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2006 Reckson Long Island Marathon
Between work, being a little under the weather and having a swollen, black and blue left ankle (due to basketball the week before), I haven't been able to update my site much recently with tech news, no less personal news. However, on May 7th, 2006, I competed in the 2006 Reckson Long Island Marathon. I chose to enter the full 26.2 mile race a few months back and even with my injury, I decided to at least give the race a shot.
I ran with my younger cousin John who entered the 13.1 mile Half Marathon. His training regiment was much better than mine with eating extremely healthy, running consistently and having run track previously at a very high competitive level. Therefore, my game plan was to run with him for the first few miles (or as long as he kept a quick, yet not blistering pace) and then hopefully settle into a groove where the miles would just mesh together into one mindless, blank blink of an eye. Well, this strategy worked for the first 17 miles - too bad 9.2 miles still remained.
The race started promptly at 8am and John and I ran shoulder to shoulder to start out. We hit the first mile marker in 8:24 which was really a sub 8 minute mile because it took us over 30 seconds to reach the starting line. After passing the 3 mile marker at 23:35, we passed family members who were cheering us on to give us yet another boost. Right at the 4 mile marker, which we hit at 31 minutes (our pace had quickened to about 7:30 miles), John increased his pace even more after the water station and I decided that this would be the point where I fell into a slightly slower, yet more comfortable pace.
From miles 4-8 I really don't remember much outside of running past some familiar streets in Westbury. Then, runners made a sharp left up the entrance ramp for the Wantagh Parkway. The parkway didn't hold many spectators so this was the first stretch of running where spectators did not line the course. At the 10 mile mark, half marathoners divert to the right off the highway while full marathoners continued left down the parkway. The number of runners going to the left were outnumbered by those going right by about 9 or 10 to 1. I remember thinking "Wow, am I making a mistake going left?", but decided I wasn't and continued forward. I hit the 13.1 mile halfway mark at 1 hour 45 minutes and was cruising on to a good time. At around mile 14 I felt the first pains in my left foot, but was able to continue without much distraction. Easy running ended around mile 17 where I was still moving at a pretty good pace having completed the 17 miles in 2 hours and 21 minutes. However, after the Wantagh Parkway turnaround, the left foot pain really started to kick in and I was slowed to a fats walk/slow jog for quite a few miles killing my pace and split times. At around mile 24, I decided that I had enough of the pain and decided to crank up the music on my new 60GB iPod and started running at a sub 8 minute mile pace. During this time, I must have passed about 30-50 runners with many of those being in the last half mile (about 20 runners had bunched together).
As I rounded the last parts of the course in Eisenhower Park, spectators started forming really picking up my spirits and allowing me to push the pace even more. Right before the finish line, I raised my arms and immediately started cramping (haha, bad idea) and slowed down as I crossed the finish line after 4 hours 9 minutes 16 seconds (9:31 mile pace) in 252nd place (see full race results here. All in all, I was partly satisfied I had completed the race in decent time, but considering my time after 17 miles, I was a little disappointed. After finishing my family stated I didn't even look tired and I really wasn't so hopefully before my next marathon I won't injure myself and I'll be able to hydrate better so I don't cramp at all. Hopefully, in mid-June, I will be selected to run in the IMG NYC Marathon, but I have to wait until the lottery has been completed. Definitely a lifetime achievement I can say I alwasy did, but now I'm hungry for more.
Finally, I want to thank all those who volunteered and the sponsors who made the race possible. Oh, and for all of you who doubted me, I told you so.