Sunday, March 21, 2010

New York City Half Marathon - PR!

Today was as a good a day as I could have hoped for.  The weather at the start of the race was 55 and sunny with little wind.  I was not expecting to be able to run in my Sports Bistro tri top and shorts for a March race!  I had a one mile warm up on the jog over to the race start on Central Park's East Drive with Ton.  Felt good, no pains or cramps or residual soreness from the week.

Got into the corral at 7:10, race started at 7:35.  I hate waiting around for so long, but I tried to move around and stay limber.  Downed a Blueberry Pomegranate Gu Roctane about 10 minutes before the start, hoping the caffeine would kick-start my race. The gun went off and so were we.  First mile came in about 7:45, which I was pleased with for what felt like an easy effort, plus the usual congestion at the beginning of the race.  For the first loop of Central Park (6 miles) I maintained that pace, never deviating from 7:40-50/mile, even on the Harlem Hills.  I actually felt pretty good, but wanted to hold back a little from my target pace of 7:30 because I was afraid of going out too fast and knew I could open it up on the flats and downhills of the last 6 miles.  I took another Gu Roctane, Pineapple this time, at mile 7.  I was also sipping water and Gatorade Endurance formula at every other aid station.  At mile 7 I catch up to Andy and pass him at mile 8.

Once we rounded the park and got onto Broadway, I was starting to feel a bit tired but knew the terrain would help me.  I think my favorite part of any course I've done is the 2 miles down Broadway and onto 42nd St.  Even though the crowds aren't as big, for me this rivals going up 1st Ave in the NYC Marathon.  I feel that this is my city and I can own this course.  Pace picks up accordingly and I enjoy it.

But coming off 42nd St around mile 10 I am really starting to feel tired.  HR is high and my legs are starting to hurt.  I know I have to maintain the 7:20-30 pace I have been keeping in order to meet my goal of a sub 1:40 (ideas of crushing that time are out the window).  I figure it's just 3.1 miles (only a Turkey Trot!) left so let's get this over with.  It's flat and fast at this point so no excuses.  But my lack of recent training (last long run was 11 miles 3 weeks ago) shows itself and those last 3 miles are getting more and more painful.  I muscle through them and am proud that my pace didn't really drop, but man they hurt.  If this were a 14 mile race I would have been in trouble.

But it wasn't and I finished in 1:39:30, significantly better than my 1:47:57 previous PR (which I knew I could beat).  I know I still have time to shave off this, but it's a good start to the season.  Alas I was not the Team Sports Bistro winner as Ton finished about a minute ahead but I am happy with the results.

Next up:  ???  I was going to do the Boston Marathon but my training has been so sub-par and it's only 4 weeks away that I am considering bailing and doing USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals the same weekend.  Decisions, decisions!

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