ING New York City Marathon - Run

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New York City, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 58m 55s
Overall Rank = 15214/50000+
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 1792/4730
Pre-race routine:

Starting with the night before, we planned to do dinner early at Mario Batali's Eataly market, it was a zoo, 90 minute waits at both restuarants there. Plan B, we were waiting to meet up with my wife's cousin's fiance who lives in Brooklyn, she came and knew of an italian restuarant that was close, so we decided to go there, it was good, pretty uneventful, but I started to get itchy to get back to the room and get some sleep. So after dinner, I excused myself and caught a taxi back to the room. Once back at the hotel room, I realized, I had done absolutely zero race day planning, unusual for me. I always have a written out race plan. So I first organized my things for the morning, laying everything out and deciding exactly how much extra cloths I would need to stay warm in the long prerace wait in the corrals. It was now 9pm and I wanted to be in bed at 8pm. Then I read the athlete handbook, picked up a few tips for the race, namely to wait to push until after the Queensboro bridge at mile 16. The highlight, was to set your clocks back...WAHOO...I forgot about that and just picked up an hour, perfect, I'm back on my schedule. So to bed I go, but I couldn't get much sleep. Wake up call at 4:45, showered, dressed and headed out to walk to the bus. I ate a granola bar before I left. Met a runner at the elevator, he was going to the bus also, so I walked with him and he was from Mexico City. I was scheduled to be on the 5:30am bus, not bad lines. So I got on the bus and it was a quiet ride over to the race site in Staten Island. I got off the bus and there was a ton of security, they even said you couldn't take in foil blankets, something I brought with me, so I dropped one and kept one in my bag. I got through security fine, went to my Orange Corral and a tent was there, so I peeked in and plenty of space, so I sat down, it quickly filled up and we were crammed in there like sardines, but it blocked the chilly wind. It was chilly/cold, but not freezing inside the tent. I had enough layers on to keep warm, just had to stretch now and then with little room to do so. I didn't want to leave and lose my spot to get some dunkin donuts coffee. I ate 2 bars while sitting there and drank the little water bottle I got in my swag bag. Finally, after a few hours, I got up and had to pee. It was getting late to line up for my corral, but I got in just in time and got in line for the portopot. Traded race experience and strategies with a man that had done 40 marathons and did NYC once before. The headwinds were supposed to be 15 MPH, so I wasn't looking forward to this.
Event warmup:

Sat in tent to stay warm. Minor stretching in corral.
  • 3h 58m 55s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 07s  min/mile

I'm in the corral, waiting for wave start at 9:40am. I was lucky to get in the first wave. I apparently missed the sign that said "let the peeing" contest begin, I was standing next to a truck that everyone wanted to get close to and pee. Then the start cannon's went off loudly and cheers by the runners. NY, NY by Frank S. started to play and pumped me up as we milled across the start line, I was in the back of the wave and notice the start clock said something like 2-3 minutes as I was approaching.

