Looking back on Runner26‘s comment to me…“And there’s no rain in the forecast (remember that!)”-I seriously have to laugh. She was right, there was no rain anywhere in the forecast!! And yet-it was raining (lightly, but still it was rain!) from around mile 10 to the end for me. I swear, whenever I run Grete’s Great Gallop, it rains!! Luckily, this was a better experience than 2 years ago (where we all “enjoyed” the downpours!)
So, I really wasn’t planning on racing this thing. I slapped a cool playlist on the iPod, put on the regular trainers, frontloaded with a couple of miles…all signs that I wasn’t taking this super-seriously. Yeah, ran 2 miles from home, down around the bottom of the park to the race start (which also meant I could cheer for those runners doing the Norway Run!)…perfect!! Was definitely enough time to get it done, but man…the baggage area was a distaster area-too damn crowded, then we heard warning announcements to get to the corrals (and it was only 20 minutes to the race start!) I headed over to my corral (yellow this time) and found a few other Flyers and chitchatted til it was time to start…we were lined up in an unfortunate spot, as we were near a speaker and it just made Mary Wittenberg’s voice sound all the louder and more piercing. Thank god for headphones to cut that out a little. 9:00 finally came and the starting horn sounded.
So I really, really tried to hold back. There were quite a few teammates who were passing me and I just let them go and do my own thing. I made sure to have slower-tempo (but still upbeat) songs on the playlist for the first few miles (save the fast stuff for the end.) Just tried to stay relaxed. Still was surprised to see 8:37 for the first mile…net downhill or no net downhill, still too fast. Mile 2, up that gradual west side uphill…8:42. Hmmm…guess this is gonna wind up being an MP effort. Either that, or I completely underestimated what effect the fabulous weather (49 degrees!) would have on me. Whatever-honestly, I just kept running pretty steadily and I was really having a great time…enjoying my music, saying hi to people I knew, thanking those cheering, chitchatting every now and then, smiling for the camera-whether it be Brightroom or Flyer BC…yep, this was what a “fun run” should really be!! :-p
The aforementioned rain? Started around mile 10 for me. Like I said before-it really wasn’t that bad but I had to laugh that it happened when rain wasn’t even on the agenda. Was still feeling good, but by the mile 11 marker, I was ready to be done and out of the rain. So I decided to crank it up for the last 2.1 miles…also visualizing the marathon finish. Like in 2006, when once I hit the park, to go for it. And it felt pretty good to be passing people at the end, instead of the other way around 🙂 Resulted in a strong mile 12, a smokin’ mile 13, and a last push up the hill to the finish line. Finished in 1:52:37 (8:35 pace) (according to the NYRR results.)
Doing the splits…
And don’t worry…I don’t think the course was really 13.3 miles…hehe.
The hard work is done, time to relax. Flyer JW thanked me for being his rabbit-we were kinda trading places back and forth throughout…I stayed ahead for a few miles, he finally passed me for good around mile 11. I feel so used :-p Flyer DM and I braved the long-ass line for waffles (as I missed getting them 2 years ago because of the rain!) but was fine as we chitchatted the whole time so it went by pretty quick. And it was worth it 🙂 Also raided the bagels with salmon…and then chitchatted some more with my teammates (and also a closet blog reader of mine!) Finally around noon, we all headed our separate ways…to either nap, or to warm up (I had my long-sleeve shirt and a jacket on, but it was still chilly!)
Seemed like there were a lot of good times today…I looked at some of my teammates’ PRs wistfully and wonder what I would have been able to do if I had raced this. But-on the other hand-I had my good half marathon race 2 weeks ago and more recovery time from that before the big one. Besides, I felt this was more beneficial to work on executing the race plan on the big day…I think as long as the weather cooperates-some good things just may come out of November 2nd…