Pre-race preparation: Friday night was nice and relaxing, which is exactly what I needed after a busy week. We stayed in and watched a few shows, topping off the night with nachos for dinner. I woke up early on Saturday — around 6 a.m. — and had a waffle with peanut butter and syrup (yum). I was SO tired and ended up sleeping on the subway on the way to the race, which was held in Central Park.
I started stretching as soon as I got there (about 45 minutes before the race, I’m weird and like to get there super early otherwise I must admit I get a litle stressed out), both on a bench and on the ground once they opened the corrals. I started to wake up a little bit, which helped.
Actual race: So I was a little in shock when we lined up because I was in the first corral. WHAT?! With the elite runners (granted they were still in front of us). Ummm WHAT?!?!? Which meant Desi Davila was like 6 yards away from me. Holy. Cow. I was a little nervous because it was like, should I really be here? Should I have moved back to a different corral? But before I knew it, we were off. And I realized that Desi Davila was running in front of me. Like I COULD SEE HER RUNNING.
My first mile reflected by shock and excitement… it was under 7 minutes. Umm, oops. I decided to slow down a bit and it wasn’t a problem once we hit the park because Central Park is filled with hill after hill. I felt good throughout the race, but the humidity of the day and the hills started to get to me around mile 4. Even though Prospect Park has its hills, I don’t think they compare to Central Park. Right before we hit mile 5, there was a volunteer that was yelling “the hard hills are over,” which helped me mentally. I knew that I could pick it up and push it a little bit more at that point and ended up finishing pretty strong.
What I loved: I LOVE that this was actually a woman’s only race. I ran the Disney Princess Half a few years ago and there were men running EVERYWHERE. The only men at this race were cheering from the sidelines (which was awesome). Which meant no snot rockets. Score.
Being so close to the elites was absolutely amazing. I don’t think I’ll get another opportunity for that. And, I loved all the schwag we got. Not only did we get a medal, they were also handing out carnations at the finish and I got a free shirt from Icebreaker (more on that later!). They really rolled out the red carpet for us. Plus, I was able to catch up with Ashley from Running Bun afterwards which was great.
The course itself was awesome, I will never complain about running through Central Park (even though there are a million hills). Like always, this race was impeccably organized by NYRR and ran smoothly.
Time: I PRed! I didn’t run this race smart at all (thanks to the speedy start)… but I am happy with my time.
Overall rating (5 out of 5 ups):