Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm working on it

I forgot I had to do something for work yesterday and so I didn't make it out to the gym. But I did stretch, and I did lift weights at home. It's funny how when I don't lift for a few months or so, it seems easier when I get back. I picked up the weights yesterday, with the same weight on them since the last time I used them, and was able to do 2 sets of all my old exercises. No problem. It's almost as if the resting makes it easier. But when it comes to running, if you don't run for 2 months, forget about it! Running 1 mile after that kind of a break can leave you trying to catch your breath for an hour. I guess your heart gets out of shape faster than your biceps...

Anyway, I'm on call today, so another forced rest day. I'll try the gym thing again tomorrow and see if I can't get into some type of bike or elliptical routine. A few people have told me that they had similar problems and it got better with time and rest. So that's encouraging.

I'm still not sure what exactly is the problem with my knee. When I don't run it feels totally fine. A few months back, when I was having shin problems, I would have pain just walking around. Now, I feel totally fine unless I run. No problems with walking, or stairs. Even when I run it seems to only kick in after a mile or so. I posted a question on Cool Runnings and a few suggestions have come back. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, see a doctor... I know!)

Rae, thanks for noticing the new header. I'm sure other people noticed, I was just surprised nobody had commented. (After the marathon a lot of people commented on how I had to change the name. This particular suggestion came from both TryAthlete and Triathamom.) Thanks also for the (dis)honorable mention in the BRPTT rundown.

Ok, back to work...

Sunday, November 27, 2005



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This message was in my Inbox this morning. The first thought I had was how I hadn't run much in the last few weeks, and all I've done on my blog was whine. How embarrassing.

Then I thought that maybe I should look into this a little more. Just how many people were actually checking out my blog because of this "top ten list"? As I'm sure most have you have guessed by now, the answer was - and still is - zero. At least they have a nice button for the bottom of my sidebar...

It also inspired me to get out there and try again. I was hoping to "jog" for 5K so I could belatedly participate in the BRPTT. Unfortunately, the same old knee pain kicked in after a mile and a half, and I had to cut it short to 2 miles. (My new "marathon distance"!)

Quite frustrating. To be fair, I haven't kept to my resolutions. I've neither stretched nor crosstrained. The only thing I've done is eat. (If I don't get back to running soon, the next endurance event I join might be the Nathan's eating contest!)

Tomorrow, I'm going to look into joining a gym nearby. I need one that will let me join for a month, so it may not be that easy. There are a few in my neighborhood, so I'm hopefull I'll find one that will accommodate me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Post Marathon Letdown Disorder

Thanks for all the encouraging comments. Rather than respond in the comment section of my last post, I thought I'd just write a new post.

I think the trouble I'm having is accepting the fact that the marathon was not just a slightly longer training run. I'm still not sure why, since that's how I tried to run it. But for whatever reason, after 17 or 18 miles it became totally different.

For the first week after the marathon I couldn't even walk normally. I was constantly reminded of my accomplishment, especially walking down the 2 flights of stairs when leaving my apartment! Those painful movements, combined with the lingering afterglow of having finished a marathon, removed any thoughts of needing to run from my mind.

However, over the next week both of those feelings faded. It's been 15 days since I ran the marathon, but I can barely remember it. When I just added up that number I was surprised. It seems so much longer ago.

Because the marathon faded away so quickly, and my running skills and strengths seem to have gone with it, it's quite frustrating. I know everyone goes through this, and that it's totally normal. But it still kind of sucks.

I had previously emailed Steve Runner that I think the cure for the letdown is setting a new goal and going after it. For that reason, it was very soon after the race that I started searching marathonguide.com and looked into spring marathons. I know it's way too early to be in training for anything, but I'd really like to be able to run (or jog!) 2 miles without it being a problem. (Plus, why the knee? Where did that come from?)

There are a couple of things that I need to do more seriously if I want to get over this. One is stretching, and the other is crosstraining. I hereby resolve to do both of them right away.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

2 is the new 26.2

Still not going well here...

I went out for another 2 mile attempt today. (Man, what a beautiful day for a long run or marathon today!) For the first mile and a half I didn't feel any pain, but it did seem tiring. I wasn't running fast - 10:30 pace. For the last half mile I could feel my knee bothering me again. I limped home afterwards, and I've been limping since. It's actually pretty depressing...

Yeah, yeah, you have to rest after a marathon. Well is it so unreasonable to expect to be able to run 2 slow easy miles 2 weeks after a marathon? I've only run 5 miles in the last 14 days, and they've all been at a slow and relaxed pace.

It's not just that it's tough to run. It's difficult to walk the rest of the day afterwards. I kind of swing my leg around without bending the knee too much. (It's a little more subtle than that, but that's the idea.) It's starting to make me question whether this all worth it. Okay, not the first one. It's definitely worth running a marathon. But is it worth running another one, if I have to go through this kind of problem afterwards? I'm not even sure how long this will last!

I'm just kind of annoyed. I'm still eating like I'm running 30 miles a week, but I'm running less than a tenth of that! This is a problem.

I'm currently not a member of a gym, because I did all my exercise out on the streets. I'm also probably moving soon, so I don't want to sign up at a gym around my house. Hopefully, I'll start my job shortly, and find a gym nearby to exercise in. I think some crosstraining would be a good idea now.

I miss enjoying this habit...

Friday, November 18, 2005


I don't really have anything to blog about. Since this is primarily a running blog, and I haven't really run much this week, it kind of limits things. I was on call overnight, and although interesting stuff happens there, I can never really blog about it. Damn HIPAA...

I had hoped to run today, but ran out of time. Maybe tomorrow night I'll get a chance before going out. I must run again soon.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What's up with my knee?

I did make it out for my planned 2 miles yesterday. I felt better than the last time, and was able to stretch pretty normally. However, I did start feeling my right knee bothering me towards the end of the run. I finished up the run, but found myself limping afterwards. It hurt right behind the kneecap, in a place that never bothered me before. It bothered me most of the race of the day, but got better as time went on. This morning it feels fine.

It's weird. Before the marathon I worried about my shins. During the marathon my quads were a problem, and my shins didn't bother me at all. Now out of nowhere my knee hurts! I'm a bit nervous because I never had real joint pain before. I've also heard of horror stories of people killing their knees from running a marathon. Since I didn't really have any knee pain during the race it's hard to believe I did something so bad to it. I'm thinking it's more to do with how the rest of my muscles are working in their tired and shortened states. So I'm not panicking yet, but it is in the back of my mind.

