ING New York City Marathon - RunMarathon

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New York, New York
United States
New York Road Runners
45F / 7C
Total Time = 3h 34m 41s
Overall Rank = 5219/37899
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 1555/?
Pre-race routine:

Thank you to my wife, family and friends.

My goal was under 4 hrs., 3:30 would be ideal, if I hit ~2:10 at 18 miles, I would push it to BQ. I intended on enjoying the NYC marathon experience and running Tybee in February to try and qualify, but with Tybee canceled, I really gave trying to BQ in NYC a shot. That idea, turned to mush...

Friday, drove to Floral Park, Long Island with Marna to stay with cousins over the weekend. Got in late.

Saturday, got up early to go for a 2 mile run. Made the mistake of not looking at the house or the house number. Turns out, 8.5 miles later, Marna (my wife) ended up seeing me running down the street, yelled to me and I was relieved. Yes, I got lost in Floral Park/Bellerose, New York and couldn't find the house! Not the best idea before running a marathon. But, got to watch the horses at Belmont for a little bit as I kept hitting the dead end near the track. Ended up asking a guy raking leaves where my cousins' house was, he them and gave me the address.

Nonetheless, my family loves the fact that I got lost and they now have a great story. After I "was found", Marna and I went into the City to the Expo at the Javits Center. Went back to Long Island and my family threw a big pasta party. It was great to see the family as we generally only get together for weddings and funerals.

Went to bed early to get up at 3:30 to make a 5:30 bus.
Event warmup:

Got to the bus at the NYC Public Library at 5. Took the bus to Staten Island. Thanks to the advice of Lazymarathoner and the story in RunnersWorld about the dad/son running last years NYC, I knew to bring blankets, plastic, and dress warm. Brought a blanket with plastic on one side/fleece on the other as well as an airline blanket we "procured" from Continental. Also, dressed warm, having bought some cheap throw away clothes from Target and a holey sweater.

Got to Staten Island at 5:30, found the "blue" zone, walked around and checked out the areas, found the food section and looked for a place to set up shop until my wave at 9:40. Found a great spot on a patch of grass that looked the Verrazono. Set up shop, wrapped the blanket around me and watched the sun come up over the Verrazono....which was awesome! Sat around for a while people watching and trying to stay warm. Two english kids sat behind me and I could hear their teeth chattering. Asked them if they wanted a piece of the blanket. We ended up chatting for about 2 hours, which made the time go by quickly. The 3 of us got up around 8:30 to go to our corral. Asked two girls in front of me "spooning" if they wanted the plastic/fleece blanket. Man, it was real cold out there, but when you got up to move around it was better. The girls said thank you and then I gave the blanket to one of the english kids who was definitately not prepared for the weather. He said thanks as well. Walked to the corral, dropped my "throw away" clothes and got ready. I don't think I stretched enough but I was SO cold that my feet shrunk in my shoes and I thought my shorts were falling off because my whole body was shrinking. The corral wasn't bad, and got close to the front in wave 1 and was ready to go.
  • 3h 34m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

Started off in wave 1 with a mass of people. Ran over the Verrazano trying watch my step as people were dropping clothes all over or either stopping and taking pictures. The view of the city was phenomenal. Ran with a woman at my pace as we both weaved in and out. Came into bay ridge brooklyn with the crowds cheering! Felt great and was at a comfortable pace. At mile 4, I looked for my family. Saw them at 4.5. They were surprised to see me as they were getting "motion sickness" from looking at all the runners trying to spot me. Said hello to my fam, first time parents have watched a race, gave Marna a kiss and set off. Continued to feel awesome. However, I had to weave in/out of others, which I think contributed to my issues later. I haven't used the fast twitch muscles in a while as I haven't played many sports where you have to go laterally or speed up/speed down.

The route was awesome. The people were great. The bands were awesome. Loved hearing the 'Stones and Ramones along the way. Loved the gospel and rap groups as well as the DJs. Did not like the people in brooklyn driving their doublewide strollers down the middle lane or the people crossing the street right in front of you in brooklyn and da bronx.

At the half way point, I saw that I was on pace for a 3:05 and I felt great. Really gave it a thought about pushing it, but knew an incline was coming up. Stuck to the plan to evaluate Bq'ing around mile 18. mile 14.5 going up the bridge, my right calf convulsed. It started popping. Never really happened before, so I panicked a little. HR went way up. Stopped on the incline and went to the side and started to rub my calf down. Tried to run and about 300 yards later, it popped again. Thankfully, the water stop was there as well as the med tent. Usually, my stubborn self would push on, but I decided to go over. Best idea ever. The med guy, rubbed my calf down and I never felt so much pain!!! He did an awesome job!!! Because I was able to walk abit and then run. Walked probably 200 yards. Felt good, so I started to run. Next incline was the queensboro. It was kinda eerie to only hear the thumping of people's feet over the ~1.5 miles, but when you come off the bridge, down the on-ramp and under the tunnell and you start to hear the crowds through the tunnell, it's just an awesome feeling!!! My family was there, but I didn't see them, but did hear my name and quickly turned.

After the cramp in my calf, I dialed it down and just wanted to finish. Was doing great and felt good. But, then at mile ~23, both thighs and my right calf cramped. I could barely walk, let alone run. This was a great part where the people were crammed on both sides of 5th ave, but I was so worried that I couldn't totally enjoy it. I then saw a med tent, so waddled over. the meds rubbed/numbed me down with ice. My left calf then started to convulse and I thought I was done. My HR shot up again! My legs were totally numb, the meds told me to walk and I started off. Again, the meds were great and totally calmed me down and treated me right. Thank you! Walked for about .75 miles and was totally pissed as this was a great part. The people crammed the streets so you were basically 2x2 for a while. Got to the top of the incline on 5th ave and decided to give running a shot. Told myself not to stop and push through the pain. My right calf popped a couple more times, but I started to think about how much I wanted to finish running. I also used my get angry, increase the testosterone theory but thinking about what makes me mad. So, I finished the next 2.2 miles running, saw my fam/friends/wife at mile 25 and experienced running through central park, going up that tough last incline around <200 yards left and finished!
What would you do differently?:

Figure out why I cramped / layer my legs more / not run 8.5 miles the day before. Otherwise, nothing.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a lot! Saw my fam/friends/wife. Went to a local bar that Teddy knows well, had a Guiness (awesome!) then went to my aunt's in bay ridge with the fam for a great dinner. Rode the subway to brooklyn with the fam and thought I would pull a barney stinson, but thankfully didn't.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

not sure.

Event comments:

I would do this race again in a heartbeat. Sorry for the long RR. But, this was a fantastic adventure/experience! Race volunteers, etc... were the best! Thank you to my wife, friends and family.

Last updated: 2008-06-05 12:00 AM
03:34:41 | 26.2 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 1555/?
Overall: 5219/37899
Performance: Below average
mile 1: 8:04; mile 2: 6:45; mile 3: 6:52; mile 4: 7:16; mile 5: 6:51; mile 6: 6:47; mile 7: 6:53; mile 8: 7:00; mile 9: 6:53; mile 10: 6:48; mile 11: 7:08; mile 12: 7:07; mile 13: 7:06; mile 14: 7:39; mile 15: 9:40; mile 16: 9:07; mile 17: 7:13; mile 18: 7:41; mile 19: 8:13; mile 20: 8:33; mile 21: 8:56; mile 22: 8:53; mile 23: 10:41; mile 24: 15:19; mile 25: 8:39; mile 26: 8:10; .2: 8:15
Course: Staten Island to Brooklyn to Queens to Manhattan to da Bronx to Manhattan, Central Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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