The New York City Marathon 2011. This makes seven NYC’s for me and overall almost twenty. This year wasn't any less difficult than it was last
Year, That's not a good thing since I was in pretty bad shape last
year injury-wise. Anyway, I signed up for this beat and decided to
listen to my guru god Nike and just do it. Last year I was pretty bad
because of my injuries but somehow I managed to get in around 4:11.
The non-injured me would have scoffed at the idea of coming in over four hours but my last couple of marathons had me running injured resulting in a very bruised ego. This year my injuries have not let up or allowed me to run any sort of speed work resulting in much slower times (not to mention more excuses) than usual.
The marathon itself was sort of dragged on for me but the build was nothing short of awesome. Since I work with runners in a running store I got the benefit of soaking in the energy from hundreds of tourists that stop by work every day during the week leading up to the big day. On top of that many cool, new shoes were unveiled and special
editions came out that week as well, which meant lots of free stuff
for yours truly. Let me not to forget to mention celebrity runners that stop in to appease their sponsors. This was Christmas for runners.
Look what I scored marathon week!
I also had the opportunity to run with Ryan Hall who proved to be a pretty cool guy. Foot Locker’s RUN was sponsoring this run and I made it on my
dinner break at work toward the end of the event. When I saw the group running with Ryan I noticed a few people hanging on to his every word. A couple of guys running behind him were drooling over his calves (I kid you not) and others were running ahead of him and that struck me as funny. So I used it as an ice breaker, "Hey Ryan, you think those guys are running ahead of you so those can post on Facebook that they were faster?" It got a laugh out of him. He replied "You wouldn't believe how many people post pictures saying just that." I was satisfied. We bonded over my sarcasm. I got to run with him for a little over a mile. He asked me about my marathon and I told him my sob story (whaah I'm injured, whaah I haven't run like a normal person in 2 years whaaaah). I also asked him if he ever heard of Phil Wharton and I was pleased to receive a very enthusiastic yes. He asked if I had been to Phil’s studio. I mentioned that I had his DVD on stretching and it was a big help so far. I told him about a friend who went to their studio and was impressed at the amount of Olympic and pro athletes they work with on a daily basis. Ryan said they were great there and suggested I make an appointment. If you're interested in learning more about Phil Wharton, you can visit the website at http://www.whartonperformance.com/. The DVD has been a tremendous help so far and I also bought his book on stretching to get a little deeper into it.
I also had the opportunity to meet Desiree Davila at Paragon Sports. In case anyone has forgotten, Desiree ran the 2011 Boston Marathon, finishing in 2nd place by two seconds and setting a 4 minute PR. Her time of 2:22:38 is the fastest time ever run by an American woman in the Boston Marathon. In my opinion had the race gone on for another 400 meters she would have won. I came to this opinion because the winner passed out at the finish line while Desiree hardly seemed out of breath.
I had a little fun with Desiree too. I asked her if she thought Meb
Keflezighi was a sell out for sponsoring those god awful Sketchers.
She smiled and gave me the politically correct answer which was "if a
company like sketchers wants to sponsor an athlete like Meb I'm sure
they are going to custom make an great shoe for him."
I got to meet up with Ryan Hall a second time and asked him the same question and he let out a little laugh and gave a similar answer. I then told him when that story came out all the runners and I at work "laughed our asses off” and wondered if he was going to run in Shape-Ups. With that said, I can not begrudge Meb for trying to make a buck. He won New York in 2009 and that may be the only time he wins a marathon so he should cash in now before it’s too late. I always say it is not the shoe that makes the runner but the genetics and training.
Marathon Day to come in Part 2…the race recap you wouldn’t want to write but don’t want to miss.