Well, the NYC Half happened. And I haven’t blogged about it yet. Strange, right? I don’t really have much to say and, by now, I am sure everyone heard about how happy I was with my finish time.
I put it out there, a month before, that, for the first time ever, I had a time goal. Some of you were in shock I’d do that. I never have many expectations for a particular finish time. I was afraid I’d be shooting myself in the foot too.
I hadn’t PRed at a half since September 2010. Two years and 6 months: talk about blue feet! I knew I could PR, but…after so long, you start losing track of where you are too! Then, I asked, in another post, what you thought I would finish in: some of you were so confident, it scared me a bit… I really wanted to go sub 1:40, that’s all I cared about.
RACE WEEK, from “YEY!!!!” to “oh CRAP”.
– Monday, Tuesday, 6-5 days to go: SUPER confident! Had many amazing runs in a row and felt ready to destroy the race! I was peaking, primed, ready to blast off and almost upset I couldn’t run that day!
– Wednesday, Thursday, I was in a conference, away from home, sleeping little, tired, eating horribly, losing all confidence.
– Friday. Getting teary and excited all day thinking about how this was my first race ever, and now I was coming back to claim my streets!
– Friday afternoon. Started freaking out. Weather was going to be COLD. 29 to 32. I can’t. I don’t well. I. No.
– Friday afternoon part 2. Decided I didn’t have time for a run (too much to do, with just Friday free in between jobs, and hadn’t run since Tuesday, so I decided to do drills instead. BIG MISTAKE. When I was about to be done, my legs gave in. Cramps or something. I was stiff and in pain. WTF?!?!? !!!
– Saturday. Couldn’t walk downstairs, sit normally without grunting, or bend to pick stuff from the floor (there is always stuff on the floor when you feel like this), like I had just run a marathon the day before!! WHY?? it was just the usual drills!!!!!! WTF?!?!?!? And I was also freaking about the weather. I don’t run well when I am cold…
– Sunday… it was freezing. I was told later the feels like was 12, glad I had no idea. I really run a lot better when it’s hot. And my legs were still really hurting, walked a bit less stiff but still very sore… OH WELL.
Got to the corral. Overstuffed in throwaway clothes, with toe warmers taped to my butt, and waited for half hour. Glad portapotties are in the corrals now, such amazing logistics! Blaise was there too, underdressed and freezing, in the 3XXX corral with me. Soon enough, at 7:30, we get moving
I am in there, I promise!
So, I was shooting to have 7:35 average pace, which would be right under 1:40. First mile was CROWDED. I know better than to weave, so I stayed put: Mile 1: 755. Great. Conservative start. Nice job Elizabeth. Nothing worse than opening up with a fast mile and then crash, and also worry the other 12 that you already messed it up!
I kept trucking along, and I was just trying to stay relaxed and run by feel. I am good at not looking at my watch. Then Cat hill: Mile 2: 7:37, not so shabby. Mile 3 is the fastest in the park: 7:01, good! (too fast?!?!). Mile 4 is the scariest one in the whole race, it has Harlem Hill, a fun climb I’ve done a million times, so I was expecting anything over 8mm. Mile 4: 7:18. What? I tend to freak out when I see fast miles.
By then I was getting warm, a climb would do that to you. Blaise was always a bit ahead or right by me, which really helped me focus and stay calm (thanks B!). I kept seeing another team mate, Shay, we’d pass each other constantly, and I wanted to pace with her, but my two water stops really messed up my pace. Mile 5, where I stopped for half a gel, 7:41. Yes, I stop for gels. Deal with it.
Soon we were out of the park. I couldn’t believe this was turning out so easy and fast.. HOW? ah, I trained…
Times Square is always fantastic. It’s UNBELIEVABLE how much I HATE Times Square all year long and how much I LOVE it for those 10 minutes!!!!!!!! Glorious mile. Mile 6: 7:31, Mile 7: 7:24. Setting on a rythym here.
Then we turn into the flat straightway, where you can really hit the pedal.
Mile 8: 7:10. This is ridiculous. This is the pace for my last few 5Ks, 4 milers… Mile 9 I finished my gel: 7:30. I kept seeing people all over the course, but it’s always so nice to find people in these miles… you spot everyone in the park, and then the final miles, but it makes such a difference in this part of the course, it can be a little lonely, and flat, and straight…
Mile 10 is when I wanted to start moving, and treat it like a 5K: 7:20. I really started pushing but I knew there was the tunnel to deal with in the last half mile… Mile 11: 7:15. Mile 12: 7:09. Then we went underground, and when coming up (tiny but annoying hill SO late in the race!), we just had 800 meters to go. Not enough time to recover and sprint, but I gave it my all.
And I PRed!
After 2 years and a half, I PRed at the half. Phew.
I cried. Of course I cried. A LOT. I made Blaise uncomfortable, ha.
I spotted everyone at the finish… I cried some more, hugged some more, took pictures, all that stuff you do, then cried some more. I was cold. Nothing new. Like it was just another morning.
Finish time: 1:37:35. Average Pace: 7:27, OMFG!
Previous PR: 1:42:47. From: September 2010, OMFGx2
Age Grading: 68.64%
Overall Place: 1,474 of 14,527
Gender Place: 304 of 7,607
Age Place: 40 of 1,222
I met Kets, had eggs, met Sole, got home, got a shower. All that. INSANELY HAPPY.
See ? I didn’t have anything particular to say about it! I raced it, went fast, I PRed, end of story.
I love this race. ❤