||ING NYC Marathon
ING NYC Marathon.
This is an abbreviated version of a race report as my typing is even slower than my cycling. The weather was perfect, about 48 at start w/ clear skies and warming up to about 55. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at a friend's house in Staten Island so I didn't have to fight the crowds getting to Fort Wadsworth, which was an absolute mess. There were 38,000 plus participants and as half of them were dropping off bags at UPS trucks to be picked up at finish, the other half of us were attempting to make it to our corrals at the Verazano Bridge. I can now imagine what it must have been like to be at a Rolling Stones Concert in 73'. It's pretty crazy to run an entire marathon with other runners around you at every step, often only a couple of feet away.
My 3 friends and I were in the blue corral which was on the upper deck (you never want to be on the lower deck because people pee off the side of the bridge) and about 2 minutes back. I wanted to finish at 3:30 so It was my plan to go out at about 8:40, average 8 and come in at just under 3:30. Going over the bridge was pretty tight and a decent incline followed by a decent decline into Brooklyn. We all felt great and maintained 8 until about mile 10 when we split up. I felt good at this point so I sped up a bit and continued through Brooklyn. The streets were lined w/ spectators and the energy was amazing, this is probably what gave me a false sense of strength. At about mile 12 I crossed over the Pulaski Bridge (a surprise incline) into Queens for a quick jaunt to, and over the Queensboro Bridge. I've run over this bridge before (never after 14 miles) and knew it was the last significant incline until the rolling hills of the Central Park. I mysteriously lost 1 minute since I had left my friends so I really tried to charge up the bridge and pick up some cheap time coming down.
After crossing into Manhattan I was still a minute back and my legs were killing me from the bridge. The crowds in Manhattan were larger and louder than Brooklyn, truly electrifying. I tried to increase my speed up First Ave but was losing about 15 sec every mile. At this point I realized that there was no way I was going to break 3:30 and decided to just try to maintain a decent pace w/o taking myself out of the race. Although I wasn't winded, my legs were killing me and I was afraid that they were going to give out if I tried to go any faster. I crossed the Willis Ave bridge into and through the Bronx where it was considerably less crowded, up and over the Madison Ave Bridge back into Manhattan through Harlem,. As I ran down 5th Ave every step hurt but w/ only 5 miles to go I was confident my aching legs would last. I've spent many a fall afternoon in Central Park but have never been as happy as I was yesterday to enter the park at engineers gate and was actually looking forward to the rolling hills (which were easier on my legs). I was able to maintain my pace through and out of the park then back in, through the finishing chute where I crossed the line @ 3:33:46. It was the experience of a lifetime and the first of many to come!
heres a pretty cool video of the course if anyone wants to see. http://youtube.com/watch?v=MnxknAnBVk0