Sunday, October 01, 2006

Grete's Great Gallop

Things got off to a fairly decent start today. The alarm went off. I made coffee. I took Harry for a walk. I drank the coffee. I finally woke up.

I gathered my things and headed out of the house for the Norwegian Festival Half Marathon in Central Park with plenty of time to stretch out and warm up but the subway line I need to take into Manhattan refused to leave the station.

After some time, fellow runner and Hellgater, Alan, stepped into the same subway car and we passed the time chatting about running. Unfortunately the MTA had chewed into our warm up time and we were now a bit rushed. Compounding the issue was a light rain and the faulty instructions I had to the race start which put us about 10 blocks north of where we needed to be. Sorry about that Alan!

The light drizzle turned to a outright downpour and as I dropped my belongings at the baggage check the air horn sounded - marking the start of the race. Drat.

Rather than wrestle with the thousands of people inching their way through the starting chute, Alan and I decided to wait a couple of extra minutes to get a clean - if late - start. I also took the opportunity to use the Port-a-John. Hey, the race had already started so there were no lines... Carpe Diem!

Alan got out in front of me and I spent the next few miles zigging and zagging around the back of the packers chasing him down. Somewhere around the hills at Harlem Meer I caught Alan and then slipped by.

The next few miles went well but I began to fatigue as the course made it's second loop around the north end of the park. At mile 10 I said to myself "Self, you've just got a 5k to go. Stay strong." I listened to my own suggestion pressing on the flats, kicking up the hills and motoring down them. With about a mile to go I began to push hard to the finish and sprinted the last 400 meters.

At first I was a little disappointed in my final time of 1:37:05 but given the poor start, constant rain and hilly course I should be pleased with this race. But there's always that voice in the back of my head saying you should have prepared better, run faster and kicked sooner...

Here's a photo of me after the race debating with that voice.
"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."
-Matt Groening

8 comments:

JustRun said...

Yeah, you should definitely be happy with that time. And with the goofy picture. haha

Morrissey said...

bro - you did awesome! - i saw you sprinting at the end man! Yeah, the rain did suck, but at least you got the miles under your belt right before the marathon! im prob gonna pace with you for a 3:30!

Anonymous said...

Very funny photo:) The rain makes it a much more memorable experience...at least that's what I try to tell myself;)

Deene said...

it's still a good time despite the downpour and tardiness. funny pic.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that voice sounds all too familiar...

Good job under the circumstances. And for god's sake, can't the weather gods give us a break for a half-marathon? :)

Mark said...

It's nice that you live in a place where you have so many opportunities to run.

I used to have a lot of opportunities, but then I moved to a better neighborhood where there were fewer people inclined to chase me for no good reason whatsoever.

Ginger Breadman said...

From that picture, the course looks pretty wet. I think a 1:37 is nothing to sneeze at, though - that's a nice time. Great job taking what your were dealt on race day and making the best of it all.

Just12Finish said...

How did you make up the 10 blocks to the start?

And, dag gummit, I just found out I missed the vote! I've been tied up at work and haven't been able to catch up on reading. I would've voted for Goofy Josh ... we don't need Runner Josh or Actor Josh making the rest of us really goofy lookin' guys look any worse!