ING New York City Marathon - RunMarathon

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New York, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
55F / 13C
Total Time = 2h 58m 4s
Overall Rank = 817/43700
Age Group = M20-24
Age Group Rank = 46/688
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 5:30am (when I was slated to be on the Staten Island Ferry). Ate breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and scrambled eggs at 6am. Arrived at ferry terminal by 7am. Felt kind of rushed. Vaselined nipples, pits and inner thighs.
Event warmup:

No warm up. Jogged in place. BOOM.
  • 2h 58m 4s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 06m 48s  min/mile

My goal was 2:59:59. I cleared this by almost 2 minutes, but I definitely could have failed. Basically, I paced myself terribly. Right off the first mile, I knew I was going too fast. I had intended to run 6:50 throughout the race to break 3 hours. The first uphill mile should have been slow--around 7:45, but I went 6:55. The second mile should have been 6:30 or so, but I went 6:04. Each successive mile in the first half was too fast by about 30 seconds. Part of the problem was that I was feeling good--as anyone would near the beginning--and I also had a group that I felt I could hang out (including one very beautiful woman, whom I wanted to keep up with).

Well, after coming in at the 13.1 mile mark in 1:24 (6:24/mile pace), the wheels fell off the bus. I realized that I could no longer keep up. I also realized that I was starting to feel some pretty serious pain in my muscles. This sense of heaviness worried me. By mile 17, I had hit a wall. My legs started seizing up. At one point, probably around mile 20, I literally had a cramp/spasm in both legs from my butt all the way down to my ankles. Entire leg seizure. PAIN.

At this point, recognizing the electrolyte imbalance, I scarfed down a whole Clif Bar and sucked in two PowerGels I had picked up at the station. I knew I needed the electrolytes to keep my muscles working. It worked.

I made it all the way to the home stretch on 5th and Central Park. I knew I could still break 3 hours as long as I didn't cramp up again. I paced conservatively and made sure to just hold it at about 7:10 pace--no slower--so that I could leave a comfortable cushion and still break 3 hours.

I DID IT!!!!!
What would you do differently?:

I would not run like an idiot by running 6:24 pace for the first half. I would start slow and accelerate. I do feel, though, that this fly and die strategy might suit me well because it forced me to push myself to the extreme extreme. That is, if I started conservative and ramped up, I probably wouldn't have pushed myself as hard (I also would have felt a lot better at the finish line...).
Post race
Warm down:

Was taken to the medical tent after collapsing at the finish line. I was really okay; I just needed to collapse for a few seconds. Got out of the tent and walked to 86th St to pick up my stuff.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor pacing. I flied and died. Fastest mile was 6:04 (2nd mile), but I went as slow as 7:39!

Event comments:

A truly one of a kind race. Spectacular in every regard.

Last updated: 2009-11-05 12:00 AM
02:58:04 | 26.2 miles | 06m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 46/688
Overall: 817/43700
Performance: Good
Miles 1: 6:55 2: 6:03 3: 6:24 4: 6:19 5: 6:23 6: 6:23 7: 6:28 8: 6:29 9: 6:29 10: 6:22 11: 6:44 12: 6:15 13: 6:30 14: 6:45 15: 7:18 16: 6:56 17: 6:40 18: 7:01 19: 7:06 20: 7:21 21: 7:34 22: 7:39 23: 7:19 24: 7:20 25: 6:53 26: 6:55 26.1: 1:29
Course: A great course. First 2 miles over the Verrezano-Narrows Bridge. Miles 2-8 on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. Miles 8-13 winding through the rest of Brooklyn. Miles 13-15 in Queens. Miles 15-16 on the QB Bridge. Miles 16-20 on 1st Ave in Manhattan. Miles 20-21 in the Bronx. Miles 21-26.2 on 5th Ave and in Central Park.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5