Monday, April 4, 2011

13.1 New York half marathon race report

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.
Since the course was twisty and repeated some loops, Owen was able to bring the guys around to cheer me on. Here I am at mile something, getting a high-5 from my little guy:

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!
 Yeah, I was a little proud:
Showing off the bling for the paparazzi :-)
After I finished, I met up with Owen and the boys and then watch my awesome running pals cross the line. Amanda ROCKED the race, running a major PR! Suzy ran strong and looked so solid and ready to keep on running as she crossed the line. And Bridget and Janis? Well, those first time half marathoners -- who just took up running a year ago -- finished together, holding hands. Cutie patooties, as Conal would say.

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.

The fam!
With Conal, in front of the Unisphere.
I felt terrific after the race. Just elated. I hadn't let my mind go to sub-1:50 for the race and what happened? That's what I ran. I felt like I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the weekend. Honestly, 5 months after having my second child, I rocked a half-marathon. I guess all my pregnancy running and quick return post-baby helped keep me race ready!

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!

~ Felice


Anonymous said...

awesome pace!!!!

Heather said...

WAY TO GO! thats so awesome! congrats.

Bridget said...

Just reading this makes me all jittery and excited! You go girl!!! Now let's start planning the next one!

Marlene said...

Congratulations Felice!!! You blew it out of the water! Congrats on killing your goal and going sub-1:50. FANTASTIC!!!

Unknown said...

You are an inspiration to this (slow) newbie! And I totally emailed you this info cause I didn't know what to do with it. So please disregard that.

I did the 3 day challenge.
Friday - 4.2 in 40:35
Sunday - 8.9 in 1:34:17
Total time was 2:14:52, avg pace of 10:17.
Definitely some pr's for me!

Unknown said...

Kudos, kudos, kudos! Awesome race. So excited for you!

Winks & Smiles,

Running For Two said...

You smoked it!

Here is a link to my runs:

Saturday- 12 miles + Sunday 4 miles. All at an 11 min/mile SLOW pace! Hoping it looks better in 4 more weeks!

Kara said...

OMG, I love that you nursed before the start. That makes you so much more hard core than any of those other runners!! <3

Jen Feeny said...

Way. to. go!!!!!! Ahhhh I knew you had it in you!!! So proud!!!! Congrats!!!

The G Family said...

SO AWESOME!! Congrats again, Felice, you kicked some serious butt!! So happy for you!!

And, I am SO happy to have completed my first half-marathon in 2:20- thanks for inspiring us all!!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Congrats on your time! You should be really proud of yourself!

Darlene said...

My not so great 1/2 time=2:27:17

Congrats on your great race!!!!!!!

Scott & Phoebe said...

Sounds like we ran almost identical 1/2s! On Sunday I did a 1:49:18. Congrats on meeting your goal!!

Julie D said...

Congratulations on the awesome time!

I came up a bit short on running the 13.1 required for the challenge:
3.1 on Friday and 8 on Saturday. I have been SO busy preparing to defend my dissertation and am very wiped out to boot.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Congrats on your time!!!!!

My race report(s) will be ready tomorrow. YAY!

Diana said...

Great job Felice!!

Running 365 said...

Yay! You earned it!

ajh said...

Love the pic of your nursing at the start line. What a dedicated mom and runner! Congrats on the good time. Love the shot of your boy giving you a high five too!

Suzy said...

Congratulations again!!! You had an amazing race on Sat. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you after. I'll get my RR up when I figure out what to say.

J said...

Great job on the half! You did so awesome!! I am so glad that the race went well and you finished with such a great time!

HudkinsFamily said...

Awesome job - I was excited to get home this evening just to read your recap!

I, on the other hand, bombed the challenge. Oh well, there's plenty of time to get back up on the training schedule!

Jayme said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. Can't wait to read more posts. Also, I'm excited becuase Felice is my middle name and I've never seen anyone else with the same name.

The Caldwell Family said...

Congrats on your 13.1! I am so impressed with your time. Thanks for hosting the challenge. It definitely helped me to stay focused on the training needed for my first half in a really long time.

I ran the Bentonville, Arkansas Half Marathon on Saturday, April 2nd. My chip time was 2:06:47 and I finished 381/813 overall, 110/382 women, and 16/56 women age 40-44.

The official results are found here

I highly recommend this race. It was very well organized and was a lot of fun.

Thanks again for the challenge! I look forward to doing another one.

Marthacooper (aka Kristen C.)

Quinton J said...

YOU ROCKED IT. Nice work. Sub 1:50 is an awesome accomplishment. You should be super proud.

Also, I've never loved a pair of socks more.

Denise said...

awesome!!! congrats, you nailed it and you looked great out there. love the high five picture!

Steel Springs said...

Congratulations on a great race and an awesome PR! Cute pics!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the awesome race!!! You are such a rock star! :)

B.o.B. said...

CONGRATS! You kicked butt. I love the high five from your little guy. Too cute. Soak up that awesome feeling for as long as you can.

Lindsay said...

I love your funky outfit! Sounds like a great race - able to see your cheering squad throughout the run. Congrats on an AMAZING time! 1:51? Umm you blew that away!

macnic said...

Amazing! I'm glad you were able to kill it!

Here is my report:

Saturday April 2: 5k - 31:42
Sunday April 3: 16.1k - 1:48:12

Total: 21.1k - 2:19:54

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I'm glad those old shoes you worried about kept you running strong after all. Congrats on a great finishing time!

Anonymous said...

Felice that is super fantastic!!! Way to kill it out there- and I love love the super sweet photo of you slapping Conals hand!!

Aron said...

Soooooooo awesome!!!! Way to NAIL your A goal lady! Congrats :)

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