Finally, the long-anticipated NYC Half-Marathon Recap!
Where do I begin? I finished! And I rocked it in 1:24:23! It was a great way to kick off my birthday (did I mention Sunday was also the big 2-4?) and made it totally worth delaying the drunken celebrations to the following weekend and going to bed at 10pm
I had a few key learnings that may help recap my experience of this race:
- Keep it low-key & set low standards (haha, really): Going into this race, my B goal was to run around 1:28 and my A goal was to run around 1:27:30. When I realized was running a bit faster than goal pace in the early miles, I had to do some mental pep talk to not freak out that I’d crash and die later on. Once I saw I was maintaining and feeling strong through 10K, I decided to keep rolling with it and staying steady. The turning point was at 9 miles when I realized I could likely run around 1:25 if I didn’t fade out too hard. This was so exciting and really kept me going since I was ahead of my goal. Sometimes its kind of really mental! If I set out to run a 1:25 from the get-go, I think I would have been disappointed and worried early on. Low standards for the win
- Fuel before your body shows signs of needing it: I knew there would be gels between 9 and 10 miles, but by the time I got there last year (I had never taken a gel before last years race), I think my body was already feeling it and I had nothing to give the final miles. This year, I packed my own gel to take right after the 10K mark which propelled me through much of the 2nd half; either mentally or physically, it worked. I also took a gel at the 9.5 station but really hated whatever brand it was-kinda gritty/pulpy and too thick so I could only take half of it.
- I just can’t master water stops: I need to work on how to effectively grab water cups and take them without slowing to a walk, spilling all over myself, and choking as I drink/gasp for air. Any tips? Run laps up and down the block with a mock water station to practice? Hah.
- Enjoy the moment! Sometimes I get so caught up in hitting splits I forget to enjoy the fact that I’m running through amazing places like Central Park and Times Square! As I headed down 7th Ave I finally gazed up and got those little butterflies of enjoyment. We wouldn’t do this if there wasn’t some joy in it, right? I also dropped a 5:45 minute mile through Times Square; I know 7th Ave is a long, slight decline but I also know it was because I was actually having FUN!
Here are my (approximate) mile splits using Garmin with self-splitting each mile. Miles 10 and 11 are all screwed up since I thought I missed the 10 mile mark but actually hadn’t gotten there yet and pressed it too early-whoops!
Happy to see I definitely had fuel in the tank left to majorly drop the pace the last 2 (.1) miles, definitely was psyched up to break the 1:25 barrier.
And some fun race shots!
What’s your favorite part of a race? Do you take in the scenery or get too caught up in the moment? I need to do a better job at this, would probably help me take my mind off the pain! I am excited to rest and recover a bit this week, and then it’s on to training for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon on 5/21!