Thanks for the votes on the pictures. I like #2 as well, and I'm going with it. Interestingly, my mom (who reads but doesn't comment) put in a request for #B. (I think she figures she has enough pictures of me, but that one actually looks like I'm in a race.)

I'm supposed to meet Brent and Rachel later today. I asked them to wear their Batman and Darth Vader outfits so I can recognize them. They agreed, but only if I'd wear my race shirt with my name on it. (Somehow, wearing that on race day was cool. Walking around with it today in Times Square: not so cool.) Hopefully, the weather will hold out for them and they can have a good experience here in NYC.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Ok. These are the pictures that are available from brightroom:

(let's call them 1 to 5, in order of appearance.)

I've also found Jim Rhoades' site. Apparently, he's a runner, and photography is a hobby for him. He seems to have taken a picture every 2 seconds for the entire marathon. After a lot of searching, I found myself in his collection. This picture is taken at mile 23. Unfortunately, there are shadows in my face, but otherwise it's a pretty good picture. I've included the original, as well as a cropped version.

(let's call these A and B.)

So here's the deal. As I've mentioned before, I've ordered a bib frame, which has a space for a 5x7 picture. Besides for that picture, I'm not sure if I have any use for any other actual prints. I'm happy to have the digital images above that I captured, but I don't think I need the higher quality images.

The brightroom pictures are obviously expensive. I can buy one 5x7 print for $21. If I want to make multiple copies of it, I can buy the single digital file for $55. (Can you believe that?) Finally, if I want all the pictures, I can get a CD with all of the digital files for $81. On the other hand, the high resolution digital file for the bottom picture(s) has already been sent to me for free, courtesy of Jim Rhoades. (Thank you!)

I know everyone says this is a once in a lifetime event, and it's worth it, yada yada yada. Well, as you can see in my previous post, I've certainly spent a lot of money on this endeavour. But I don't want to just throw money away for no reason.

So a couple of questions:

1) To those of you who have done this before. Is it worth getting all those pictures? Besides putting one on the wall, do you need all the others? What do you do with them? (I have great pictures from a trip to Europe that nobody ever looks at. I can't imagine showing these marathon pictures to anybody ever.)

2) Assuming I get just one picture, which one? I like number 2, which others seemed to agree with last time. (I was kind of "cheering" for myself, and it left me with a funny facial expression I'm not wild about.) A finishing line picture would be nice, but I kind of get lost in the crowd. The frame's empty slot is only for a portrait (vertically) oriented picture. So I'd have to get number 4, and I'm not sure you can even tell it's me.

3) Should I even buy a picture? What do you think of number B? The shadowing is annoying, but it's obviously me, and not a bad shot. I think it might look good up on the wall.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Running again - well, kind of...

This is the picture ShoreTurtle sent me this morning after meeting with Brent and Rachel. He said they were okay, just that they looked a little different than the pictures on their websites. He suggested meeting somewhere public!

He later posted this (more accurate) picture on his blog.

We're scheduled to meet for dinner on Wednesday, and I'm looking foward to it.

In other news, I finally went out for a run today. I've been feeling pretty good. The only problem I still notice is that when I squat down (e.g. to pick something up off the floor), I feel a tight pain at the top of my right hamstring, right where it attaches to my butt. (This is the exact area which I felt go into spasm as I tried to stretch my quads at mile 15 of the marathon.) Other than that, I felt back to normal. So after setting up the latest Phedippidations on my iPod, I headed out for a short run. I planned to do a 2 mile loop near my house, and if I was feeling good, maybe do it twice.

Well.... I wasn't ready for all that yet. I could tell as soon as I tried to stretch that I wasn't as recovered as I thought I was. (They do say to rest 1 day for every mile run!) I just couldn't stretch my quads properly - they're still too tight.

I set off at a nice slow pace. The first few minutes felt a little funny, but otherwise no problems. As I started getting close to one mile I felt my quads hurting again. It reminded me of the marathon, just not near as bad. At first I kept going slowly, wanting to at least finish the 2 mile loop. After a little more I realized that I wasn't doing myself any good. So at a mile and a quarter I stopped, and walked the remaining three quarters of a mile back. I was limping as I walked back, and my right knee was hurting, which was a little weird. (It's still bothering me a little.) As I limped back a few runners passed me by. I couldn't help thinking that I should have been wearing my medal so they would know why I was limping!

Don't worry though, I actually still get to be a celebrity now and then. Last night I was in a friend's apartment meeting a few people. He kept saying "Did you know Dan ran the marathon?" It was kind of funny.

Here's another benefit of running a marathon.

It wasn't that long ago that I was excited to reach 1000 visits. Then as the marathon got closer, visit 2000 rolled by. Then with all the people tracking me on marathon day, and reading the (exciting) recaps in the following week, number 3000 has come by in no time at all. I know the excitement will die down - actually, it already has - but it was kind of exciting there!

Just so you know, running a marathon does come with a price. And it's more than you think. Take a look at this.

Ok, not all those things are direct marathon costs. But those are all things that I wouldn't have bought or paid for if I wasn't into all this running madness. I could have thought of a few more costs, but once I was over $1000 I figured you'd get the point. Crazy, huh? (Or as my Canadian instinct wants me to say: Crazy, eh?)

Tomorrow I'm on call again, so another forced day of rest. Hopefully I'll get back out there on Tuesday.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Thanks for all the excellent and interesting comments on my last post. The one thing that it has accomplished is to strengthen my desire to do this again. Towards the end of my training, as the long runs got long, I really thought this first marathon would be my only marathon. Not that I was going to settle back onto the couch, but that I would concentrate on shorter races, and maybe half marathons now and then. However, my competitive fires have now been stoked, and I feel the need to go out and prove to myself (and the world) that I'm capable of more. I wonder how this motivation will hold up as the temperature drops, but for now I'm already looking at marathon calendars for the spring. (I can barely believe it myself...)

I'm feeling better each day. I can pretty much walk normally now, and I don't have to go down stairs sideways anymore. In fact, if I had more time today I probably would have gone out for a small run. I'll probably do that on Sunday.

