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 Good Luck MFOX!
Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 1:45 pm 

Mfox,

Good luck on Sunday at the New York Marathon. GO GET BOSTON! I'll be there, at least in Brooklyn cheering you and every other runner on. Have a great race and have fun! I can't wait to check here for your report and see if you reached your goal!


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:58 pm 

Go git 'em, MFOX!

If you place overall 1st, I'll buy you dinner at the restaurant of your choice. Promise.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:24 pm 

Hey thanks for all the encouragement. Nice offer, Rustyboy! You really know how to motivate a "middle of the pack-er."

This is my big race of the year and I tend to make a big deal of it during the week leading up to the race. Not only do I forcus on my tapper, stretching, and what I eat, I also put up some of my past NYC Marathon posters inside near the front door of my house. I bought one of the original marathon 2'x3' banners that hung somewhere along the rmarathon course back in 2003. It says "Route of ING New York CIty Marathon" in big bold letters. I hang this banner outside the front of my house. If my neighbors aren't already aware, this banner lets them know it's Marathon Week.

I took a long lunch break today and headed over to the Javits Center (three blocks from my office) for the first day of the Marathon Expo. Jeese...what a production that is. It was more crowded on the first day than it has been in the past. I think that's due to the fact that the Expo schedule has been shortened by a day this year. It used to be a four day Expo and this year it's only three days. But this Expo was just as exciting as any in the past.

After showing my ID, getting my Bib, scanning my ChampionChip to make sure it was correctly registered, I was directed into the NYRR/Asics merchandise area. This area is huge and has every type of official marathon logo apparel, accessory, and souvenir you could possibly want. It's hard to resist not getting something; everything looks so cool. But the last thing I need is more marathon logo clothing. So, I bought a shirt and cap anyway. Go figure.

There were a few things that I had been waiting to get at the Expo; to take advantage of discounted prices. So I quickly proceeded to a nearby booth to get a couple pair of Race Ready LD shorts and a supply of GU Gels. Then I moved on to the Pace Team booth where I picked up a special bib (worn on back) designating me part of the 3:30 pace group. For some runners, this special bib allows you to move up a bit in the coral system so you can start closer to the start line with the pace team leader.

Then I headed over to one of the booths selling the Tyvek jacket and pants. Since this is a point to point race anything you want brought to the finish line has to be checked-in with the UPS truck(s) long before the race starts. That means anything you keep to stay warm until start time has to be left behind (which then get's collected and donated). So, you need to wear something you don't mind getting rid of. The Tyvek stuff is fairly cheap and will provide pretty good warmth during the wait before the start. The top has a zippered front and is easy to put on and take off. The pants are slightly perforated along the outside seam and this allows you to tear them off at the last moment without worrying about gettng your shoe caught up in the pant leg. I wore these last year and they literally began to tear away as I headed to the starting line.

One of the most incredible things I've ever seen has got to be the amount of discarded clothing left all over the ground around the start area on the bridge (mostly off to the side). This stuff is literally PILED along the side. I'm always amazed at the quality of some of the stuff people decide to get rid of. I think a lot of people forget about what they're wearing and then realize at the last minute they need to get rid of their new running warm-ups or risk over heating during the race. It's almost hard to resist the temptation to stop and pick through it for new running apparel. I've seen perfectly good warm-up pants, tights, flease pull overs, running jackets, sweatshirts...you name it. If I'm ever not able to run the NYC Marathon I think I'll volunteer to work the start area just so I get first dibs on the left over clothing. It's amazing.

Anyway, once I got all the critical things I came to the Expo for I spent the next hour browsing each booth, picking up all sorts of freebies. Aside from all the snack food and energy drink samples there were the obligatory "thunder sticks" and cheer signs, temporary tattoos, frisbies, sunglasses, pens, magnets, and more food. Just about every booth had something to offer.

