My Hubby took this pic on train ride home!!
I didn't blog about my last long run (before the marathon) on Saturday, October 17th, which was supposed to be a very slow 18miler. It turned into a 13.9 mile run because at mile 10 I tweaked my right calf. I tried to run through it (I thought it was a cramp, as I was running slowly & how could I pull something 2 weeks out from the marathon), but finally it got to the point where it hurt & I knew the run had to stop. In hindsight I should have stopped immediately when I felt it at 10 miles, but thought it was a cramp. After running NYC, I now know that during this last long run it was a pull/strain, not a cramp, because I now know what cramps feel like!! haha) I called my husband to pick me up (1st run in 22mths that I couldn't finish & that he had to pick me up). The only upside was training for NYC was complete. Race was in 2 weeks, and I was now in taper. Didn't realize my taper would mean no running at all for 14 days on account of injury, but I wanted to make sure the calf, specifically the soleus muscle, located between the Achilles & the calf would heal. I knew these 2 weeks didn't matter much, and I knew that as long as it healed, I would show up on race day, fresh and ready to go, instead of having tired legs.
All went well, calf/soleus was getting stronger/healing by the day, and before I knew it, it was Friday before race day (Sunday), and I was taking the train into NYC to go to the Expo to pick up my Bib# and shirt. This was amazing. I trained for 22 months and when they placed that bib# in my hand I can't explain to you how happy/thrilled I was to run on Sunday. The journey I had worked so hard over the last 22 months was finally here. I was running NYC in 2 days!!!
Saturday we drove to Staten Island to my brother’s place (he lives about a mile from where the marathon starts), had a great dinner (pasta with marinara sauce and chicken, with a 20 oz bottle of gatorade), were asleep by 9:30, and woke at 6am. Even got an extra hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, sweet. I woke feeling well rested, had my oatmeal and banana, and then we left for the start at 7:30. I packed a bagel with peanut butter & honey and a banana to have while waiting. Got to the race start around 7:45am, surprised it wasn't raining & the temps were pretty reasonable: windy and low 50’s I think. The day before, I hit a thrift shop and purchased sweat shirts and sweat pants to wear before the start & throw away. I looked pretty funny, as the clothes were extra large, but they kept me warm, and that’s all that mattered. Someone took a picture of us before the race. Here we are
Me (with my white head band) in my extra-large pre-race gear
As a member of the Richmond Rockets Running Club, I had the opportunity to join the NYPD running club. They had a tent, so we hung out there till it was time to head over to the start. About an hour before the race I ate the bagel and about a half hour before I ate the banana. Drank plenty of Gatorade, water and coconut water, that when it was time to head over to the start, I felt ready!!! Plan was to run with my brother John, friends John B and John C, all training indicated that we could run together, and come in somewhere around 4 hours. My goals for today were 1. Finish; 2. Beat 4 hours; and 3. If all the stars were aligned and I felt good, aim to break sub 3:50:00.
The only difference was I started at 10:24 instead of 10:00, but I was thinking, no biggie as it gave my husband & children more time to get from Penn Station over to 63rd & First Ave, where I would see them around mile 16, as I came off the Queensboro Bridge. Let me tell you, knowing they were there was HUGE. Many times just thinking about them caused me to choke up, and kept me running when things didn’t seem so good.
Well, the cannons went off and the weather was perfect for running, and off we went in the mass of people. I have never run with so many people before. They say 43,000 people ran NYC this year. They separated everyone into either the Blue, Orange or Green groups, and then broke it down into Wave #1, Wave #2 or Wave #3, and then by letter corrals. We were in the Orange so we crossed the bridge on the upper level of the Verrazano Bridge, to the left. The site going over the bridge was breath taking. We tried to stay at about a 9:15 pace, but with the crowd that was hard to do, I didn't want to zigzag and waste energy at this point. It was very windy. I kept the throw away sweatshirt on till I was about half way across the bridge, and then threw it to the side. People were doing the same at this point, and you really had to watch your step as clothes were flying everywhere.
