Wednesday, May 7, 2008

13 Thoughts On My Best 13.1 (So Far…)

1. No weather like racing weather – What started as fog and mist at 50° turned into a calm and crisp 48° at race’s end…in other words, it was the perfect weather for running.

2. Lonely feeling up at the top – I was really surprised by how spread out the runners were during most of the race. I wasn’t kidding when I say that after the first couple of miles, I could count on one hand the number of runners that I came in contact with. Truthfully, I was a little embarrassed by all the attention I got running through the crowds.

3. Inspired by awesome signages – I have to say, NJ spectators make the best posters. It definitely made the running a lot more enjoyable. Like you guys, I loved the “Go Kenyans!” sign.

4. Getting chicked by winner – I didn’t realize it at the time, but it turns out the only girl who “chicked” me ended up winning the women’s race. I guess I shouldn’t be so offended if I get beat by a future female Olympian.

5. Kids do funny things on the sidelines – Maybe it’s because I’m a pediatrician, or maybe I’m a little delirious when I’m running but I found kids who spectate do the funniest things. For example, during the race I found a girl who tried to do cartwheels on the street whenever a runner past her by. Another kid was holding his one hand out for people to slap as they run past while covering his eyes with his other hand. Still another would yell, “faster, faster, faster” in quicker and quicker succession as the runners got closer and closer. When he ran out of breath, he’d stop, inhale deeply and start over again. It was the most hilarious thing I’d ever seen.

6. Tension caused by throbby legs – Gosh, I was so traumatized the way my legs felt during the last few miles of the race. They literally felt like they could cramp up at any minute. I was too scared to slow down to see what would happened. My fear probably caused me to run faster in the later miles than I would have otherwise.

7. Pacing for racing – Although I ended up with a fast time, I actually didn’t like my pacing through the entire race. In my mind, I always imagined my perfect race on a flat course to be one where each mile was run at exactly the same pace mile after mile. Instead, in this race, I’d slow down, run fast, slow down again, run fast again, and never finding any consistency in my breathing or my running. Going forward, I think I’d like to improve on that just a little bit. Oh, and while I’m at it, can I please run a negative split at a half-marathon for once in my life.

8. Imagining things – This is one technique I liked. When the leg pain became quite substantial, and I had no visual but an empty road ahead, I’d close my eyes intermittently, and imagined a similar distance course at the local park. It definitely made the last few miles seem last daunting.

9. Dedicating the last mile – I ain’t lying when I said you were all with me on my race. I memorized all your names beforehand, and yelled them out one by one during the last mile. It made me feel as if you were all in the crowd cheering me on to the finish.

10. Yeah, I guess I’m fast – So after seeing my name on the leaderboard for the first time, I can no longer deny that I’m not so slow.

11. But still a long way to go – But because the guy above me in my age group ran his half-marathon faster by more than a minute, I still have A LOT of room for improvement.

12. Outkicked and outclassed by marathoner – I don’t know why, but I’m really bothered that I picked a fight with a marathoner. That’s a no-no in my book of racing etiquette. In fact, it’s my default source of rationalization in the rare instance that someone runs faster than me in the park. I’m always like “Oh, he’s running faster only because he’s running one mile intervals while I’m on my 20 mile long run.” Here’s an instance where the reverse was happening, and I can’t help but feel somewhat embarrassed.

13. Responsible race reporting – I really wanted to capture the random nature of the thoughts I had while running the miles. That’s why I chose to report my race experience that way. Hope it achieved its purpose. If so, remind me to thank my first creative writing teacher back in high school who taught me this technique.

13.1 And yes Miss Allycat, my feet are stilling hurting!

10 comments:

Jamie said...

It's not just you - I love watching kids along the course too! They are hilarious no matter where you are racing. And yes, you are fast there is no more denyinig it...

Run For Life said...

I agree with Jamie. :) As for the pacing and leg tension I think that's always a great thing about races: setting more goals for the next time.

Reminder: thank your creative writing teacher because that's such a great idea! Sometimes I find the miles meld together so it impresses me you can remember each one distinctly.

Nitmos said...

Dude, you are hard on yourself (which is probably why you are a terrific runner). Work on pacing? Outside of mile #1, you were between 6:38 and 6:53 for every other mile and 10 of those 13 miles were between 6:38 and 6:46. I don't think you could get more consistent unless you have a cruise control feature somewhere on you.

Negative splits would be a worthy challenge but, really, you're far outside my area of expertise.

MissAllycat said...

5. I love it when kids want to give High 5s during the race. It gives me hope that they'll be runners someday.

8. When it starts getting tough for me, I always imagine that my brother (also a runner - and a MUCH faster runner than me) is running next to me, keeping me going. You've got to find your happy place.

10. Hell yes you're fast!!

13. It was a great race report! Running really is a string of random thoughts...I'll have to try your technique for my next race report.

sRod said...

Borrowing missallycat's format:

5. Race hi-fives are the best. Although you do feel bad for them getting your sweat.
6. Funny, I cramped in those last miles too. It's so flat compared to Central Park that your legs don't know what to do.
7. Perfect splits? I think you'll only get those on a treadmill. Sorry Lam.
10. Not sure how long I can keep up with you on our runs. You would smoke me in the first mile.
12. I think he forgives you. Remember: he didn't have a marathon sticker on his back.

Xenia said...

Wow! Amazing race report. Congrats on your PR! I agree with Nitmos--don't be so hard on yourself. You are an amazingly fast runner. Be proud of yourself.

mom2beccaNallie said...

Once again, loved reading your reports. You really have a way with works and should be proud! When I run my race I'm lucky to remember my splits, but I have my Garmin for that. LOL I would LOVE to be able to write more creatively about my races. Maybe some day....

nwgdc said...

you point about kids and cheering is hilarious. i can imagine the child with his hand out and his eyes covered so vividly. and the cartwheels...that makes for a great experience. thanks so much for sharing. i'm going to make a point of noticing the kids in my next run!

Betsy said...

Lam, there's no denying it: You're fast.

Trakmaniak said...

Nice run last night and also nice half finish...you will get your marathon time down. train hard, train well and you will do well...

amazing time...glad your on our team...

 
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