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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Race Day 11/1/09 New York Marathon

I slept well. Made my 2 english muffins, got dressed and walked down some very dark streets to the 77th street station. Along the way, I saw dozens of people finishing up their Halloween celebrations with an early breakfast. Caugh the 6 train to 59th street to meet the W or R train to the ferry building. While I was waiting, I had a good conversation with a runner from upstate New York. We continued our conversation all the way to the ferry, while standing in line to enter the starting area and while sitting together to wait for the race. He had to go to the bathroom and I had to leave for the start, so no parting words. I hope he did well.

Waiting for the start on the bridge was much better than at Boston although it was pretty cold, I was dressed for it. Being in the first wave, I felt pretty good about not having to dodge too many people to maintain a decent pace. As it turned out, I had plenty of room to run my pace. Going over the bridge was not as hard as some people make it out to be. But then, I train on Mt. Diablo and in San Francisco, so running on hills is normal for me.

Brooklyn was a very long and loud haul. The crowds were so loud that I could not hear myself breathe, making keeping a steady pace difficult. Checking the milage markers, I saw that I was on a quick pace. I felt good and decided to just keep it steady. Queens was the halfway point and I hit at 1:38, a time that was a little quick. My left quad started acting up and I had a tylenol that I had brought with me, drank plenty of fluids and had some jelly beans.

Going down 1st ave was an experience I will never forget. As loud as Brooklyn and Queens were, this was even louder. The street was so wide, I could run right down the middle and there wern't anybody with 20 feet of me. It was perfect. I left it to the other runners to high five the spectators. Miles 20-25 were very tough, it was pretty painful, but not nearly the sufferfest that Boston was. Mile 26 felt fast, but looking at my splits later, it was the slowest one, almost 9 minutes. Still I tried to finish strong. My time was 3:31:20. I was very happy with that.

Post race note. Ended up for various reasons, having to walk through the park and back to my daughter's place. Along the way, at least 50 people congratulated me on finishing the race. It was really nice. Took a very nice and long shower, had some pizza and watched more of The Office with my daughter. A very nice ending to a very nice day.

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