The Knickerbocker 60K
Saturday, November 18, 2007
So many huge hugs and thank yous are in order to each and everyone of you for making it possible for Julia and me to run the Knickerbocker 60K as successfully as we did yesterday. I was pleasantly overwhelmed to see that Marie, Paul, Rick, and Li were starting the journey with us, 9 loops of the 4-mile course in Central Park plus an extra 1.2miles out-and-back, and Andy and Pennsylvania Joe were ready to cheer us on! The race started early (7:00AM), and the temperature was 36 degrees at the start. About 2 miles in to the run we picked up Diane, which was a huge and meaningful deal as it was still quite early in the morning! :) Soon after we picked up John, who also made quite an effort to join us, driving in from Westchester! As the loops seemed to go by, we picked up the Glorious Great Grace (loops 2-4), Rob Rousso (loops 4-5), Gregg (Loops 5-9), Karen and Fam (loops 6-7), Ive (loops 7-9), Kathy (loop 8), and Dave (loops 8-9)!
It was such a treat to run, chat, and laugh with all of you. I have memories of conversations about marathons and living in Italy, racing people in the park, fashion design, The British Shorts guy, pilates, which guides hadn't taken the Achilles Guide class, The NYAC girls, pigeons and gelato, soccer, a song about love and desire "put you to bed, to bed, to bed", resort getaways and steak houses in Arkansas, running Boston again, the "Bell Woman", double ironmans, and that crazy volunteer on the west side who kept yelling at me for not throwing my cups in the garbage! All of these things made the first 29-30 miles go by so quickly; and then I just took my mind to a Zen-like place, and focused my energy on keeping myself going at a steady pace. One of the cutest things for me was that it felt like Julia and I had our very own personal rabbits the entire way. We had Always Even-Paced Marie to start us off (and to stash and help us find our food), Fast-Irish John whose tail we had to tug on a couple of times b/c he was flying though we still had 6 loops to go, Easy-Rob who jumped in to slow us down a bit, Mr. Watch-Gregg who was great at giving me my splits, and Metronome-Dave who joined us for the final and toughest 7 miles.
Everybody was extremely helpful at the water stops, and with keeping us fed. But the words of encouragement were the best source of energy I could have ever asked for, and will remember. The last few miles felt like they
were going by so slowly as my legs were feeling the pounding on the road, and my last gell did very little for me. Getting to the finish became a mental challenge, and each of you gave my mind and heart the fuel needed to carry me home. (Cris, robbin and Jeff, it was great seeing you out there cheering!) As Julia took the tether for the last half a mile, I could feel my heart pounding harder and faster each second, and we both began to sprint home. It was exhilarating to finish strongly, and to share our finish with Gregg, Dave, Ive, Andy and Rick! (Thanks for my delicious Hot Chocolate Rick!)
Julia and I crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 33 minutes, and 40 seconds, finishing our first 60K! We placed 3rd and 4th females, respectively. I am so grateful to all of you for joining us, and for making our goal of running a 60K possible. To Julia, my Partner In Crime, you are truly an energizer bunny, so willing to meet my running schedule needs (Business school is unpredictable), to run so many miles for hours on end, and for being an incredibly supportive woman and friend. Gregg, thanks for training to run the last 20 miles with us, for letting me drag you into the madness!
Sunday, I will admit, my legs were a bit sore, though not as sore as I thought they would be. I've felt worse after some marathons! My first run, and form of exercise, was this morning, and thankfully all seems to be functioning well. I hope we can run together again, or to see you in the Park soon.