Sunday, November 05, 2006

nyc marathon 2006 - commentary & pics

“I think I bit off more than I could chew,” said lance armstrong about the marathon. “Even after experiencing one of the hardest days of the Tour nothing has ever left me feeling this bad,” he said at a post-race news conference. “[My shins] started to hurt in the second half, but the bigger problem the last 7 or 8 miles was the tightness in my calves and thighs. My calves really knotted up. I can barely walk right now.”

even with all the tours-de-france he's won, obviously a marathon is still not something to be taken lightly. of course, you don't need lance to tell you that if you watch the marathon. but i'm getting ahead of myself.

i went out to hipsterville (aka williamsburg) to have brunch with euroskip at one of his friend's apartments. she lives right on the route and has a balcony, so it was a prime spot. we were at mile 11 so everyone should have been looking pretty fresh. i got out there around 10, and the disabled/wheelcheer folks were going by. they are so damn inspirational. here's a few pics...

this one, i just liked that they were colorful.

we hung out downstairs and waited for the leading women. you could tell when someone important was coming because of the police escort.

amazing how fast the elite runners are. and they make it look so easy. the women sailed by, one far ahead of the pack (we figured there was no way she was going to maintain that pace, and she didn't) and then we headed upstairs for coffee, eggs and kielbasa. soon the police brigade was back and it was time for the lead men.

so cool, so fast, so effortless. they were followed by the other fast men, and before it got too crazy i saw ramon in his team in training colors! yeah ramon! and then...the pack!


it went on like that for i don't know exactly how long but well over an hour.

and then after a little while, it got sad.

last year when i watched, i was at miles 18 and 23 or so. there you expect people to be in not-the-best-of-shape, walking, and looking generally miserable. what i did not expect, was for people to look that way at mile 11. and now that i know what running is like and how much effort has gone into my own training, my heart just went out to these people. i thought to myself..."you poor poor bastards!" they still had another 15.2 miles. it is a testiment to training. an inspiration to train. an illustration of the horror of what happens when you don't train.

after a while, it was depressing and i decided to head up to 120th and 1st avenue to meet up with the team in training cheering station. i wished euro and the hosts farewell and walked up bedford to take the l across town. this guy

must have been taking a short cut uptown...

i hopped off at 125th and headed east where i found a small crew of tnt'ers. it was good i went up there because shortly after i arrived, most of the crew left and it was just our social captain and me. we spent the next few hours yelling and hollering at our teammates. she was laughing because i'm so damn loud. theatre training comes in handy i suppose!
i recogized some of the folks from tnt that i saw from brooklyn and said how there was a lot of purple at the back of the pack. we saw a lot of hurting folks but we also saw a lot of strong people who were so excited to see us, greeted us with huge smiles and even would pick it up a little bit after some cheering.

wouldn't that make you smile?

we decided to walk straight down first avenue from 120 all the way down to 86th, yelling all the way. my favorites were the older guys that had "go grandpa!" written on their shirts, they were awfully cute. as we got to 96th or so, they were breaking down the water stands and sweeping up the cups and still the stragglers came. we figured these folks were going to be finishing between 7 & 8 hours. ooooooouch.

and that was my marathon day. i'm determined to both train hard and listen well to my body for the next few months. i'm already strong enough that i know i am going to still have a smile on my face at mile 11...mile 13...and maybe even mile 15. now i just need to work on 16 through 26.

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