Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Five Miles to Remember in New York City

Five Miles to Remember
I've completed the 2013 New York City Marathon and I have lots to tell you. Instead of writing the world's longest race report, I've decided I'll break it up into smaller subjects of interest. 

This first report is about the five most interesting miles I ran.

The worst mile on the course was mile 22 or there abouts. Some call it the wall. Each mile was getting progressively worse and I could have written about any of the miles from 19 to 24. I was in pain. I had a huge blister on the bottom of my right foot. My right knee felt horrible, I kept feeling it because I was sure it was the size of a basketball. I tried different tactics to run more than I was walking. First I tried to run for 50 paces. counting each time my left foot hit pavement as one. Then I would walk for 25. In the past the act of counting my steps would work. Not today. Then I noticed there were stop lights at every corner, so I thought I would run for two stops lights, walk for one. This didn't work I was in too much pain. I dreaded the fact that I was going to walk the majority of the final 4-6 miles.

Mile 16 was a great mile. It was the slowest mile I ran, but that was because Amy and Tyler were there to greet me. It's the first mile in Manhattan and the crowds were 3-5 deep on both sides of the road. The road was downhill and I felt like a rockstar. After the quiet of the Queensboro Bridge, this was loud. Super Bowl, 16th green at the Phoenix Open, game 6  of the world series in Fenway loud. 

It followed another down mile. Mile 15. This was the quiet mile over the QB. When you sign up for the NYC marathon, the bridges sound cool. And the Verrazano Narrows is, but the rest are just hills in the way of you running a good race.

Speaking of the Verrazano, that bridge rocked. It was the first two miles of the marathon. You start with Frank Sinatra singing "New York, New York" and you get incredible views of Manhattan. You don't even realize that you're going uphill, until you are going downhill and you fly. No crowds, but the runners are having a blast. Many of us snapping pictures as we go.

And finally, the best mile on the course is the last mile. From 25 to 26.2 on Central Park South thru Columbus Square and into the park. It's uphill, but there's crowds and it rocks. It was my fastest mile (except for the downhill portion of the VN). I ran it in 10:55 after not being able to run at all just a few miles back. I ran it after 25 miles.

My first NYC Marathon ended at 5 hours and 49 minutes. Four of those hours couldn't be beat. I loved it. It was just those Harlem miles that were tough. Not because of the area, the fans up there were great.

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