I saw Grete Waitz signing autographed photos. For those unfamiliar with who Grete is, she won the NYC Marathon nine times; '78-80, '82-86, and '88, and set the world record in 1978 (2:32:29). She's definitely one of my favorites. I also saw Bart Yasso (Runner's World Magazine) , Dean Karnazes (ultramarathoner and author of Ultramarathon Man) amd Sponge Bob. Unfortunately, I had to pass up the photo op with Sponge Bob. Other celebrities to appear at the Expo are Jen Rhines, Deena Kastor, Ryan Shay, Lornah Kiplagat, Paul Tergat, Marie Davenport, Jelena Propkopcuka, Abdi Abdiahman, and Chris Carmichael (Olympian and coach for Lance Armstrong).

Along with the the large exhibits by Asics, Addidas, Brooks, Power Bar, Gatorade, and Best Buy, there were smaller exhibits by companies selling new running gear; everything from new fangled orthotics and toe socks to recovery and training devices. There was one company selling a device you wear on the tip of your finger to measure heart rate and oxygen level (VO). I'm not sure how it actually measures your oxygen level, but it was getting a lot of crowd attention and so I wasn't able to get close enough to hear the guy explain how it works.

I was thoroughly worn out after spending about two hours at the Expo and then headed back to the office. It's kind of funny how I went there empty-handed, picked up my race packet and goodie bag that didn't weighed much more than a pound, but came backwith a bag full of "stuff" that must have weighed a good 15 lbs.

So, now I'll try to take it very easy the next two days (no running) and try to get plenty of sleep. My wife will drop me off on Staten Island just outside of Fort Wadsworth by 7 AM and I'll walk Fort Wadsworth (the "Athletes Village") with everyone else and spend the next couple hours either loosening up, relaxing, or standing in the porta-pottie line. Then I'll check my stuff into the UPS truck and start heading to my start coral. I'm actually getting goose-bumps thinking about the start; the boom on the canon, the voice of Frank SInatra singing "New York, New York," the feel of the Verrazano Bridge actually heaving up and down as a mass of humanity streams across, the fire boats below in New York bay blasting streams of red and blue colored water into the air, and the odd sight of guys peeing over the side of the bridge. It's incredible!

I'll follow up with a report as soon after the race as I can. Now I have to go program my Tivo to record the local and national race coverage on NBC (6 hours worth).


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:46 am 

Wow, the NY Expo sounds like it rivals the race itself for excitement!

Best of luck tomorow, mfox. Given your other recent race times, it sounds like you've got a great shot at meeting your 3:30 goal as long as you avoid drowning in the sea of humanity. :-)

I'll be watching for you on TV... go get 'em!


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:30 pm 

Well, as much as I hate to say it my marathon was the pits. NYC kicked my @$$ today. The weather didn't cooperate either. It was warmer than I had hoped and rather humid. The view from the Varrerzano bridge was pretty much non-existant. The bridge was shrouded in fog. There wasn't much of a breeze either. It was one of those days that was great for the spectators but not the runners.

I thought I was ready for at least a 3:30 marathon today and a Boston Qualifier, but I ended up with a dismal 3:48. My time was fine up to the 20 mile mark. Actually, I was starting to struggle a bit at mile 15 and started losing time from that point. I had been hitting 8:00 minute, or better, mile splits up until then. But from that point on my times started slipping to 8:08, 8:15... I knew at mile 18 I was dieing. At mile 19 I knew that I had lost all the time I had gained in the first few miles and my goal of hitting 3:30 was not going to happen. I think I was still on track time wise when I hit the 20 mile mark but since my pace was fading my clock time was fading too. I was still feeling optomistic that I was just going through a bad patch and I might come out of it. ButThen the wheels fell off (and the engine dropped out) just after I hit the 20 mile mark. The last straw may have been caused by pushing too hard to get over the Willis Avenue bridge into the Bronx hoping not to lose more time.

I started getting gastro-intestinal cramps and stomach cramps, my breathing was becoming more labored even on the flats, and my muscles started to cramp. I had to stop for a bathroom break around the 21 mile mark and lost a good 4 minutes. When I started running again I felt a little dizzy and weak and not refreshed as I had hoped. From that point on it was all I could do to get from one mile mark, or water, station to the next.