The marathon pictures are up and you can see them here. I definitely "need" one 5x7 picture (for my bib frame), but I'm not sure if I need to order all those pictures. (Did you see those prices?!!) I think it's fairly obvious which picture I should get, but I'm curious if everyone else agrees.

I have a few more things to post, but I have to be on my own computer to do it properly. I'll probably get to them over the weekend sometime.

One last thing. Today was the last day of the Magnum exhibit on pictures taken during the 2004 NYC Marathon. I went to see it, and although it was smaller than I expected, it was still pretty cool. I think having now run the race, I had a much different perspective on the exhibit. Nonetheless, the pictures are pretty good. I recommend watching this narrated slide show.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


(warning: some negative thoughts coming...)

When you run a marathon, especially your first one, everyone just congratulates you. It doesn't matter how you finish, just that you did finish.

To a certain extent, I agree with this sentiment. But there is still a part of me that needs to analyze my performance. I can't completely accept the idea that just finishing is the major accomplishment. Especially when I realize that out of 37,597 people who started the marathon, 36,847 finished. That's more than 98% finishing - on one of the hottest days ever for the marathon. So while for Jonathan Mendes, who's 85, finishing the marathon in just over 8 hours is an amazing accomplishment. But for me, that wouldn't be so satisfying.

I trained to run this marathon, and set myself certain goals. In discussing the race with other runners, it seems that most people missed their goals by about a half hour. But I'm still somewhat unsatisfied with that. I'd like to figure out what went wrong.

For reference purposes, here's my splits. They are not completely accurate as I relied on the GPS rather than hitting the lap button each mile.

You can see the first half going well. Mile 15 includes a bathroom break and some stretching. Mile 16 I slow down going over the Queensboro bridge. I try to pick it up again in Mile 17 as I hit 1st Avenue, but slow down again over the next few miles. As I realize my 4:22 slipping away, I stop for some stretching during Mile 20. The remainder of the race incorporates walking breaks. From Mile 21 through 24 they were increasing in frequency. As I entered the park at mile 24 I was somewhat energized, and decreased the frequency of the walking breaks. That last split should probably be faster, but then again it shouldn't read 26.64 either. It probably incorporates my last little break I took before "running it in" for the last quarter mile in the park.

So what happened?

Was it just the heat? It's hard to accept that. I trained through a tough NYC summer this year, and was running in similar temperatures. The Manahattan Half Marathon was run in 77 degrees and 82% humidity.

How about the distance? The longest I'd run in training was 20 miles. Maybe 26.2 is really that different. They do say the marathon begins at mile 20. Again, it's hard to buy into that completely. I was already having problems by mile 17 or 18. The 20 I ran in training was tough, but I went back to my normal life right afterwards. In the marathon I was totally cramped up and hobbling well before 20 miles.

What about the hills or bridges? Maybe. I trained in Central Park which has quite a few hills, including the big one in the Northwest corner. (See the bottom of this page.) That hill rises 84 feet over 0.32 miles. The Queensboro bridge rises 130 feet over about half a mile. A little bit longer, but not that different in grade. I did slow down on the Queensboro, but I'm not sure that was the cause for me cramps. Maybe. I didn't even notice the elevation on Verazzano, which is even higher. (First mile split at 10:15.)

What about dehydration? Again, I don't think so. I had a water bottle with me for the first 6 miles or so. After that I pretty much had two cups of water at each water station. (They were usually half empty, so it was probably about 5 or 6 ounces a mile.) I was definitely somewhat dehydrated, as it took a while after the race before I had to go to the bathroom. But I don't think I was overly so, and I certainly drank as much as I did during training. (Besides, how much can I drink? I followed the advice of the "hyponatremia police" pretty well.)

I suppose I could have had sports drink rather than water, but I didn't train with it. Besides, I'm not sure about the whole electrolyte imbalance thory. I did have 5 packs of sports beans, which have 60 meq of sodium in each one. (I also salted my food the day before race day.) Maybe it wasn't enough, and I'm should take those Succeed capsules as Nancy does, and others have suggested. But again, I didn't during my training.

That's what I keep coming back to - my training. In training I ran 18 miles in just under 3 hours, and 20 miles in 3:12. And on both those days I felt totally fine. No cramps, no limping. Nothing. So what was different on race day?

I didn't go out too fast. My splits there aren't that accurate, but I can tell you that I crossed the half with a net time of 2:07:24. That's well behind my half-marathon PR of 1:52:29, and also far behind the 1:55:44 half I ran in August. So what was the problem?

The one thing I can think of that was different was that in my training runs I usually stopped every 5 or 6 miles to stretch or go to the bathroom. On race day I didn't stop the first time until mile 15. I tried to stetch briefly then, but it was too late. I went into spasm, and was really unable to stretch properly the rest of the race. Every time I tried I just ended up in more pain.

I wonder if just stopped for a minute or two every hour is the secret. I've read of people taking "strategic walk breaks". I wonder if just giving my muscles a chance to "come up for air" every once in a while might have prevented these problems.

I have the third edition of "Lore of Running" by Tim Noakes. At least in that edition, his understanding of leg cramps is that they are probably from glycogen depletion. His "cure" for them is simply more training. That's definitely a possibility, that I was undertrained. But I was really taking it easy, running the marathon like a training run. Why can I run 20 miles in training without too many problems, and than during the marathon completely fall apart? I'm still limping!

Now that I've said all that, I do want to make clear that on the whole, I am very happy. I recognize the overall accomplishment of finishing a marathon, and I enjoyed the experience of running the marathon in NYC. I certainly enjoy having run the marathon! But it is an athletic endeavor to me, and I'd like to be able to do the best I can. And I think I can do better. (In fact, now I feel as though I have to!)

So if anybody out there has any thoughts or ideas, please feel free to share them with me. (And everyone else!)

If you're still reading, I've got one more treat. I showed you my splits from the Garmin before. I really wasn't using them too much during the race. To be honest, the main reason I wore it was to have the map of my route when I was done. I had to make a few corrections, but how cool is this map?

(Yup. I ran all of that!)

I'm getting close to being done talking about the marathon. I think I might have a few more posts in me about it, but that's about it. But then I have to address the blog title, and future goals. I'm not ready to do that just yet!

