Sunday, March 17, 2013

Race Recap: 2013 NYC Half


First off, to everyone who texted or tweeted at me after the race, thank you so much. It was so amazing to hit the finish line, pull out my phone to find my friends, and then get flooded with congratulations. It was a tough second half for me and seeing that meant so much. THANK YOU!

Ok so, straight up: I did not go sub-2:00 because my final time at the NYC Half was 2:00:00. Yes, 2:00:00 precisely. I missed my A-goal by 1 second.

In normal times, I'd be pretty bummed about this. I'm a Type A person. I set goals and I want to meet them. And I'd been working so hard for the past few weeks before my calf pain, fatigued legs, and being sick.

But the race was after a week of battling conjunctivitis, AKA pink eye, and a cold, and waking up constantly for two nights in a row (nerves? having a guest? I have no clue). So I'm  pretty ecstatic with the result. I didn't break 2 hours technically... but it was by 1 second. It was a PR of 9:34 minutes. So I'm happy!

First, splits:

(1) 9:19
(2) 9:11
(3) 8:43 - this was after Cat Hill. I felt strong and it was flat so I wanted to take advantage (and I'm glad I did)
(4) 9:29 - Harlem Hill
(5) 9:23 - rolling hills
(6) 9:05
(7) 8:56
(8) 9:00
(9) 9:07
(10) 9:11 - SO TIRED.
(11) 8:59 - SO TIRED BUT MUST PERSEVERE.
(12) 9:03 - THIS IS THE WORST. WHY DO I DO THIS.
(13) 9:12 - SO TIRED I MIGHT DIE. ALSO WHY IS THERE A HILL COMING OUT OF BATTERY PARK TUNNEL.
(.19) 7:22 - breathing was basically wheezing, nearly collapsed after passing the finish line.

Now, on to the race recap.

OH MY GOD IT WAS SO COLD. Before the sun rose, the park "felt like 20 degrees." Thank the lord I had those throwaway sweats to keep me semi-warm until the start line. FYI, for those who don't know (like I didn't before this race), the sweats are collected for the Goodwill.

The gentleman behind me did not approve of my grey-on-grey sweats, apparently. 
When we got through the start line, my legs felt great. I saw Beth, Abby, and Liz right after the start line which was a great burst to start (if I'm missing anyone I'm sorry, I am writing this after two glasses of wine and a long day!!!).

I kept myself going at a slower rate to save my legs, although I let loose after Cat Hill on the flat mile for an 8:45 mile. Harlem Hill sucked, obviously, and the rolling hills left my legs feeling tight. I had Sourabh and my friends Katie, Hana, and Sarah to look forward to seeing in between the first and second rolling hills, which again gave me a boost.

Me, running away from my cheer group.
But as I headed downhill and then exited Central Park, they didn't go back to feeling "normal" like my legs normally do after hills. The energy of Seventh Avenue and the incredible atmosphere of Times Square kept me going at a speedy rate for miles 7-9, but I was flagging, and by mile 10 I was so, so tired. I popped in my headphones and put in my music to try to keep myself going (playlist to come!).

I've never felt a wall like I felt around mile 10. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I had 27 minutes to go 3.1 miles. I was so fatigued that I thought I had no chance of making sub-2:00 and that I'd be finishing around 2:03 or so at best.

Keeping my pace up on the Westside Highway was a real struggle. I had to keep pushing myself as my pace went up and then down in each mile.

New friend Dejuan and me!
I am so thankful that I found a buddy in my corral before the race! Dejuan and I exchanged brief pleasantries at the beginning of the course, then somehow ended up sticking by each other the entire race. After Harlem Hill, we high fived, and after we exited Central Park, I joked that it was just a "7 mile victory lap" to go.

It was so good to have someone I wanted to keep up with, to fist bump, and to smile at. Three cheers for race friends! At my lowest point on the West Side Highway, I'm not sure I could have kept going if not for having someone I wanted to stay alongside and who kept checking in with me.

