Yesterday was the day that I know you have all been DYING to hear about…SO, I am going to tell you ALL about it!
Sunday morning I woke up at 5:45 with more energy than I thought I would have. I think it was FINALLY hitting me that it was race day–I was about to run my 3rd half marathon and go for a pretty hefty goal. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to eat a good breakfast and contemplate whether I was going to do my normal pre-race run to the park or take a cab.
For breakfast I ate half a sesame bagel with peanut butter. Yummy leftover H&H bagels from our St. Patrick’s Day brunch. It was delicious.
I usually can’t eat much before a race but my nerves weren’t too bad for some reason so I ate the whole thing and drank a glass of orange juice and some water. I ultimately decided to take a cab on my way to the race because I was running a little late and shared with two girls who were going to the race as well. I guess everyone was taking cabs to the start because there were NONE!
Once I got to 5th avenue and saw the masses of people checking bags and starting to enter corrals I got really excited. The park was looking beautiful and I knew that I was going to have a great race day.
The temperature was a little cooler than what I had anticipated at the start but I think I dressed perfectly–capris, hat, sweat wicking long-sleeve, t-shirt over top. Of course it was super crowded early but I think people were amped to start because we were off and running before I knew it!
At the start of the race I was calm just thinking about keeping my pace and trying to remember not to start too fast. The “not starting too fast” battle is one that EVERY runner deals with. I mean come on…you don’t really realize how long 13.1 miles is until you are at mile 8 and out of fuel…right?
I won’t bore you with all the details but there were a few things to note:
1. I think I run better on a semi-empty stomach. I should have stuck to the half of an english muffin that I usually eat. Or at the most half an english muffin with a few GU chomps. I had some stomach issues along the way, but luckily they were sorted out with several trips to hydration stations (running through and spilling on myself, naturally)
2. Running east side to west side in the park is definitely more hilly. Eek, luckily I trained this route, and luckily the course is more downhill than up…but sheesh! That change was all mental for me this year.
3. Changing the course finish was a mental roadblock of sorts. Last year the course ended on the westside highway around what was, this year, the 9 or maybe 10 mile mark. Hmm 3-4 miles left to go…when you remember ENDING there last year? Not the easiest…but I did it!
4. Realizing you are going to PR in mile 10 is a mood booster. Around mile 10 I was able to do the math in my head that I was going to PR, and better than that MAYBE even make a 1:45 time. It was an amazing mood booster and I probably was going about 10 seconds faster per mile after that!!
5. Seeing your family is ALWAYS a mood booster.This year I had my family/friends stand right at mile 13. Seeing them really gave me the boost I needed to sprint to the finish. Having a support system, no matter where they are on the course is one of the best and most important things on race day (in my opinion)!
My time was 1:47:46 and I am EXTREMELY happy with that. It was a 5 min, 6 sec PR for me and around a 22 minute course PR for me.
My improvement over the course of a year (no pun intended) amazes me. 1 year ago in March I ran my first half marathon at 2:09:15. That is pretty cool. Also I looked A LOT less like hell when I finally met up with my family. Check out this post to see me after the race last year, hehe.
After the race it was a pretty relaxing day. 2nd annual post NYC Half Marathon brunch with my mom, boyfriend, and friend Jessie, followed by a much needed shower and 21 Jump Street (which everyone should go see!!) I went and got a well-deserved manicure and PEDICURE, some DELICIOUS pizza for dinner (and a beer or two)
I fell asleep at 9:30 last night, with my TV on and slept until it was time to finally wake up at 7 a.m. Let me tell you…that sleep was great!! This morning I still had my runner’s high and all I could think about was how I can’t wait to do it again!! 13.1 is my FAVORITE distance, but in T minus 4(ish) months I get to test my limits and take it to the next step!
Hope everyone had a great weekend–Happy running Monday!