2019 United NYC Half – a race to remember

Hey friends! haven’t posted a race recap in a bit so here goes it!

I hadn’t run the NEW NYC Half course in 2018 because I was working on social at NYRR that day last year.

that was fun and COLD

I had run the NYC Half… emmm… nine times, including the inaugural 2006 one. The race had so many different versions… the first one started in Central Park at Engineers Gate (so convenient for me!) and it was in August. It was the first ever NYC Half and ALSO my first race ever. EVER EVER. I had never run more than 6 miles… so there went nothing. By 2012 the race was moved to March because the year before it had been 82 degrees at the start and we all melted. By then the race also had starts in Tavern on the Green, went clockwise, then it went counterclockwise, then it started at 102 on the East Side in the park… that race had so many different outfits you had no idea who it’d be next year. By the mid-2010s it had settled on a 72nd start in March, finish at South Street Seaport area, for a short amount of years.

In 2018, for the first time ever, the start was moved outside of the city, to BROOKLYN. WHAT, you say? Where is that far-away exotic-sounding land? Yeah, it’s somehow close, just a train ride away. It’s also where we do other races and go to eat hot dogs and stuff, not sure. I’ll ask for you.

So the race was one of the only two events that include more than one borough, and the only one that shuts down the Manhattan Bridge. You can run/walk/bike the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges, but no soul gets on the Manhattan Bridge on foot… unless.. yeah you get it!

So I got on board to going out-of-suburb. Trained like a beast. Which I don’t do often. And set the alarm at 3:50 am on Sunday, March 17, 2019. Yes, FOUR AM ON A SUNDAY.

The weather was throwing me off for a loop that morning. It was 32 feels like 25… what to wear… what the eff to wear… I warm up easily but in the 20s I usually need two layers… I decided to go with shorts, which seemed insane at the time.

Juan and I left the Upper East Side too early. At four fucking fifty. I am not into stressing before a race and he’s into showing up waaaaaay too unfashionably early.

We got there so early, the portapotties were super clean, YUM.

Had our gels, putzed around, what not… Luckily we were super bundled up. It was cold. ProTip: always save those mylar blankets for the next race!

Patricia, Elizabeth and I were going to meet in the corral. Courtney was going to start later with another friend as she wasn’t racing.

Silke, Juan, Patricia, Erica, and Justin!

Soon I had to get right of my pants and stay in shorts, BRRRRRR. Everyone was in jackets and long tights, what was I thinking that morning???? I am gonna waste all my energy trying to warm up or run on stuff legs, CRAP. UGH.

Juan took off quickly, and Patricia and I stuck together. We had no idea what we would do but average pace should be around 7:35 to 7:45. Battle Pass Hill is on the second part of the first mile and I barely felt it. WEIRD. I usually hate that hill. Mile 1 – 7:44. Okay, NOT A BAD START. Patricia and I seemed to struggle a bit so synch up our pace. I would have been going a bit slower if I had been alone. On the other hand, I felt she was breathing harder than me, so I decided to stay there -maybe she knows something I don’t?

The out and back went by quickly as I yelled to everyone. Mile 2 – 7:36. Maybe we’re going too fast? I didn’t see Juan but saw MANY friends and yelled a lot. Those out and backs always get me super psyched. A nice turn around Grand Army Plaza and there we have a straightaway on Flatbush for a couple of miles toward the bridge. Mile 3 – 7:37. First 5K: 7:46 pace.

This is when I started to feel HAWT. I took my headband, gloves, buff, all off. I was struggling and sweating. UGH. HOW ARE PEOPLE WEARING LONG TIGHTS AND JACKETS AND I AM BURSTING INTO FLAMES.

I saw NP there making a riot and went over for high fives -which you can see in the video report. Yeah there is a video report here! Again, the pace felt a tiny bit forced but I tried to stay with her, she was always two steps ahead. Mile 4 – 7:28. And here we go into the bridge, which is insane, as you can tell by my crazy face! Mile 5 – 7:33.

Also, we didn’t find Elizabeth in the corral but we found her in the bridge (pictured above: blue jacket in the middle, Patricia is wearing the white long sleeves). We yelled and yelled (she was ahead by 20 meters) but she couldn’t hear us…

WOOOOOOOW THAT WAS SUCH A RUSH!!!!!! VIEWS ON BOTH SIDES!!! SO EXHILARATING… HELP. I AM SOOOO FEELING MY OATS RIGHT NOW!!!! GAVE ME ALL THE LIFE. Mile 6 – 7:19. Either I rode that downhill hard or I was flying through the bridge on how sickening it was. Second 5K: (also) 7:46 pace. wow, such consistency…

Hi Chinatown for a sunny second:

That was quick.

