Sunday I ran the Newport Liberty Half Marathon.
I didn’t win. If you’re still interested in reading, there’ll be a few “oh!”, “ah”, “wow” and “what?” in store. Obviously, let me backtrack first.
These past 3 weeks have been insane. Like, so busy, I have been barely able to shut my brain down to get some rest. I’ll share a lot of it soon, but it’s basically like having 4 full time jobs, and add the couple of health hicccups I have going on (my stomach is a problem, my gastroenterologist has me in a no-dairy, no-gluten diet and it hasn’t helped, plus the IDU is still giving me daily cramps and stuff) and you’d be exhausted. It’d take a week to tell you all that’s happened in the last 3! soon!
Anyway, to recap: I was exhausted, I overdid it on my mileage this past week (I also started coaching for NYRR a few nights a week and didn’t pay attention… it all adds up really quickly!!!), I barely had time to sleep and I couldn’t remember this week I had MY GOAL RACE.
Up at 5:30, leave the apt at 6:15 with Juan, my hot husband and Race Partner Extraordinaire, and meet Courtney by the 86th Street 4-5-6 train stop. ]
We saw a lot of Tune Up runners getting off the train. So funny to be going in the opposite direction.
Funnier, to see some people getting off the train at 86th and get on a cab to the start… when they’re about to run 18 miles. Early in the morning, everything is funny to me. Yes, I am one of those annoying people that don’t need coffee (but I do pass out at 8 pm!). Took the 4 (or 5) to Fulton, then the Path into NJ for two stops. We were there in no time. Too easy. Plus we got to walk through the Oculus, which is EMPTY on a Sunday at 6:45 am.
The path is about 1.5 blocks from the start and also race bib pick up. And there’s portapotties right in the middle, wohoooo! So in about 20 minutes we had peed, picked up our bibs, pinned them, peed again, and dropped our bag.Soon we caught up with Hannah (another team mate) and JJ, and we headed for the start. We peed again, that’s THREE TIMES. Such a luxury. There was something special about those portapotties that didn’t smell bad (though they were SO dark!!!).
Juan left us, he had about an hour and half to run so he took of early, in the north direction, towards Hoboken, so I never saw him on his run! We had a little pow wow at the start, a guitar version of the Start Spangled Banner and we were off.
A note of the weather because everybody said it was really hot. I only remember that humidity was 84 or 85% but the weather wasn’t my biggest concern. Don’t ask me why.
7:20 was a PR pace for me. And I was going to try. Why NOT? So I told Courtney I’d start slower (Mile 1 was 7:30) Courtney was behind me for a bit but by the half mile we were running together. So happy about it. The first few miles we had people around, and most of them kept passing me, actually. I made a mental note of most of them, because I know how this works…The miles kept clicking and by mile 3 or 4, I had lost Courtney and my pace was back in the 7:20s. The crowds had also dissapeared. I’d have people here and there but we were all mostly in packs of 2 or 3 runners. By Mile 6 or 7 I felt like I needed a sugar pick me up so I took out m Gu and that didn’t work out well. My stomach became all knots and it wasn’t happy. I was having some weird cramping. Mile 7 and 8s were in the 8s, I felt myself slowing down and eventually my stomach stopped hurting. And of course, I then felt like I needed more energy. I decided I wasn’t going to have another gels as my stomach was not having them. I pulled out my caffeine kicker (two chocolate-covered espresso beans) thinking that’d be better than nothing, because you can’t really swallow those, so it wouldn’t upset my stomach more. Oh well. Not a good idea either.
My stomach was not having it. Even water was upsetting it. UGH.
The second half of the race (actually, miles 5 thru 9) goes through Liberty State Park, and at about 6.5 we turn a corner and the Statue of Liberty was right there!!! Like, so close I could touch it. Mile 11 and a half all the way to the finish are right on the water, with amazing views of Downtown Manhattan. The sights are incredible.
I kept trucking, I made a friend on the road who decided to keep me company (or pace me!?!?!?) for the last 5 miles. Anton (who I had never met before) and I run the whole last portion together, which I think saved me. It was very lonely at times, and it gets hard to keep the pace honest when you’re hurting. By mile 9 I knew I wasn’t going to PR but decided it’d be a good workout anyway, so why not fight hard til the end?
I was suffering and it wasn’t pretty but, did we really expect it not to hurt?On the last half mile, Anton left, I saw Juan, and I knew I had to book it! We go around the bend, I see the finish line, 1:37 something, I cross the finish line, and I knew I needed water asap! I looked around for Courtney. No luck. I saw Juan, he snapped the pic above, we walk about 50 meters back to grab my bag while we keep an eye on the finish line for Courtney. I see her coming around the bend, Juan and I start cheering for her and she looks at me and goes “did you PR??”….!!!…!!!! WHAT! Girl is running her last 100 meters and asking ME if I PRed!??!? OMG< TOO CUTE!
Finish time: 1:37:49 Average Pace: 7:27
Previous PR: 1:36:03. From: March 2016
Overall Place: 163 of 2548
Gender Place: 23 of 1149
Age Place: 5 of 146
oh, we went back through the Oculus again. It’s actually REALLY NICE, if this shaded NYorker can say so…
—– the GUESS MY FINISH TIME WINNER IS….
Who raced this weekend???? Can’t wait to hear from you all!!!