Week #13, 14 & 15

My apologies for not keeping up with the posts. I had a little set back but I am up and running again both literally and figuratively. Not running makes me feel unbalanced so it you thought the world was off-kilter the last couple weeks it was all my fault.

Week 13: Your Arrival Into Central Park
There is something about entering Central Park that is significant. It is like the final march to the finish line. Shortly after entering the Park you will hit the 24 mile marker so you are in the home stretch! Entering the park, where you know the finish line is located, is a nice pick-me-up.

When I was a spectator in 2010, I cut through CPK from the east side to the west side to meet my friend at the finish. As I passed under the course through a tunnel I heard the screams coming from the crowds. It was intense and it sent goose pumps up my spine. The crowds were a few people deep and the enthusiasm was a mile high. What a great way to finish a race. There is nothing like intense crowds to cheer you into the finish. You will also get to take in some nice Fall foliage in Central Park.

Week 14: Exiting Central Park
It is sort of fitting that both these highlights wound up in the same post. As much as I love the feeling of finally making it to CPK, I really hate the feeling of leaving it. I was warned the first time I ran NYC that I would come out of the park at the southeast corner and run along Central Park South to Columbus Circle. Even though I was warned I found myself in complete denial when the course exited the park.

Once you exit the park you have less than a mile to go, but exiting the park will make you feel like you are getting further from the finish line and that is hard to handle that late in the race! It is totally psychological but, I don’t know about you, I am a complete nutcase my mile 19 so this is a lot to handle at mile 25.  I know the reality is that a mile is a mile, whether it is a straight shoot or a bit of a round-about.  You just need to ignore the fact that you are moving away from the finish line! The crowds along Central Park South are awesome and will give you the boost you need to get to the finish!

Week 15: Re-entering Central Park (did you think this would be anything else?!)

The right hand turn you take at Columbus Circle to re-enter CPK is one of the sweetest turns. Once you re-enter the park you have a mere 0.2 miles to the finish line.  As soon as you take that right hand turn you will feel the finish line.  If you have run a marathon before, you know what I am talking about.  You don’t have to see the finish line to feel it (and you won’t see the NYC Marathon finish line until you are on top of it).  You will see the race officials, hear the music and feel the intensity of the crowds pick up.  Runners straighten up, their shoulders come back, paces pick up and smiles come out.  The finish line is becoming real and everyone is feeling it.

I have jogged along this stretch quite a few times.  On a normal day, this stretch is full of joggers, walkers, and bikers, out for a workout, chatting with friends and taking in the beauty of the park. On race day, this stretch is unrecognizable.  It is intense and triumphant as runners make their final dash to the finish. It is impossible to replicate the race day intensity on a normal day.

Phew! I am now caught up with my posts!  I have to admit I am torn about the decision to go forward with the marathon.  However, NYC is a tough city and bounces back from adverse events very quickly.  It is what makes the city so amazing. I have no doubt NYC emerge more than ready to host the best marathon ever.  And I am proud to be able to take part in it!

Thanks for following.

Dawn

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