Saturday, March 24, 2012

NYC Half Marathon Race Recap and more


The excitement started Friday afternoon when I was able to miraculously leave work early to catch my 50 minute flight to NYC. I always feel bad leaving work for others to complete, but was soooooo excited to get out and to the airport.

Best part: It was SUNNY and in the 60's in Rochester on March 16th!!!

Obviously, the first thing I did when I got home was put my cute sandals on.....and finish packing (yep, nothing like leaving things to the last minute Laura). Poor Alex had to wait in my driveway for a few minutes as I wasn't ready when he picked me up for the airport. ooops.

At the Rochester airport I got several comments on how I was smart to have sandals on~ as everyone else was hot. However, when I landed in NYC.....It was colder than Rochester. Still, nothing to complain about. At least it wasn't snowing in March!

After leaving Jet Blue terminal (LOVE jetblue). I waited in a nice long line to get a cab to Allison's. Normally, I would probably be annoyed to wait that long, but not that night. I was just excited to be in NYC!  Best part about cab?
I could read my celebrity gossip on the screen in the backseat! I'm sure the cabby was thinking "silly tourist" as I kept flipping through all the screens.

After getting to Allison's we promptly got ready to go out to dinner and celebrate her boyfriends birthday (Which was the day of the race). We went to a fabulous Japanese restaurant called Morimoto where I had what else- SUSHI! The food was definitely over priced but very good.
And the atmosphere....Pretty awesome!
                                                              Bar downstairs

                                                            Wall made of glasses!
And of course the tourist in me had to get a picture of.......
                      The bathroom stall!!- Heated toilet seat and awesome mirror behind toilet.

After dinner we stayed out far too late~ but flying into NYC I had already made the plan that I was not running this race to qualify...but rather wanted to have fun and stay injury free. (speed and hills always tend to agitate my injuries)
So fun we had! Somehow it was 4am and time to head back to Allison and Chris's apartment....4am really??? I have a hard time staying up past 10pm normally. But somehow, the energy of the city is very different than back home.

Saturday morning we got up and it was time for the expo. It was sunny and in the 60's! What a gorgeous day!
The expo was packed with lots of runners, families, fabulous samples and great booths. I scored a new Sparkly Soul headband and got to meet the girl behind the headbands. If you do not own one you are missing out! Super fun accessory and does NOT slip no matter how sweaty you get.
It was also nice to see the Leukemia and Lymphoma society there (how I got started running marathons) with their usual inspiring posters:

And Had to get a shot with the RUN poster.

                       Thank you man who took this photo for not telling Allison she was blocking the"L".

And obviously, needed to get the bib shot:

Now, onto the RACE:

0645: Walking off the train and seeing the "elite" runners lined up made me wish I had trained harder, hydrated better, and not lost my focus when I went to Jamaica the week prior. I had to remind myself that I am not an Olympian, and I am never going to be one, so it was time to have fun and keep myself healthy.

Qualifying for the NYC full marathon (1:37 time) was out of the picture....but I did have a secret goal...just PR.

0715: Announcers talking about all the world famous athletes (Kenyans) and Olympians (Kara, Desi, Meb) that were present. AWESOME! I was so excited to be there.

0730: Race officially starts....for the elite corral. My corral (7) didn't move for many minutes later. The first mile I felt myself getting annoyed- I couldn't move at a decent pace because there were so many people and I was running into people that were barely even running- Really??? How were they in a corral ahead of me????

Mile 2-3: Pace is better....and I realize I was very wrong about something....Central Park is NOT flat. I was sticking to a 7:45- 8:05 pace but was huffing. And I do not like to huff and puff in a race...especially at mile 3.

5K: Decent split time~ 24 minutes.

6-8 miles: Out of the park- turning down the street and seeing hundreds of people spectating: AMAZING.

Running through Times Square: Amazing.

My garmin saying that I was running at a 4:57 pace: also amazing but NOT true!
My poor garmin didn't know what to do with itself with all the electronics in the vicinity of Times Square. It definitely was entertaining to watch it thinking I was running that fast- and then it flipped to 13:50...what??!  As soon as I was out of the area it decided to act normal again.

10k split: 49:39  Ok, I'll take it.

15k split: 1:14: 37 ...just barely under an 8min pace... And then I started to feel my IT band...lateral knee pain my absolute favorite. And I realized I was very dehydrated.

Mile 12: 1:37 time...yep, sadly I looked at my garmin and thought I should be crossing the finish line now...byebye NYC marathon qualification. I was tired and realized I should have taken an extra GU...had one at mile 8.5 and should have taken another...too late now.

And then...there was the Battery Tunnel. Dark. But exciting- runners were shrieking in the dimly lit tunnel as we all knew the finish was near. BAM. No garmin signal. I had no clue how fast I was running, I just knew I had to keep moving forward.

Let there be light! I saw the end of the tunnel. Best part of the exit from the tunnel?
A sign that said 800m to go!
800m, 800m...being the non-track runner that I am I was trying to decide if that was 1 or 2 laps around a track. One sounded better.

When I saw the 400m to go sign the crowd support picked up and all I heard was screaming. My legs were so heavy. I could see the finish and my garmin said 1:44...Somehow I managed to cross with a 17 seconds:


So NYC half marathon: you were a PR.... by the skin of your teeth.

Lessons Learned:

1. Properly hydrate!! (this includes the days PRIOR to the race)
2. Do not walk all over NYC the day before the race.
3. Get Adequate sleep.
4. Take more GU than you think you need.
5. Look at the course elevation before the race

~Great course- challenging hilly central park and great crowd support in Times Square
~Well organized
~ Racing with elite runners
~the obvious: in NYC

~Corrals in front had slower runners
~finish line wasn't large enough for the number of runners and spectators- very difficult to find people
~Not enough size small tech shirts at the expo

After the race:
Water and then:

A mimosa to celebrate. Sorry kidneys and liver.

                  Shirt a little on the big side: no prob, put on some leggings and make it look cute!

What's your favorite NYC restaurant?

Tips for hydrating and taking GU appropriately in a 13.1?

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