Recap - After the Race

(much less interesting, but here for completeness sake)

Right Afterwards:

Right after you cross the finish line there are people guiding you where to go. They are also congratulating you so it’s pretty cool. Somebody handed me a medal and another person gave me a bottle of water. Then as you walk forward there is a final photography station to get post-marathon pictures. I was surprised to see it so close to the finish line, as you don’t really have that much time to compose yourself, but maybe that’s why they do it. There are tons of people finishing and they really have to move things along.

I took a couple of pictures with my medal and then continued shuffling forward. It was really tough to walk at this point. A few people were sitting on the side, but I was pretty sure that if I sat down I wouldn’t be able to get up. So I kept moving forward. Next I got one of those mylar capes. For some reason, that’s almost as exciting as getting the medal. Perhaps it’s because they both really represent the same thing. One nice thing is that they had this special tape so you could keep the cape around you without having to hold it.

It’s really a sight to see all these people in capes moving forward. There was a sign saying “food” with an arrow pointing forward, but it seemed to take forever to get there. It’s done on purpose to keep you walking after the race, but it’s really not fun at this point. Eventually I got the “food” which was a powerbar, an apple and tangerine, and the worst bagel ever. I took a few bites and kept moving.

Shortly after this we exited the park. There were signs directing you to the baggage trucks. I was chatting with the person next to me at this point, and that helped things move along faster. When I picked up my bag I was on 73rd street. I got my cell phone and checked to make sure there was nobody waiting for me in the family reunion area. Thankfully there wasn’t, and I was able to go straight to the subway on 72nd street. After spending 5 minutes getting down the stairs I eventually made it to the platform level. There was a cop saying “runners this way” as all runners were able to ride the subway for free. I felt like some sort of hero walking around with my mylar cape and medal on the subway.

I went to a friend’s apartment in the city, since my apartment would have been too far at this point. Once there, I took a few pictures, and then went into the shower. Well, sort of. After I turned the shower on, I realized I should probably do the “ice bath” thing, or at least “cold water” thing. So I left a little warm water in the bottom of the tub, and then closed the drain. I then tried to get myself in a sitting position in the tub. That took about 3 minutes! I couldn’t figure out how to maneuver myself into that position. It wasn’t just pain, it was more like my legs just wouldn’t move certain ways. Eventually, I figured it out, and sat myself down while the cold water filled the tub up over me. Once I was down with that I took a warm shower and got into some dry clothes. Aaahhh….

I had hoped to go out to dinner and show off my medal that night, but by this time I really didn’t feel like going out anymore. We just ordered in and ate there.

The Next Day:

The next morning I went to the marathon store to get official memorabilia. I picked up a “finisher” T-shirt, as well as some cool cuff links. I also picked up a copy of the Times with my name in it.

There were all sorts of stuff there, and people were really going crazy. The one thing I had considered was engraving my medal, but it was $20, and I really think that by next week I’ll never see this medal again. (Don’t forget I ordered a bib frame which comes with an extra medal, and will hang on my wall.)

I puttered around the rest of the day, and went out for dinner that night. (Monday night: all you can eat Sushi!) I wore my medal out to dinner, and although I felt a little nerdy, I was proud of my accomplishment. (It also explained to everyone why I was limping!)


I had a bunch of things to do, and I was out and about doing them most of the day. My quads were still pretty sore, and I was still pretty much hobbling everywhere I went.

In the evening I had to go to a family affair. This was the part of my family that had come out to cheer me on in Brooklyn. Apparently, a lot more of the extended family had come out, but because I didn't know to look for them, I didn’t notice them. (That, and the fact that a bunch of them came down after I had already passed!) Either way, I was kind of a celebrity last night, and everyone wanted to see the medal, and ask all about it. I don’t think any of these people will ever run the marathon, but they were really fascinated by the whole idea. It was really cool.

Wednesday (Today):

Still working on the recap! I have lots of things to say about this marathon, and it looks like it’s going to take all week to say it. I guess that’s kind of good, since I’m not sure where I’m going from here. Obviously, the blog title no longer applies. Let’s just say I’m aware…

I’m also still hobbling around the house. Tomorrow I go back to work, for a 24 hour call. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get around the hospital ok. At least there are lots of elevators around.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to run (or jog!) again. Today I’m not ready, and tomorrow I’m working. So possibly Friday, but I think Sunday will be more likely. For some reason, it’s kind of weird to think about that.

Next: Analysis...

Cool Pictures!

This guy ran the marathon with a camera, and took some great pictures. I think he really captured the race well.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I've been away from the computer since noon, and on my return I'm overwhelmed with all the comments. I'd like to respond to them a little more personally, but I'm so exhausted. (10pm has become 1am since the marathon!) Let me just say that I do love the comments, and I've read them all. I'll send out some emails tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow, I'll also continue with the post-race recap. In addition, I need to analyze what happened. Tomorrow.

Good night.

Recap - The Race

(pretty long)

Everyone started shuffling forward prior to the beginning of the race. There were no ropes or anything between the corrals, so I guess we were just squeezing in closer together. I started in the 33000-33999 corral, and ended up past 17,000 when we came to a standstill. At that point we could hear the very end of the national anthem. I don’t remember hearing the announcements, but we did hear the cannon. Although the back of the medal is inscribed with “the most spectacular start in our sport”, I didn’t see much of it until later when I saw the recap online.

We started slowly moving forward at this point. I saw an empty port-a-potty and decided to take advantage one last time. Considering that I was already in the last corral, it didn’t really matter much. I was already one of the last people in a green bib to pass the start line. It took me 12:04 to get there.

Once I passed the start line I had plenty of room to run, which surprised me. There were still people around, and tons of clothing lying on the floor, but there was room to move. I was on the lower deck, which I think is a little less cool, but it was still pretty exciting. I kept thinking “I’m running in the New York Freaking Marathon!” You could see the tugboats in the water shooting out red, white, and blue streams of water. (You could also see runners standing on the side making their own yellow streams.)

I finished the first mile in 10:15, which is pretty good, considering it was uphill. It didn’t really feel uphill though. I was surprised that I wasn’t passing too many people. I knew that some people finished in 6 hours and I was wondering why I wasn’t having to weave through all these people. (Maybe they started in orange?) Anyway, the next mile was downhill and went by pretty quickly, in about 9 minutes. I thought that was too fast, and made a mental note to take it easy, and go slow.

