So after 3 hours, 58 minutes and 26 seconds, I could finally stop running. And my quads were not too happy about that!! Surprisingly, though I did feel some leg fatigue in the final 10K, nothing really hurt overly bad. But man, after I crossed the finish line and started walking, my quads rebelled-to the point where a volunteer asked if I needed help. I thanked him, but I was fine and could walk on my own.
The finish chute was mad crowded…got my medal, got my finisher photo, got my mylar blanket…saw Moz had just finish and we congratulated each other and walked and chatted for a few minutes, until we parted ways at the chip removal-I kept walking because I wanted to keep my chip (I said that I when I run my first marathon, I will keep that chip as my permanent running chip.) Then came the trek through Central Park to my baggage truck. Never before have I cursed having a last name in the middle of the alphabet :-p I finally found my truck, got my bag, and kept walking. After passing another couple trucks, I heard a voice shout out “Hey Flygirl!” It was Chelly-she was volunteering, helping with the post-race baggage. We chatted for a coupla minutes-she’s hoping to run the marathon next year!! Good luck to you!!
I finally exited the park, and as I made my way up CPW, I saw a very familiar-looking guy in a Flyer singlet…”Skylight!!” I shouted. (well I actually shouted his name. But I ain’t posting it here :-p) “I did it!! I broke 4!!” he congratulated me and walked with me the few blocks I had to go to meet up with my family. He also gave me the great news that Sister Smile had BQed! We parted ways when I saw my family (one advantage to living on the UWS-not having to deal with the family reunion area!)-and wouldn’t you know it, Phil walks by and yells congrats. (I can’t ever escape you bloggers!! LOL…) I posed for pictures with my medal and stylin’ mylar blanket before we headed back to my place so I could shower and change. And oh boy…walking down the stairs to my apartment was not pretty. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I cleaned up because la familia needed to grab a bite to eat (and oh yeah, I guess I did too.) Headed to City Grill where I got what I was really craving-burger and fries. And the first of what would be quite a few glasses of wine that evening.
I did originally want my family to come with me to the Flyers’ post-marathon party, but they were tired from the long day, so they went home and I headed east, wearing my medal and Running Divas shirt 🙂 The party was definitely underway by the time I got there!! And I was flooded with congratulations all evening-definitely felt as much as a rockstar then as I did during the race 🙂 And I don’t know what they were more surprised at-the fact that this was my first or that I broke 4 on the first attempt!! (HC has always said to me that it is very hard to break 4 on a first marathon attempt.) The bloggers were represented by me, Skylight, Sara, and BrunetteChicagoGal. Downed 4 glasses of pinot grigio in the time I was there and chatted and mingled and just had a great time. Everyone I had spoken to seemed very happy with their races…the success stories include-but are not limited to-the following:
DL not only breaking 3-but beating Lance!! YEAH!!! (and making it on TV while passing Lance at the end!)
Plenty of other first time sub-4’s, with major PR’s on top of it.
MF battling a knee injury-but still ran a 3:29 and bettered her time from last year.
One of our female distance superstars running 3:17-the best Flyer female marathon performance this year…
Not only did Sister Smile BQ…but another one of our guys who had a breakthrough year BQ’ed with a 3:19.
Sara blew away her 4:30 goal…
Runner26 made it to mile 18 and then some-she was able to complete the marathon comfortably.
And a non-Flyer friend of mine who when running NYC the last 3 years, battled cramps and the Queensboro Bridge. Well I was happy to see that not only did he have a major course PR this year, but a marathon distance PR too!!
Monday…I had no problem sleeping in. The calls and congratulatory emails were still coming in. Both my mom and Coach J said that I “outperformed Lance.” I picked up the special marathon edition of the Times yesterday, and got my medal engraved today!! With the first marathon, you want to remember it all…
It really sunk in after hearing all the kudos…I really kicked ass on this marathon. Somehow it just all came together. You hear that it comes together after 2 or 3…but the first time?? Led me to wonder-what exactly did I do right? I thought about it and came up with this…
- The weather-but that was a no-brainer. (And out of my control too!)
- Nutrition and hydration were right on. Besides having 2 PB/salt bagels before the race-I gelled once before the race, and at miles 6/11/16/21-and I never felt depleted. Everything was fine when it came to getting water/Gatorade (of course the conditions may have helped with that.)
- My brother said that I probably “did everything I was supposed to, read everything I could on the subject”…yep, I did do my research. Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to certain parts of the course.
- There were a few fast miles in Brooklyn-but I recognized it early enough to pull it back, instead of thinking “oh, it’d be so cool if I can keep this pace.” Yeah, maybe I could have held it for the first half, but would have died in the second.
- HC told me this once: “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” As much as it meant swallowing my pride a bit, I think slowing training runs down really helped me handle the mileage without feeling banged up. And it also left me fresher for marathon day.
- Certain runs like my 2 back-to-back medium-long run weekends, or fast finish long runs like the Palisades and the 18-mile Tune-up really helped teach my legs to hang in there when tired (Coach J, you were right about those 2 weekends!)
- I made it a rule of thumb-no speedwork right after a hard half and/or long run, and didn’t do any during the month of October. Too close.
- Most importantly-I set realistic goals. Though I had people telling me BQ…or 3:50…I knew what I was capable of-I predicted 3:55-4, and wound up pretty much in the middle of there 🙂
So the big question-how can I repeat this again? And when? Well the latter question to be answered in another post… 🙂