5/3/09

NJ marathon

"Methinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow." HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Waking up after you go to bed at 12:30am is not fun when you have to get up at 4am in the morning...do I ever sleep? Sometimes I think not. I am use to this though, maybe that is the trick to the way I run marathons...I don't usually get a whole lot of sleep before a marathon. I tend to wake up a lot due to the hype. Although, scared and nervous today due to the fact that I have to pace a few people here and there...just have to bust out even splits throughout the whole race...

Wake up at 4am, rush around getting things somewhat together, due to the packing I did last night, but that is ok, brushing my teeth and just checking...then out the door in 20 minutes.

I walked from my apartment to Penn station which is about 30 minutes, though walking at 4am where the last few drunkards are out and a bag fully sprayed of throw up on the street really reaked and I so wanted to be up at this hour. Although I made it to pen station in time and the gates were still closed. Something about the atmosphere of late nighters awaiting to get on the train to sleep and the mix of marathon runners is somewhat funny.

But the gates opened and I made my way to find the platform, although questioned if I wanted to buy a ticket beforehand. I just checked out the price and figured that I would take my time after the race. No big rush!

Anyways, I made my ways up the train and found a seat. I had thought that I would sit by myself, but gave the other two fellow bloggers a call (PBJ and The Lam). I talked to them and they were staying in their seats and I would just find them at the start...but later they were kicked out of their seats and had to move up in the train...so they sat near me...I searched for the bathroom as (yes, I had yet been able to poop that morning, which was pretty weird, because usually my body adapts to the nervousness)

So I found the bathroom which was on the first car and the flusher was not rally working...(Ok, I had to somewhat push my poop down the drain) little TMI and enough about Poop...

So, the train ride was somewhat longer than expected due to the drawer bridge and delaying the train...the when we finally arrived, the train was blocking the crossing where the runners had to go through. Wonderful! We are definitely late. So Lam, PBJ and I decided to go to a restaurant before heading into the lions den of the pick up and drop off area.

Ok, as we walked to the hotel place for drop off, it started to slightly rain. Great! There was only one other time where I have ran in a marathon in the rain and it really was not fun (that was OBX).

I needed to find DG who had all of my pace stuff and it was a shocker to see how crowded it was. Great! I am totally late and I hate being rushed...at least I had the knowledge to actually put my running gear on, on the train.

I got my pace shirt, got a HUGE sign that said 3:10 pacer, got another flag that said 3:10 pacer...oh man...and also a bib on the back of me! It was terrific...really, I mean you can see that I was a pacer from a mile away! So I had to make it to the front of the line as I saw other pace groups out there...5:30, 4:00, 3:45, 3:20, 3:15...ok we were all in the front...so I plopped myself in there as well. Little by little my group started to form as they had knew me by name from the website, although I was clueless about them and their own running experiences.

They told me little about themselves and it was tough but the race was about to begin. The anthem, the song and dance, and then the wheelchairs were gone...

Then the wait...then the gun and we were off. Boy, this is really crowded and it was really hard to get my gait going and try to find the specific pace for the first mile...a tad slow and very off...my mentality was to try to make that mile up and then coast at even splits...ok, task two at mike two...ahead...wow, by a minute...way off as I felt bad for the group as I went from slow to fast. Opps, let's try to reach a consistancy here...mile 3 and 4 I was still ahead by a minute and it took me till mile 6 to finally get pretty close to below a minute...why is that bad? I mean it's a minute, gosh I got some looks. I felt bad in which I had gotten a group ahead of me going at a steady pace, they continued as I tried to slow it sown and get some even splits going. The course was somewhat very flat, very straight and some turns here and there. It was definitely quiet as you can hear other's run along side of you.

The rainy weather brought a cool feeling and there were relay drop off zones along the course...maintain pace, keep with the schedule and keep looking at the pace chart..gosh! Why did I make it so small...it was so hard to read as your hand goes up and down as you run and it is hard to keep track of which mile you are actually on...gosh! The group ahead of me, well I started them and they went ahead of me by a little bit. My thoughts with them was that I needed to maintain a 3:10 pace and sustain that. Anyone ahead of me could run ahead and be ahead, anyone behind me...well your banking on those :59 seconds to Boston.

Ahead...ahead....ahead...as I slowly brought the minute negative to a more reasonable pace...I was right on at the half, so I hear, but there was another half to go...my legs? Well, they felt fine and ok. I tried to maintain pace although I was slightly adding on time...ok, need to maintain pace...as the miles continued the group got smaller and smaller...wait what happened to my group? By mile 22 or so, checked the time with the bracelet and which mile we were on...oh great...we were ahead and needed to make up time...by :40 seconds...

Really bad...how do you make up 40 seconds? 4 miles to go and two guys were still with me. I relay the message that they either have to get ahead of me and ensure that you get in, or you will be behind...and I will try to maintain...

The pace felt weird though as I felt I was really pushing a faster time. What happened here? Are my legs getting tired? Was Boston finally catching up to me? I pushed...one of the two people left as he wanted to go ahead to wrap up his time, I slowly passed the masses of others who were in my pace team before that went ahead...the other young gun stayed with me...then surged ahead within the last two miles...while the one that surged quickly slowed and I passed him.

It was a long 2 miles although it was a circle and I had to push. I wanted to make my goal time that I had set out for the day...:59 seconds from 3:10...

I pushed as I was still holding my little flag...why was I still holding this? Well...I remained holding the flag till the end and finally stopped at the benchmarker of something that resembled the finishline...ok, this so was not the finishline as someone had indicated after I had fully STOPPED...great! Needed to rev up the engines for 200 meters or so...

I finally made it in time as I had checked the clock.

I was disappointed though in the end and stayed till some other people from my group finished...

Disappointed...yes...

I know the feelings that people get when they do not get into the prestigious Boston.

I know the feelings of how people needed me to lead them the way to their goal...

Did I do a good enough job? I don't know...and I am a little disappointed on the fact that I could not keep pace. I felt as though I was all over the charts...was I consistant? I don't know...tried...tried...tried...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian -- thanks for the update. I was wondering how that worked out for you. The train, the pacing, all that.

Well, as far as the race itself. Did you look at the results? there is an entire page devoted to DNF's. 70 of them to be exact (never saw that before in a marathon). I also noticed that the 4:45 pacers were a bit off. I think one of the longtime pacers came in 4 min off. 3:10 is so much tighter than 4:45.

Well, sorry i didn't see you on the course or during the delighful period of waiting on the boardwalk. The way the course had turns in it, you only saw a sub section of the race coming the other way. I kept seeing 3:20 to about 5 hours at my pace (4:20). In the past when the race went from Sandy Hook, you saw everyone.

Happy recovery and see you on the roads. xo heidi