Just after I crossed the start line, a lady stepped off the road and squatted, really, we're only 100 yds from start, but then a line up of guys started to pee off the Verazzano Bridge, I couldn't believe they were peeing at the 100-400 yd mark!! Helicopters sounded loudly as we ran up the bridge, I took it easy and didn't push, the traffic with all the runners was surprisingly not a problem for me, everyone seemed to flow pretty evenly although more people passed me as I didn't want to push in the least bit. I watched my garmin pace intently throughout the race and had to keep holding myself back in the first 6 miles due to crowds cheering and excitement of the big race. My plan was a negative split, with sub 4 hour time. I kept telling myself, just to keep within striking distance for the first half, about 5-10 seconds off my planned pace would keep me in the game and then I could assess how I felt second half of race. I had some calf pain issues that bothered me for last 4-6 weeks of training, so I wasn't sure when/if that would bother me. Running through Brooklyn was very fun and enjoyable, it brought back some memories of when I lived in Park Slope over 20 years ago. The headwinds came and went as I passed through the streets of Brooklyn and this would be the case all day, especially crossing bridges and open areas. I finally got towards the end of Brooklyn and entered into Queens, I knew the bridge would be coming, so I kept steady, then the bridge slowed me down and down and it was a long way up, finally got to the top and looked at my garmin, HOLY SMOKES, I lost like 12 secs on my avg pace and as I went down the bridge and got faster, my pace slowed even more, so I thought for sure the garmin was screwing up. Oh well, I will just keep going and hope it will come back. I struggled trying to figure out my pace for next mile or so and garmin seemed unreliable. I got to 1st Ave and the crowds picked up and cheered louder than ever. I was closing in on mile 17 and remembered I picked up the pace scale at the expo that had mileage time for a 4 hr race time, so I checked that against my garmin time and against the race clock and figure roughly where I was. Then another mile of trying to calc. my pace and what I needed to start pacing at to finish under 4 hrs. Mile 18 come up and I looked at the race clock, I remember I was somewhere around 3 minutes after the clock stared when I crossed the start line, but didn't have an exact time, so I estimated and figured I need to take about 15 secs off my planned pace of 9:09 to make up time I was behind plan. I felt ok, but that was alot to take off considering I had 8 miles to go, but I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go for it. So 8:54 miles became the mantra, take one mile at a time and I watched my garmin staying as close to 8:54 as possible. I was really starting to get in the "zone" at this point, everything around me slowly started to become surreal and as each mile clicked off, it was just me and the 8:54 pace. I was getting close to the Bronx at this point, the hip pain was setting in and the hamstrings were starting to tighten up. The pace became tougher to hold at this point, but I was holding up pretty well. Bronx went by quickly and I crossed the bridge back into Manhattan, someone came up to me at that point and said, "Go Bucks", he saw my sleeve to my buckeye jersey that was hanging out. Talked to him a little while, he was from Cleveland and knew a friend from my home town in Napoleon, OH. After that I started to get back into my zone, but that was a nice diversion for a minute. I really started to count down the miles as it really became tougher and tougher to hold the pace. I remember going through Harlem and read that someone yelled out "I didn't come all the way out here to see you walk", so I wasn't about to stop and hear that here. I was in the final 3 miles, holding on and then Central Park for the final mile or so was very exciting with the crowds, barely holding on, trying to pick up the pace without hurting myself or being one to have to stop for cramps as I saw a few had to do along the way. I turned the corner, and saw the 400 yard sign for the finish and tried to pick up any bit I could. I saw the clock clicking away around 4 hours and change and made a final push to the finish!!! I did it!!! I got my medal and what a great feeling, I kissed it and then I thought, well, did I make sub-4???? I remembered I had my iphone with me and downloaded the app that tracked me, so I rushed to my phone and check....3:58:55!!!! I DID IT!! I just felt like I conquered the world.
What would you do differently?:

Can't say I would change a thing.
Post race
Warm down:

None really, just walking out of the park and race area was a long walk and obstacle course. Walked out of the park to find Samantha and Jen. They were stuck behind security, waiting for me to mill out and finally met them.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Some minor setbacks in training, missed a few long runs.

Event comments:

Pretty darn well organized for 50,000 runners. And with Boston, the security was a necessary hassle, but it didn't bother me at all. Fans couldn't get to the finish line unless they paid $75 for VIP pass was disappointing to my wife and friend that came out to see me.

Last updated: 2013-08-21 12:00 AM
03:58:55 | 26.2 miles | 09m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 1792/4730
Overall: 15214/50000+
Performance: Good
Garmin stats Looking at my mile splits, if it weren't for mile 17 and 25, I would not have made sub-4 hours. Avg HR = 151
Course: The course covers all five boroughs of New York City. It begins on Staten Island near the approach to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The bridge, which normally carries only vehicular traffic, is closed for the event. Runners use both sides of the upper level of the bridge and the westbound side of the lower level. In the opening minutes of the race, the bridge is filled with runners, creating a dramatic spectacle that is closely associated with the event. After descending the bridge, the course winds through Brooklyn, mostly along Fourth Avenue and Bedford Avenue, for approximately the next 11 miles (18 km). Runners pass through a variety of neighborhoods, including: Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. At 13.1 miles (21.1 km), runners cross the Pulaski Bridge, marking the halfway point of the race and the entrance into Long Island City, Queens. After about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) in Queens, runners cross the East River via the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. It is at this point in the race when many runners begin to tire, as the climb up the bridge is considered one of the most difficult points in the marathon. Reaching Manhattan after about 16 miles (26 km), the race proceeds north on First Avenue, then crosses briefly into The Bronx via the Willis Avenue Bridge for a mile before returning back into Manhattan via the Madison Avenue Bridge. It then proceeds south through Harlem down Fifth Avenue and into Central Park. At the southern end of the park, the race proceeds across Central Park South, where thousands of spectators cheer runners on during the last mile. At Columbus Circle, the race re-enters the park and finishes outside Tavern on the Green.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5