20 Miles & NYC 1/2

When I registered for the NYC Half, I assumed I would race it and (hopefully) PR like I did last year during Eugene training. My ever-wise Coach had other plans and (as usual), he definitely knew what was most important for my training that day. Building up to the weekend, I was itching to race. I believe I have a faster half in me and I wanted to see what I could do. But after a rough speed workout on Thursday and seeing the monster workout on the schedule for Sunday, I was more than content with the plan to run the half marathon as part of my long run with no PR attempt or goal pace miles.

“Race” Eve

Jenny and I flew to New York at 7 Saturday morning, which meant a 4-something wake-up. I was tired, but excited and knew the early morning meant I would sleep well Saturday night. Once we got to the city (via the LIRR from the airport…like locals, yo), we dropped our bags at the hotel then walked the 6ish blocks to the expo. We were in and out and only stopped to say hi to Jocelyn and get more salted caramel Gu.

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Teammate Tim left me a message on the board at the expo!!

After the expo we went for a warm, sunny shake-out in Central Park, followed by coffee and lots of chatting with the lovely Megan. After quick showers back at the hotel, we met Jocelyn and Laura for a delicious dinner at Ovest Pizza. It was awesome catching up with Laura and Jocelyn…the chatter was non-stop and I laughed the entire time {kind of the theme for the weekend}.

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Great friends, pizza, wine. Can’t be beat.

We were exhausted after dinner and I think I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Race Morning

I met Jocelyn outside my hotel to run over to Central Park where we met Tim for more miles. I was beyond grateful to have company for the early part of the long run. We were able to squeeze in almost 6 miles before the race then stop to say hi to Megan and look for Jenny.

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Speedy Megan killed the race with a big PR!

I hopped the fence into my corral about 7 minutes before the race started. Since I was sweaty and it was in the low 30’s, I got cold standing there even for that short amount of time. I was happy when the race started and I could run to get warm again.

The Race

Within the first 10 seconds of the race a guy in front of me rolled his ankle in a divot in the road. No kidding, his foot turned 90 degrees inward. It freaked me out (hello Boston?!) and I felt really bad for him. I paused to try to see if he was okay, but he stood up and was hanging over the barricade to avoid getting trampled, so I ran on.

The Central Park miles all kind of blur together. I warmed up fairly quickly and just tried to take the hills at effort. I remembered them being SO much easier last year when I was racing through the park. The downhills were bothering my calf a little and I was worried that if it got any worse that I would have to stop. Fortunately that went away completely at some point. At mile 10 (total) I couldn’t believe I was only halfway done. I was having a hard time finding a rhythm in the crowds of people and just generally not feeling that strong.

NyC 2014 CP

One of the better shots from the CP miles

After leaving the park, the crowds thinned out a little and I got a boost from the Times Square crowds and entertainment. Despite that, I was feeling a little discouraged by how far I felt like I had run and how far I still had to go.

NYC 2014 TS

haha…strugglefest. Sleeping or running?

Once I got on the West Side Highway, I thought it would feel like I was nearing the end, but it seemed MUCH longer than it did last year when I was flying through there to finish. At some point I got a cramp in my abdomen that I mostly walked out at one of the water stops and was able to breathe through for the rest of the way.

NYC 2014 TS

When you aren’t even racing and that’s the best you can do for a photographer, you might be struggling.

Eventually we hit the tunnel and I knew I was close to the end. When I rounded the corner to the finish, I heard Jocelyn yell my name and was happy to know that she was there at the end to meet me. She was even generous enough to run another mile with me to round out my mileage for the day. 

I finished the race with a time of 1:51:11 (8:32 avg). I walked several water stops (because why not?!) and just generally took my time, but it is still a little weird to see my slowest half since 2010. Total distance for the day was something between 19.5 and 20 miles and my overall pace was around 8:25. I had to estimate distance/pace because the buildings made my watch wonky. My Garmin said the race was only 12.5 miles and was off in the miles before the race as well. The overall pace is a bit slower than where my long runs have been, but I can live with that on a tough day.

Jocelyn grabbed this shot after we finished running the last mile. That is the look of one exhausted runner.

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Once I got back to the hotel, I gave Jenny a HUGE hug to congratulate her on KILLING her half, then changed and headed down to the cardio room to finish the workout. I was dreading getting on the elliptical, but I took it nice and easy and it actually felt good to loosen the legs up a bit. Thanks to lots of twitter updates on everyone’s races and many texts from Jenny and Chanthana, the 45 min flew by.

And since Coach texted that if I didn’t selfie, it didn’t happen…

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Trust me, no one wants a selfie of what I looked like at that point.

Of course we followed the morning with brunch…

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Chanthana, Jenny, Tim, me, Lora

Then drinks on the roof top at Eataly…

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With my dear friend Sofia and her fiance, Thomas

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Runner/blogger/twitter friends. So much laughter!

Then finally more drinks at the end of the evening…

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Jenny and I were pretty proud of ourselves for pushing through the day despite our runs that morning. It was 100% worth it to spend quality time with some really fantastic people. It was an awesome weekend and despite not finishing my run feeling really strong, I was happy to have the big workout behind me and move into a cutback week before peaking then tapering!

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in friends, Goals, Race reports, Races, running, Strength Training, training, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 20 Miles & NYC 1/2

  1. Sounds like a great race and great weekend!

    Definitely don’t for a second think your time reflects any signs of your goal race pace since you were coming off a big week, travel fatigue, a 6 mile “warm up” and you weren’t even racing! Sounds like it was a great training run – pushing through on fatigued legs !

  2. Pingback: Boston Week 11: Toughing it Out |

  3. elizabeth says:

    and here begins my catch up…. i think adding mileage to a race is fun and hard at the same time. How in the world did you do the elliptical too!?!?! really impressive. AND, that you stuck to your plan and didn’t race. Nice work!!! congrats!

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