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More | Fitness Women's Half Marathon Recap

Posted Apr 16 2012 9:25pm
This will be long.  Promise.

  David and I drove in with the kids for the expo and had a really nice morning.  We walked around  and checked out all of the vendors.  I got to meet @nycrunningmama at the Sparkly Soul booth.  The NoGii booth gave us tons of gluten free protein bars (Jacob approved of the marshmallow rice bar).  I contemplated getting a SPI belt (for the billionth time!) and got two more Gu just in case.

From the expo, we went over to Le Pain Quotidien on 7th Avenue.  We ordered plenty of carbs.

 Aged Gruyere.  I shared with Leah. She has a very sophisticated palate.  Bread with hazelnuts = good.  Hazelnuts and raisins and marmalade = amazing.

And then we went down to Molly's Cupcakes and got more carbs for dessert!

Chocolate and peanut butter.  Yum.
 Sharing means you get to try everything.Letting your husband cut the cupcakes means you get to pick the bigger pieces.
I was up before 6 and  ate my regular breakfast of raisin english muffin and peanut butter with a very mild coffee.  I made it through half of each one.  That's only about 90 calories...but I ran LI Half on even less than that for breakfast.  I just can't handle food when I feel nervous.
We drove in, sans kids, and got to the park around 7:30.  I was getting so antsy I asked David to drop me off and I'd see him by the corrals or mile 1.  Very special note:  a women's half marathon requires many toilets.  There were 30 or so porta potties by the start, a regular bathroom behind that and about 30 more porta potties by the baggage area.  I went to the farthest potties.  I freaking hate those things.  Seriously.
The race started about 5 minutes late, after Elisabeth Hasselbeck spoke (btw, I was standing right by a giant speaker and thought that meant Elisabeth was right by me.  I kept looking for her, not realizing she was, of course, at the start).
My plan was to run 1.5 miles and then take a walking break.  I wanted to keep around 10:30 pace for the first three miles.  I planned to have Gu at miles 3, 6 and 9.  That was the plan anyway.  It didn't work out so great though.
First, it was warmer than it has been recently.  And super sunny in the park.  Despite forecasts of rain, there was only a little bit of drizzle at the start.  Rain would have been great around 9 am though.
The first mile went by perfectly - 10:31. And at the end of it, I saw David for the first time.  The course loops Central Park twice, so he hung out at miles 1, 7 and 13.
The next mile went up Cat Hill and I went too fast: 10:15.  I skipped the first water station because I had my FuelBelt anyway.
Mile 3 ended at the base of Harlem Hill and finished that mile too fast at 10:01.
Are you sensing a theme? Well, it's about to end. 
Mile 4 is up Harlem Hill and it was rough.  I ran all of it, but should have taken it easier than I did.  11:00.
After that mile, I was tired.  And the next mile just felt like rolling hills.  11:44
Mile 6 I picked up the pace a little bit as our group of runners was lapped by the lead women.  that might sound really demoralizing, but it really wasn't.  We could hear them coming before we saw them.  There was just a wall of noise headed at us.  Their speed is just unbelievable.  And their abs!  And quads!  Seriously inspirational. 10:59
First place finisher headed to the endwhile the rest of the pack reaches mile 7.  How badass is that?   I saw David again at mile 7.  I wasn't happy at this point.  Both feet were developing blisters and I was wearing more water than I was drinking.  I couldn't get the Gu from mile 6 down, so I put it away until the next water station.  And my running math was telling me that I was going to miss both my A and B goals.  Bummed.  11:00    Mile 8 was up and down Cat Hill again.  Running this park twice didn't feel fun. Taking more and more walking breaks. 11:42 I forced myself to run more because I planned to walk all the way up Harlem Hill with the hope of saving some energy for a strong finish.  The heat and the sun were miserable.  Saw a runner on a stretcher and reminded my self to drink Gatorade at the next station.  Mile 9: 11:19 And walk up the hill I did.  I walked for a minute and ran for 30 seconds. My quads were tired and my calves were tight from all the hills.  Mile 10: 13:00.  This one hurt to see.  I knew it was coming, but it still hurt.  Mile 11 Rolling hills.  Tired.  Kept stopping to stretch my my calves against the sidewalk. Not interested in running anymore.  Bummed that my 12 mile training run was faster than this "race."  I walked up anything that felt like an incline.  Even when I was running I was seeing crazy variations in speed - anything from 9ish to 11ish.  12:38 Mile 12:  The major hills of the course were behind me and I started to refocus.  I kept looking at my watch to be sure that I would still achieve my C Goal - a PR over my time in Philly.  I saw two more ambulances.  11:27 Mile 13:  As we rounded past the starting line again, a volunteer was yelling "10 minutes and you are done!"  Although I knew I couldn't finish in 10 minutes, I was so glad to finally feel close to the finish line.  I was so tired I couldn't come up with a run/walk plan and was just running until I couldn't anymore.  Around 12.5, I was tapped on the shoulder by a woman in purple.  She told me to run and that we had been together the entire time.  I didn't think, I just ran.  She told me that she ran a half a week before and that it was much cooler last weekend.  We made small talk and I really appreciated her running with me.  Saw another ambulance right before the mile 13 marker.  11:23 Last 0.1 Saw David and tried really hard to smile as I crossed the finish line.  I was happy to be done, but not at all happy with how the day went.  
Official Time: 2:29:2811:25 pace

I left Central Park with three blisters, a soaking wet tank, and chaffing around my collar, bra line and inner thighs.  I tried to keep walking after the finish, but my legs were just dead.  I missed all but my last goal but I left everything in that park.  I've never been so tired and sore after a race, so I know this was my absolute best effort and for that, I'm proud.  But it's still hard to train for months and then miss your big goal.
Like a true running addict, the first thing I did was google other half marathons.  LI Half is May 6th...and I've got a 4 Miler this weekend and a 10k on May 12th.
Is that crazy?  You can be honest.

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