Beginning with mile 22 I started walking at each water station for about 10-15 seconds. As I hit mile 23 I started taking more 5-10 second walking breaks. I was determined to run the final mile without any walking. Just before I hit mile 25 I felt my right calf tighten. It wasn't painful but I could feel something was wrong. When I looked down I saw this big crevis on the side of my calve muscle. It freaked me out. I stopped dead in my tracks and tried to rub it to release the muscle spasm but it didn't relax. I immiediately thought "Oh my God I'm not going to be able to finish the race." I also thought my calf muscle was about to tear. I pulled my toe up towards my shin and it immediately released the spasm. I lowered my toe and it spasmed again. I raised my toe, rubbed it a few times and slowing lowered my toe and waiting to see if it would spasm again. After about 5-10 seconds I started running again. I felt it start to tense up a few more times and slowed a bit prevent it from spasming again. As I continued to run I felt my left calf muscle started doing the same thing. I was a little more than a half mile from the finish and all I could focus on was trying to prevent my calf muscles from spasming. I managed to complete the last mile in about 9:48. I doubt I looked very good but I managed to cross the finish line without needing to crawl.

I wish there were at least a moral victory somewhere in all of this. I was pretty disappointed after the race...especially as my legs seemed to be screaming in pain. But I eventually met up with my family and they were very supportive. We all went to Times Square and had dinner at the ESPN Zone. My legs feel better and though my pride is a bit battered I'm not going to get too down about it. I know I'm destined for good days and bad days. I'll be doing another marathon soon and hopefully it'll be a better day.

So, I'm not headed to Boston YET. But if I can turn this all around before the end of Frebruary there's still hope.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:44 pm 

Geez, in my mind, you ROCKED. You may have not met your projected time, but you made an amazing time, particularly considering how your body was screaming at you to just stop. Good on you! You pushed through the trials, and you finished, regardless of the pain, and you were able to walk away, have a meal, and enjoy the day.

There's no such thing as a bad race, buddy. We learn every time.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:20 pm 

Way to push through a very tough race! I'm sorry to hear you didn't hit your time goal for the day, but you still kept on through difficult conditions and persevered to the end. Given your description of the terrible cramping you suffered, I'm really impressed that you finished as strongly as you did. I'm pretty sure I would have just walked the last few miles if I'd been in your situation, or just bailed out all together. But you kept it together and pushed yourself to finish strong.

If it makes you feel any better, another friend of mine who was running NY today also had trouble-- he was aiming for a time of about 3:45, but finished in 4:00. So it does seem that the weather was less than ideal, or maybe there was just some negative mojo in the air.

Like you said, we know there will be good days and bad days, and we hope the good days will come when we need them most. Too bad today was a bad one for you, but there will be plenty more good ones ahead, like the day you had in New Hampshire not long ago.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:36 pm 

I was there, watching and can tell you for a fact that the weather was awful for a marathon. i got to my viewing spot in brooklyn between miles 6 and 7 at 9:30 and it was borderline hot, but the fog was keeping it cool-ish. by race time it was downright hot. there's not a doubt in my mind there was very few PR's set on Sunday. I was sweating standing in the street in a t-shirt. when runners started coming by, many, many of them looked fatigued already. even more were drenched with sweat, and noon and many more miles were yet to come for all of them. i felt sick to my stomach worrying about the conditions for everyone out there. mfox, i'm not surprised at all to hear your report and am also very impressed you pressed through that much disparity on a course that has very little shade. It sounds to me like your muscles got dehydrated and maybe casued the spasms. i heard meb had the same problem late, so you weren't alone. recover well and let us know your plans from here... congratulations on a heck of a performance on a race day that was not kind with the weather it delivered.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Good Luck MFOX! Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:20 pm 

I appreciate all your kind words of support. If I hadn't had such a positive experience at the NH Marathon I wouldn't be so bewildered by my performance yesterday. I'm just blown away by what a different experience I had yesterday. I'm actually kind of eager to give it another try real soon to see if I can run better than I did on Sunday.

If the Philadelphia Marathon were only three weeks away instead of two I'd be thinking about possibly trying to run it to see if I could do better. Maybe not a 3:30 but significatly better than a 3:48. So I'm looking for another nearby marathon in the next month or two. Part of my motivation to run long again is to have a goal to stay in shape...otherwise I'm prone to taking a month or more off and losing a lot of fitness I've gained. I'd run a marathon every month as part of a training run if I could. That is, if it didn't involve a lot of expensive travel and lodging.


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