Friday, November 14, 2008

After The Curtain Falls:
Tying Up Loose Ends from My 2008 NYCM

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their best wishes before the race, the shouts of encouragement during the race and the warm congratulations after the race. I consider myself very fortunate to have found this great community of runners and an honor to be considered a member. The race report to end all my previous race reports was just an attempt to pay my respects to both the race itself and my bloggy friends for their support. (I sincerely apologize for those who read my race report at work and had their tears jerked…it wasn’t totally intentional. I simply wanted to simulate how I was feeling during those long “heart” miles.)

Now that we’ve gotten through the mushy and serious stuff. It’s time to have some fun with race time numbers. So here’s an excerpt from the marathon results web page showing the five competitors who finished immediately in front and behind me. I’ve highlighted my race time in red and blacked out all the names to protect the identities of the interested parties.

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As you read (if you can't read...just trust me) split times and discern paces, some intriguing trends become evident:

  1. Notice how they are two, count’em two, chicks who finished within seconds of where I finished. To make matters worse, both are North Americans, and both are at least a year older than me. How embarrassing.
  2. Aside from me and fast chick #1 from NJ, there are no other Americans within my study group. And aside from the 32 year old Italian dame who leads the pack and finished 9 seconds before I did, I’m the youngest of the group. [It’s mind boggling to me how there are as many 30-somethings as there are 40-and even a 50-something on this list]
  3. Moving on to the individual paces. All the runners except the guy bringing up the rear of the pack ran a faster 5K than I did. Not only so, but even by extending the analysis to the half-way mark, out of the 9 other runners in this group who started out faster than me, only one (and a chick at that) ended the 13.1 miles with a slower time than I.
  4. Finally, if we were to calculate times for the second half of the race as compared to the first half, we’d see that only one competitor (Runner #451) ran a negative split for the race, by more than a minute no less! Female Runner #36 ran the next best differential at +2:41, while I was third with a differential of +3:20. Everyone else ran a worse positive split.

I was especially proud of this last fact because running even splits was a major goal of mine coming into the race. Given that I ended last year’s race with a +7:04 positive split in the second half, cutting that figure down by more than 50% was a gratifying sign of improvement. (Now, if someone can translate these points into different languages and distribute them as pamphlets at the marathon start or the expo next year, maybe we wouldn’t see so much unnecessary bonking in Central Park. Just a thought.)

Finally, I present to you a race picture of mine from mile 25, I think…

2008 NYCM

I’m showing you this because it’s the only marathon picture that doesn’t have me with my eyes closed, playing with my bandana, fiddling with the Garmin or holding a half-eaten GU packet in my hands. Personally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my picture looks so much like this picture, taken at approximately the same place.

winner of 2008 nycm

Yeah, so what if he finished his marathon in 2:08:43 en-route to securing his second championship in this race while I finished mine in 3:02:20, good for 1105th place. Apparently, even though we generally looked the same (he was airbone a bit longer than I was and chose a darker shade of black for his running shoes, they couldn't find a spot on the podium for 1105th place. Who knew? I'm telling you, the locals always gets the shaft!

On that note, have a great weekend, all! There’ll probably be another race report (albeit, a much shorter one) in the next posting. I’m scheduled to run a 4M race on Sunday to test out the speed fibers. It’s my first short race since early in my marathon training so I’m really excited. Unfortunately, I’m still fighting off the tail end of a nasty cold/flu that I’d been suffering from the past week, so I’m a bit worried that my performance will be somewhat hampered. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

5 comments:

Cowboy Hazel said...

Good luck on the race Sunday! Hope you get over that cold/flu... those are no fun.

M*J*C said...

Good stuff! I hope that you have a great race on Sunday, can't wait to hear how it goes!

sRod said...

Geez, nit picky until the end!

Hope you had a great run today!

Frayed Laces said...

That one guy's 22 min 5k was interesting. I wonder what that was about?

J said...

Maybe the 22min 5k guy was stuck behind some slow runners or something lol!

I loved the video of the marathon course! very cool

 
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