I was already thinking about what I was going to write in this blog post while I was running. I think I went from “I feel great, let’s do this!” to “ok, I am never running again” in a matter of the first two miles. It was one of those days. Somewhere along my athletic career, someone told me that it’s important to find a way to win, even when your team isn’t playing great. I always really responded to that – everyone is going to have a bad day. Can you still win/have fun/smile/be your best on a day when you might be playing your worst?
Here’s how the day went down. 5:45am wake up, and I scarfed down an english muffin, peanut butter and a cup of coffee while I watched the news and Google mapped how I was going to get to Eisenhower Park and get into the parking lot before they shut the streets down at 7am. I was out the door by 6:15, and I was SUPER early. I always like giving myself more than enough time, so I was happy to sit in the car, check some emails and just zone out for a little while. When Astrid arrived, we met up, and started the walk over to the starting line so we could wait in line to use the bathrooms, and get to our pacing zone with plenty of time. I don’t like feeling rushed!
One of my favorite parts of this race are the fireworks that they shoot off right over the starting line! Last year I ran the 10K, so those runners line up on one side of the highway and start heading towards the park, while the half and full marathoners head towards Nassau Coliseum before looping around and passing through the 10K starting line. This was the first race that I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner, and I had some splits in mind that I wanted to hit in order to achieve my goal (and PR) of sub-1:50. In March, I ran the NYC Half in 1:54, and I really do feel that sub 1:50 is attainable for me in the near future. I thought today was the day! My plan was to run the first 5 miles around 9:00/9:15, the next 3-4 miles around 8:30, and then finish it out with 8:00/8:15. That plan was totally shot to hell.
I decided to run miles 1-3 at 8:24/8:35/8:45. Bad idea. My legs started yelling at me, and I slowed it down as we took the left and split from the 10K group. I’ve never really been the type of person to ever want to cut a challenge short, but there was definitely a part of me today that cried inside when the 10K runners started heading towards home, and we were running AWAY. Ugh.
I am not even going to bore you with what happened to me from 5 miles until 13.1 miles. It was literally just a painful experience. Every step hurt, and I wanted to walk more than ever. I’ve never actually walked in a half-marathon, so I just found a 10 min/mile pace and hung on for dear life. Hopefully the cameras still caught some pictures of me with a happy face on. See! I’m happy! Yay!
I’ve never been so relieved to see a finish line. No idea how, but I eeked out a 9:33 pace and finished 2:03, definitely not even my worst half-marathon. My 10K split wasn’t even so far off my 10K finishing time from last year’s race, so it was just the second half of this half-marathon where I was in the 9:45/9:55 pace. Now that it’s all over, I’m happy that I found a way to finish (and avoid walking) on a day that just wasn’t a good day for me.
I’m taking a little REST from racing the rest of this month. Next up, NYRR 5 Borough Series: Queens 10K on June 22.
Congrats to my great friend Astrid for having another speedy half marathon, and all the folks on Team WSA from CrossFit516! I loved seeing all the blue shirts out there on the course today for such a great cause!