Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2009 ing nyc marathon tune-up 18 miler: race report

The ING NYC Marathon Training Run was a example of my indecision. I probably wouldn’t have been in Central Park if Emmy hadn’t come by at 6:00, with my bib and chip (d tag). When she arrived the had rain stopped. But, once we were on the Hutch, it started again - and continued until we exited the FDR Drive. Things didn’t get better because it took until 6:45 to find parking - at 109th Street. Emmy jogged down to the start and arrived at the corral with time to spare. I walked - dejectedly - down to 102nd Street, with no desire whatsoever to run 3 loops of the Park.

As I approached the corrals, I heard Mary Wittenburg making pre-race comments over the loudspeaker. I cut across the first corral and jogged over to baggage check - wondering if the heavens would open and give me a half decent excuse not to run. No such luck. So when the horn went off, I bit the proverbial bullet and ran back to the start, now already underway. I was about 50 seconds late, and within 2 minutes, it started to rain again - ha!

Sorry for the extended whine! Once I committed to the run, I focused on getting the miles done. The late start had me running in a crowd for the first three miles, before it thinned out appreciably. I also stopped at mile two to tie my shoe (and retie the other one). With those distractions, my three mile split was 24:14. The remaining three miles of the first loop didn’t go much faster since I also had to deal with fogged up eyeglasses! At 48:31, it would be the slowest of the three loops.

My mood improved dramatically for the second loop. Somehow, despite the seemingly endless rain, I managed to shake off the doldrums. I picked up the pace and ran the next six miles in 45:28. That gave me a 12 mile split of 1:33:59. I ran the third loop at pretty much the same pace as the second, in 45:55. I finished in 2:19:54, a 7:47 pace.

During the entire 18 miles I didn’t see any familiar faces on the course! But, just beyond the finish line, I found Emmy. She finished in just over 2:19 - and won her age group! Despite all the agonizing over whether to run or not, I’m very glad that I did (especially since I wouldn’t have gotten in 18 miles, otherwise). But I could just have easily slept in - and not felt the least bit guilty about it.

Here are a couple of race photos.

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