The next mile was basically the off ramp of the Verazzano, and running towards 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. On the off ramp we saw the UPS trucks drive by with our bags. A couple of the drivers honked us, but I was thinking about how my bags were being driven to the finish line, and it would be hours before I caught up to them.

There wasn’t much room for crowds on the side of the street at this point, but there was a lot of energy just from the runners. The sun was already out and shining down on us, and that did not bode well. I had hydrated like crazy beforehand, and was carrying a water bottle with me as well.

After the third mile, the green bibs joined up with the rest of the race. It seemed like their were a million runners that we merged with as we turned on to 4th Avenue. There were still barriers in the middle of the road, and each group stayed on their respective side, but it was crowded. This is also when the crowd support really started. There were tons of people lined up along the street, with a lot of kids noticeable. Because I had my name on my shirt, and run close to the sidewalk, I heard my name tons of times. I didn’t want to tire myself out giving everybody high fives (like I’ve read), but I gave a thumbs up and a smile whenever someone cheered for me. I had my headphones in my ears, but the iPod was off at this point. (I wasn’t sure what to expect later, and I didn’t want to be untangling my headphones later on if the crowd support faded.)

Just about mile 4 I saw my grandmother and great-uncle. They didn’t see me coming, but I knew where they were supposed to be, so I spotted them. I ran over and kissed them and I think they were shocked. (I’m pretty sure that in the 50 years they’ve both lived in NYC this was probably the first marathon they’ve ever seen!) I didn’t really stop, but it was energizing nonetheless.

4th Avenue continued to be amazing, and lasted until mile 8. There was tons of crowd support, and many different bands along either side of the road. Just awesome. It was kind of crowded and difficult to run. I did a little weaving because it was frustrating to not be able to run at my pace. I might have annoyed a few people, but I really tried not to be too aggressive. There was still a long way to go. I was running about 9:40 splits at this point. (My 10K split was 59:25.)

Mile 8 is where all three groups really merge, and the crowds were even worse. I truly understood what the phrase “mid-pack runner” meant at this point. We turned down Lafayette Street and headed towards Williamsburg.

Mile 9.5 to mile 10.5 is through a Hassidic neighborhood. There were still a lot of people outside, and definitely some people cheering, but it was quieter than the other neighborhoods. I actually have family who live there, and a great-aunt and cousin were out there at mile 10. Once again they were staring out at the runners and didn’t see me coming. But I spotted them and ran over. Seeing family and/or friends on the course is just a great feeling, especially when you’re running strongly.

We continued on through the top part of Brooklyn, and I don’t really remember too many details from here. I kept waiting to see the Pulaski Bridge which takes you into Queens, and you don’t really see it until just before mile 13. The bridge looks short on the map, but is actually quite long. The half-marathon marker is in the early part of the bridge, and I passed it at 2:07:24. I was pretty happy with that time. I’d really come to peace with not going for the 4 hour finish, and the 4:22 goal seemed like it was well in hand at this point. I actually felt like I was pretty strong at this point, and was holding back somewhat. (Keep in mind that I did the Manhattan Half in August in 1:55:44. I was almost 12 minutes behind that pace!) I thought I was going to run a negative split and possible finish this thing under 4:15. Little did I know…

The view from the Pulaski Bridge is spectacular. You can see downtown and midtown Manhattan, with the Empire State Building featuring prominently. It was really quite awesome, and a few runners stopped to take pictures. Other than the view, the bride was actually quite tough. It’s long and the uphill climb wasn’t easy. I could feel myself slowing down. Also, there’s no crowd support. I still had my iPod off so all you hear is feet pounding. Although I was slowing, there were other people really slowing, and I was passing some of them at this point.

Once into Queens you spend about a mile and a half there before reaching the Queensboro Bridge. There was a possibility of a friend of mine being here at this point. I was distracted scanning the crowds, and forgot about the photographers that were stationed here. Since the main reason I ran the marathon was to get the picture (only half kidding here!), I was annoyed at that. I saw them at the last second, and hoped I got into a good running pose while I was still in range.

The time in Queens went by fast. The only thing memorable was this long wall on the side of the road where a lot of guys stopped to pee. (Warning for non-runners: skip a few sentences.) I didn’t have to go too badly, but I didn’t want to wait at a port-a-potty later. I pulled off and assumed the position, but couldn’t relax enough. I had to lean my head on the wall to support my body, and then I was able to calm down a bit. My urine was pretty clear, so I was pretty happy with my hydration status. (Non-runners: resume reading here.) Since I was stopped I decided to stretch, but only briefly. My calves stretched ok. Then I tried my quads. I bent my knee and grabbed my foot and stretched. Whoa!! I felt the top of my hamstring go into extreme spasm. I had to hobble around for 30 seconds until it calmed down. I didn’t stretch my left side as aggressively, and I massaged my right thigh to get it to calm down. After a couple of minutes I joined the runners again, but I think I was a little slower.

Pretty soon after that we were at the Queensboro Bridge. Everyone says how this is the hardest part of the race, and you can feel and hear the excitement of the runners now that we were reaching it. I knew I had some trouble on the Pulaski but I wasn’t so worried since I felt I was well prepared from my hill running in Central Park.

Well, it was pretty freaking tough! I think the uphill part lasts for a mile. It seemed to never end. I didn’t stop to walk like many other runners, but I definitely slowed down. I think my split for that mile (16) was about 12 minutes. My quads were now really starting to bother me.

Coming off the bridge and looping onto First Avenue is supposed to be the highlight of the race. To be honest, I was in quite a bit of pain at this point, and didn’t really notice the crowd being so awesome. (I certainly had enjoyed Brooklyn more!)

As I continued up First Avenue I did notice how many people were out there. It was a beautiful day (for spectators!) and I’m sure that led to bigger crowds. Unfortunately I was in a lot of pain at this point. I was still running, but my splits were slowing down to close to 11 minutes. When I realized that my 4:22 goal was impossible, I adjusted it to 4:30, and kept on going.

