Monday, November 07, 2005

NYCM - 5:23:53

Despite what you may have heard, the marathon is actually pretty hard.

I just got back to Houston, and I was unable to log on while in New Jersey or New York. Thanks to everyone who congratulated me on finishing my first marathon, I am very happy about it. The NYCM is unbelievable. There are so many people lining the streets to cheer on everybody, even people finishing as late as I did.

I think running through Brooklyn was definitely the highlight of my running career. There are so many people, and children who want to give you a high-five, and give you candy. Parents even hold their little babies hands out for you. I made sure I didn't miss anyone.

Well, I was hoping that my foot wouldn't give me too much trouble for this race, but I wasn't so lucky. I rested up as much as I could, and it was completely pain free when I got to New York, but we spent a few days kicking around New York and walking all over the city, by Sunday morning, I could already feel that something wasn't quite right. And I was pretty nervous about it, and sitting on the curb at Fort Wadsworth, at the base of the Verrazano bridge, I had a premonition. I had the strangest feeling like that moment was going to be the last thing I remember. If you've ever lost consiousness you know how weird it is when you slowly wake up and try to piece together the events that put you wherever you are are, on the floor. I was sure I was going to wake up at some aid station half way through the race, trying to figure out how I got there.

So at first I felt pretty good, and I got in about 8 pain-free miles, and then my foot started hurting. I started walking at the water stops, at about 10 miles, and I walked most of the incline at the Queensboro bridge at mile 15. At mile 16 I almost quit. At that point in the race, with ten miles left, you're really only one mile from the finish line. It's the perfect place to quit. But I wanted that friggin medal, so, my strategy is to delay, delay, delay. Delay quitting until it's too late to quit.

I was running strangely in the last part of the race, favoring my left foot, and I started to cramp up in my right quad and calf. This has never really been a problem for me in training. I took three PowerGels throughout the race, and each one seemed to keep me from cramping for a couple of miles or so.

Central Park was rough on me. It's pretty hilly, and the downhills hurt more than anything, so I couldn't even run there. I managed to hobble-run the flat parts and the slight inclines, and walk the rest.

But I made it the whole way, and I feel like I've earned that medal. I know this won't be my only marathon, but I'm not sure how long it will take for me to heal up. I might even have to go to the doctor. And I usually only go to the doctor when something is broken off (The price of machismo sure is high). This morning was the first time that the outside of my foot actually looked red and swollen.

This was my pace in five mile splits, so you can see how much I slowed down.:


So congratulation also to Jon Walk for his race and to my friend Susan Bell from the Clear Lake Fitness Club for her race too. They're both impressive runners too, Jon races everything, and Susan just ran a 50K two weeks ago. I run one marathon and I'm probably gonna be out of commission for at least a month.

Anyways, Rock on.


lisaleese said...

I thought about your passionate plea to your foot. Darn foot! All you have to do is beat that sucker into submission before the next one..

Jessica, a Houston Runner said...

Nah, you were great! you finished, that's what matters here!

Vic said...

Gutsy race, Keith. Way to finish!! Now rest. :)

Steve Bezner said...

I enjoyed reading your report. Thanks for sharing. Way to go! Now it's on to FUJI!!!

Rock on Keith!


jen said...

Brooklyn in da house! I used to live 2 blocks from the NYCM route (in Clinton Hill near Ft. Greene), and remember watching the hundreds and hundreds of runners passing by. Brooklyn rocks, yo.

Congratulations on finishing the Marathon!!!! And what a place for your first time! The last time I was in NYC, I ran the CP loop and did a few quick runs past Tavern on the Green to pretend I was crossing the NYCM finish line. ;) You got to experience it for real!! :)

Congrats again!

(PS: Hey, I'm from Jersey too! Livingston/West Orange)

Cassie (TIGGS) said...

Congrats Keith! Excellent time for a first marathon (heck for any marathon!)!! You did great! Hope your foot feels better soon.