Twelve weeks of training came down to this: The half marathon on Saturday. One day. Would I rock it? Or would I fall short? If you read what I posted after the race you already know the answer. But, on Friday as we were driving to my mother-in-law's on Long Island (where we stayed for race weekend), I wasn't sure.
I was sure that I had done the training . . . I just needed put it all together on the race course!
After a peaceful drive to Long Island, a nice dinner of tortellini with some of the family at my mother-in-law's house, and a night of little sleep (thank you, breastfeeding 5-month old!), I woke up at 6:30 raring to go! I ate my usual pre-race breakfast of an English muffin with peanut butter and drank some coffee and water.
Once we hit the road to head into Queens I started to get really nervous. And when we couldn't find the parking and found ourselves mired in a detour, well, let's just say my nerves started to fray.
But, it all worked out. Owen dropped me off and went to park while I met up with my running pals. When Owen met me after parking, it was time to feed the baby one last time before the start. So, yes, that was me nursing my baby on the tree stump near the starting line:
|Hey, you can hardly even tell!|
Running breast-feeders of the world, be proud!
With my boys right before the start:
|My 3 year old and my 5 month old.|
I lined up right around the 1:50 mark because my A goal was 1:51:17 and I figured I needed to give myself a good shot of getting it. As I waited for the race to start, I concentrated on my race plan. I told myself not to start too fast but also to remember to push it. You can run 1:51, Happy Runner. Go do it!
We were off and what did I do? I ran faster than I wanted to. But, I felt good and the pace felt comfortable so I just ran with it.
The course was a strange one. It was in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which was a beautiful place for a race because there was a lot to look at. But, it isn't huge so for the 13.1 mile course there were a TON of twists and turns and past the same sights two and three times. I didn't love that.
I did love that my guys had plenty of diversions while I was running:
|Conal by the Unisphere and the fountains (which were not on).|
|Posing by the NYPD.|
Yes, my outfit was slightly ridiculous. But, I wanted, nay needed to wear my compression socks (thanks, CEP!) and I had no shorts that matched. I could have worn my black shorts that are now too big (thanks, breastfeeding!) but I thought that would look even worse than the crazy colors. So I went with raspberry and neon.
|Loved having my name on my bib!|
So, back to the actual running part of this race.
I wanted to run 8:30 miles to reach my A goal. I started off running the first 5 miles in 39:23, a 7:52 pace. So I needed to slow down or I was going to implode. And no one likes an imploding runner. No one.
For the next 5 miles I ran at an 8:20 pace. All along, I was sipping my Gatorade and chomping my jelly beans -- when I remembered to.
At mile 10, I was ready to be done. I felt my body start to slow more than I would have liked and my legs started to feel heavy. I had 3 miles to go but, I swear, they were the longest miles ever. I ran them in 8:49, 8:52 and 8:55 -- a severe drop-off. Not exactly a bonk, but definitely proof that I needed to consume more jelly beans earlier in the race (I finished with almost half of my jelly beans left -- the plan was to eat them all).
Over the last 3 miles I had to give myself some major pep talks to keep up the pace. I knew I was going to reach and probably beat my A goal and I didn't want to let that go so close to the end. At mile 11 I saw that I was almost 3 minutes ahead of my goal. Keep it going. Don't stop. 1:51. 1:51. You can do anything for 18 minutes. Just run!
And I did. I kept running and even picked up the pace over the last quarter mile. I crossed the finish line (looking down at my Garmin, grr...) in 1:49:29 (chip time)!!
|Look up, Happy Runner!|
|Showing off the bling for the paparazzi :-)|
|Janis, Bridget, Amanda and me, after race.|
|The half marathoners with some of the other girls who went down, including Jen and Monique who ran the 5K and Stacey who cheered us all on.|
|With Conal, in front of the Unisphere.|
Today, two days post race, I still feel good and shocked that I ran faster than I expected. Of course, now I'm thinking about my next race and what my goal will be for that. But I have time.
Anyway, this report is long enough. Here are my official stats:
Chip time: 1:49:29
Overall place: 444/2484
Female place: 112/1389
Age group place: 8/107 (females, 40-44)
And my splits:
mile 1: 7:47
mile 2: 7:49
mile 3: 7:53
mile 4: 7:57
mile 5: 7:58
mile 6: 8:16
mile 7: 8:14
mile 8: 8:24
mile 9: 8:25
mile 10: 8:25
mile 11: 8:49
mile 12: 8:52
mile 13: 8:55
last .1: 1:45 (8:22 pace)
Thanks for all of your comments and support throughout my training. Along with my long runs and my mile repeats, your support helped me through the race. So, thank you!
And to the Happy Runner Half Marathon Challengers who ran this weekend -- congrats! Leave me a comment with your race report by Friday and I'll link you up and you'll be in the running for some great prizes!
Thanks for reading!