My NYC Marathon Story: Pink Sole Part 1

MARATHON DAY:

Getting there…

Up and about early, Jun and I as well as Rio put on our prepared running gears, had breakfast of coffee and bagel and boarded the car going to Staten Island.  We feel really blessed and grateful our family took us by car and we didn’t have to stress about how we were going to the starting line.  We were greeted with an early traffic at the freeway.  It was still early so there really was no reason to panic.  Almost all of the cars have  marathoners in them and somehow it assured us that we were all in this together.

Anyway, we stopped near the drop-off point.  It was still early and we had time for some photo-ops.

The Solemates with Coach Rio at drop-off point; Verrazano-Narrows  Bridge in the background

Soon it was time for Rio, who is running in the first wave, to go.  We wished him well and bid him Godspeed.   Soon enough, it was our turn to go.

The Solemates at the Staten Island drop-off point just before proceeding to the holding areas.

The Gear

Whew, it was coowwoold!!!  The cold wind was penetrating my layers and layers of clothing!  I felt so heavy starting the race.  Here’s why…  a list of my race day gear:

TOP:

1. Tank top

2. Long-sleeved thermal running shirt

3.  Thin jacket

4.  Thick Fleece Jacket (throw-away)

5.  Thick Sports Jacket (throw-away)

BOTTOM:

1.  Compression tights

2.  Thick jogging pants

HEAD GEAR:

1. shades

2.  ear warmers

3. beanie (for throw-away)

4.  cap

FOOTWEAR:

1.  Nike Lunar Glide+ (pink and gray)

2. socks

HANDS:

1.  gloves # 1

2. glove # 2 (for throw-away)

At the starting line…

Feeling like the native lumpia with all the layers I was wearing, I was still unbelievably cold while Jun and I walked on the closed part of the Staten Island Highway towards the entrance holding areas.  The cold wind was biting into my face, lips  and legs.  BRRRRR  I wanted to start running to beat the cold.

As we turned the bend towards Fort Wadsworth  to the runners’ entrance, the temperature started to become bearable with the combined human heat of runners walking side by side.  I could now walk without my teeth chattering.  Before long, we had to part ways to go to our separate holding areas.  I was assigned to the Green Zone with gunstart  at 10:10am while jun to the orange wave starting also at the same time.  I am so used to Jun giving me instructions where to go when we run in local races that I leave it up to him to make sure we get to the starting line on time. :)  This time I had to do it on my own.  Darn, why did they have to assign us in separate areas when we submitted similar estimated finish times?  Anyway, I found my way to the Green Wave and successfully deposited my bag to my assigned trailer.  It was around 10am and plenty of time to spare,  I walked around got myself a cup of coffee to help warm me up a bit more.  Soon it was time for my last portalet break and soon after, an announcement was heard for runners in the  green zone to go to the starting line.

Where is that exactly?  Couldn’t hear, didn’t hear.  I just went with the flow of people moving out while keeping my eyes open for directional signs along the way.   Had a little scare there when I didn’t see my corral right away. After a little confusion due to a wrong direction given me, i found it.   I barely made it in as the corral was closed just a few minutes after i went in.  I was at the end pack, my back against the wire fence.  There was barely any room for stretching which I wanted very much to do.  I made some attempts  but couldn’t do the hamstring stretch i knew i needed to do.  There just wasn’t enough space for that anymore.

Finally, Gunstart…

Mile 1-10

Race start was announced and we saw and cheered the first wave of runners crossing the Verrazano-Narrows  Bridge.  It was awesome! The place was really charged with excited runners waiting for their turn to run that bridge.

What a sight! Marathoners crossing the awesome Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Then our wave’s final call was announced and everyone seemed to take off their jackets and sweat pants.  The idea never even occurred to me.  I was hell bent on keeping all my layers until I cross the bridge.

Then, i realized a misstep… All the excitement made me forget to set my watch and foot-pod!  Tried but it was too late.  My watch was scanning and picking up signals from multiple devices and it was  impossible to match my watch with my foot-pod.  I abandoned the task and just concentrated on willing my legs and body to warm-up.  That was the first and last time I  looked at my Garmin.

Crossing Windy Verrazano-Narrows Bridge…

A close-up of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridges two levels.

I was excited crossing this bridge.  It felt surreal!  I felt real heavy, too! HAHAHA

What I heard was right after all.  That this bridge is where we’d feel most cold running on so, I was really glad I stuck to my plan and didn’t discard my outer jackets yet.  All those stuff weighed and slowed me down definitely but I couldn’t care less.  My focus was to make sure I am warm enough.  Objective achieved!  Going down the bridge, I felt heated enough to shed my 2 outer jackets and my sweat pants one after the other. I still had my thin white jacket on which I would zip up and down as necessary.

Have Fun Girl!

As I left the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge running on the wide highway,  people on the bridgewalks would call out. ” Go Girl!  Have Fun Girl”  I intend to do JUST that!  The crowd was still sparse but very encouraging.  It was just a preview of the grand welcome awaiting us as we ran off the highway and onto the friendly streets of Fort Hamilton Parkway.  Offers of  water, tissue, candy with friendly cheers greeted us.  It  seemed like the whole community was out in the streets.   Even babies were out in the cold all swaddled on their strollers  participating in this amazingly friendly and festive race!  Well… this girl here was definitely having fun!

I was taking in all the wonderful sights and sounds of the race making sure i remember every happy detail  – the crowd’s clapping and cheerful greetings,  the runners’ chatter.  I was running at a comfortable pace, taking time to return greetings and acknowledging cheers.  I wanted to record everything on video, too.  So, i would turn on the flip from time to time.

The Fall…

Then the unthinkable happened at Mile 8… I was recording… The flip on my right hand raised high to capture a video of the stream of runners in front and behind me.  Then… video captures the surface of the road.  WAHAHA I fell on all fours!!!  Slightly landing on my left and slowly sliding on the rough surface.  A good samaritan black woman runner helped me up.  I was just glad i didn’t cause people to topple over me or I would have felt so guilty.  I quickly dusted myself off, checked if my compression tights had a hole that would indicate a wounded knee but there was none.  Relieved, I continued running  tucking the flip back into its case determined to keep my spirits up.  Afterall,  no real harm done — just a slightly bruised left knee and slightly bruised ego.  Honestly, it was more funny than embarrassing to me.  HAHAHA Couldn’t help but laugh at myself!

Let the fun continue…

Next:  Part 2

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1 Response to “My NYC Marathon Story: Pink Sole Part 1”


  1. 1 Nora, the golden girl August 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Bitin!!!! Where’s Part 2????

    Congratulations Jun and Mariel (and to Coach Rio as well).

    I’m excited to read Part 2, hopefully soon!


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