What an epic adventure this race was… I did one wrong thing but sooo many things came together…!!! but wait, let me back track so I can show you some pictures first.
Saturday I spent some time at the Experience (what you would call an expo), helping with Course Strategy and the Running Lab area and what not. It is always so much fun to see everyone and help out a bit. First fun note: there was this big picture… where everyone that knew me would strike a pose:
Then I entertained myself, and hopefully a couple of other people there…
The big issue all week was the weather. Everyone was freaking out because we were told by the “meteorologists” (people who make meteors) that we were getting about 55 feet of snow on Tuesday and that it would be SO bad we all had to be scared that we would never be able to dig out of it and have a race. Then, we got like 2 inches of snow. Then, we were told it’d be snowing Saturday, the day before the race, on top of all the other 3 million feet of snow we were getting. Then, we were told it would be snowing and/or raining ON SUNDAY. Anyway, of course, NOTHING HAPPENED, the weather was beyond amazing and I was completely overdressed (see above, I did one thing wrong: I was wearing two shirts, TWO! stooopid!).
Race morning, one thumbs up, a major thumbs up actually. I managed to figure out race morning pre-race fuel: two cups of rice, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and loads of Himalayan salt on it. It was perfect. It worked. I already feel like a winner when my stomach is not freaking out during a race.
Juan and I were jogging the two miles to the start. We took off with Lina (Perez) from downstairs, we picked up Courtney (Reidy) about 10 blocks later, and Carolina (Pena) 2 blocks after. I literally felt like I had a train going to the start, even trying to pick up strangers, the more the merrier!. We all looked crazy in our throwaway gear, but it was 30 degrees and there’d be at least 30 minutes waiting in the corral!
So, we dropped our bags, went through security and lined up in the C corral in wave one: Patricia, Courtney and I. Carolina and Juan went up to their corrals up in the wave. We soon caught up with John and Raul and Devang (Honerkamp, Damas, Patel!) in the corral and we had a little fun thing going were we whined about how cold we were. It was 33 I think, feels like of 20 something, so I was planning to run in a short sleeve shirt, with a long sleeve shirt on top (the one with the bib) and capri tights. I figured I’d be cold so I layered tons of stuff on me I could throw off (a light fleece jacket, hat, headband, buff, gloves, arm warmers, hand warmers, etc.) but taking the pants off in the corral made me squeal.
The thing about this race is that… it always just goes by so fast. From the second I sign up in December, it’s a moment later and it’s March. You think it’s enough time to train and do specific speedwork but it always goes by so quickly and I usually freak out about 3-4 weeks before! Then, race weekend is here. Then, I am at the start and then I am leaving the park. Puff, I finished. How?? I have no idea, but it’s the same every year.
So, I get to the start, we jog the last 50 meters to it, thinking that I wasn’t ready, please someone slow down my life!!! I knew I wasn’t in PR shape, but gosh was I so happy to be racing this half!!!!! No idea why, just excited. I had no pressure, I thought I’d have fun out there, had Courtney and Patricia with me… let’s do it. Things are so easy when you have no expectations… I had figured I’d be around 1:37 or 1:38 (in my giveaway) so the first mile would be around 7:40 or 7:50. Mile 1 – 7:49! Right on the nose! Patricia and Courtney were running together and I was a bit off, trying to let them go (they’re usually faster than me) and I run better tangents. Then comes one of the few flat/downhill patches of the course and I yelled at Stacie (Brown Kallenberg), so happy to see her! Mile 2- 7:23. Kept seeing Patricia and Courtney around still at this point, but I didn’t want to follow them, both are very strong runners… By then, I was SUPER HOT. I started dismantling. I threw out my beanie, my buff, arm warmers, and hand warmers. And the turnaround! I yelled at Carolina, I saw Juan for the first and last time. Mile 3- 7:26. Going back into the park, I was on fire. and pissed that I was wearing two shirts and capri tights… UGH. I took my headband off and put it in my bra. I took my gloves off but didn’t want to lose those, I love my gloves. Then, perfectly timed, I saw Alison (Desir) and Amir (Figueroa) and their friends on Harlem Hill, oh yeah, I yelled, threw my gloves out and kept at it, thought I had yelled like a crazy person and was out of breath fast! Mile 4- 7:30
Then the most ridiculous thing happened. I decided I was still really hot and wanted to take my shirt off. Also, I didn’t want to lose this shirt, it was my Berlin Marathon shirt… but what to do? I was wearing a short sleeved shirt (my Berlin shirt) UNDER the long sleeve shirt that had the bib… so complicated. Get ready for a hot mess. I pulled the long sleeved shirt with bib over me, left it at my neck, secured my watch, headband and sunglasses, and proceeded to take off my tight short sleeve shirt, over my head, WHILE STILL RUNNING…!!! OMG. IT GOT STUCK ON MY HEAD, I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!! BLACK SHIRT TANGLED UP ON MY HEAD, HELP, I AM RUNNING, ON THE COURSE, I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING, OMG AN ORANGE CONE IS DEFINITELY AHEAD OF ME AND I AM NOT EVEN SURE I AM RUNNING STRAIGHT ANYMORE. I wanted to stop because I was sure I was going to fall, but what if someone would bump into me from behind??? I kept running AND FREAKING OUT. I COULDN’T SEE. ANYTHING. I have no idea how long it took, could have been 15 seconds, could have been 30 seconds. It felt like a year. Somehow I kept my cool. ONE LAST YANK. SUNGLASSES, PLEASE STAY IN PLACE, I was just so scared of hurting anyone… Anyway, phew, shirt came off, put it inside the back of my pants, put the bibbed shirt back on, and tried to relax and regain my composure. My heart rate through the roof. CALM DOWN! I was spent. I needed a gel (and probably and sun-chair and a massage too). Mile 5- 7:46
Soon, right by Tavern on the Green, I had a huma. My stomach was fine. Another win. Am I really having nutrition during a race and not feel like throwing up? Wow. How times have turned… Mile 6- 7:26. We leave the park. Are we really here yet? Have I really already run half of this? Why does it always go SO fast??? This is where the race starts. Now, I still have this extra shirt on me, I didn’t want to throw out because I like. And then I see Jessica (LeBron), another savior. I throw the shirt at her. OMG how amazing is it to know this many people on the course? Hello Times Square!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I like Times Square, just this one time of the year… I hear Francine (Alfandary) yelling at me. So awesome. I see everyone taking their phones out to broadcast or take pictures. And there’s space for everybody. I see Dino (Verrelli) yelling in purple. I see Sid and Asteria (Howard). Omg so much love in this race! I see Phillip Mina on the course and run together for 1 second. Oh, I guess I’ve lost Courtney and Patricia!!
