NYC Half Race Review

You never regret signing up for a race after you cross the finish line. I really wasn’t feeling this race. Sunday’s high was projected at 32 degrees with wind and snow, my legs were tired from marathon training, I didn’t have pins for my bib, and I just kinda wanted to sleep in and not deal with the logistics of a big city race. I’m so glad I signed up for this race. There’s nothing like New York City being shut down for you, and running through Central Park, Times Square, and down to Wall Street. The 1:26:51 finish time was icing on the cake! The snow waited till after the race, and it was “only” 34 degrees at the start.img_3912.jpg
Marta and I joke that after a race we check our official time over and over again, with hopes that the time will magically down. It never does. I didn’t know what my official time was when I finished because my garmin pooped out on me the last 1.5 miles when we were in the Battery Park Underpass. I was told my official time was 1:26:57 which I was super excited about because I knew I ran more like 13.5, and my splits were way better than my previous PR. Later in the evening I checked my official time. 1:26:51. Seconds matter 🙂

While I was running it just felt so darn smooth. I don’t know how to explain it, but all those workouts Michelle’s wrote for me, I could just feel them helping me run with ease. I ran a 6:26 at mile six, and just though I’d see how long I could hold on to that kind of pace. I stuck around 6:30s for the rest of the race.

As soon as I finished the race I rushed back to Hastings-on-Hudson to shower, eat, and head back into the city to be with the fam. We hung out in Greenwich Village, recreated the food tour I took for my bachelorette party way back in 2009 by visiting the famous Joe’s Pizza, rice balls from Faicco’s Italian Store, and Milk & Cookies (that s’more cookie hit the spot). Brent and I walked the High Line, then head back to Pleasantville in Westchester County to see some of his Georgetown friends.

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The NYC half wasn’t the reason I came to NY. It was just a way of not having to do my long run by myself, and seeing where I’m at a month before Boston. We came to celebrate Carmen + Jim! I can’t wait to be an Aunt to a girl in May! Alicia went above and beyond planning a beautiful shower. She made Gerber candles, brought a bunch of delicious food from DC, made banners, made games, created the invite. Thank you Alicia. I can only take credit for the cupcakes and cupcake toppers and the Name the Storybook game. Colby was my little assistant with passing out pens when we played games. IMG_3940.JPG

And back to the race. A few things I learned yesterday. English muffin with Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter, and strawberry jam with a cup of coffee is pre-race perfection. Trust yourself when the pace feels right. I was scared when I started running 6:30s, but I just went with it and managed to hold on. Make friends. I’m not sure if he appreciated it, but I met a guy around mile 5 from LA. I noticed his Village Runner t-shirt and struck up a conversation. On the subway back to Grand Central Station I nerded out with a bunch of finishers who were also using this as a tune-up run for Boston and missed my stop. It’s fun meeting people from all over the country at races. Get to know who is out there.

PROs:

  • Starting line waves and corrals were well organized, making for the least amount of congestion possible when you have 20,000 people running in Central Park.
  • Plenty of water on the course and bathroom lines were really short.
  • Awesome course. Fun to run in Central Park, through Times Square and towards Wall Street.
  • International race. People from all over the world!
  • You get to run a race with elites. Molly Huddle was in my wave!
  • NYRR’s got its logistics down. The finish line blankets even had tape to keep them from flying off you in the wind.
  • Nice, classic medal.
  • Finish line video.

CONs:

  • Expo was apparently meh. Marta picked up my bib.
  • Lottery or qualifying to get in. Tough to get a spot.
  • Not as much crowd support as I would have expected, but I’m guessing the cold had more to do with this.
  • Crowded most of the race. Hard to push the pace in the early miles. Did some weaving even at the end so I ran more like 13.4.
  • Hilly course, although personally I like a challenge. No more downhill courses for me.
  • Westside Highway is really windy.

Thanks for waiting a day, snow 🙂

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