crazy. While we're at it, off with the arm warmers and I'll take another gel thank you.
mile 12 9:06
Somewhere in this mile, my team mate Sharon caught me.
How you feeling?
Yea, my legs feel like anchor
Yet, I keep moving and I'm not slowing down too much.
mile 13 9:07
Over the Pulaski bridge and into Queens.
I see team mate Annie on the side of the road (spectating not running) but she doesn't see me.
mile 14 9:06
How the hell am I run so evenly? I feel terrible!
mile 15 9:45
And here comes the 59th st bridge. The dreaded 59th st bridge. It's long. It's dark, it's up hill, and it's really quiet. All you hear are foot steps. No spectators, everyone just trying to get over this damn thing. As we hit the end, you start hearing the crowds on first ave. A down hill off the bridge spits us out into riotous cheers of East side NYers brunching.
mile 16 9:44
First ave. Oh man, we're gonna go by Sloan Kettering with all the cancer people and I'm gonna think of my dad and choke up like I do every friggin time
Mile 17 9:19
I start looking for Loren. She said she might come over to first ave so I'm scanning the crowded for her traditional green Ithica t-shirt she wears every NY marathon. I dont see her anywhere, but the crowds here are crazy.
Mile 18 9:27
Mile 19 9:21
Here we go onto the Willis ave bridge that brings up to the one mile in the Bronx. It also brings us to that half way point in the marathon known as mile 20.
Mile 20 9:27
This is it. 10k to go. A very familiar 10k. Let's keep steady, almost home. I see 2 cheering team mates in the Bronx
Mile 21 9:15
Over the Madison Ave bridge. There's a DJ screaming WELCOME TO HARLEM! This is where I live. I am really on home tuff now.
Gospel choirs and hiphop music. Thank you Pdiddy for running and getting people in the Bronx and Harlem to love the marathon.
Mile 22 9:26
I have run these last few miles so many times over the last few weeks. I see it in my sleep, I know this hill.
Mile 23 9:25.
Lynn passes me screaming. I'VE BEEN HOLDING BACK ALL DAY! LET'S GO! LET'S GET TO OUR PEOPLE! Our people being the team that mans the 24 mile water station and has done so since 1982. It's a great boost knowing you'll see people you know, and a lot of them, so deep into the race.
Mile 24 9:55
I go back to my Steamtown mantra: NO TEN MINUTE MILES
I know I'll see Loren in her spot at the water station, end of the water, on the right.
And there she is. She asks how I'm doing. I dont even answer, I just kiss her and keep going.
I know I'm close to 4 hours. Someone hit my watch and it stopped early on and I'm not sure for how long.
Cat hill, a long down hill, I'm going to throw myself at it.
As I'm flying down, I pass Ishii. I say come one, stay with me! She tells me she can't. I scream YES YOU CAN and try to get her to come with me, but she really can't.
Mile 25 9:18
It's getting so thick in here, this roadway usually used for horse carriages that takes us out of the park on to 59th st.
People are walking, in the middle of the road. I shove them. I'm on a bit of a mission here and not a lot of time left.
There it is
ONE MILE TO GO
Of course this one mile to go sucks. it's up Central Park south, and I do mean up. Not that it's a mountain but in the last mile, the incline is tough.
I see Lynn and pass her.
Hit Columbus circle and turn back into the park.
Mile 26 9:14
Oh so cruel this last .2. Leading to the finish at Tavern on the green, it goes up even more. I am gutting it out. My legs are going to explode. My lungs are going to remove themselves from my body. I dont even remember seeing anything but the finish line as I am in an all out sprint.
last .2 1:45
I hit my watch exactly at 4:00.
I know it's off a bit because it was stopped.
My official time:
I am really happy about that. Given that my legs go tired so early on I was able to hold on. Oh yea, and that little 26.2 mile jog I took a few weeks ago.
Today I actually feel better than I did after Steamtown.
I really had so much fun yesterday. It was hard but it really showed me the kind of runner I've become.
And my team.
Holy crap, I can not say enough about these people. 9 guys went under 3 hours. We had about 7 people who ran 3 weeks ago, all but me in the heat of Chicago. They came out here and made up for the rotten weather they were given out there. So many friends hitting goals they'd been chasing for years. 77 Front Runners finishing, 9 under 3 hours. 48 under 4 hours, the 2nd year in a row we've gotten the honor of 40 under 4. Almost everyone under 5 hours. Another 30 or so manning the water station. A truly amazing day for the team.