So those last three were tough, tough miles. I felt so exhausted and thought my goal was totally out of reach (sorry if I wasn't super smiley when you said hi on the course, Ashley!). But I tried to keep pushing myself to make it happen. The last mile was slow (9:12) going through the Battery Park Tunnel and then up the incline coming out of it, but I sprinted for the last .1 miles at a 7:22 pace (.19 on my Garmin, looks like I need to work on my tangent running). To finish with 2:00:00 exactly.

After those last three miles, where I thought I'd be missing my goal by a lot and felt so disheartened, finding out that I'd finished in 2:00:00 felt fantastic (thanks to Abby for texting me with this news!).

So mostly, I am just so happy. A huge thanks to all the friends I saw cheering (including three who are not runners at all and came out just to shout at me AND THEN I MISSED THEM on Chambers Street because I suck). It meant so much to see people on the course!

Katie and me post race
Considering that the last couple of weeks were less than ideal, this actually only makes me more excited for New Jersey. I am hoping I can do something exciting on a totally flat course, especially if I don't have illness or pain issues to deal with in the weeks prior.

Hana and me -- she woke up at 5 AM to come in to the city and cheer! 
I was so happy to see how many people had great races today (and yesterday in DC as well!). Congrats to everyone!!! Today might have been rough in places, and yes there were totally moments where I wondered, "um, why do I do this??" but ultimately it only reaffirmed my love of running and the running community.


21 comments:

  1. awesome PR! I think finishing in a perfect even time (x:00:00) is so cool that it more than makes up for the fact that you were off by one second. Congrats!

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    1. That's my thought! I always get to have that 2:00:00! Although, not going to lie, I'd love to have taken a second off ;)

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  2. Congrats on a PR, Jen! It takes talent to finish a race in exactly two hours. ;) As I stood near the start at Central Park, I couldn't believe how cold it was--kudos for running (because that's honestly the last thing I wanted to do, lol). Hope you're celebrating and well on your way to resting and recovering--you earned it!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie!! I wish I'd seen you along the course but it was nice knowing you were there somewhere :)

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  3. Great job! You can take all the fitness you've gained from this race and harness it into an epic race in NJ.

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    1. Thanks, Jess! That's my hope. As long as I don't get sick before NJ I think it'll be a great race!

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  4. Amazing job!! And I think 2:00:00 is pretty damn cool. You had a lot going on prior to the race so to achieve that time under those conditions leading up, give yourself a hand.
    You're going to crush NJ with some more training time and a flat course. I foresee an epic PR!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gianna! I hope so :)

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  5. Congrats again! 2 hours flat is such a cool time :) The next one will definitely be your race! I can't wait to read your next race recap about you going sub 2!!

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    1. Thanks, Brittany! We're both going sub-2 next half :)

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  6. Congrats! 2 hours is nothing to be ashamed of, just think how fast you'll be on a flat course! Great job!

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That's a amazing PR! I also had a time of 2:00:00 flat at RNR Philly and know how it feels to come soooo close to a sub 2. Still, fantastic race :)

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    1. The 2:00:00 is fun, right? Glad to hear I'm not the only one to come in RIGHT on the dot.

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  8. 2:00:00 is amazing. Great job, Jen! NJ is yours!! But Cherry Blossom first! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Can't wait for Cherry Blossom :)

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  9. Congrats on the race!!! That 2:00:00 is an OCD person's dream! LOL. Good look at your Spring races. Looks like you are gonna kick some butt!

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping so :) I am excited to see what I can do when my legs don't feel like sacks of lead!!

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  10. way late to the game here but that is an awesome PR!!! i second...it was SO cold! the first few miles for me were "run fast or freeze"...

    I bet NJ Half will be even better!

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    1. Thanks, Meggie! It was FREEZING but at least it warmed up when we started running.

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  11. Great job Jen! I also didn't know that's what they do with throwaway clothes lol good to know.

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