Monday, November 05, 2007

New York Marathon and 3 Goals

Yesterday I ran the New York Marathon. The day began early. Up before 5 to catch a special marathon bus at 5:30. They close the roads so the buses leave early. Wait a bit on the bus then arrive at the field at 6:30 or so. There are thousands of runners milling around, lying on the ground, sitting etc.

The air was cool but not cold. Perfect running weather. A bit chilling though to sit for too long. I ran for a charity - Team for Kids. They had a special tent for us. For breakfast in the tent, I had 2 bagels and some Gatorade. Team for kids does look after their sponsors well. From the start with special buses, a tent, extra portapotties (important since we all drink lots in preparation for the race) right to the end with a volunteer showing you to the special area where your bag is. Kudos to them.

It is part of the race culture to sit and talk in these pre race times. Usually about not being prepared enough (excuse #1) and comparing other races we have run. The race did not start until 10 so quite a long wait. I was with my good friend Warren Spitz. Always a fun person to be with which made the time pass quickly.

About 9:30 we walked to the start line. There are almost 40,000 runners so it is mayhem. Runners are assigned a start place but few pay attention to that. At 10, we hear the gun but the crowd does not start to move for a few minutes (too far back in the pack). Eventually we cross the start. As expected, it is impossible to pass, change position or move. Solid runners. The race starts over a bridge which means 3/4 mile hill up followed by 3/4 mile down. I run with Warren for the first 2 miles. He is faster so leaves me. My first 5 K was 27:53. Acceptable - especially considering the mass of people. Possibly too fast. Part of wht I need to do is start slow.

Great crowd support cheering most of the way. Second 5 K was 30:15 - a bit slower than the sub 30 I was planning on. Still massive crowds. Marathons are measured on the tangents and there is no way to run the tangents in the mass of runners (excuse #2). I was feeling great and the miles were melting by for the next 20K. My pace was 30:26, 30:41, 32:32 then 33:01 -I was slowing.

The run passed through different sections of New York. Interesting to see the changes in character.

I was tiring at 30K and my legs were getting sore and cramped. Water and Gatorade was served every 1 mile. Way more frequent than most marathons. I was stopping at every other one but now was stopping at all so I could walk 50 M. One cute 8 yr old was yelling "take my water, it is lower calorie and Gatorade". I should have given him my card to give him a job when he is old enough.

The next 5 K was 35:03 and I was really having to use willpower to keep going. Even this far into the race, it was a big crowd of runners. They say you should add 10 min to your time due to the number of runners (excuse # 3). 35-40 K took 37:40 - I was walking longer and running slower. Last 2.2K was 15:19 so I did pick it up a bit. Final finish was 4:32:50.

It was a great experience. Highly recommended to all.

I read once in a running book that every race should have 3 goals. I use this in non race situations also. My goals were 4:00, 4:15 and to finish. I achieved one goal.

And today I am sore. I took a brisk 15 minute walk this morning to give away my extra marathon food to the homeless people. Glad I did the walk but it was a struggle.


At 10:52 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations Dad! I'm so impressed!

At 1:31 PM, Blogger John D. Herrington said...

Jim, I'm very impressed. Not sure if I could finish. Congratulations!


At 1:32 PM, Blogger John D. Herrington said...

Excellent Jim ! Not sure if I could complete the run. Congratulations! JDH

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey you...
very proud of you... and mildly impressed...

At 10:02 PM, Blogger mike harttrup said...

Hi Jim:

Another great inspirational inspirational story! Are you going to be at the Around the Bay in Hamilton in 2008?

mike harttrup

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome!! I'm still excite...I thought a CEO were always very very busy and had no interest in such things. wonderful life

proud of you...


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