Hot mess express: NYC Half 2014 recap

Last spring when I PR’ed at the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May at 2:09:35 (a 9:54 pace)  I was surprised by how fast that was..but I felt fine after but that was my 3rd half of the spring in an 8 week time period.

Well with this freezing winter, I haven’t been running as much. Lots of classes with running involved such as Barry’s Bootcamp (half the class is treadmills), Training for Warriors at Body Space Fitness (similar to Barry’s – less treadmill but more sprints), and Soho Speed at Soho Strength Lab (perfect for runners looking for speed and agility drills).

I ran this race last year in 2:17:32. This year I ran it in 2:10:54 (TOO FAST). Not a PR but so FAST for someone who hasn’t been doing distance running at all (I did “run” the Miami Half a month & half ago but that was for fun and it was 80 degrees with 90% humidity.

For the record, the NYC Half app is amazing, all the deals, track friends, everything in one place!

Pre-race
I rolled out of bed around 6:20am, made it out of my apartment after having some granola and stopped for water and coffee (I don’t usually drink coffee before a race but I did). When I got to Central Park, I met up with Lynette, a new runner friend and we headed to our corral. I LOVE the staggered start. I didn’t have to wait out in the cold for 2 hours like last year.

Miles 1- 6: The worst is over
We started right before 8:10am in corral 21, wave 3 so we were in the front of the last wave. I told Lynette good luck and we were off. I tried to keep up with her for maybe a mile or two but she took off (as to be expected – I’m slow).

I hate Central Park for all the rolling hills and this year they added an additional out and back loop at the top of the park. I started way behind the 2:10 leaders. There were two of them. For most of the park, I was bouncing around either right in front or right behind them. My breathing was heavy and my asthma was kicking in (did not bring an inhaler).

Miles 6 -8: My favorite 
By far my favorite part of the race, running towards Times Square and through it. I don’t have anything more to say other than this part makes the race worth it.

Miles 8 – 11: Ehhhh
After the 2nd out and back right before mile 8, I was already over it.  I was still keeping up with the 2:10 pace group (exactly 10 minute pace).  Mentally I wasn’t there. Although I had a big push of energy right when I saw the World Trade Center after Chelsea Piers. I hitting all the numbers until mile 11….

Mile 11-13.1: No YOLO-ing
I find that I’m typically going bananas and crazy fast at this point in most halfs. Except this one. I slowed down a lot. I took a GU around mile 6 but only had gatorade and water. I probably should have had another one around this point. I was losing it. All that beautiful pacing slowly fell by the wayside. I got incredibly hot and took off my top layer (I was wearing a tank, and 2 long sleeved layers). I was slowly losing the pace group and the tunnel was darker than I remember it from last year. The light at the end of the tunnel was the 12 mile group and a slight hill which killed my already dying quads.

Mile 12 felt like it went on forever, the sun was super bright. I started to get light headed, quads were really throwing a protest at this point. Then the signs started 800 meters, 400 meters, 200 meters… In that length there was one left hand turn, a right hand then another left, then the final right to the finish line.

Looked at the clock as a I crossed, not bad I thought but as soon as I stopped running, I felt whoozy like too much drinking.  Things were spinning, my body was shaking.  The medical tent was right next to my office and I was standing outside the medical tent but didn’t go in. I met up with my boyfriend and we were going to go to brunch but I felt like vomiting (didn’t at all) so we went back to my apartment. Even after taking a shower, everything below my waist was shaking, quads were not happy with me. I also felt very dehydrated. Eventually hours later, after making back to my apartment in one piece and drinking lots of water and gatorade, the nausea finally subsided after brunch.  

Overall: I highly recommend NOT going crazy “fast” (fast for me!) when you haven’t done the *distance* training. Luckily I managed to keep pace, not pass out or vomit so success! I’m definitely looking forward to the Brooklyn Half (and possibly crushing that 2:09 PR from last year) and better running weather.

How was everyone’s running this weekend?


5 thoughts on “Hot mess express: NYC Half 2014 recap

  1. Congrats on another half done! I wish I signed up for the NYC Half, but during the time of registration I was unsure if I would be in the country (I signed up for Rock 'n' Roll USA instead). I'll be running Brooklyn as well! I am excited – any course tips for that one?

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  2. Thanks Jenny! It's such a great race! Brooklyn is a fun race too! Luckily that race doesn't have a crazy amount of hills. There's just one hill (I think it might be like mile 4-5) that's long but not as steep as all the different Central Park hills. Overall it's a flat course! Sadly, it was humid last year! The Brooklyn Expo/Party is amazing. I would definitely come into the city early to hangout there. It's gorgeous. We should meet up when you're in town for the half!

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