Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Final Marathon of 2015 - NYC

I ran the 2015 NYC Marathon because I had earned a spot by fundraising for the canceled 2012 marathon in the wake of (Super?) Hurricane Sandy.  Since the options were to run the 2013 NYC Half or the 2013, 2014, or 2015 Marathon, I chose 2015 since in 2013 I was committed to Detroit, 2014 I thought I might run Marine Corps (ran Chicago), thus leaving 2015.  It is hard to believe it has been three years already!

On the heels of three very successful marathons this year (3:04 in April in New Jersey; 3:17 in July at the hot and hilly Mad Marathon in Vermont; 3:00 in Bismarck), I had high hopes for NYC.  When one of my running buddies broke 3:00 at Marine Corps the Sunday prior to my race, my competitive juices were stirred and I had visions of going sub 3:00 in NYC.  But, it didn't happen.  I ran a respectable 3:12, 14 minutes faster than the 3:26 I raced the course in 2010.

My race preparations went fine.  I felt mostly recovered from Bismarck.  At the Army Ten Miler, I ran a solid 64, but that was only once I determined I couldn't get under 63 and backed off.  Maybe that should have served as an indicator.  Yet, my speed workouts during training went fine, especially my 3, 2, 1 at 6:30 eleven days before the race.  My taper was fine - I was good to go.

Welcome to the NYC Marathon Expo!
In the expo
Laura and I traveled up after work on Friday the 30th and stayed with her folks in New Jersey.  In the morning, I went for a shakeout run, ate breakfast, showered, and then was dropped off at the bus which took me into the Port Authority.  From there, I visited the expo.  I did run into someone I had met in DC at a meeting - quite the small world!  For the afternoon, I met up with my friend John and his girlfriend for lunch at a famous (?) Italian restaurant across from their building.  He has quite the view of the city - we could see into Central Park and spot the finish line.  I then took the subway to Brooklyn where I was spending the night at my friend's place.  Since it was Halloween, they were giving out candy before taking their son out.  Laura and her folks met me and my friend Adam at a local Italian restaurant that was really good.  Adam and I hung out for a bit and chatted before I went to bed early.

Famous Patsy's?  Pre Marathon lunch.

Central Park from John's building

Can you spot the finish line?

Johns Hopkins graduates in NYC
Looking forward to a great race!
In the morning, I wake up naturally at the right time since I had gained an extra hour as the clocks fell back to regular time (can we get rid of DST please?).  A short Uber ride took me to JackRabbit Sports - I had paid $20 for a bus, bag check, and place to gather after the race at PS 87.  The bus eventually arrived just after 6AM (we were told to get there between 5 and 6AM), and then the bus driver started going the wrong way.  Her directions were to go the Holland Tunnel into New Jersey and then onto Staten Island.  The bus nearly revolted and she eventually agreed to get on the BQE and drive over the Verrazano Narrows, which is what we wanted in the first place.

Outside of JackRabbit sports prior to boarding the bus

At the runner's village, I found a spot and took a nap for about an hour.  I was rested and felt pretty good.  At 8:00AM, I began applying lube and getting ready to line up in my corral.  In line for my final pit stop, I chatted with a nice guy from Tel Aviv.  He gave me his cap with Hebrew lettering, but I had to toss that in the second mile since it was so warm.  In the corral, I ran into a guy who had run track at Stonehill College in Easton.  I also ran into a runner from my running club who is older and injured - I had no idea how he snuck up to the front.  On the base of the bridge, we waited as they sung the anthem and held the opening ceremonies.  I have no idea how I got so close to the start line - I didn't push or try - I simply followed the crowd from my wave.  There were some folks with high number bibs indicating they weren't in the proper wave, but I wasn't there to call them out for that.  In fact, some guys from Italy were taking their pictures and I got them to take one of me and email it.

This is how close I was to the start line.  The gun went off five minutes later.

Once the race started, I thought I was being very smart.  The first mile up the bridge was 7:15 and I was in control.  The second mile was 6:20, but that was just because it was a downhill.  It was in the third mile where I tried to settle in and ran into Adam from my running club.  We chatted a bit, but he fell back as he was recovering from an injury and this was his first marathon in quite sometime.  Around the four mile mark, I began to worry that something was wrong - I was sweating more than I thought I would this early and my legs didn't feel completely fresh.  For the next few miles, I tried positive imagery and telling myself everything was fine.  I took my first Gu at the fifth mile and when I hit the 10K and 15K I was telling myself that I was fine.

My run through Brooklyn was more of a struggle than I admitted at the time.  I passed near where Chris and Gwen live around mile 8-9, but I didn't see them.  When the 3:00 pacer passed me at the 11th mile, I tried to hold for a bit, but I couldn't.  I hit the halfway point in 1:31 and thought that if I lost only five minutes on the second half, I would be in really good shape.  Queens went fine, but then I hit the Queensboro Bridge where I lost nearly two minutes.  It is a long, tough bridge, but I ran it correctly judging by effort and not pace.  I told myself that when I hit Manhattan, the rush of the crowd would inspire me to run a good final ten miles.  That was almost the case.

Photo credit David and Mary - they were a huge boost to my psyche

I ran down First Avenue and heard my friend David and Mary calling my name and ran to them.  I needed their cheering which helped me refocus out of a bad mental place.  That got me to about the 18th mile where the 3:05 pacer passed me.  I was fine with that as I readjusted my goals for a BQ and sub 3:10.  I actually handled the Bronx pretty well as I got a boost of energy.  And, at mile 22, I thought I was going to come in under 3:10 since I just needed to hold a 7:30 for the final four miles.  I felt that was entirely possible until I hit the slow, long hill that is the 23rd mile that leads to Central Park.  That's where I lost all hope as my legs couldn't turnover anymore and my pace slowed a couple of minutes.  The 3:10 pacers passed and that was the end of my race.  In the park, I was able to toss in a few surges and a final push to get in under 3:13, but my race was over.  I felt ill and needed a medical person to walk with me for five minutes before I felt well enough to continue on my own.

And the award for worst race picture...
It took me quite a long time to get my poncho, get out of the park, find the meeting spot, and then hail an Uber to take me to the pub to meet Laura and friends.  In addition to walking slow, I had two Ubers cancel on me.  Normally, I would have walked the 1.3 miles, but I was tired and just wanted to get to the restaurant quickly to see my friends.  It was nice to see our New York friends.

Group shot

Race stats.
Weather = high 50 degrees to start, 60s at the end, warmer and more humid than expected, started sweating early, overcast with some sun.

Final time = 3:12:47
Splits: 5K = 21:19; 10K = 42:42; 15K = 1:04:20; 20K = 1:26:13; 1/2 = 1:31:10; 25K = 1:49:10; 30K = 2:12:20; 35K = 2:36:33; 40K = 3:02:13
Results: Overall Place = 1708; Gender Place = 1557; Age Place = 301

Next up: TBD

1 comment:

  1. Good report as always and a pretty good effort and result on a day that was not meant to be your day. And the temps were not favorable for an optimal performance.