NYC Half ‘13
Wow. Wow wow wow.
What an experience.
Running down the middle of 7th Avenue, through Times Square, and down the West Side Highway with not a car in sight, but crowds of cheering people? Everyone needs to run this race.
Despite a tight hamstring and staying up til 2am the night before watching over a very drunk friend puking into toilet bowl, I managed to complete my second half marathon with a new PR!
The course was certainly favorable to a PR compared to my first half - while the 10K was in hilly Central Park, the rest of the race was on the flat, flat streets of Manhattan:
In the final mile, we entered the Battery Park Tunnel — just a bunch of runners, our hooting and hollering echoing throughout the tunnel, knowing we were so close to the finish — what a surreal feeling that was.
Oh, and I got to shake the hand of Mary Wittenberg (NYRR President & CEO) at the finish!
So yeah, if you ever have the opportunity to run the NYC Half, you should absolutely do it!
(Apparently not all of the race photos are up yet, but this is my best one right now.)
Wow, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, so I haven’t been updating. But tonight’s run is certainly worth writing about!
I raced in the New York Running Company’s 3rd Annual Valentine’s Day Relay Race! Obviously, the race - a two person relay - was designed for couples to race, but they welcomed anyone and everyone. Single runners just got paired up with the next available single runner. I ended up teamed with a friendly fellow named Brian.
While the crowd at the store was pretty small, the relay happened to coincide with the launch of Nike’s Flyknit Lunar1+ shoe, so a huge mass of people from NikeTown showed up at the park ready to race.
Each leg of the race was only 1.7 miles, so I poured everything I had into it. I ran the first leg, and after nearly tripping over my own feet in order to avoid a slower runner who had lined up at the front of the pack, I held a steady sixth… or seventh? It was difficult to determine my exact place, but I was somewhere up there!
The effort paid off, with my first mile clocking in at 6:21, 4 seconds faster than my previous fastest mile (and that one was without another .7 mi to put effort into)!
After the race, we all headed back to the Running Company for snacks, beer, and socialization. One couple in attendance had just been married earlier that day, so to mark the occasion, Nike gifted the new wife with a pair of Flyknit Lunar1+ shoes — the husband had actually just bought his own pair earlier that night!
With the free beer came a sweet neon pink drink koozie, and I snagged a Saucony ViziPro jacket from the clearance rack for 50% off!
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic way to spend my Valentine’s Day evening, even without a date.
Well, this evening’s run certainly got off to an interesting start.
Between staying a few minutes late at the office and slow moving subway trains (due to fog), I arrived for the Eastside Running Company’s group run just as they were about to head out the door. I gave the 5 mile run leader a wave as I made a beeline for the changing room… but he didn’t see me. (I really should have said something.)
After throwing on my running gear and making sure my watch picked up my foot pod and heart rate monitor, I booked it to Central Park, hoping I could catch up with the group. I nearly ran someone over, but I managed to link up with them right as they were entering the park.
Of course, after pushing myself for the first three-quarters of a mile, my heart rate was in the high 160s and never really dropped, making the rest of the run slightly unpleasant, despite the relatively easy pace we ran for the remaining 4.25 miles.
On the plus side, I got a good second run in with my new Newtons! I’m still trying to get used to the forefoot lugs, but they feel great!
Jumping right into the deep end.
I just registered for the Central Park Marathon. February 24th.
Is this the smartest thing I’ve ever done?
Haha. No. Possibly the dumbest. (Well, second to that whole incident in the 6th grade.)
But after the NYC Marathon was cancelled, I really wasn’t happy with waiting a whole year for a shot at my first marathon again. Not to mention all the time that went into training. Call me impatient, but I know I can do this.
I knew I was going to do either the Central Park Half or Full, I was just waiting to see how I felt after the Manhattan Half. A day later, I have to say I feel great! On the flip side, my cousin — who rowed crew for Boston University — also ran the half and said his legs felt like jelly today.