By mile 18 I was really having a lot of problems. I wanted to stop and stretch again but it was tough. There were so many people crowding the sides of the streets, it was tough to pull over. Plus a lot of them were screaming “Go Danny”, which made it hard to stop running and stretch! I was expecting a friend at 1st and 100th so I pushed forward to see them with plans to stop and stretch when I see them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see them, and a few blocks after that I pulled off the side of the road again, and stretched. My muscles were so tight at this point, I couldn’t really stretch properly. As I reached the end of the stretch I felt too much pain and couldn’t stretch past it. (Maybe I should have?) I got back in and started running again, still hoping to break 4:30.

My roommate was supposed to be at 1st and 112th with some extra sports beans, so that was my next source of motivation. Unfortunately again, I didn’t see him either. (I later found out he was within a few blocks, but if you don’t know exactly where to look it’s really impossible to find anybody.) Once I passed that spot I really slowed down. I did a little more calculating at that point and realized 4:30 wasn’t going to happen either. That’s when I really lost motivation, and started my first of many walk breaks.

I had said before the race that my main goal was to finish this race running, without having to walk. Taking that first walk break was such a big mental blow to me, I really felt defeated. I wasn’t going to cry or anything, but I was pretty down at that point.

I tried to break into jogging as often as I could, but it was really tough, especially since my time motivators were now gone. I set myself a new, much more obtainable goal of under 5 hours.

Just before the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx I pulled off again for some more stretching. I took a few minutes to do that, and gathered up enough strength to jog up onto the bridge. The running traffic really bottlenecked getting on the bridge so it wasn’t too fast. There were more photographers on the bridge and I didn’t want to be walking when they took my picture. (Good thing there weren’t photographers at every mile!) The photographers were just after the 20 mile marker, which I passed at 3:25:01. (Doing a little math now, I can figure out I ran the previous 6.9 miles in 1:17:37, or an 11:15 pace.)

You only spend about a mile in the Bronx. Other runners have said it isn’t great there, but maybe because I live in the Bronx I kind of felt cool running there. I tried to pick up the pace a little. At mile 21 you take the last bridge, the Madison Ave Bridge, back into Manhattan. I can barely remember it.

The next three miles are down 5th Avenue. I was taking frequent walking breaks at this time. The mile markers now seemed to be 2 miles apart to me! I was really struggling both mentally and physically. At this point, having my name on my shirt became a source of embarrassment. Because I was going slower, I became an easy target. I kept hearing “C’mon Danny, you can do it!”, or “C’mon Danny, only 6 more miles. Pick up the pace!” I really wished I could hide my name at that point. I tried to feebly acknowledge some of those comments, but some of them were tough to take. After a little bit I remembered my iPod and turned it on. It didn’t totally block out the comments, but it distracted me a little. (I probably should have turned it on a lot earlier. I could have used the distraction from the pain.)

As we turned into Central Park at 90th Street I was really energized. This was my home park and I had been waiting to hit this stretch for months. I pumped my fists in the air and started running again. Somehow I felt a little better, at least for a little bit. I started doing some more calculating, and set myself a new goal of 4:48 which would get me under the 11 minute pace.

I was able to keep up the pace for a little while, before having to take another walking break. Ouch! Even the walking hurt me now. The crowds in Central Park were awesome, and although I was in pain, a part of me was taking it in and enjoying the experience. With frequent walk breaks, I was able to run with a decent pace in between. I think my prime motivation at this point was to get to the end as quickly as possible!

For the last mile you exit Central Park and run along Central Park South. I started to realize I could make 4:45, but also realized I could slow down a bit and still make it. I tried to run in the last mile but without a real time deadline it was pretty difficult. I walked and ran, and walked and ran. Just before getting back into the park, I took one last break, because I knew I wanted to finish the race running.

Coming back into the park you have about a quarter of a mile left. I was running at this point and it was really hurting. I knew I was going to beat 4:45 but I wasn’t going to stop running until I passed that finish line. I think fighting this little battle actually gave me a better sense of satisfaction as I finished the race. There were signs every hundred yards, “400 yards to go”, “300 yards to go”, etc. I just pushed right through them until I could see the finish line. Wow!! I couldn’t believe I was going to finish the NYC Marathon. I just powered on through, and with my arms in the air like I had just won the gold medal, I crossed that finish line at 4:43:50.

Now that felt amazing.

(By the way, doing the math again, the last 6.2 miles took 1:18:49, for a 12:43 pace. For the entire race, I ended up with a 10:50 pace.)

Next: After The Race

Monday, November 07, 2005

Recap - Before the Race

The Night Before:

I had had several meals over the course of the day, concentrating on carbs. But just to stick with tradition, I had a last meal of spaghetti at about 9:00.

I knew I was going to have to get up really early so I showered and shaved the night before. My race clothes had been laid out since Friday but I now tried on various pairs of running socks before choosing the first one I had put on. I also put aside everything I was going to run with: my Garmin, my iPod Shuffle, and 5 packs of Sports Beans.

I then packed two separate bags. One was the clear plastic bag I was going to check at the race, and the second was a bag of clothes for me to change into after showering. (I had big plans at this point to go out after the marathon and show off my medal!)

I listened to the end of the Leafs game online, and was in bed around 10:30 or so.

The Morning Of:

I got up at 4:45. Got cleaned up and then made myself a coffee (50 cals) and some oatmeal (160 cals). This was my usually pre-training run meal. Since this run was longer than usual, and it was starting later, I took along a breakfast square (220 cals) to have later on. In retrospect maybe I could have had more to eat, but I was worried about having too much in my stomach, and I certainly didn’t want any “major” bathroom breaks, if you know what I mean.

I then got dressed in my race clothes, over which I put on a pair of sweatpants and a sweater. I also wore my jacket as it was still pretty chilly that early in the morning.

My roommate was kind enough to wake up early and drive me to the bus pickup point in midtown Manhattan. We left the apartment at about 5:45, getting to the buses at about 6:15. There was already quite a long line and I finally got on a bus at around 7:15. (One port-a-potty break during the wait.)

The bus ride took forever. There were police escorts with us, but they were just making things worse. (I think our particular bus driver could have been there in 20 minutes if there were no cops around!) There was tons of traffic, and the police were just holding everything up without letting the buses through. Even when we turned onto the ramp for the Verazzano – which was closed to other traffic – we were still not moving. In fact, we were held up there for almost an hour.

