Monday, November 10, 2008

Marathon nr.28


New York was my 28th marathon. I went into it unconfident and not even sure if I'd be able to finish it. After four months of nice steady workouts, three or four different problems surfaced at once. My back started to ache even more, I developed Piriformis syndrome on my right hip and the only solution was to not run. Since I had so many work trips in the last month I couldn't hit the pool or take a ride on the bike, my only alternative was yoga and rest. I did learn a GREAT stretch solution for the Piriformis though, which is this...



...and I did that about five times a day. I think this is what saved me in the end...

New York was a blast. So much fun, so many moments of pure happiness...

My plan for the marathon was to walk five minutes for every thirty minutes of running, hoping that I'd be able to keep it up all the way to the end. My friend Giorgio, who'd had a pneumonia during the month of september, was going to run with me since he had doctors orders to participate but not run the entire race. We were brought to the start at about 6.15 am and had to wait in the freezing cold until our wave start at 10.20 am. It was really really cold. I thought I was going to toss my clothes at the start and the half way point but I kept them all. The start was a little anticlimatic since I was used to being on the bridge, having the national anthem, and then BANG, the start. This time with so many runners (I think about 40,000) we weren't even on the bridge when they started the race. We started our watches as we crossed the first timing mat and began running. Giorgio had brought a camera and started taking pictures right away. Even though it was cold, the skies were clear and beautiful. When we got to our first walking break Giorgio hesitated. Even though he wasn't supposed to care about our time and just follow me, it's really hard for a competive person to slow down and actually walk BEFORE they're tired. At about mile 12 he asked me what time we would be hitting for the half. "When we get to the half I'll let you know. We're not there yet so I can't tell..." I shut my mouth every time he started to talk about time splits or projected finishes (huge accomplishment for me...) and he eventually calmed down after 30km. We kept running and walked on the programmed times. We had one bathroom break at about the 22km mark. There was a long line and we had to wait awhile but we tried to make it up a little by slighly reducing the walk break. By the time we hit Central Park we were weaving around all the people walking, which was just about everybody. I was having a little bit of a trouble in convincing myself to keep running but I tried to concentrate on the voices of people yelling things at us and disassociate myself from my body. This worked really well and brought my all the way to Columbus Circle. We ended up finishing in 4h50' with a halfway split of 2h21'58".
You can see our photo documentary of the race HERE. Put it on Slideshow with a five second picture turnover so you have time to read the commentary.

I had so much fun that I signed up this week to run the Paris Marathon on April 5th. I just have to keep all those injuries at bay!

3 comments:

stronger said...

you take the stretch...I'll take the guy! Ha!

The photos were fun- glad you had a good run.

anji said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun!! Boo to the hip but you made it!

Fe-lady said...

Congratulations on your 28th marathon! wow!
I enjoyed your photos.
Doesn't the pavement get slippery with all the paper cups and water strewn about? I wish people would take the time to deposit their cups at least a little to the side of the road. Makes me never want to run a huge marathon again!

And that stretch--- I incorporate it several times a week into my routine. It sure works wonders doesn't it? (Except I don't do it naked! :-) )