As I slowly regain feeling in both my legs from yesterday’s NYC half marathon, I wonder why people run these races, and how in the world 38,000 people run the full 26.2 mile around the 5 boroughs. The good news is I actually finished the race and I did it in about two hours eleven minutes, which is good enough for me. The max time was 3 hours or else you’re out of the race, which I was terrified of having to be picked up by bus for the people who weren’t able to finish it in the allotted time.
So I woke up at 4.40 yesterday to make to my corral at 6 am, for a race start of 7 am. Let it be told I have never waked up that early on a Sunday morning. Nsf likes his sleep. So after I stretch and wait in the enclosed area of the park for 45 min or so, I stand in my corral with thousands of other people, my position is still about 6 blocks away from the actual starting line. I fully regret this decision but it’s too late now. I can barely hear the horn go off and still not moving for at least 2 min, I see we start walking slowly, then running slowly, I was thinking I can do this, then we stopped for another min then we walk again, then we began running and I knew this was it (exactly 8 minutes after the official starting time). No stopping now. For the first few miles it was so tight, I tried not to run over people and not runners come into me. I saw 1 frum girl there walking smack in the middle of the pack of runners, I’m ok with people walking during the race, I walked for a minute or so by mile 11 or so but don’t do it in the middle of the pack especially at the beginning of the race where it’s really crowded, she caused this huge back up.
Before the race, I was talking to some people who ran these things before and they were giving me tips, I remember one was ‘pace yourself thru the park and hold yourself back when you have an urge to go faster’, which pretty much helped me out through the 7 miles through the park. I did the park in a pace a bit slower than I usually go, because the most I ran was 7 or 8 miles (not 13.1) but felt really comfortable when I actually left the park. Which was also probably the best part of my race, coming from a semi quit park to screaming cheerers and live music bands playing on 7th ave, that definitely helped me out.. I was even comfortable going to the west side highway, and then about half way down the west side, I felt my legs acting up on me. Although walking thru most of the water stops and grabbing a cup, my legs began to tire up. I walked 1 min here then ran another 10 min, it was kind of working. Then I hear people yelling ‘its almost over, right over that hill’, what a load of crap that was. I went over that hill and saw a sign another mile to go.. Ahhhh. Then every time I thought it was over – it wasn’t, it was just another damn sign saying how close you are, but no finish line.. where the hell is finish line?
It finally came at last, but then they made us slowly walk for 3 blocks full of thousands of other people as they give me a cold towel, my medal, and they take off my chip. Oh, how thankful that’s over, but still thinking, how cool will a full marathon be.