This is where things got a little ridiculous. Everyone had been hydrating themselves all morning, and supposedly there were no bathrooms on the buses. Well for a half hour ride, that’s bearable, but not for a two hour ride! Fortunately, our bus had a bathroom, and even though there was a sign on it that said it didn’t work, our bus driver let us use it. When people in the neighboring bus saw us lining up at the bathroom (through their windows) they started getting off their bus, and coming onto our bus to use the bathroom!

Eventually, the system was overloaded, and people were running off to the side of the street to pee. Here’s where my dislike of cops was strengthened. There was the one policeman, who was being a total jerk the entire time. Well he starts yelling at these people to get back on the bus, and threatening them. These people were hobbling around in pain from their full bladders. It was really quite amazing what lack of understanding this guy had. Just another jerk in a position of authority - and abusing it. I was really mad at this guy. (Good thing I wasn’t driving – I probably would have just run him over.)

Anyway, they finally let us go through, but they tell the driver, “follow us and only go at 5 miles an hour”. So we’re driving on the Verazzano, with not one other car on the entire bridge, at 5mph. It was so ridiculous. They obviously had no idea what they were doing and were just trying to make up some sort of rules for us to follow. Finally about halfway over the bridge I think they realized how stupid this was, and they waved us by. It was about 9:15 when we got to Staten Island.

I know this is probably getting boring, so I’ll speed it up. At the “athletes village” there were separate areas depending on your bib color and your number. Fortunately I was near the “longest urinal in the world”. Really, it’s just a long trough, with a constant yellow stream running through it. It’s kind of gross, but it’s better than the girls who had to wait in line for the port-a-potties. There were definitely not enough of those.

I changed out of my sweats and checked my bag in. I had these paper pants and jacket with me, but it was pretty warm already so I didn’t need them. (I knew this was a bad sign.) I found my corral, which was the absolute last corral in the green section. I kind of sat around waiting for the time to pass. I had brought a newspaper, but forgot in the bag I had checked, so I really had nothing to do. Fortunately, there wasn’t much time before the race. About 9:55 I stretched and peed one last time. At this point everybody started getting together for the 10:10 start.

Next: The Race

I'm working on it...

That's the fourth copy of the finish time they've sent out. (I deleted two. The other one's got comments - precious comments.) I hope there's nobody still waiting at the finish line wondering where their family member is...

Anyway, I'm up and about. Having some trouble with stairs, but otherwise not terrible. I'll be working on the recap shortly.

I know I keep saying this, but the amount of support I've gotten here is really just amazing to me. I know a lot of people read the blog, but the number of people who were thinking of me yesterday, and/or tracking me, and/or leaving comments here, is really quite touching. (For lack of a more macho sounding word.)

Thanks again.

Recap soon...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Marathon Update: Danny Farkas at Finish in 4:55:54

ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert for Danny Farkas (race number 33474)

Daniel Farkas has finished the ING New York City Marathon in 4:55:54.
Congratulations! If you are meeting this person at family reunion,
please be mindful that it could take up to 30 minutes for him or
her to get there.

Note that all results are unofficial.

Thank you for using the ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert
presented by Road Runner High Speed Online. The ING New York City
Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners. Please visit
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org for complete results, photos, wrap-up
stories, and motivation for 2005.

26.2 - Done!


I did it. (Net time 4:43:50.) I kind of fell apart in the last third, and that's somewhat annoying. But I was able to finish strong (kind of) and overall it's pretty awesome to finish. NYC is a tough course, and it was pretty hot today (in the 70's I think).

Just so you know, it did help knowing that all you guys were out there tracking me. I really thought of all you guys every time I crossed one of those timing mats. I truly appreciate the support.

Of course, the race report will come. Just not right now.

Yeeaaahhh baby!!!

Marathon Update: Danny Farkas at Finish in 4:55:54

ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert for Danny Farkas (race number 33474)

Daniel Farkas has finished the ING New York City Marathon in 4:55:54.
Congratulations! If you are meeting this person at family reunion,
please be mindful that it could take up to 30 minutes for him or
her to get there.

Note that all results are unofficial.

Thank you for using the ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert
presented by Road Runner High Speed Online. The ING New York City
Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners. Please visit
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org for complete results, photos, wrap-up
stories, and motivation for 2005.

Marathon Update: Danny Farkas at 20 Miles in 3:37:05

ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert for Danny Farkas (race number 33474)

20 Miles: 3:37:05
Pace per mile: 10:51
Projected finishing time: 4:44:22

Thank you for using the ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert
presented by Road Runner High Speed Online. The ING New York City
Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners. Please visit
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org for mile-by-mile coverage and athlete
tracking during the race.

Marathon Update: Danny Farkas at Halfway point in 2:19:28

ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert for Danny Farkas (race number 33474)

Halfway point: 2:19:28
Pace per mile: 10:38
Projected finishing time: 4:38:56

Thank you for using the ING New York City Marathon Athlete Alert
presented by Road Runner High Speed Online. The ING New York City
Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners. Please visit
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org for mile-by-mile coverage and athlete
tracking during the race.

Thank You

Well it's the big morning. I'm nervous, but not overly so. But enough that I'm not going to say much now.

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support and encouragement you've given me. Not only in the last week, but over the course of my entire training period. Thank you.

Hopefully, this blog will be updated during the marathon today. I hope to be posting something quick later on as well.

Gotta run...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Would you cheer for this guy?

I "sharpied" up my shirt last night, and had dress rehearsal today. I think it looks pretty good. (That shiny logo is less noticable without a flash!)

I'm really getting into the excitement now. By staying sick it's made it easier to stop focusing un my performance. By going out and just trying to finish I think I'll have a better experience and end up doing better. I'll worry about speed the next time.

I should clarify that I still want to run this marathon. I will still have 4:22 as a goal to shoot for, as I think that will be helpful towards the end when I'll feel like slowing down and/or walking. (Yeah, yeah, yeah. I will if I need to.)

For those of you interested in tracking me, you can go the the NYC Marathon site and I'm sure they'll be instructions. All you need is my bib number (33474). I'm also planning on putting this blog in as one of my "athlete alert" addresses, so the blog should automatically be updated when I pass various checkpoints.

Thanks again for all the support!

Oh yeah. Before I go, check out this cool pic from the expo.

Good luck to all the other runner out there!

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Look what I've got it in my hot little hands. Wow!

I went to the expo today, and it was pretty unbelievable. I had planned to do all these things beforehand, but when I got there I was pretty much overwhelmed. I ended up just walking around in circles.

