Only because I can't stop talking about it, and because I have stuff I didn't mention in my ultra-long post about the race, here's some more!
The weather was "perfect" and believe me, I'm not complaining. I will take the weather that we had in NYC on Sunday over just about any race weather. That being said, it was a little bit warm and sunny. The sun was so warm that I was a little too warm in the sun, a little too cold in the shade. On some streets, it went sun-shade-sun-shade in rapid succession making me go through weird hot/cold bursts. Still, it was great weather and I'm not complaining.
The course is awesome, and the people are awesome. The strange thing about the course is that you don't go through what I would consider "landmarks" of New York - Times Square, The Met, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc (well, except Central Park). It was more difficult than you'd expect, or more difficult than I expected, although I can't say that the hills were really that rough. My legs weren't tired from the hills, my legs were tired from running 26 miles. The hills just meant that I was running them slower. That being said, I never really was cursing any of the hills and I felt ready for them and trained.
Here's the real thing - the course didn't showcase "landmarks." The course showcased New Yorkers! The real gem of the course for you to see while you were out there were the incredible people of New York City cheering you on. It was such a win/win, they were making my day, and I was apparently making theirs! I saw some clever and funny signs (my favorite being "Worst Parade Ever"), but it was the "New York Loves You" or "Brooklyn Loves You" signs that really got me. Spectators saying "Thank you for running"? Awesome. I mean, if there is one thing I can't say enough, it's that New York, the Road Runners and the race made you feel like you were special. Even if you weren't elite, even if you weren't a movie star, even if you were one runner of 47,000 runners. THIS is why you run New York. I never really understood that until the last week or so.
Watching the Elites
I did see the elites start the race. I was sitting on the ground at the village and to be honest, I didn't know if I'd hear the race start or see the race start or what. I thought maybe the bridge was obscuring my view. But, then there was a gunshot and that freaked me out until I saw the truck on the bridge and the heads bobbing up and down, and then the crowd still in the runners village started cheering. Very cool. I saw some of the race on television from the village, but not much.
I never hit the wall. Even though I didn't run a perfect race, the wall was not my problem. I was struggling at the end, but to be honest, if I hadn't had a goal time and had slowed to a comfortable (non-walking) pace, I would have been fine. I could have even continued with 1:1s, I just would have been slow. All of that being said, I'm glad I wrote my race report already because even 3 days out, I have almost totally forgotten the pain of those last few miles and have given thoughts to what my next race will be.
There are two that were worries for me before the race: The Verrazano Narrows (at the starting line) and the Queensboro. Like I said in my race report, the Verrazano was no sweat because the crowd kept you so slow that you didn't even really notice it. The weird part about the Verrazano is that it moves while you're running on it. It bounces with the runners, and you can feel it either come up and meet your foot and you step, or disappear out from under your foot. It was freaky, and it made me want to be off of the bridge, despite the beautiful view.
I do wish that I had been on the top level. No, I didn't get peed on (thank goodness), but all of the really great photos are from the top level. I couldn't see as much because looking around would have made me more likely to crash into somebody. I wish I'd had more of an ability to see out of the bridge.
As for the Queensboro - for me it was no sweat. I know other runners had issues with it, but I was feeling ok at the time, and the bridge really didn't kill me. I was expecting it. It was quiet, yes, but for me it was a welcome break from spectators (yes, I love them, but I feel like when they cheer for me I should acknowledge them and that gets exhausting, especially when you're not feeling so great). It is an ugly bridge, and I know others were feeling bad because about 90% of the people around me were walking at that point.
I take horrible race photos, and this race was no exception. That being said, I'm going to purchase them and post them within the next day or two. I just can't decide if I should get the videos or not. There are two - one of me at the 10K mark and one of me at the finish. In the 10K one, you clearly see me cut some guy off (Sorry, guy, I had no idea that I did that). The videos are $10 extra, and I don't know if I'd ever find a use for them.
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