Not gonna hide it: that turnaround after the bridge was my favorite part. The view of the bridge from Chinatown was CRAZY. Check it:

YEAH, right? YEAH, I know.

So, my race plan went like this:

  1. start comfy
  2. at mile 6 pick it the shit up
  3. at 53rd st, hit the gas and light the torch

So this was time to start pushing… major UGH. But ok, that’s what we’re here for, I guess? Patricia was still here but she kept telling me to go ahead, that I had more than her -I wasn’t ready to move thaaaaat much faster but focused on feeling my own pace instead of attaching myself to her wagon. Onto the flat road of the FDR, I locked my target on this very consistent lady ahead of me. Mile 7 – 7:20. Oooops, too fast maybe? There she is in the picture with the black vest, on the left side.

Not gonna lie: I got a little bored on the FDR. Mile 8 – 7:39

I kept looking at how far the United Nations building was… also, I WAS SUPER HOT and wanted to take my long sleeves off, but I had the bib pinned there and it would be super inconvenient. I was soooo SO HOT I WANTED TO JUMP INTO THE EAST RIVER. There needs to be an easier way that I could put my bib in my second layer and get rid of the shirt. THOUGHTS?????

Mile 9 – 7:33 This is when it happened. I decided that if I had to leave Patricia, if it felt natural, I would. I NEVER EVER EVER have to make that decision because she is usually ahead. Or we get separated. I went. I felt bad but she had been telling me for 6 miles to GO (though somehow she was always two steps ahead.) Third 5K: 7:39 pace. Pace picking up, yeah!

And soon… we make that left from the FDR onto 42nd Street, FINALLY. Mile 10 – 7:35. On the turn, I looked to see if I could see Patricia and I didn’t… mmmm. OK, let’s get on this.

Luckily I saw Brian pacing which brightened up my mile a lot. And, even though 42nd is amazingly scenic and beautiful yada yada yada, that was my least favorite part of the race… You start pushing hard AND it’s all uphill, plus it is SO dark and windy, it felt really musky and sad… maybe it’s just me… Hey Bribri!


SEE? 42nd looks great, and all. I hated it.

At 7th Avenue, we turn onto… TIMES SQUARE. Also, it’s Mile 11 – 7:29

Remember how at 53rd I’d hit the gas? My friend Whitney was cheering there and got this pic of me:

look at everyone else. they are all wearing more layers. why on earth am I so hot?

Thanks Whitney!!!! I had also told Whitney to tell me if Juan was ahead or behind (so I’d know if I waited for him or rushed to find him at baggage) and she yelled Juan is just one block ahead!!!! Mmmmm, that’s some good motivation to run HARDER!

I swear I was running hard besides taking all this awkward weird neckfies

We turn onto Central Park South and there’s Mile 12 – 5:21. Well, that’s obviously WRONG. WTF is up with my watch…? Something was off because my manual laps were off also. I can’t run a 5:21 mile #notsorry.

Was really looking for Juan, because I have to do something, always. Fourth 5K: 7:36 pace, yeap, speeding up some more!

So, I saw Juan ahead right before entering the park but when I was ready to catch him up, he started walking… he went aallll the way to the left and could barely hear/see me. Someone pointed me out to him cause I was yelling. He was walking. WTF. Is he ok? Should I stop? We are a mile and a half from the finish, obv something is up if he’s walking here… well, I am a GREAT wife because I JUST KEPT RUNNING.

Run now. Worry later.

That’s my motto every morning, every single day.

Got into the park, FINALLY. I knew Carolina would be at 72nd so I focused on that. PUSH PUSH PUSH.

Mile 13 – 7:05. And there was Caro! Yelling that I look amazing and to keep going.

Then I see the finish… I went all crazy speedy hard breathing and all that. No pictures cause I had all video. DONE.

Last bit – 6:53 pace

FELT AMAZING. THE WHOLE WAY -yeah well, other than cold then FIRE then coldish on 42nd but AWESOME.

my splits are pretty awesome if I can say so myself!!!!!

Not my fastest half by like 5 minutes but I’ll take it. I felt great and strong and all those empowering words you can muster at 44 years old!!!

Patricia and Juan got in a few minutes later. Juan was fine, he’s a very positive guy – a positive splitter #badrunnerjoke and went super hard, in case it was a miracle kind of day.

All the fun was had…

The end! We walked to get our bags… yeah, it’s a bit long of a walk, shorter than last year, but okurrrr… it all was over TOO QUICK.

Then brunch, shower, all the stuff, you know.

And so the racing season begins… I am trying to not race so much this year (26 races last year in 8 months!) and have more fun training, but I really like the halfs. Shopping for a few more: any ideas???????



9 thoughts on “2019 United NYC Half – a race to remember

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