Sunday, March 14, 2010

Getting race ready

My first race of the season is next weekend!  I, along with others from Team Sports Bistro, are running in the NYC Half Marathon on Sunday, March 21.  I am using this as a tune-up for the Boston Marathon in April and it will be a great time to test out the race gear for the season.  Since I'd like to PR the race (not all that hard since my previous 2 attempts at this distance are well below my capabilities, in my opinion), I will be racing it and so it is a crucial day for me.

Nutrition-wise, I plan on taking my staple, Gu Roctane (one packet 15 minutes before the race, another one 30 min in around mile 4 and a final one at 1:15 or approximately the 9 mile mark).  Since this isn't a hot and humid race I don't anticipate needing any salt tablets and should be fine with the sports drink and water on the course.  And I'll take a free Powerbar gel at mile 9 too (for later).  I will also put a water bottle with Gu Recovery Brew powder in my bag so I can just add water and have a great recovery drink waiting for me at the end.

The bigger question I have for the race is what to wear.  As of now, the weather looks to be around 50 with a 60% chance of showers.  Not bad for a March race, but not great either.  Running while wet can make me cold and my socks and shoes soggy and heavy.  I don't have racing flats (yet) so there's not much I can do to prevent that.  This is where triathlon-specific shoes might come in handy!  I'd like to wear a jacket for the rain but fear I'll overheat.  But a singlet will be too cold.  Hmmm, any suggestions for this?  If the rain clears out this will be perfect weather for a long-sleeved tech t-shirt and running shorts. 

Finally, perhaps the most important aspect is my pacing.  I've only done a handful of long runs and embarrassingly few speed workouts, so this could be my biggest problem.  I'd like to hit around 7:30 miles once the crowds clear (for a 1:40 finish time) and I think that is within the realm of possibility, but by no means guaranteed.  I'd like to be cautious for the first 4 miles, which are the only real hilly ones of the course and then open it up from miles 7 onward.  I do all of my long runs on the path alongside the West Side Hwy where the course is so it will be familiar and I like having a sense of ownership over a course, the same way I feel with the NYC Triathlon run course in Central Park.  These are my training grounds, so let's do it!

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