13 November 2010

New York City Marathon Race Report

Funny how I've procrastinated writing this race report. I had a blast, though my time itself was my second slowest marathon time ever.

I ran Javelina just two weeks prior to NYC Marathon. I dealt with severe ankle, foot, and leg swelling following. A week post-Javelina, the swelling was still terrible, and I got a sports massage. That helped immensely, but I found any run, even of a distance of only 3 miles, left my legs feeling tired. The entire time I'd want to stop. That's not me. I think ideally I should have taken off a few weeks.

My team, North Brooklyn Runners, was super excited. I grabbed onto some of their energy and hoped the combination of that and the crowd support would pull me along.

Kurt, Miriam, Rob and I shared a cab to the Mid-Manhattan Buses, and they were all super nervous. I was excited. However, when I got to the freezing start at 6:15 a.m. and had to wait until 9:40 a.m. to run, I was more than a little cranky. I  alternated between that and super excited, amusing Kurt.

I started in the last corral in wave one. I worried I'd be running alone, but that wasn't the case. I was running with some seriously fantastic people - I know because I took the time to chat with them.

I decided I could approach the race two ways - I could race my heart out and probably crash, and be seriously disappointed I didn't PR.

Or I could run my heart out but not kill myself - run with my heart. Enjoy the crowds, run as fast as I could but enjoy the race.

I chose the latter option and it was great. I wore my pink flamingo running skirt, and the crowds loved it. "Pretty in pink!" "Tutu!" "Pink tutu!" "Princess!" I got a lot of great shouts, and I waved to everyone, enjoying the attention. A little different than Javelina, where I was often running alone. I guess my hallucinations kept me company!

The race was fun. Brooklyn is the best, of course. The people are astounding. I love past running past that school in Fort Greene where that high school band play the Rocky Theme song on repeat. I saw my boss, my parents, tons of friends, and my beloved team, NBR, at Mile 12. That was the best mile. In Greenpoint, I saw Cara and Jason. I missed Rachelle. I missed a lot of people. Some of them saw me as a pink feathery blur.

Queens. I saw Rachel & Megan & Gwendolyn & Ofer. I ran, feeling happy. I ate pretzels while I ran (Thanks, NBR & Mom & Dad). I waved at the crowds. I slapped little kids' hands.

1st Avenue. It started hurting more and more. I ran into Shawn. We caught up with each others' lives. "You're dating a person w/ kids too?" We laughed, traded stories. I let him go in the mid-80s. 

My parents at 90th St. Then Lesley at the gel station. Lesley and I ran together for a while. We talked about being in love (me) or the tension situations (L). We ran into the Bronx.

"God, this hurts." My hips ached. My stomach hurt. I pushed. The Bronx won't let you stop. C'mon, Boogie-down Bronx.

Back into Manhattan. No more bridges. Crowds in Harlem. Smiles. Shouts. It's like you're a rockstar. You don't get that in an ultra. You also don't get miles of shin-slapping pavement. Run faster. And on. The crowds love you. Love you.

Mom and Dad again. Know Mom has magic cookie bars in her bag and I'm starving. 

Mile 24 sucks. Why are all these people shouting? Can't they just shoot me and get it over with? Oh my god, my hips are killing me. Is this a 40-minute mile or what? Where is this stupid finish line? Oh my god, Central Park has way too many hills. Yeah, I know I look pretty in pink, but I feel like hell.

Mile 25. Pretzels and water. And...MAGIC.

Passing people. Later. I'm fast. I'm magic. That's right, I'm pretty in pink. This tutu is full of endorphins. Faster. Yeah, I know I'm awesome, thanks crowds. Yeah, yeah, YAY!

I'm so proud of myself - two weeks after Javelina, and still finishing! I celebrated with my parents - magic cookie bars and lunch, and then, lots of drinks and wonderful food with my awesome team. It was a great New York Day - and a super fun race. My thwarted sense of pain means this race hurt really bad - but hey, it's nothing, NOTHING compared to Javelina.

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