07 November 2008

nyc marathon 2008: 3:32!!!

this photo is of me after grabbing some pretzels at mile 8. yum. my tummy was a wreck before then (which is not a good thing!)

this year's new york city marathon was exciting! it always is. i felt a little nervous since i've been training for longer races (i have done three ultras since late june!), and thus, running slower, but apparently the longer races really prepped me. mentally, it was easier. after twenty minutes of running, my stomach started hurting, and i thought, "well, only about three more hours of running." ultrarunning preps you so that marathons seem like short runs. pretty crazy.

the race day started out cold. i was nervous b/c i hadn't had a BM in a few days. (does this seem like a dangerous dan entry? hah!) i wasn't feeling too hot, but was cheered by mark and shawn on the ferry. we stretched together, and then i left them as i was an orange start -- starting on the upper left of the verazzano narrows bridge (staten island).

i was hanging out with a group of australian runners (more than 50% of nyc marathon runners are from other countries), chatting about the race, about what we would drink afterwards. we all nervously chatted during the star spangeled banner (and the sound kept going in and out) and all of the sudden, the gun!

"we started?" i shrieked to the ozzies.

"i guess so!"

the start was below 40; i ran across the bridge in a thick ugly powder blue fleece. shortly after i emerged from the bridge (panting, it was pretty tough on the uphill), i tossed it to an eager spectator with outstretched arms.

brooklyn. 4th avenue. the bands. the spectators. cheering. little kids with their hands out. people already standing there with boxes of bananas (which seem revolting to me while running). my stomach started hurting, but i thought, "ah, a half hour passed, just three more hours."

there are over 2.5 million spectators in this race, so it's an absolutely amazing race for any runner to do -- whenever you feel down, there's someone yelling, "go PINK! GO PINK!" it's an absolute blast. there's the band that plays the rocky theme song repeatedly as the marathoners go by.

i saw my boss at mile 7, and then my parents and friends were at mile 8. i turned onto lafayette in fort greene, my favourite place of the race. it's early enough where you are still fresh and feeling good and pushing yourself, with tons of people, great music (an amazing african drumming group really pushed me), and oh yeah, TONS of obama fans!

turning onto bedford is always an experience. the hasidic jewish people ignoring the runners, a woman walking across the street with a stroller, acting oblivious. quickly we entered latino williamsburg (yay! always great cheering!) and then hipster williamsburg. soon, into greenpoint, MY hood! i felt great, esp when i saw rachelle.

long island city was great b/c gwendolyn was there with a hot pink sign -- lovely surprise! i was ecstatic. my stomach throughout was bothering me, but i kept forcing myself to eat and drink and take endurolytes and drink gatorade.

i felt good on the bridge. i have done hill repeats on the bridge many times, but on marathon sunday, ugh, i really felt the incline. once i got to the top, i pushed myself down.

and onto 1st avenue!

1st avenue gives you goosebumps. you'd have to be dead to not get them, so says one famous runner. there are people so thick the people in the back can't see the course, but everyone is screaming, holding signs, going nuts. bars and restaurants hold marathon brunches, people are hanging out of windows. it's amazing. my stomach really started hurting me, but i forced down another gel and pushed on.

at 90th st, i saw my coworker john who went absolutely nuts. it really cheered me up. a block later, crista and tray and my parents. i got some gummy bears, forced them down, kept going.

on the willis avenue bridge, i decided, "i will not let the bronx get me down." and i didn't. i kept pushing.

i saw sin-d walking her little dog and it totally cheered me up. i grabbed an orange from someone. i kept going.

my stomach hurt me. i ran in harlem, cheering on the obama fans, them cheering me on. great music. passed a bunch of people.

saw the fam again just before i entered central park. in the park, i really started to get emotional.

"i won't run 3:25 [my goal] but i'll def PR." i kept pushing myself.

i passed people, i soaked in the screams and the cheers.

and i finished in 3:32! i was so emotional i almost started crying. immediately, i felt dizzy and a volunteer walked with me, but soon i recovered. i downed a bottle of water, and met my mom (with a magic cookie bar; thanks, mom!) after seeing shawn. it was so great.

after, we all gathered at my apt to eat food, drink sangria, and talk running. and those are my favorite things in life.


Anonymous said...

awwwwwwww no pink running shoes????
Nice piece of writing :0)

It triggers the images of all the hoods in my mind.

Be dammmmned proud of yourself.

christian said...

wow - nice job at NYC