The mass of people running was amazing, and my calf that had been sore 2 weeks ago seemed to be holding up. Mile by mile we were over the bridge and into Brooklyn. It was really amazing to see the different neighborhoods. All was great until someone kicked my leg at mile 8.7 (still have the bruise on my left calf with their foot print). Here's a pic I took of it about 3 days after the marathon, of the bruise I had. Should have taken it that night, but you get the idea:)
Me kissing Rebecca (in the purple hat) on Central Park West and my hubby (in the black cap) waving his arm in the air.
I made my way through the crowd, and because I was wearing the NYPD running singlet, they pulled me out of the crowd, and over towards the NYPD tent. I was given a goodie bag with water, a protein bar (that tasted SOOOOO good), an apple, and soon found all my friends, and we made our way to the street, to the NYPD shuttle/van, that brought us to the hotel, where family, refreshments and a shower were waiting for me. In hindsight, I should have walked to the hotel. The 15 minutes or so that it took the van to drive us, just sitting there, my legs completely went dead/stiff. I could barely get out of the van, thank you to whoever it was that helped me off, I walked over to the bus to get my bag, and made my way into the hotel. The party was located on the mezzanine, which was about 16 steps up a stairway. OUCH OUCH OUCH. I found my family, got them settled in the eating area, and went upstairs to take a shower. It felt awesome! I should have taken the time to soak in an ice bath, but time was limited, and I wanted to see my family. Got back to them, ate, and hung out, then said our goodbyes, and we made our way to the subway, to get a subway to Penn Station, to catch the train back home. Overall, it was an amazing experience that I do intend to repeat some time in the future (maybe NYC in 20011)!!!
I believe this was taken around the 13.1 mile mark, still feelin' pretty good!
Not sure where this was taken, but definitely taken near the end, maybe at the 20?
Instead of a mile by mile time submission, I'm going to note the marathon splits that NYRR supplied. Here they are:
5 K 00:29:43.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:33.08
10K 00:58:15.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:22.68
15K 01:25:38.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:11.21
20K 01:53:18.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:06.84
Half-Marathon: 01:59:36.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:07.73
25K 02:21:57.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:08.37
30K 02:54:43.00 Pace/mile: 00:09:22.35 (Going into about 18miles I still had about a (9:08pace), but that time soon dwindled, as I hit the last 10K and was completely and utterly humbled by NYC. No training could have prepared me for what I experienced that day), but too persevere through the pain, made finishing that much more special!!
35K 03:39:09.00 Pace/mile: 00:10:04.51
40K 04:22:02.00 Pace/mile: 00:10:32.64
Finish Time: 04:39:21.00 Pace/mile: 00:10:39.74
All my training, I thought prepared me for this race. My runs were spot on, my nutrition and hydration has drastically improved over the past few months. Experts say you never know how a race will pan out until race day and when you cross the finish line. I don't think I was cocky thinking I could finish in under 3:50 for my first ever marathon. All my training, and even my races this year, all indicated sub 3:50 was within my reach. I do believe if I didn't cramp, I would have accomplished my sub 3:50 goal, but that is now behind me, and I must try to learn from this race, why did I cramp? And now humbled, must do everything in my power, so when I run marathon #2, history does not repeat itself. As, I said in the beginning, I am THRILLED with the time I finished in, and so happy to be a marathoner!!!!!!!
I must thank all my family/blog buddies/everyone, because you all were such an inspiration to me in finishing the marathon. I thought of you all often when I didn't think I could go on and remembered all your stories of marathon courage, your advice over the last 22 months, and just your unconditional "virtual" support and friendship. I did pace myself; I took endurolytes; 3 capsules every hour, drank water and Gatorade; rotating at every mile, not sure why I still cramped, but I MADE it, and will definitely do another marathon. I'm seriously thinking next year's New Jersey on May 2, 2010, (if I'm ready), or most likely Philadelphia 0n November 21, 2010 (where Beachy is thinking he'll run the Half).
Oh, and if you're wondering why I didn't post a finishers photo. Well, I didn't know at the time, but in talking with someone this week, I realized I didn’t stop after the finish for a Finisher’s Photo. Hahaha, I hurt so bad and didn’t want to stop walking. I had no idea what they were doing, just thought it was the parade of masses walking to collect their baggage and family members. Well, I know now for the next time to stop and smile for the camera. Though, I was smiling from ear to ear, cause I had just accomplished running/hobbling 26.2 miles, which 22 months ago, was just a far out, crazy wild dream!!!