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Staten Island Half Marathon Race ReportPart II – Reflections & Thoughts

Posted Oct 15 2011 9:50am

From The S.I. Ferry

Yes, there’s a part II to this race report. In my rush to sprint through the chaotic events of the morning (i was late to the start remember?), I had neglected to formulate a post-mortem review of my race. So I’m using this addendum as a forum to address some of my own thoughts and observations…all 13.1 of them:

1. This was not an easy course (why did i convince myself and everyone else beforehand that this was flat?) yet this is my 4th PR here out of 5 races. How do I explain that?

2. According to McMillian, my time projects to a 2:55:45 full marathon, and correlated almost exactly with the 5 mile PR I ran back in August (It was off by only 1 second! How weird). According to Daniel’s though, who i train with exclusively, my half marathon time projects to a 2:54:00 full marathon and the recommended training paces are what I’ve been training with during this cycle (maybe even a second or two per mile slower) so I’m going to stick with those and claim sub 2:55 as my goal for NYCM.

3. Between being stressed out, standing for a long while and starting from the back of the pack, i know I must have lost at least 30 seconds on my time. I’m not bitter.  Actually, I’m a bit encouraged because I’m sure i had a sub-1:23 in me that day if things didn’t turn out the way they did.  That will be my goal for next time.

4. Not coincidentally, my half marathon PR qualifies me for the Local Competitive Start at the front of the green corral in next month’s NYCM. My actual place in the starting field won’t change too much (since I was originally assigned to the 3rd corral of the green start anyway) but given the extra amenities, the extra food, the extra space (and most importantly the extra portapotties), it’ll be calmer and less stressful at the start than in years past.

5. I think my splits were pretty consistent throughout this race. The only trouble I had was at miles 11 and 12 and those unrelenting hills. It took a lot of mental focus and race maturity to not give up. Of course, having a giant carrot in my head like i did in my race certainly helps with that too.

6. I am convinced that mountain biking has helped me become a better hill runner. In fact, as i was climbing hills on the course, i would imagine myself on my bike, downshifting and increasing the cadence to generate more power. For some reason, it works for me.

7. I’ve never run a PR starting from so far behind the field before. But then again, I’ve never been as prepared and determined as i was to run a half marathon PR either.

8. After this PR, i now have one at every popular distance (from the mile to the marathon) in 2011. I don’t think that has ever happened in one calendar year before! Although it’s been an amazing year so far, i don’t think i’m done racing and setting PRs yet. This must be how baseball players feel when they pass a major milestone. They recognize the accomplishment but in the back of their mind, they know there’s still more work to be done.

9. Toward that end, i wonder if i can ever run a sub-1:20 half marathon. That would be truly epic and a pipe dream. It’s kind of how i feel about a sub-2:50 marathon right now or a sub-2:45. It’s not something my mind can fathom. I may never finish the 50 states or run 100 miles like so many others have done or aspire to do, but if i can run sub-2:45 in a marathon (and qualify for NYCM) i think that would be enough for me in this lifetime.

10. I’m so glad i had another rabbit runner to feed off of during the race. It makes a huge difference to know someone’s right there with you shadowing or guiding your every move.

11. We introduced ourselves and spoke for a short while after the race. He thanked me for pushing him and I reciprocated his sentiments. He called my stride effortless, efficient and too damn fast. I was humbled to know i looked exactly like i imagined myself in my head.

12. Running this race starting from the back of the pack was definitely an interesting experience. I saw so many different running forms and styles of racing that I’d never seen before. At times, I wished I wasn’t racing so i could have dished out some pointers to people as i ran. In my head, I could hear myself saying  “Run Taller! Don’t Slouch!” or “If you’re staring at your feet as you’re running, that’s where your head is going to end up!” Haha! Someday, I may do this as a running community service gig. It might be fun to shout random running tips to people as I run.

13. Out of all the NYC borough halves, i think I like Staten Island the best. I always run well here even when circumstances are not ideal. I particularly like the long out and back section in mile 6-7 where you can see all your friends running in front and in back of you. As a preview to NYCM in a month, the ferry ride and views of the Verrazano are pretty cool too.

13.1. That’s all I got. This book on the Staten Island Half Marathon is now CLOSED. See you for NYCM in three weeks. Get EXCITED!

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