Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 New York Marathon Race Report

Date:  November 6, 2011Weather:  45 degrees and sunny.  Perfect marathon weather
Time: 3 hours 42 minutes (a PR by 14 minutes), average pace 8:30 per mile

Video of me finishing the race (I finish in the middle near the end of the video clip):

A picture taken during the race (not sure where):

Splits per my Garmin Watch

Mile 1 – 8:40
Mile 2 – 7:37 (feeling awesome!!)
Mile 3 – 7:40
Mile 4 – 7:45
Mile 5 – 7:57 (still feeling awesome)
Mile 6 – 8:02
Mile 7 – 8:01
Mile 8 – 8:07
Mile 9 – 8:08
Mile 10 – 7:44 (still feeling very good)
Mile 11 – 8:07
Mile 12 – 8:04
Mile 13 – 8:02
Mile 14 – 8:09
Mile 15 – 9:01
Mile 16 – 9:28 (59th street bridge)
Mile 17 – 7:55 (starting to feel tired)
Mile 18 – 8:20 (sprained my ankle during this mile)
Mile 19 – 8:27
Mile 20 – 8:40
Mile 21 – 8:40
Mile 22 – 8:59  (man is the Bronx and upper Manhattan hilly!)
Mile 23 – 8:58
Mile 24 – 9:16 (long, gradual, painful uphill on 5th avenue)
Mile 25 – 8:57 (Central Park)
Mile 26 – 8:49
Last 0.57 (9:03 – stopped for 30 seconds to kiss my family)

Overall 26.57 miles, 3:42:34, 8:20 pace, average heart rate 168

My garmin file from the race - click here

Feeling awesome!!

A great day for running a marathon, as the weather was perfect.  My friend got me a ride to the race start in Staten Island on a Race Director bus, which was awesome.  Spacious.  When we arrived in Staten Island, we also got a heated tent and unlimited access to Porta-potties with no line!  That was the best.  Plus, we were able to start the race on the bridge at the front of the race (wave 1), as we had race director status.  Being close to the professional runners was super cool (I said "hi and good luck" to Meb).  My status allowed me to stay super relaxed before the race, as I was able to use the bathroom when I needed to without waiting (every marathon runner can appreciate this), wasn't cramped into a corral, and started fast.

I had an amazing race.  Since I ran a marathon as part of my Ironman in August, I had no time expectations, I just wanted to enjoy the experience (my second New York City Marathon and my 5th marathon overall).  So I ran 6-7 miles most days during the week and did a long run on the weekend (the most I did was one 18 mile training run, then the next longest was 15 miles).

Since I converted to a 100% plant based diet (vegan) on 9/5/11, my weight was down 22 pounds on race day (179 pounds).  My training runs were easily faster, so I knew that I would probably come in under 4 hours, fully expecting to run out of steam for the last 6-8 miles (as I usually do). 

The perfect weather and low dew point made it easy for me to feel good, and after a 8:30ish first mile, I found myself easily running in the 7:40s for miles 2-5.  I felt great and it didn't feel like I was running that fast, so I went with it. Around this point, I ran into my friend Rich Campbell, who has been like a mentor to me since I started running in 2009.  He was feeling great, running around 7:30 so I said "don't let me hold you back".  He took off and ended up running a 3:30, an awesome time.  I saw my friend Jeff A around mile 6-8 (not sure exactly where), which was super cool (here is the video he took).  I was running with my friend Rich when he took this video (he is wearing a lime shirt that says "Go" on it)

As I was running in Brooklyn, I felt amazing. Brooklyn was my favorite part of the race. You still feel amazing because you haven’t been running that long, plus the crowds are great. I ran next to the sidewalk and tried to high-five as many kids as I could, which kept me pumped up. As I got to around 10 miles, I started to feel the hills a little bit but was able to hold a pace of 8-8:10 pretty easily – my half marathon split was 1:45, an 8:05 pace at this point (a half marathon PR for me in any race, even a half marathon race). I was drinking Gatorade and water when needed, ate a banana, and had a couple of gels. One of them had caffeine, something I hadn’t had since I became a vegan and I immediately felt the caffeine jolt. For the first time in my life I didn’t enjoy it. Going forward, I’m off caffeine for races (already off it otherwise), I’ll stick to the caffeine-free gels. I think my pace was also fast for the first 13 miles because I hydrated and ate well (something I hadn’t done during any of my training runs).

Video of me at the 10-K point (near the end of the video in the middle putting my finger in the air)
Video of me at
The half marathon point (you can see me on the right side around the 16-23 second point of the clip):

I saw Manhattan in the distance, that pumped me up. Running over the 59th street bridge was quiet but also tough because of its steep incline. When I got into Manhattan (I think mile 17), I felt pretty good and ran a 7:55 mile. I saw my friends Jodi (marathon runner) and Heidi (Ironman) at the gel station around mile 18 and got some gels. Then I was running in the middle of first avenue and out of the clear blue, my ankle gave out. I saw stars it hurt so much. I thought I was done, I thought I broke it (I have a history ankle injuries playing basketball, never running). I knew that I had to keep running if I could, as it was instantly swollen. From history, I knew if I stopped the blood would flow to the injury and then I would have to walk. So, I kept running, but I had no power off my right leg. Still no idea how I rolled it.  I slowed down but was able to keep running for the next 8 miles. I took a picture as soon as I got home – here is what it looked like (look away if you are queasy):

Picture of my ankle sprain immediately after the race

Picture of my sprained right ankle as soon as I got home after the marathon
At this point, I was staring to feel "the wall".  A bum ankle plus the wall takes a little of the fun out of things, but I was generally able to hold 8:30-8:55 per mile (except for mile 24, which is uphill on 5th avenue, where I logged a 9:15, better than the 9:47 I logged on this mile in 2009.  When I entered Central Park shortly thereafter, I actually felt pretty good.  I knew I was almost done!   The park looked beautiful, particularly all of the different colored trees, and the spectator support was totally awesome.  Here's a video of me in the park with about 2 miles to go (40-K point):

My friend got my family grandstand VIP tickets, so I knew that they were near the finish line.  That gave me a lot of energy.  I stopped to give everybody a kiss and took a very happy, proud, leisurely run another 100 meters to the finish line.

As always, my Garmin watch had me running longer than the marathon. The marathon course is measured at 26.2 miles running the most efficient way as possible.  My watch had me at 26.57 miles at a pace of 8:19 per mile Versus my offical 8:30 pace).  My average heart rate was 1688

A video that my family took of me stopping plus some pictures:

After the race.  Great seats!!!!!

More pictures:

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