It also called for a pre race change of plans. The old maxim is not to try anything new on marathon day. Well, I broke that in spades. First, I ditched my traditional baseball style running hat for a stocking cap I bought at the expo. Much warmer on the ears. Second, rather than run in a short sleeve shirt with arm warmers, I chose to wear a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt. And rather than wear tights, I wore calf sleeves. So that I could shed layers, I bought a race belt to hold my number.
That was the plan, anyway. The wind was so fierce that it literally whipped my race number like a flag as I was getting ready to run. So, while waiting for the gun to go off, I pinned my number to my outer shirt (long sleeved orange Boorks thermal shirt.) That actually was not the shirt I had planned on wearing. When I woke up, I realized the black long sleeved shirt I had planned on wearing was too small. Thankfully, I had bought the Brooks shirt some time ago (I don't even remember buying it...). It was brand new. And in right place in my closet. I grabbed it and fit great.
In mile 1, going up the bridge...the wind! Wow...maybe 40-50 mph gusts. And immediately one opf the pins holding my number popped out, leaving it pinned in 3 places, with the missing corner being into the wind. That was bad, and I was afraid the whole thing might fly off. But it didn't, thankfully.
Miles 1-6 I don't have much to say. A good cruise, felt good, didn't feel bad, trying to save pace. I was going too fast. My goal was 8:20 miles to pull in just under 3:40. Heart rate a little elevated, but not crazy bad.
Mile 8 I was looking for a friend, and the crowds were everywhere, on both sides. I read all the signs because that is how I was going to find him! I didn't though, but was a pleasant diversion for a couple of miles. Running through Brooklyn was fun, not much to say.
Mile 13 bridge (Pulaski skyway), began to get hard. Not crazy hard, but like, ...this might be a tough day. And I slowed down. The wind really wasn't bad in Brooklyn. But I also noticed my right glute and hamstring were super tight. Not good. But I was looking forward to the Queensboro bridge and First Avenue.
I forgot how lonnnnnng the Queensboro bridge is. It took forever. And I really wasn't feeling good... but coming into the city at mile 16 I felt...Ok. Not great. Roughly on pace.
First Avenue seemed... subdued. I don't know, maybe I expected more, but wasn't the crazy zoo I remembered or expected.
I met the family at 17.3 or so....that was great. I handed off my pink hat, my chapsticks and away I went. A gel at mile 18, and I decided I was going to make it to the Willis Avenue bridge ...which seemed like it was in Massachusetts it was so far up the road. And the wind got brutal on First Avenue. Like 40 mph, and just hit me like a ton of bricks. This was, by far my hardest strecth. My right leg hurt. The wind was crazy. I was nauseous. This sucked. I took a walk break about mile 18.5 or so. Ugh...first crack.
I did run all the way up and over the Willis Avenue bridge. I was taking period walk breaks, trying to stretch out the hamstring. I guess I was successful, but sheesh, it felt bad. iknew 3:40 was long gone...now I was hoping to crack 4:00. I had to do that...
I walked/ran through Harlem and Fifth Avenue into the park. Supposed to meet up with family again around the obelisk and wanted to seem strong for them. But they weren't there... but that's ok, there is like 2miles left. I am going to make 4 hours...now I want sub 3:50. I had no idea how close I was, really. I was just trying to keep going.
Around mile 25 coming out of the park, at Fifth Ave in front of Plaza I just had to walk. A runner from Harlan County Striders, patted me on back and gave a thumbs up. Thanks, it helped! I ran up Central Park SOuth and then got a hellacious cramp about 7th Ave. Not incapacitating like 5 years ago (at almost the exact same spot!), but enough I had to stop and hobble some. When I realized I wasn't going to be forced to stop, I started up again and was real real, close. Ran it out to the finish...3:50:25. Ate my power bar and the apple in the bag ASAP.
All things considered, a decent time. The wind was crazy bad. I was completely spent. Shaking, quivering, dazed. At lunch after (Jackson Hole), I really couldn't eat. Had a milkshake and some fries. I could not warm up, stop shaking or eat much.
Post my reflections and lessons later...but a memorable day. Not an enjoyable one.