I am loving this Marathon mania. I spent four and a half hours today standing the cold cheering on all the NYC Marathon runners! I had such a fun time even though I didn’t have any friends with me. I screamed the names of as many people as I possibly could. One guy’s shirt said “Bacon!” so of course I yelled BACON! to him, much to the amusement of the people surrounding me. This lady didn’t realize people had their names on their shirts and said to me “You know half the city!”
The excitement actually lasted all week. Yesterday I volunteered at the marathon expo to fulfill my volunteer requirement to gain guaranteed entry to next year’s marathon. My job was shouting “Have your registration and IDs ready!” for four hours. It was a shock I even had a voice to cheer today. Also, did you know screaming for hours can give you a headache?! I’m used to only screaming for 5 – 8 seconds.
Here I am looking all official at the expo where I ran into Missy. I had no idea she’d be there since she has nothing to do with the marathon!
Looking official at an event like this gives you a ton of power. I could have told these people anything and they would have believed me. I probably should have used that to my advantage with a few of the boys I saw there.
And last Sunday, a week before the marathon, I ran the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5 mile race. After my first post-injury run — which was way too fast — I went into this race determined to keep it slow.
I decided to rely heavily on my Garmin and run the race at a 10:30-11:00 pace. I met up with Fiona before the race and that made the time fly. I’ve chatted so much with Fiona on Twitter over the last eight months or so about Core Fusion and running and life, I can’t believe first met at this race. We talked and took part in the organized group stretching session. I really wish I thought to take pictures! Sometimes I am a terrible blogger. It was fun being part of a crowd stretching to someone’s instruction from a stage.
We started in the corral together but I told Fiona to go off ahead of me since I would be trying to run slower than she planned. I put my headphones on and played my slow songs playlist. I LOVED it. If you ever want an excellent playlist for a relaxing run, I highly suggest this one. Each song made me feel overjoyed and they were all slow so I never felt pressured to pick up the speed.
SLOW SONGS PLAYLIST
A few quick notes on every single song. OK maybe not so quick after all since there were 15. Paper Aeroplane by Angus & Julia Stone is just awesome, I learned it from Erin Jacques’ Music Yoga Flow at exhale. Erin has the best taste in music. You and Me is one of my favorite new Dave Matthews Band songs (seeing him in concert for the 13th time on Friday — thanks GRWAM!) and I always think about putting it on a race playlist, but then change my mind because it is pretty slow. Well this was the perfect time and the perfect song. It makes me so happy. Sideways. So, so good. Download that right now. Citizen Cope is awesome and the song is slow and contemplative and sexy.
Anna Begins, I mean, of course I would choose this — do you know me at all?! I might have started singing out loud during this one. I started wondering during this song how Adam Duritz can write such emotive lyrics and at the same time write ridiculous things on Twitter. And just the other night the other night he revealed what I (incorrectly?) thought his beautiful lyric from A Long December actually means. Tweeted Adam, “You look across a crowded room to see the way that light attaches to a girl” means “When she stands by the window, I can see thru her dress.” Lovely.
It reminds me of that time he went on Howard Stern in a bunny costume, sang the most incredible version of Round Here, and was completely incapable of acting normal or seriously answering any of Howard’s questions. Howard even said to Adam, “You’re making a lot of jokes today, I really wish I could have a serious discussion about your pain.” My thoughts exactly.
In Adam’s defense, he came out on the stage before his show in 2009 and made a pretty awesome political speech. Anyway. Heart Skipped a Beat. I will never stop loving this song that I learned from Rachel. Every time I hear it, I am shocked by how unique and amazing it is. I got to see The XX live for free at Central Park this summer and they were incredible. Just a Boy is another one I learned from Rach and it is uplifting and chill and beautiful. Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd is a sweet Dave Matthews Band song that I always liked, but never loved until my favorite Core Fusion Yoga teacher started playing during class. Now it is one of my favorite songs of all time, and whenever I am on 55th and 3rd I smile. Hard to Concentrate — learned it from my brother’s wedding CD, included it in my Divas Half Marathon race playlist, love it so much. Turns out I like RHCP more than I thought. Sun Comes Up, John Legend, awesome. Yes, I have it from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. Don’t judge.
My new favorite band is Mumford & Sons and White Blank Page is so sweet and powerful at the same time. B*****s Ain’t S**t lifted my mood even higher than it already was because it never fails to give me a good laugh. I love how serious Ben Folds sounds, like he truly does not give a f*ck where the bitch was at as long as his mothaf*ckin pockets was fat. I believe it.
County Road by Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga is so pretty! They sang it as his show this summer and I came home and downloaded it immediately. Love that I got to use it in a race. I’m really into songs lately that include dialogue — other examples include Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and I Wish That I Could See You Soon by Herman Dune. Candlebox’s Far Behind was a favorite of mine the first year of college. My roommate only knew, like, six songs and she had them all in a continual loop. This was one of them.
This was also the perfect song to sprint to at the finish line because it gets intense! Yep, I finished the race to my second to last song, but my perfect timing was not compromised. I had an iPod issue when I took my jacket off at Mile 2 and had to start Just a Boy over midway through, so I *would* have heard every song. So even though I didn’t run to Winter Winds, another Mumford & Songs song, just know it is awesome.
Back to the race!
The entire run was so chill and so much fun. It was a perfect fall day and ideal running conditions. Even though I wasn’t running super fast, the miles flew by. It was all so easy! No knee pain, no ankle pain and no hip pain (my right hip flexor was painfully tight before the race but loosened right up). For the first time in my life I drank coffee before the race and I did fine with that too. I was really into my music and my thoughts and the beautiful scenery of the park. I was totally in the zone; I didn’t even notice the photog at the bottom of Cat Hill (which we ran DOWN). That is how you know I was in my own world since I usually seek the race paps out. I had a hilarious writing idea for the blog but of course I forgot it as soon as I stopped running.
As I got to the last mile I felt strong and I knew I could start to push my pace a little. And since I held back the entire race, I was strong enough to really sprint at the end! I never get to do that the way I’d like because I’m usually so beat by that time. Here I am sprinting through the finish — feeling great!
I needed this race — running on a gorgeous day without worrying about time reminded me why I love to run.
Official time: 53:00
Official pace: 10:36
And Garmin says:
Thanks to this race I am confident that I can get back on a running schedule and start getting in some long runs again. After all, I have a marathon to run in 363 days.