Sunday, November 01, 2009

New York Marathon

Even though it is only 8:30, I am tired. I ran the NY Marathon today.

The day started at 5. Up to catch the bus to Statten Island. This involved walking about 8 blocks from the hotel in a light rain. Then wait a bit on the bus, drive for about an hour (made the marathon seem like a long way). Then we got unloaded into a waiting hour for about 3 hours. It was about 45 degrees F.

The grounds where people waited were wet (although the rain had stopped by then) so I stood. More creative people had shower caps over their shoes. Many brought plastic to sit on.

I knew we would be waiting so I had a warm sweatsuit freshly purchased from Goodwill to leave at the race start(they collect all the thrown off gear for charity so it is all good). I also took a banana, some special sports water (Aqua Hydrate which helps speed recovery) and some pretzels - although they do provide some similar food.

The weather was perfect for a marathon. Overcast and about 50 degrees F while we were running.

The run starts up a long hill - the Verrazano bridge. It goes for over a mile. The crowd was thick but better than a couple of years ago since they changed to a staggered start. The other time I noticed the crowded running was at the end.

I ran strong for the first 10 miles. Enjoying the run. Feeling little pain. By 13.1 miles (hlf way mark), I was close to my target pace (I was 2:06:34) but was starting to struggle. I was stopping at every Gatorade stop (there is one per mile).

This did not impact my pace much until about mile 19 when I started to walk/run. And by the time I finished, I was walking almost half the time. My final 10K was 1:22 compared to 58, 1 hour and 1:06 for the first 3.

My final time was 4:46:14 to place 30717th out of over 63,000 runners (or 2357 out of 3233 in my age/gender). This is a 10:56 pace per mile which is frustrating to me since I can run a 7:30 mile pace for an hour. I just do not fare well on long distances. This was my slowest marathon yet.

Full responsibility though. In fairness, I did not train enough. Totally within my control (except perhaps for minor injuries which seemed to plague me this year).

I also have to give full credit to the spectators. They were thick, supportive and nothing short of spectacular. Lots of bands, music. Lots of cheering. Even offering Kleenex, paper towel, oragne slices, water, etc. I did give a lot of kids a high 5 on the way past (perhaps that is the reason for the slow speed). It was interesting running through the different boroughs of New York and see the changing scene and see how they all tried to out compete for team spirit.

I only achieved one of my 3 goals - to finish. I missed the other 2 (4:10 and 4:30).

One marketing technique is to tie emotion to a product. I find it interesting that Timex tied their brand to pain. They had a timer at each mile mark and every time I saw it, I tried to do a bit better so caused more pain.

(just teasing Timex - I appreciate that you sponsored the race (and also ING Bank))


At 11:31 PM, Blogger FRANCESCA said...

Wow, congratulations!
Like how you told the story from the beginning of your day to the end of the race. Paint's the visual for those who weren't there. Thank you!

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Monique said...

Congratulations, my friend! No matter how you finish a marathon - walking, running, limping - it's a big achievement.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think that running a marathon at all is a big deal. Be proud!

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous sangeeta said...

fabulous account. infact I read your 6 reasons to wake up early article first and landed up here. almost ran the marathon... :)

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Peacenik said...

Congrats on the run. Now if you could just get your black belt. (Toby got his) cheers

At 11:05 AM, Blogger GCohen said...


I wish I had known that you did this when we saw each other at the party on the 4th. Shame on me I didn't just ask. Likely too caught up in myself. What a great accomplishment. As for your beating yourself up on time. Two things come to mind; firstly you are only comparing your results to those who showed up rather than the six billion plus that were either sleeping in or working. Someone told me the other day " just look down and not up if you want to feel better" and secondly comparing short distance and long distance is really not a good comparison. I saw this chart once that compared the fastest runners in the world based on world record time results. Y axis was distance and X axis was time. It bcomes quite clear the trade off you make when choosing between wanting the fastest time verses the longest run. No oyou don't gets to be both. Being a CEO without a company doesn't mean that you get to break the laws of trade offs. The law will get you just as hard without a business as with a business. It always is so depressing facing the trade off. Congratulations from one who was sleeping while you were running! Way to go!


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