As predicted, I did pick up a few things. Fortunately, all the running clothes, socks, shoes, etc. were not priced any cheaper than usual. At least, I didn't feel pressured into buying those things. I did get the most expensive "bib frame" to keep my bib, medal, and picture all together. It was a little cheaper to get it today, but you can still cancel for two weeks. (Until I realized that I was a little uncomfortable ordering this before the race.)

I also bought some throwaway paper pants and jacket. They were $7 each, with another $2 for gloves. Considering all the money I'm spending or have already spent, it's worth it for the convenience. (Even if I will look like some sort of nuclear waste janitor before the race.)

I met Deena Kastor at the expo. I was pretty surprised to find out how big a fan of this blog she was! Ok, I'm just kidding, but it was kind of cool to meet her anyway. She's pretty small.

A lot of people have commented that the weather now says partly cloudy. Those thunderstorms? Completely disappeared off the forecast. (Although, the National Weather Service still says 40% chance of rain.) Which basically goes to show you that these forecasts are completely useless. (I always wondered why TV stations always hired "meteorologists", when they can get an equally inaccurate forecast by checking weather.com!) Nonetheless I keep checking...

I'm still coughing, but I think a little less. I'm definitely getting tired from it, and my abdominal muscles are starting to hurt. (I now try to push in on my abs before coughing, in order to lessen the strain.) I really haven't done much this week, and I hope that I'll feel better with another 2 days of rest. I'm not happy about this cough, but there's really nothing more I can do about it.

Meanwhile, the starting line gets closer and closer. I'm both nervous and excited. As I get more comfortable with the idea that I'm not going to finish in 4 hours, I get less nervous. I think 4:22 is a reasonable goal for me, and I shouldn't struggle that much to get there. Of course with warm weather, a cold, and this being my first marathon, I really have no idea. But I'm optimistic.

Less than 3 days to go...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm not sure why I keep looking

I know this keeps changing, and there's still time, but how annoying is this?

Hold the phone...

Ok, maybe I'm not really better yet.

During the day yesterday, I felt pretty good. Then the night came. Ouch. I couldn't stop coughing. I felt like I was up the whole night, and this morning did not feel good at all. Now I'm a little better. (Maybe it's a good thing the marathon will start about 6 hours after I wake up!)

I still don't feel my chest bothering me, and I'm not having fevers or coughing up phlegm. It's really all in my head and throat. So I don't need antibiotics, but I did go out and get cough syrup. There's about a thousand different things to choose from, but I just wanted a cough suppressant. So I got the cheapest and simplest thing: CVS Tussin, with Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM). I'm pretty sure I haven't had any cough syrup in at least 20 years. What's amazing to me is that with all the technology that's improved in the world, they haven't come up with a way to change the taste of cough syrup. I felt like I was 10 years old again, drinking the cough syrup out of that little plastic shot glass. (BTW, in the time it's taken me to edit this post, and answer all the phone calls and emails, I've realized it hasn't worked!)

Anyway, I also got some CVS version of Tylenol PM, which is basically Tylenol and Benadryl. I'm not big into pills, but I may try this tonight so that my coughing doesn't keep me up.

One other thing I bought was Vitamin Water. I probably won't even drink the stuff (I'd rather waste my calories on food!), but I liked the bottle. It has a wide mouthed opening, which might come in handy right before the marathon. (If you can't figure that out, see here.)

So what's with the weather?? It's now looking like the temperature will get to 70 degrees!! That's kind of hot. Doesn't anybody realize it's Novemeber here???

(Hopefully that "chance of rain" can hold off until nighttime!)

Tomorrow I'll be heading to the expo. (It's open for the next three days, but with all my excitement I just have to go already!) You have to go there to pick up your number. I'm sure that's all designed to sucker you into buying stuff there, and I'm sure I'll be one of those suckers. I'm just a little uncomfortable buying "finisher" memoribilia before having actually run the race. Any thoughts on that?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I think I'm getting better

First of all, thanks for all the support in the comments. I appreciate all the "virtual spectators" and all the advice. Traffic to the site has increased lately (now over 2000 served), and maybe that has to do with the proximity of the race. Excitement is definitely building...

As for my little cold, I'm still coughing a little, but my throat's feeling a little better. I don't feel bad overall, and it's definitely not getting worse. So I think I'll be alright.

I went out for a nice easy run today. I ran 4 miles, but kept the pace down to 10 - 10:30 min miles. I didn't have any pain, but I could feel little twinges in my legs here and there. I was thinking of doing another little mini run on Thursday (I need 1.4 miles to end up with a nice round 365), but I think I'll be better off just resting. 5 days seems a bit long to go without running, but I think the more rest I get the better. I worry about being "rusty" when the race starts, but 1) I'm not sure what that really means, and 2) I worry about a lot of things! I'm sure that once I get going I'll be okay.

I've made a few comments about finishing times. Let me say it here: A sub 4 hour finish is a dream goal. I don't think it's a good idea to shoot for it, but I'd be happy if it sort of happens. 4:22, or a 10 min pace, is my real goal. I would be happy just to finish, but I don't think I'd be satisfied walking in the last 10 miles. I recognize that finishing a marathon in any fashion is an accomplishment, but I've done all these months of training in order to actually run the marathon.

I think my plan of attack will be to start slowly on the bridge and not try to fight traffic too much. Then in the first half I'll try and run easy, at what feels like a comfortable pace, without too much strain. (I figure that will be 9:30 - 10 min miles.) Then as I move into the second half, I'll assess how I'm feeling. If I feel like I've been holding back, I'll try and pick up the pace a little. I'll never run as fast as I feel I can, because I've never gone more than 20 in training, and I know have to save some energy for that "wall".

Anyway, you can see that with this strategy, I'm unlikely to end up with a sub 4 hour performance by accident. I think that's a good idea, but I just need a little time to get used to it.

Continuing with my forecast checking, there are conflicting reports as to whether there will be showers. It definitely (if anything is definite!) seems like the weather will be on the warm side, in the upper 60's.

By the way, I'm really feeling that "taper madness". I've long been obsessed with the marathon, but lately it's reaching record heights. It's hard to do anything else. Heck, it's hard to think about anything else! I can't believe it's less than 5 days away. I'll be at the Expo in 2 days!