This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cao5765. Make your own badge here.

Locations of visitors to this page

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NYC Marathon 2007

It was a long day. Where do I even begin with it? I suppose I should start with waking up an hour too early, since the only clock in my house that I forget to set back was my watch which serves and my alarm. When I woke, I had a migraine headache and felt like shit. I considered just rolling over and going back to sleep. I wasn’t even sure if I could to the full distance of the marathon and at this moment I was wondering what the point was of going if I wasn’t sure I could go the distance. The fact that I awoke feeling terrible was an affirmation that I should stay in bed. I got up though and after some Excedrin and a bowl of cereal I started to feel better and got on with the process of getting ready. I hadn’t packed the night before and I needed to get moving if I was to make the bus to the marathon start.

I was already 5 minutes late by the time I finally left my house. I had to walk about a half mile to get to the bus and I was halfway there when I realized I forgot my HR monitor strap at home. I ran back to get it, but was now very late for the bus. I tried to call Larry to tell the bus organizer I was coming and not to leave without me, but my cell phone crapped out. Fortunately, my wife was amenable to driving me to the bus location. I just made it. The bus doors were about to close just as I got out of my car.

The ride to the start was quick and uneventful. The sun was just starting to peak over the horizon and we walked into the Marathon Village. All of the runners were separated into three color groups; Orange, Green and Blue. Larry and I made our way to the Blue staging area. It was definitely the low rent area. Where the orange and green had lots of grass to sit down upon, the blue area was mostly paved asphalt with a few patches of grass which served as parking lot medians. We staked a claim on a small patch of grass and began the business of waiting the 4 hours before the start.

I don’t know what the organizers were thinking in regards to staging the luggage trucks. Thousands upon thousands of runners had to make their way in and out of a narrow gap to get to and from the trucks. It took over an hour to move about 50 yards necessary for reaching your truck and getting back out. It was the biggest cluster fuck I’ve ever seen at a race. I think Mary Wittenburg of the NYRR is going to get a lot of email complaining about the situation. It was a very dangerous situation and I am glad no one yelled at “Bomb” otherwise there would have been a lot of dead or maimed marathoners from trying to get away.

Larry and I did finally make it out of there and we headed to the start. Even this was poorly organized. In past years it was possible to just walk onto the highway leading up to the Verrazano Bridge, but this year we almost didn’t get out of the village when the gun went off. In any event, I was happy to be running. Running over the VZ is always a thrill. This year for some reason the bridge wasn’t bouncing to the cadence of the runners. That was such an odd feeling. They must have done something to the bridge to eliminate that. In any event we set out at a leisurely 9 minute mile pace. I was feeling ok at first and felt like I could hold the pace for the entire race.

When I started to approach the 6 mile mark, I began the lookout for my family. I grossly overestimated the time that I would arrive (I thought it was at the 4 mile mark) and hoped my wife and kids would still be there. I was afraid that they would have thought they missed me and would have gone home. When I passed the block where I expected, but didn’t see them, I felt very depressed. I was looking forward to seeing them and giving my kids a hug. To my surprise they were just 2 blocks further down the course and I was very surprised and extremely happy to see them.

The race was pretty uneventful for the next 7 – 8 miles. I slapped a lot of kids hands as I ran by and took in the pleasure of running in one of the world’s largest marathons (is it the largest?). Just before the 59th Street Bridge our friend Willy had jumped into the race to run the final 11 miles with us. We were both supposed to run home with Larry along with several other friends, but that was not to be. By the time I got off the bridge I began to fade fast. My 9 minute miles turned into 10’s, followed by 11’s, 12’s, 13’s, 14’s and finally 16 minutes for the last two miles.

The last 10 miles up First Avenue, into the Bronx and back to the finish were torture. The thing I hated most about it was that I couldn’t predict what my next mile would be. There is something comforting in being able to predict your splits. It gives you an idea how much time you have left and how long the suffering will last. With each mile coming slower than the previous, I had no idea how long it would eventually take me. All I knew was that I was going to finish it, even if I had to crawl across the finish line.

The entire race was the complete opposite of last year’s. In 2006, I ran with Larry until the 59th Street Bridge when I told him I was too cold and needed to speed up. I had left him and passed 1000’s and 1000’s of runners as I started to run 7:30’s. This year, Larry left me on the 59th Street Bridge and 1000’s and 1000’s of runners passed me to the finish line. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling over the way this was turning out. On the one hand, I figured a measure of pride for even doing the race since I only did two small runs and two bike workouts in the past 1.5 months. I am completely detrained and probably should not have chosen to do a marathon as my first real run after recovering from injury. I think I should be proud of the fact that I was even able to do it. On the other hand I was feeling a bit embarrassed. This marathon was going to be my personal worst by far. It was hard to stomach the fact that I once ran 3:13 in a marathon and had aspirations of breaking 3 hours. I was like all those newbie marathoners who went out too fast and had to walk to the finish. It’s not right that our physiology takes us a long time to build up fitness, but becomes so totally detrained in such a short period of time.

After doing my death shuffle across the finish line, I was faced with an even larger and slower moving crowd to claim my baggage. It took over an hour to finally make my way to the UPS Truck that held my bag. I was feeling horribly nauseous and just wanted to lie down. I considered faking a collapse onto the ground so I could have the medics rush me out of the crowd. I was pretty close to doing that in fact, possibly not even because I was faking. After I finally got my bag, I sat on the ground to change into some dry clothes. As I’ve said before, the post race food at the NYC Marathon is without a doubt the worst you will encounter. Nothing would even be better so you don’t wind up carrying a bag of junk.


Anonymous zbsports said...

that was a very successful event and that marathon will be in history of the place...hope for the next event...:D

8:39 AM  
Anonymous buy generic viagra said...

This is really great information found here..... Very interesting... Thanks very much for the share.... Keep it up.

1:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home