As the Monk indicated, I ran the New York City Marathon on Sunday. It was my second time around and I did improve on my time. Yesterday was rather painful but today I am already strategizing about another run. (Monk: WTF??!!)
1. If you ever decide to do a marathon just once, you should do New York City. It's relatively easy to get into; run 9 accredited races in a year or lottery. Three consecutive failures in the lottery and you get in automatically in the fourth year. Or, arrange to run for a charity.
2. The crowds are awesome. If you pin your name on your jersey people will shout it to encourage you. (You want this. Trust me. At mile 18 you want all the inspiration you can get.) I briefly flirted with pinning the following on my jersey:
"Liked the Father
Love the Son
George W. Bush"
but I figured I didn't want stuff thrown at me-- this is a Democratic stronghold after all. Generally there were few political statements though a few did have "No mandate" signs pinned that had been handed out by some bitter folks at the beginning of the race.
3. 65 degrees is way hot for a marathon and I think the times were slower by comparison. I am not a fast runner and there were way, way more people running with me through the course and when I finished than there was two years ago.
4. "Achilles" - disabled - runners whether blind or in a wheelchair with bent legs got HUGE cheers everywhere. There was one fellow in a wheelchair who at 3:00pm was pushing himself backward on the incline up Fifth Avenue. I think he started before 9:00!
5. Best places to run: Park Slope where the crowds are big; Fort Greene with narrow streets, enthusiastic crowds and blasting music, First Avenue where the crowd can be 10 deep.
6. Worse places to run: Williamsburg where the locals just look at you like you're weird, the one mile steep upgrade up the 59th Street bridge, the one mile upgrade on Fifth Avenue before you get to the park
7. What guys need: Vaseline, vaseline, vaseline for anything that chafes; great music (I have a sony minidisc player that holds four hours of music and runs for 44 hours on a single AA battery - beat that, IPOD!); waterproof band-aids (cuz guys don't have bras); friends on the route to cheer you on (so you won't quit cuz you'll be letting folks down)
8. What I consumed during the race: four bananas, one green apple gel, handful of pretzels, 60 oz of Gatorade, 10 oz water; 4 big, fat tylenol. Carry food with you in case you need it and are a few miles away from your next friend.
9. I took Vioxx before the race in '02. Worked GREAT. That really was the wonder drug. (Who needs Viagra?) Shame.
10. Thanks to Kris, Lisa & Simon & Julian, Norman & May, Matt, Joe & Grace, Aki, Anna & Christian, Jenn, the Wongette and mini-Wongette for the food and all the support.