I have to start by saying that I went to this race terrified. For the past 2 weeks, my left knee and calf had been showing sings of discomfort. Things really looked bad the day before the race when I was forced to take Advil twice and iced the knee at least 3 times throughout the day. I have no one but myself to blame for that. I decided to test the legs and see where I was in terms of Speed on my last two long runs, but I couldn’t just withdraw.
The day and weather could not be any better. Joyce and I got there with plenty of time and took our time walking to the start line. We placed ourselves at the 8 min/mile group… “we felt daring”. I brought the IT brace with me, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance, and as the hr got closer so did the fear of injury. The plan was to start off at a slow pace and sort of test the knee and increase the speed if I felt ok. The gun went off and in the middle of fireworks, we took off. Joyce and I wished each other good luck and we lost each other in the crowd.
I started slow and gradually increased the speed on the first mile.. next thing I know I reached mile 3 and my pace was in the low 8’s. This was a big boost of confidence. So the plan changed… now it was all about taking advantage of every flat and downhill stretch. I’ve always fix my eyes on a faster runner and follow right behind, this time I was some one’s pacer for a change. I notice 2 guys following me from mile 4.. If I went right, they did too… if I went left, they went left.. so I had a little fun with it.. Sadly I left them behind after mile 9.
I used two water stops to stretch the legs. Mile 5 and mile 11. Took advantage of every single flat stretch.. Took my time without compromising speed on the hills.”I have to say that having 2 mile hills on my routine runs made a BIG difference on this race.. I didn’t have a problem with the hills this time.” But I think I should’ve slow down a bit more on the hills.. by mile 10 my left calf started to feel as if it was getting a cramp.. so I had to slow down for a bit. By the time I was on my way to mile 13 I had very little left and I was starting to slow down. I had pushed hard to keep the fastest pace for that distance I have even done.. This forced me to take 3 quick walks.. I counted 1,2,3,4,5 and resumed running on each one.. I began to sprint when I saw 12.75 miles on my Garmin.. I was going so fast evading other runners that the announcer at the finish line calling out names called out mine adding “people, move to the left because this one is coming in fast” while laughing. The Garmin has me at 1:46:14 with a pace of 8:02. The official time has me at 1:46:15 with a pace of 8:10.. eh. I’m still happy, that’s an 8 minute Improvement over last year’s
At the finish line, I picked up my medal, took my picture and while waiting for Joyce, I wanted to take a pic of myself with my iPhone to post.. and I couldn’t get a good angle.. A guy noticed and said; “would you like me to take a picture of you? you look like you are about to twist like a pretzel trying to take that picture”. Once Joyce finished, we got our goodie bags, and went to get a cold beer.. I don’t like beer, but I was hungry and dehydrated.. so that beer felt so good. I had an amazing time at the race.. we met my parents and Jocelyn at the diner for brunch and then went for a walk to Glen Island. The knee is holding up but the legs are very sore. Trust me.. I take soreness over an IT injury any day..
‘Till next year Long Island.. Looking forward to yet another PR…