NYC Marathon 2005

I finished the NYRR Holiday Four Mile Run (38:31) this morning and with it completed nine qualifying NYRR races, which means: I've got guaranteed entry into the 2005 NYC Marathon. Yay! As I said to my friend Adriana this morning after the race, "Obviously something's wrong with us if we're waking up to run in 32° weather every weekend for the purpose of gaining entry into a marathon!" Of course, I mean "wrong" in the good sense! I've already got two marathons and one half-marathon scheduled for 2005. Now let's hope my hip injury heals in time.

Reflections on the marathon

It's a little less than 72 hours since the marathon ended and my body is close to recovered. My legs are still a little sore, but nothing that keeps me from zipping up and down the stairs — unlike Monday and yesterday. I'm planning on going for my first post-marathon run tomorrow, and can't wait. The excitement and high of the marathon has yet to abate. In fact, I'd venture to say a sort of "marathon insanity" has set in. Evidence to support my diagnosis:

1. When I think back to the actual running of the marathon, it wasn't that hard. My pace for nearly 21 miles was slower than I'd actually trained because I ran with friends. It was great to share the experience with others, and it was only around the 14 mile mark that I started to feel some tightness in my legs. I think that was due to the slower than usual pace, which affected my stride. Once I sped up, the tightness dissipated. That was in the Bronx, where I sped up and ran the last five miles alone. I felt strong and fast those last five miles, managed to hold my form together, and because I had so much gas in my tank, I passed people left and right. I have to say, there's something awesome about heading past the mile 24 marker, weaving through the crowd, and speeding towards the finish. There was no point during the race where I really thought, "I can't do this!" Towards the end I felt tired, but it was just a matter of perseverance. I'd actually thought it would be harder and I'd have to battle myself to complete the race.

2. Now I'm all hopped up and ready to run another marathon, and to try and run faster! My net time was 5:09:04, and I know I can go quite a bit faster, so my goal for my next marathon is 4:30. Which leads to further proof of my marathon insanity: I've signed up for the 2005 Paris Marathon next spring! Check out the course map, doesn't that look great? What a tour of the city! So my training begins in early December.

3. Further evidence of my marathon mania is my hope to run the NYC Marathon again next fall. If I can get in a few more NYC Road Runner races before the end of the year, I'll automatically qualify for next year's race. I'd love to run it again, the experience of seeing all those various parts of the city, and all the crowds, was unforgettable. The NYC Marathon is something I'd recommend everyone do once in their life. I'm sure you're thinking, "Ha! There's no way I could ever run a marathon" but you'd be surprised. With some training and dedication, anyone can run a marathon. The course was filled with people walking, with people of all sizes and shapes and ages, people just out there to enjoy the day and the experience and the challenge. I highly recommend it. Honest.

So I think those three points make it official: I am marathon crazy. Running crazy. Or maybe just plain crazy!

Look for me on the streets of NYC

my marathon outfit

So if you're going to be cheering tomorrow, here's what I'll be wearing. I'm in the orange start group, which means I'll be running up the left side of Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. I'm going to stick on the left-hand side of the street (my left) and try and stay out of the middle, so if you're looking for me, that's where I hope to be. I'm going to run something between a 10 – 11 minute/mile, so I should be coming into Manhattan around 1 PM or so, depending on how long it takes to get across the start.

My bib number is 31139 so if you're watching from home, you should be able to track my progress online. I don't have the link, but check the ING New York City Marathon site for tracking information. Also, I am going to try and post some photos from my phone as I run. If I do, you'll be able to see them on here in my Flickr photo album.

Marathon training advice

Well today I finished my final double-digit run before the marathon. Since last Sunday I've run nearly 49 miles! But now it's all downhill from here, nothing more than 9 miles, and aside from that seriously easy short stuff for my taper. Two weeks from tomorrow is the big day! As it nears, I'll post more about my expected outfit and finish time so that if you're in the area and plan to watch the race, you can cheer me on. In the meantime, now's your chance to help me out. Have you run a marathon? Do you have any advice for me? I know the main points: sleep well the night before the night before, eat well, etc. But anything else I need to know? Thanks.

The most magical day

Red Sox Make History by Beating Yankees:

From Fenway Park to Faneuil Hall, from Boston Common to Beacon Hill, the 11th pennant for the Red Sox, the first since 1986, will be remembered as the best for one reason: Beating New York in Yankee Stadium, site of last year's Game 7 meltdown.

This was for Williams and Pesky, for Yastrzemski and Yawkey, for Fisk and Rice and even Buckner and Nomar, just a few of the hundreds who suffered the pain inflicted by their New York neighbors in a rivalry that has become baseball's best.

None of the previous 25 major league teams to fall behind 3-0 even forced a series to seven games. The wild-card Red Sox became only the third of 239 teams in the four major North American leagues to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series and win…It had been 100 years since Boston last won a pennant in New York on the final possible day, a 3-2 victory in a doubleheader opener at Hilltop Park in 1904.

Indeed it was a very good day.

Once in a lifetime

The Sox come back from 0-3 against the Yankees and I've refrained from posting out of superstition. I've instead watched each game, holding my breath, knocking on wood, and hoping, just hoping. And after game three, I almost even wrote an open letter to the Sox here, but decided against it. Instead, I just lay silent, hoping still. And then last night, a Bellhorn homer. And then tonight, Damon grand slam. And D. Lowe pitching like a freakin' rock star, and not just any rock star, but like Robert Plant or John Lennon, I mean, Rock Star. I did believe. I'll admit that I wavered, but I never faltered. I believed. I take my Sox do or die. And finally, they did! My oh my. World Series. I can hardly wait!!

Kicking my ass

Apparently this is the part of the marathon training that either kills you or makes you strong enough to run 26.2 miles. After yesterday's 20 miler, my schedule demanded 3 miles from my sore tired legs and feet this morning. I've never run a longer 3 miles in my life. And there's no rest for the weary, tomorrow AM calls for 8 miles. Which means that within 48 hours I'll have run 31 miles! I hope I can survive until Wednesday, which is a rest day. Yay rest day! Right now that's seeming very far off. Right now I can't even go down the stairs unless I take them one at a time, like a child. 🙁

20 miles is a very long distance

My marathon training is entering its final three weeks, and November 7th is fast approaching. I set out today for my final really long run, a 20 miler during which I covered a large portion of the Island. You can see the map of my route. I was going to keep updating this after I put the first 10 miler on, but since then I've been running all my long runs in the same general area, and the lines would have gotten all messy. But since this one was to, 'Sconset, the easternmost point in the United States, I thought I'd redo the map. It was a very long run, but I did it, and I'm getting really excited for the marathon!