Yesterday I wrote about my big goals for today’s NYC Half Marathon and plain and simple: I didn’t meet them.

It’s disappointing but I think it’s definitely a learning experience, and something that I can apply towards Boston next month and my next half — the Brooklyn Half Marathon — in May. I will redeem myself at this race.

Anyways, I didn’t have any issues with my alarm this morning which is already a good start to the day. I got to the start about 45 minutes or so before the race. It was CHILLY. I was planning on wearing a more festive outfit with a new tank from Nike in green (here) but ended up wearing all purple with my shamrock compression socks. Hey, purple and green go together, right?!

I brought along my mylar blanket from Houston and was ready to stretch and stay warm. Only to find out they were closing corrals 30 minutes before the race… really?

It was only in the 20s and standing in a corral for 30 minutes didn’t sound like the best idea, but whatever. I did a few quick stretches and got colder and colder before the race started. By time the horn went off, my feet were FROZEN. The rest of my body was OK… even wearing shorts, my legs were OK but my feet… I couldn’t even feel them.

So I thought, well, this is going to be interesting. 

I kind of dealt with something similar when I ran the NYC Marathon back in 2010, but they seemed warm compared to this. When we started running, I literally could not feel anything but pain when my feet hit the pavement. My shins cramped up, causing me to stop twice to stretch them out… and then I started worrying that I was doing damage to my legs. Around mile 3, I even considered dropping out… I mean, no sense in hurting myself weeks before Boston.

I decided to push on, and allowed myself to slow down a bit to see if that helped. Finally, around the 10K mark (basically when we were out of the park), I finally started feeling good. And ready to push it.

We headed down 7th Avenue and through Times Square (did you know? this event and the ball drop are the only two that shut down Times Square) and then down to the West Side Highway. The West Side Highway is my favorite, and I’ve spent many a training runs out here.

We had a few miles left and I kept telling myself to push it… and push it! But I realized around mile 11 that I had lost too much time in the first 6 miles to even get a PR. I still wanted to finish strong and ended up pulling in a 1:44.35.

 

Not horrible, by any means. But it’s a disappointing time because I know that I can run better and faster. It doesn’t reflect the shape I’m in. Maybe, I’m just not good at half marathons (too short?). I mean, if I hadn’t run out of real estate… if this was a marathon instead of a half… I think I could have pushed through an awesome time.

My key learnings:

  • Keep my toes warm! Bring wool socks or something to the start when it’s super cold to make sure they aren’t frozen. Especially big races where you are stuck in the corrals for a long time.
  • Don’t panic. Keep your mind in the run and don’t automatically go to the worst case scenario. Breathe, and move on.
  • Redemption comes in many forms. While it would have been awesome to pull out a PR after the worst start to a race ever, it just wasn’t in the cards… but being able to finish strong made a big difference.
  • Get ready to kick Boston’s butt! Seriously, the whole kicking it at the end? If this would have been last year, I wouldn’t have had that in me. My legs honestly weren’t exhausted and I think this is a good sign for Boston. I’m ready!

 

How did you push through a bad race experience?

Did you run the NYC Half Marathon today? Tell me how you did and your favorite part! 



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