Let’s be honest: my blogging frequency is sporadic. BUT I did want to take the opportunity to write about yesterday’s race.

(On a totally unrelated subject: I think I’d like to open a WordPress account as opposed to Tumblr…but that’s not for today.)

I digress. So yesterday—the NYC Half.

This was my second official half marathon. My first half marathon was the MORE Fitness Half in April 2011. I was too lazy to train for it, and it was also after a bad bout of sickness and strep throat. I ran a 1:46.

Then, I ran the Philly Marathon in 2011. My second marathon. I was pretty well-trained for that race. While I narrowly missed a BQ, I did manage to massively negative split the race. My second half was a 1:43.

For those who don’t really know me, I’m an extraordinarily lazy athlete. When I don’t need to run or work out—I don’t. After Philly in 2011, I more or less went into hibernation for the next year. (In my defense, I did get married in the fall of 2012 and I had a shin injury/ITBS as well.) But once I start training, I expect a lot from myself.

And coming into the NYC Half yesterday, I expected a lot, because I’ve been training my ass off for the NJ Marathon in May. 

When my coach asked what I’d like to run, I coyly told him I’d like to PR, and probably run sub 1:40. After hearing from him that my first few miles could be above an 8:00 pace (wtf????), I quickly came to my senses and told him that I’d like to try for around a 1:35. Well that changed everything.

The plan was to hover around 7:45 in Central Park, go low 7:30s down the West Side Highway, then just blow the final 5k. The first mile would be shit because of congestion; miles 3-4 would be rough with the hills, and miles 10-13 I’d be begging for mercy. He also assumed that I would end up running faster than what he told me. 

The first mile was a 7:56. To be honest, I thought it’d be worse than that, so I thought I was off to a great start. The temps were in the low 30s—“feels like 25”—so I was freezing. Halfway through the first mile, I started feeling my hands again, and halfway through the second mile (7:31), I started feeling my toes again.

Needless to say, I was much happier once I regained feeling in my body. I started getting teary during mile 2, thinking about how happy I was to be back in The City, and how lucky I was to have my husband and friends there to support me. I was also having an internal debate whether or not I should keep my music on.

Mile 3 was a 7:25, and then I slooowly rolled over Harlem Hill/the west side hills in 7:45 and 7:48. The hills actually felt fine, and looking back, this is where I should have pushed the pace more. Whatever. Also—at some point in there, I was pleased as punch to see Amy and Tara cheering along the sidelines!

Mile 6—almost out of the park—was a 7:29. Hitting the streets. Was. GLORIOUS. I definitely had a shit-eating grin on my face as I cruised through Times Square. I also distinctly remember saying, “holy shit,” as I looked up and saw nothing but lights and people. Mile 7—time to kick it up—was a 7:32. Things were going perfectly according to plan. 

Miles 7 and 8 (7:38) are when my legs started feeling tired, and I encountered the brutal crosswind from the WSH. I’ve also been dealing with this pain in my upper hip, and that started nagging me as well. This all slightly concerned me, knowing I still had about half to go, but I just ignored it.

So the wind sucked and mile 8 generally felt shitty, so I mentally set myself up for 2 miles of cruise control at low 7:30s before crushing those last 3.1. Mile 9 was fine in 7:34…and then I suddenly saw Josh’s highlighter yellow JDRF shirt. He jumped into the race with me (yay!) and then decided that I should be running faster (wtf.) Mile 10 was a 7:18, and I was frankly pissed off that he was making me run faster than I wanted to. After I got over feeling sorry for myself, I succumbed to his speed, and we busted out a 7:17 mile 11 and a 7:22 mile 12.

Here is a list of things that were running through my head when I started running faster:

1. YES I need this push to get there
2. This feels awesome.
3. Wait. No. This doesn’t feel good at all. Wtf. You’re ruining my race plan. You said to not “give it all” until the final 3. SLOW DOWN.
4. I hate you.
5. Can’t. Breathe.
6. Fuck you, Josh.
7. Ok. Chill. Put your music in. Zone out. Just go.

Also I should mention that at some point in here, I realized that I wouldn’t be hitting a 1:35. Yeah. Whatever.

Anyways. I’m really good at zoning out since pretty much all my training has been solo; so at this point I just stared ahead, turned my brain off, and ran. That last mile went by much faster than I thought it would, and I think my best memory was cruising through the tunnel, feeling like a bad ass. 

The post-tunnel hill felt like a mountain, but I saw the “last 800” sign and just went. The last 1.1 was at a 7:50, and stopping my watch with it reading 1:38 was phenomenal.

I then proceeded to stumble around and dry heave for a few seconds before turning to my slave driver (Josh) to see his reaction. Upon him telling me that I should feel good and that he was proud of me, I began to allow myself to get over the fact that I did NOT hit a 1:35, but I did PR by 5 minutes.

Overall, I’m really happy with how everything went down. I had a great time being back in NYC, saw some great friends, and left with a shiny new PR. I spent the remainder of the day napping, eating, and doing other sloth-like activities.

Tomorrow, I embark on my final phase of this marathon training. It means two-a-days (only on my days off from work), healthier eating, more mileage, and a commitment to strengthening my hips (remember that injury thing? Yeah.) Should be interesting, but I’m looking forward to it, especially after this weekend.

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Hubs and I, post race. 🙂