Queens! You spend a mere two miles of the NYC Marathon running through Queens. But if I could give out a “Most Improved” award, I would give it to Queens. At least when comparing the crowds from 2007 to 2009. In 2007 there were a few sparse spectators but in 2009 the sidelines in Queens got crowded and loud! Not quite Brooklyn loud, but loud nonetheless.
For me, Queens is generally when I get to see the first of my personal cheering crowd. So that is exciting and a big pick-me-up. When I am about to see my friends and family I always try to look smooth. If you are a runner, you totally know what I mean. You pick up your pace a little, straighten up a bit and look like you are totally running relaxed, like this marathon is no big deal. I don’t know why I do this, I am fooling no one. I do the same thing when I see the camera people. There have been a few times when I have not spotted the cameras but they spotted me. Ugh, those pictures are the truthful ones. I have one from the Boston Marathon where I am actually grimacing. I didn’t even know my face muscles knew how to grimace.
Anyway, back to Queens. Queens is a pleasant stretch that is pretty flat and now with the increased fan support you can run this borough nice and easy. Maybe even give the camera person a real smile. To be honest though, since the run through Queens is so short, I can’t help but get focused on the Queensboro Bridge; my gateway to Manhattan. When I hit Queens I know I am getting close to my favorite borough.
This was an excellent training week for me. My 18 mile long run was my best yet. I ran at marathon pace, with ease, for the middle four miles, which was nice. I am definitely reaping the benefits of cooler weather. I actually delayed my long run till Sunday to take advantage of cooler weather. So on Saturday I ran 4 miles and took a 45 minute spin class. I doubled up because I refused to get the four miler in on Friday when it was 90 degrees. I am just done with the heat. So I was surprised that the 18 miles came so easily on Sunday. Maybe I am in better shape than I thought. That would be really nice.
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