Windy conditions on marathon Sunday made the race more difficult and threw away possible goal times. I had a very relaxed attitude a few days before the race, however upon the post expo experience, the nerves started to emerge. Perhaps it was just the feeling of capping the year off with a good race or maybe it was just putting more pressure on myself and to repeat the Chicago effort. Although I know that it was almost impossible to PR given the recovery turnaround, I just wanted to execute a good race.
This was my second time at the local competitive tent and possibly my last because there's simply no way I would run under the new standards, hence it was pretty sweet to be huddled around all the local competitive runners. I came into race morning with a goal plan in mind and that was to keep all my miles close to 6:40s. The wind definitely made me meander and nestle behind several runners for drafting purposes. I worked the first half with Ron and Kg to settled into comfortable 6:30-6:40s. Until the half way point I did experience some cramps but made sure I remain relax and not panic. As the pain subsided, I started to work with NJ and Maynard from my team. As far as I remembered, the queensboro bridge and 1st ave was definitely the most loudest and exhilarating part of the race when it was mostly downhill and crowds begin to roar. Going up north on 1st ave, my teammate Ron and Jon pulled away rather quickly; i found myself running with Joan Benoit from miles 19 to bronx and back to northern manhattan. That was quite a treat to race side by side with a gold medal olympian! Although my pace did drop a bit, I still felt comfortable and insisting if I'm able to hold myself together and keep it under 7:30s I will be able to nab another 3 hour marathon. Mile 23-24 was memorable especially having my buddy Ace running with me for 800 meters, there was the wall of orange on full force. I'm kinda bummed to miss my parents who happened to be on 97/5, but was able to spot Rosey and her team twice. By mile 25, I knew I had it and I was extremely comfortable with the pace and able to capture my 9th sub 3 hour marathon and 34th Marathon. I was lucky enough to catch up to my teammate Sussbus and netted 2:58:15. I was relieved to tough it out and simply telling myself to hang on; which ultimately resulted in this time. Yes there were times of giving up or thoughts of negativity; but that's what marathons are about...it is supposed be hard and breaks down the body; just a different kind of animal.
Even though it wasn't a PR, I just wanted to execute a good race and cap the year off on a good note. Quite frankly, it wasn't ideal to race 2 marathons in a span of 4 weeks, hence I don't think I would do it again! Overall, it was tough conditions and like I said before, marathons are tough. But I do have to say that I'm more appreciative of everyone who toughed it out to finish this death march; even if there's GI issues, just be tough and finish the race; regardless of pride and ego; unless there's a fracture or medical condition. At the end of the day, marathons are all about finishing what you started; and making sure you leave it all out there on that day - absolutely no regrets. I'll bleed Orange...GO CPTC!