Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Race Report From My First BQ
The 2007 New York City Marathon
Part 4 – From My Perspective

Now that it’s been ten days since the five borough fun run and all my body parts have almost forgiven me for pretending to be Kenyan for a day, I realized that I’ve actually learned quite a bit during this big race. I was surprised because I thought I learned everything there was to learn about running the NYC marathon in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the event, but just like that pesky neighbor who never fails to have loud company over the same night you actually want to sleep early, the city never hesitates to wake up and slap you across the head a few times whenever you think you’ve got everything figured out…

But before I get to my perspectives on race day, I just want to congratulate my running partners MA and RB for sticking with the Laminator training program and finishing their first ever marathon in NYC with very respectable times of 3:36:52 and 3:46:57. I’m not sure if I’m more impressed with your times or by the fact that you both practiced perfect pacing and didn’t hit the wall at all during the race. Now that you’re both finished, I can finally admit that I am horrible at following my own advice… especially when it comes to race pacing. I’m glad you both ran together, without me, so that nobody had visual evidence of my crash and burn tactics during the last 10K.

Major props also for EW, who organized our pre-race pasta meal, a big support crowd at Mile 17 and our very own post-race mini-celebration as well. You’ve really raised the whole NYCM Cheering and Spectating Exercise into an art form. Here’s to hoping that we’ll switch places really soon and I can clap and yell “Woohoo!” ‘til my voice gets sore and I can call in sick the next day. I know you ran two miles already last week…c’mon, so what’s another 24.2 more?!

As for me, here’s a list of the Things I Learned During and After the 2007 New York City Marathon (that I didn’t know before…):

1. Multi-colored name tags don’t run in the first two corrals.

2. Actually, the more tags you have, the further back you should start. (Unless you speak a foreign language, then you run in a pack up front.)

3. If you see someone running in full costume, move far far away. You don’t want to be known as the guy that finished just behind “The Running Banana”

4. When a beautiful woman you don’t know speaking in a language you don’t understand waves at you to come over…don’t…unless you’re prepared to get trampled by the Italian guy behind you.

5. While you’re at it, don’t grab gel packs and other treats not meant for you from unsuspecting spectators…they WILL run you down and maul you with whatever they’ve got (True story as witnessed by RB during the race!)

6. In fact, don’t even run along the near side if you don’t want to be tempted by all the goodies they’re giving away. Come to think of it, if you actually stopped and helped yourself to a little of everything served during the race, you might finish the marathon with more glycogen stores than when you began.

7. If you ask someone to bring some essential food item for you during the marathon, the likelihood that you’ll actually find this person at the designated spot will be inversely proportional to the craving you have for that food item at that particular point in the race.

8. Resist the urge to respond in kind if you overhear foul language muttered in your general direction at Mile 21. I ran up to confront the perpetrator during my race, only to see he had his eyes closed, wincing in pain. I felt embarrassed and ran over to the opposite side as fast as I could.

9. Once you’ve crossed the finish line and gotten your medal, don’t sit on the side of the curb planning to get up in ten minutes and meet your friends at the Reunion Area.

10. If you happen to run a good race and finish with a fast time, don’t try to explain the concept of a BQ to a non-runner. Without fail, someone will overhear and comment that so-and-so’s second cousin twice removed ran Boston with a charity group, and he wasn’t so fast.

11. …or your mom will ask…if you’re so fast, how come you didn’t beat Lance.

12. And on the day after, [some thing the ladies have already figured out, but someone forgot to tell me] evidently, you cannot just walk in and ask for a pediacure at the male version of a nail salon known as my podiatrist. It wasn’t “urgent” enough to warrant a same day appointment, according to the receptionist. What?! Has she seen the raw blisters, thick calluses, and black toenails that adorn my feet?

13. Does she not know how I suffered and limped, up and down exactly 13 flights of stairs, just to get there? I’m sure the old lady in a walker who beat me in a footrace to catch the 6 train that I eventually missed on my way home could send her a memo.

In the meantime, check out this photo of the NBC broadcast of the marathon start. That’s my impersonation of Fred Labow checking out the watch in the middle of the screen. (Thanks, MA for the heads up!) NBC’s so smart. How’d they know I’d make Boston and be famous?!


Non-Runner Nancy said...

I love the inverse proportion. Funny.

Is that you in the blue do-rag?? How cool is that?

Marci Glotzer said...

I really enjoyed your race report, it was hilarious and inspiring. Nice to get a perspective from someone in the front of the pack! See you at the Race to Deliver!

Jamie said...

Thanks for the great 4 part race report. Part 4 is hilarious but good tips for any marathoner. I can't believe your friend found you on the NBC highlights. That is very cool.

OCHalf07 said...

Next best thing to being there was getting to read your 4-parter! Can't wait to experience Boston through your eyes. Congratulations!!

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