Hey guys! I’m (sadly) back from New York. I got in late Sunday night with just enough time to get my act together to get before work in the morning on Monday, so I’m just now sitting down to catch up online.
New york was a lot of fun, but it was such a quick trip! We left Thursday night after work so we could have the whole day Friday & Saturday in the city.
Friday was low key. We went to an authentic German European style beer house in Brooklyn. We all had the best food ever, and they had hops as decorations.
Then we went to a wine bar where I got a hot mulled wine spiked with an apple brandy. Strange but surprisingly good, especially since it was about 20 degrees out!
Saturday we picked up our bibs. I’m so glad we picked them up in advance because picking them in the freezing cold the day-of would have been so much worse!
We tried to go to the Guggenheim, but apparently only half of 4 floors were open due to renovations, so we skipped it. We went to the New York Public Library, which was on my to do list the last time I went to New York but it was closed as well. It was SO worth the trip!
The architecture inside was amazing and there were lots of neat free exhibits too.
Then we went to the Museum of Modern Art. It was so big and had a lot of really famous pieces. I’m not a big art buff, so I didn’t realize what was there, but here’s some famous ones we got to see.
Then Sunday finally came. We woke up at about 5:30 AM in order to make it to the city on time. I had this pathetic oatmeal in a cup on the ride there.
Not my typical race day breakfast by any means, but it wasn’t bad. Eating was just not appetizing in the freezing cold.
We got there, found parking, and then headed for the bag check. It was literally so cold that I wore my big puffy jacket out even though I wasn’t racing in it. As soon as we got to bag check, I had to take it off though. So cold!
We went in line to go to the bathrooms. Let me tell you – port-o-potty in 17 degrees = not fun. Don’t ask. Before port-o-potties, my husband took this picture. The only picture of us before/after the race. #NinjaRunners
Can you tell by our stark expressions that it was just not a good time to be standing around taking photos? 😉 Photos were not high on anyone’s priorities since fiddling with your camera when your fingers are frozen is, well, hard.
After that, we got in our corrals. The day prior when we got our bibs, I was skeptical because my bib was purple and my husband’s and friends were blue. I knew then that they decided to use bib color to denote your corral/pace. I was a little disappointed about that because then it meant I couldn’t really cheat and start the race with them. But it was okay. We said our goodbyes and I got in my appropriate corral.
The race started off very crowded. The course goes through the roads through Central Park, not the small trails since they would have been way too narrow and were totally snow covered. I think the race was around 4,000 runners this year, so it was pretty packed for the small course.
The first few miles were hard since I literally couldn’t feel my feet. It felt like I was running on ice blocks. Very strange. I warmed up so quickly though. That ridiculous ski mask thing I had came off after about 1.5 miles. And then annoyed me around my neck for the remaining 11.6 miles…
There were a few major hilly spots that I wasn’t really anticipating. I did look at the course map beforehand, but just didn’t let it sink in I guess. The race was a little more than 2 loops around the park. The first loop went well, and I found myself thinking I can do that a second time!
I felt good around mile 6, but slowly started to lose it a little after that. Once I was on the second loop, my mindset of being able to do it a second time dwindled as I approached another hill. The hills really took it out of me. My calves were on fire the whole race, and toward the second half, my hip flexors were dying.
For whatever reason, I didn’t see the 12 or 13 mile markers. Those seemed like the longest 2 miles ever. The first loop went quickly, but the second loop I just kept thinking, I thought I would be done by now! After mile 10 and being on a big hill, my mind just started to focus on finishing without having to walk. Which I did 🙂
The finish was totally uphill, which is just cruel. But I pushed myself to the finish for a time of 2:20. I knew this race wouldn’t be a PR well before halfway through. And I was totally okay with it. My last half, I pretty much panicked when I realized I wouldn’t get the time I wanted (which I have now reevaluated altogether).
I let it go this time and was super happy with my time because it was freezing and because of the crazy hills. The conditions for this race were nuts, so the fact that I still finished in what I consider my “average” half marathon time is all good. And I’m also pretty proud of completing my third half marathon now 🙂
Some random thoughts about the race:
- The water stations had frozen water. The first cup I took was a block of ice. Hilarious. We had to break the ice to get to the water to drink it. Volunteers were yelling out “ice cold water!” Literally!
- There were mandatory volunteers cheering for us spaced evenly throughout the course. As corny as that seemed, it actually helped to have someone say “good job!” as you ran by wishing you were drinking hot chocolate next to a fire…
- There were no medals, and the post-race was really lame. They had apples and pretzels… And space blankets!
- I wore the most clothing I’ve ever worn while running during this race. I don’t regret a single thing I put on.
Thank you, guys, for all your support through this training. I have to say, this time training I’ve gotten the most support ever from family, friends, and readers. 🙂