With three weekends to train beforehand, I’ve got a 16 miler this weekend, and a 19 or 20 miler the next, before a 10 miler to taper. Of course, there will be plenty of other running during the week as well.
If worst comes to worst and I don’t feel ready, I can transfer to the Half. Or if worst really comes to worst and I don’t feel right during the marathon, there’s no shame in dropping out. (But I know I can do this!)
I’ve been really seriously thinking about running the NYCRuns Central Park Marathon or Half-Marathon on February 24.
On one hand, I won’t have prepared nearly as much for a full marathon as I probably should for what would be my first, and I know I can do a half with little issue.
On the other hand, I don’t really want to wait until November to run my first marathon, and running a marathon where the NYC Marathon was originally run and then running the actual NYC Marathon in the same year seems like an awesome idea.
What to do. What to do…
Shin Splints and Chafing…
…and yet I still smashed my previous 4 mile PR at the NYRR NFL Back to Football Run!
My previous best, from back in mid-July, was 29:22 / 7:20 min/mile.
Tonight? 27:25 / 6:54 min/mile!
I shaved nearly two full minutes off my time, and 26 sec/mile off my pace! (According to my Garmin, it was 33 sec/mile, which I like even more.)
When my co-workers asked what pace I was going for, I said 7:30. Turns out I lied.
Note to self: Don’t ever wear the race shirt during the race again. This was my first, and hopefully last encounter (at least for a long while) with nipple chafing. Oh wow, that was painful.
Hey look, I finally got a decent race photo! I’m still not paying Brightroom $30 for a digital photo of myself. Maybe $5… max.
I’ve been lazy about updating the last week — but I haven’t been lazy about my running!
Since being cleared to run on Tuesday, I’ve run four out of five days (and played kickball on that fifth day).
So let’s recap:
Group run at The Eastside Running Company. This was the first run I’ve done there, but I can definitely see it becoming a weekly staple. The group I went out with did 5 miles at a ~8:40 min/mile pace: from the store, to Central Park, wrapping around the reservoir and back to the store. It was great to run with a big group and a good way to get myself to run after work, when I’d usually rather sit on the couch and relax.
This was the first time I used the Garmin Forerunner my dad gave me on a run… and I still have to get the hang of it. I didn’t think of turning on the watch until I was in the store, where it couldn’t receive satellite signals, and we were off and running the moment we left the store. It didn’t manage to acquire the last satellite until we were already into the park:
Slow paced, early morning run with Matt and a new running buddy, Anastasia. I dunno if she’ll become a regular in our group, but the more the merrier!
The Forerunner wasn’t showing our correct distance when I looked at it at the end of the run, but it imported into RunKeeper with everything correct. Like I said, still gotta get the hang of it.
Another morning run — this one with Matt and Allison. I never thought I’d be getting up at 6am on a day I took off from work, but I guess running is the one thing that’ll get me out of bed that early! It was actually great to be up that early, because I got to enjoy a long, relaxing day.
Finally got out for a longer run. Would’ve liked to go even farther, but I don’t want to put too much stress on my leg so soon after shin splints. Took the subway out to Central Park with Allison because the weather was so gorgeous. However, there was a catch — an AIDS walk.
There were thousands of people, someone mentioned 45,000, I believe, participating. While NYRR races will leave room for other runners/walkers/cyclists, this group was like a living wall. Needless to say, we were unable to run our intended route, needing to take a few detours and turn-arounds (including just before Harlem Hill).
On a positive note, we ended up running an extra mile than we intended, which is always a fun bonus. And really, how could you not enjoy a run in Central Park on a beautiful May day?
Run As One!
The NYRR Run As One race was today!
The course was exactly the same as the 4 mile Run for the Parks course, and after greatly exceeding my expectations last week by running with a 7:43 min/mi. pace, I was worried I had set myself up for disappointment this time around.
Boy was I wrong.
I beat my previous time by nearly 1:30 and improved my pace a full 20 seconds!
Plus I placed 250+ positions better (1,223 today vs. 1,587), even though the field increased by over 1,000 runners!
All in all, it was another fantastic race in Central Park.