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Saturday, November 7, 2009

26.2

miles.

One city; five boroughs.

4:23:15.

10:02 pace per mile.

43,000 finishers.

Awesome fan support.

One of the best days of my life.

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My NYC marathon was a dream come true. It was without a doubt one of the best days of my life. At the end of the race my face hurt from smiling so much. The race starts on Staten Island. I took the ferry from Manhattan - got from great Statue of Liberty photos. The staging area before the race was a zoo. Seriously it was crazy. And it was wet and muddy. I ended up sitting on a concrete slab for an hour before the race. I ate and drank so much prior to racing - a bagel (my second of the day), two bottles of water, a Powerbar, and some sugary fruit snacks - that I ended up using the porta-potty FOUR times before getting to the start area. Thankfully I remembered to take my own toilet paper because the porta-potties ran out early on in the morning.

There were no fans the first two miles of the race because we were on the bridge, but right at mile two we crossed into Brooklyn and the crowd went crazy. There were fans lining the street for the next 12 miles. It was unbelievable. So much fun!

My favorite sign read: "your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass."

I love the woman who made this sign.

The first half of the race takes place in Brooklyn. After that you cross into Queens for a few miles. At mile 15 you get on the Queensboro Bridge and it is a bitch. It's mostly uphill. You're running on the lower deck so it is dark and narrow. And there are NO FANS. The exit to the bridge is a steep downhill, but you're finally in Manhattan and the crowd was incredible. Seriously, there were people everywhere.

I finally saw D at mile 18 right after refueling on a goo pack and washing off with a couple of sponges. The sponges were one of the highlights of the run for me. It felt so good to get the salt off of my face and hands. It was rejuvenating! I saw D again around mile 22 and this time he ran with me. We ran together down 5th Ave and into Central Park. The energy from the crowd along 5th Ave was amazing and once you entered the park the energy was almost more than I could handle. I was fighting back tears. So.exciting. So.close.to.being.finished.

At mile 25 D stopped running with me. I had 1.2 miles left and I ran like the wind (I completed the last mile in 9:30). Between the crowds, music, and signs of encouragement ("One mile to go!!"), I wasn't feeling any pain. I was just enjoying the moment. By mile 25 I realized that I was going to accomplish my goal of finishing the race in under 4:30. Even if I had to walk to remaining mile, I would finish faster than I ever had before. It felt so good.

The last mile is a blur... there were cameras and big screen TVs and then the sign that said "800 meters to go" and then "400 meters to go" and then I saw the finish line. I ran strong and steady across the finish line and completely forgot to stop my watch. Crap... what was my final time?

After the finish, I got my medal, and then my warm wrap. Then we were herded like cattle - getting food and drinks along the way. Luckily I had my cell phone with me and was able to talk to D and my dad. My dad had been tracking me online so I finally knew my my finish time was and my pace per mile. It felt so good to KNOW I was under the 4:30 mark.

D and finally reconnected at Central Park West and 72nd Street. We went and showered and then headed to the bus station for home. I was a somewhat uncomfortable ride home for me and I didn't have enough water, but still I felt so good.

Completed the NYC Marathon. Check!

5 comments:

Sarah said...

I am so proud of you!

Anonymous said...

Yay! That's so great.

Jill

pajama mom said...

awesome!

Carla said...

good for you beck...you are my hero! that sounds like the most incredible experience.

Ruthie said...

Congrats! What an inspirational post!!