Mile 7- 7:15 We turned right into 42nd street and I feel this crazy wind blow me away. OH YES!!!! This will be at our backs in a few minutes, for the rest of the race, how amazing. Got so excited: Mile 8- 6:49 Ooops. To tell you the truth, I knew I was pacing like an emotional idiot, I was hot, I was excited, I had all this gear drama and extra stuff I didn’t want to throw away, I wanted to shed layers all the time so I don’t think there was a time when I was like “hey, let’s focus on what we are doing, what pace are we doing?”. The whole thing was my brain going from one thing to the other and… solving problems… whatever. I think we’re all allowed a race where we don’t race and we just do whatever, right? Mile 9- 7:35 I remember this. I had a gel and I always slow down to digest it. I also run into Jeannie (Tinelly) and John (Honerkamp) and Matt (Powers) right before the November Project cheering station, which OMG, hurt my ears in a good way, it was soooo loud. Across the street were Binu (Paulose) and Ann (Bommarito) cheering too. I almost missed them but Binu was yelling my name like he was drowning, so I yelled back. Mile 10- 6:57 So much excitement. That’s when I saw Patricia right up ahead and thought “oh no”. If I am catching up to her, she might be slowing down… crap. We run together for a bit and I could tell her breathing was super forced, I told her not to kill herself and save it for another day. She had been a bit injured for a few weeks and we weren’t sure exactly in what shape she was. Soon enough, I didn’t hear her anymore. Crap again, bye Patchoux. Mile 11- 7:11 How does this race go by so fast? I remember seeing the Freedom tower just once. And it’s in front of me for like 6 miles.. I was so busy looking at everyone cheering that I missed all the icons. I also missed looking at the watch. I knew I was about 2 minutes off my PR, so I barely bothered to look, but I have no idea where my head was. I almost missed the Whippets as they were a bit earlier this year and wasn’t looking, but saw Michelle (Mason) quickly. Also, at some point around there, I put my hair in a ponytail while running. HOW IS THAT SO HARD!??!? I had no idea… what a hot mess I was!
Mile 12- 6:55 Here we go. The Tunnel. It’s almost over. Everyone in the tunnel was yelling and making wild noises. It was super entertaining. I was breathing hard enough to make enough noise. The tunnel is 1 kilometer long, or FOREVER if you only speak miles. I had my music there, boy bye!
Mile 13- 7:21 OR SOMETHING BECAUSE I HAD NO GPS. Out of the tunnel, into the light. It always seems like forever for that last bit. Last bit- 6:59 pace Wow that finish line loos impressive. I love that I could see the finish line ahead… It was over. So quick. SO SO quickly. Can we do this again? Please? Now????? 1:37:13 finish time.
I finished and Patricia found me a few seconds after. I did a little interview for NY1 right at the finish and we started walking to grab our bags. Wow, we hugged so much! We found Courtney and Juan waiting by the baggage and omg so many stories!! Plus, we found two kittens:
All the race pictures are here. Haven’t bought them yet. You can see all my different outfits, and the mess!!!!
I had such an amazing race this weekend… PRs are never guaranteed so I haven’t been putting that much stress on that. And if I just focus on that, I might always be upset at the end of race (I only had 1 PR last year, at the NYC Half 2016…). I had a strong race, I felt like I was flying the whole way, I was super happy and really enjoyed it, I think that’s where it is at guys. What else can anyone really ask for?
Finish time: 1:37:13 Average Pace: 7:25
Previous PR: 1:36:03 From: March, 2016
Age Grading: 69.85%
Overall Place: 1,928 of 19,412
Gender Place: 399 of 9,890
Age Place: 40 of 1,314
My super official United NYC Half finish time, according to NYRR, is 1:37:13. So, I just re-read all the guesses and most of you were giving me a PR! WOW guys! And guess what, so many of you were so close…
Congrats youcanrun!!!!! Can you believe how close they all were?
Please email me your choice of prize (from the post), postal address in the US, and name and will ship it ASAP!! And no worries y’all losers, I will be doing many races in the next weeks (there’s actually one this weekend but not sure there’s enough time to post…!) so you’ll have another go at playing soon!