2007 NYC Marathon 3:15:26 / 7:27 & Dashboard Confessional
Final Time: 3:15:26 (PR)
Half Marathon: 1:32:02
The marathon expo (although a downer due to the lack of freebies), olympic trials, the marathon and post marathon drinks at Swig; this was probably the most nerve-wrecking and exciting weekend so far! Out of my three marathons (06-07 NYC, 07 LI), I enjoyed this one the most. I tuned my ipod to the lowest volume, savored the atmosphere and let the crowd motivate me to the finish line. Just like any races, I was a nervous wreck because my right calf was bothering me after doing calf lifts a few days before. Furthermore, I think it was more of a case of remembering last year's demoralizing experience since I wasn't able to race to my potential.
Despite the little tweak on my right calf, I felt pretty good on my past 4 races ever since I've been running competitively and weight-training with K (ran a 3:12...amazing time btw). Honestly I'll never underestimate the importance of weight training and building upper body strength for running.
I truly believe in my case, the key is not to overtrain. Last year, I remember doing many long runs and found myself pretty burned out. This year, my longest run was the 18 miler tuneup, 16 mile bridge run and resorted 65% of my training on the treadmill. Coming into the race, my goal time was around 3:22-3:25 but then baldy & nate told me that it wouldn't surprise them if I could try for a sub 3:20 on a good day. Also someone in the runs told me that "What are you doing here? Why are YOU running the marathon? You should be focusing on the halves". Granted, the half is my favorite distance, but there's really no need to tell me what I can and cannot do. Well I should thank that person for the comment because it gave me an extra incentive and motivation to prove this person wrong ;). Hence the day before the race, I set my goal time to a sub 3:20 and at the same time, enjoy every moment of the race.
Compared to last year's start of the race, thanks to K, we arrived to SI via the Poland Spring bus around 8am, avoiding the long and arduous waiting game under the cold! At the start of the finish, I was pretty calm but made sure I got to my corral as soon as possible, avoiding the crowd and etc. Mile 1 was better than expected. I paced with a Harrier for the most of the bridge and clocked at 8:13. The second mile was a descent hence the 6:40. After hitting the sub 7s for the next 4-5 miles, I told myself if I feel good, then I may as well try to sub-7 the race as much as I can. When I clocked a 1:32 on the half marathon mark, the thought of Boston popped into my mind. Believe me, never in my mind would I have thought of trying to qualify for Boston, simply because I know I'm not at that consistent level yet. But the thought did linger for awhile till mile 20 ha!...I just told myself to enjoy the race because I have many years ahead of me to gradually achieve that goal -so no rush ;).
I enjoyed running through Brooklyn for the most part as I saw Bigir merging into mile 3. With my Interpol, National, Beck, Rogue Wave, Smiths music put to the lowest volume possible, I listened to the wave of crowd support cheering for my name sewed on my singlet. This was part of the experience I've missed last year where I spent most of the race listening to my music and shunning the crowd.
After q-boro bridge, I saw most of my friends on the east side and saw the dogs on mile 19. Damn, I was really excited to see the amazing support from my team and I felt pretty bad for not wearing the TRD jersey. Most importantly, I got to munch on uptown's cookie! Woohoo! After mile 19, I saw another dog, David. I saw his leg dragging a bit and I didn't know what to do or say. All I did was just pat him on the back and pep him a bit.
Racing past the bronx and into harlem I saw my parents on 97th and 5th. Despite wasting 15-20 secs talking to them, boy was I glad to see them; especially my dad. Just seeing my dad experiencing this moment with me was amazing and the highlight of the marathon. Moreover, on the last two miles, I overheard someone said "Give me a 'K', Give me a 'E', Give me an 'N'...KEN!" even though I was struggling with some cramps on my left quad and right calf, I couldn't help but just laughed and smiled. Funny thing was my dad predicted my time to be 3:15! Again, what made this marathon also extra special was the fact that I enjoyed every moment of it.
Overall, post-marathon is always a downer and suffice to say depressing....have to wait ANOTHER year for this. However, looking back from the inconsistent results early in the year and able to achieve the results for the 5miler, Half marathon, 18 miler and the 2 Marathons recently, I'm ecstatic and looking forward to improve more in 2008. Hence, fewer booze, more endurance and weight-training and hopefully knock a few more minutes on my marathon time. For now, I'll focus on the Knickerbocker 60K, sprinkle in some shorter distances and of course looking for other marathons in spring! I've been inspired recently, and to those who believed in me and was with me every step of the way; I totally dig it! ;)
Post-marathon party @ Swig
To the Right: Rob (3:35) and Nate (3:42)...both decided to run the NYC at the last minute. These dawgs are soldiers!
Marathon Expo @ Javits Center
Dashboard Confessional @ Webster Hall 11/5/07