A full race report is coming soon, I promise, along with the absolute best part of the whole experience, a trip to the MSKCC pediatric cancer unit. I know that sounds odd -- the best part was the trip to the hospital! -- but when I tell you about it, you'll understand.
Before I even get to that, something I need to get off my chest. Fellow runners (and non-runners,) I can sure use your help.
I have come down from the high of finishing, and am now in the low of second-guessing myself. I am beating myself up because I don't feel I gave it my 110 percent effort. Yes, even with a finish time a full half hour faster than last year.
Here's what happened:
I was in the second-to-last wave of people starting in the green corral (NYC has three start corrals -- orange, blue, and green. The green corral runs the lower roadway of the Verazanno, the others run the upper) and because there was construction on the lower roadway our corral went out in little waves) and I didn't cross the start line until 50 minutes after the starting gun. Since the first 8 miles we're "on our own" (all three corrals run separate routes for the first 8 miles) it wasn't too bad, but when we hit mile 8, our group merged with the ends of the orange and blue corrals -- the people running in 5 hours or more. I spent the rest of the time battling walkers and slower runners and was unable to really open up, because it was just so crowded. After running a smart marathon and having left plenty in the tank for a big finish, I was unable to have a big finish because there were too many people in the way. I spent so much time trying to get around people that I could never really open up.
For those of you who have run marathons, you know how hallucinatory those last few moments of the race are. I looked at my times for the last few miles and they really don't suck at all, and yet because I'm not super-spent like I was last year (I took the elevator up to my apartment for three days, and I live on the second floor) and because I didn't cross the finish line exhausted, I feel like I didn't put in enough effort.
I was in the best shape of my life, and trained beautifully, and I know that has a lot to do with why I don't feel so physically bad now. I'm thrilled I didn't have to "gut it out" and run a miserable race. But why do I feel bad about it?
Can y'all help me put this in perspective?
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