I've been procrastinating about writing this report. It was a good race...and a not-so-good one. But overall, I enjoyed myself. Chelly and I were doing this race, so we decided that it made the most sense for me to spend the night at her apartment. I had to go to the expo to get my race packet on Saturday and it makes so little sense to go into Manhattan on Saturday, go home, and go back again on Sunday. The expo was small, as these races with only a few major sponsors tend to be. I got my packet, took some photos and had a pace band for a 2:10 finish made up. I thought that time might be possible. Although, to be honest, I was really concerned about how my knee would hold up. I did a drastic taper and stayed completely off of it for three whole days and then two short two mile runs on Wednesday and on Saturday. Nothing of note, so I was hoping for the best. After the expo, we headed over to BB King's in Time Square for the pre-race pasta party. Very low key. Might have been because we got the first seating at 5pm. We wanted to get to bed early. The food was really good. Pasta primavera and pasta with a tomato basil sauce. Bread and rolls, salad and some really good cookies and brownies. Considering the location, the entertainment left a little to be desired. They ran a loop of a promo regarding some kids program sponsored by the NYRR over and over and over. Sunday morning the alarm went off at 4am. I rolled back over as I wasn't planning on getting up until 4:45 - I don't need too much time to get ready in the morning. Had a bagel and apple juice for breakfast. Will skip the juice in the future and stick with water - it didn't settle too well in my stomach. We left at about 5:30 and got a cab uptown to the park entrance. You could see the ghostly runners walking in the streets - numbers on their shirts and official plastic baggage bags in their hands. There was a bit of a mixup because we didn't realize that baggage was at 90th Street and our entrance was at 97th Street. So we walked down and then back up into the park. I liked the corral system. There were portajohns for each corral and the corrals were large enough to sit and lie down on the ground while we waited. And we had to wait. You had to be in your corral for 6:15am for a race start of 7:00am. I tried stretching a bit, but mostly I just tried to rest. About 10 minutes before the race gun, people started walking forward toward the start line. There was a pause while I suppose announcements were made and the national anthem was sung. Couldn't hear any of it. Then you could tell we had started. I mentioned to Chelly to be sure she doesn't go too fast as we actually had a bit of a ways before we crossed the starting line.
Mile 1 - 9:48 Once the race started, I felt good. The most vivid memory of that first mile is the odor of the horse droppings on the roadway :-)
Mile 2 - 9:54 Still feeling good. Probably going a little fast for the start of a race.
Mile 3 - 9:56 It was at the end of the third mile that I felt the first twinge from my knee. It wasn't too bad, but I was a little worried. It hadn't bothered me on my last long run until the eighth mile.
Mile 4 - 9:44 I think this is where I found the Nike Pace team for a 2:10 finish time. Nike had done the pace bands a little different. They had adjusted the mile paces for the specific portion of the course. Speeding up when it was flat or downhill and allowing longer for uphills. The only problem with this is if you take the slower mile at the beginning, the last few miles have to be fairly fast.
Mile 5 - 9:37 Can't imagine what I was thinking, but the knee was feeling alright.
Mile 6 - 10:20 Hills, nuff said.
Mile 7 - 9:51 During this mile you pass through the start line. You know that you're almost out of the park, so the adrenaline starts to kick in.
Mile 8 - 9:49 Out of the park onto 7th Avenue. Huge adrenaline burst. I knew that I wasn't feeling my knee any longer. I had a feeling that I would be sorry later, but at the time I didn't care. Coming out of the park, we were met by a huge cheering section from Team for Kids - a sea of yellow. This is also where we start to pass the bands. I never would have made it except for these two things.
Mile 9 - 9:15 Serious denial here. Crossing Manhattan on 42nd Street was amazing. I was just letting the atmosphere and the Nike pace team pull me along.
Mile 10 - 9:35 Still doing OK, but this is where the wheels were starting to come off. I lost the pace team here. I stopped at a water stop and I knew I didn't have the energy to catch them back up. When we turned onto the West Side Highway for the long straight run for the finish line, I knew I was in trouble.
Mile 11 - 10:31 This is where I started taking walking breaks. The knee was paining me and I had lost all my energy. I probably would have walked the rest of the course if I hadn't run into Gerry from my running team, the Alley Pond Striders. I don't think he sees this blog, but if he runs across it - thank you so much, Gerry, I couldn't have done it without you.
Mile 12 - 10:56 More walking breaks. I'll be honest and say that this last 3 miles is a real blur. I do remember that I saw someone on the side who I believe was Josh, but I can't be sure. One of my fellow Striders was doing course marshall on a bicycle. He stopped us so he could take our picture. I kept telling Gerry to go ahead as he appeared to still be doing well. But he stayed with me.
Mile 13 - 12:33 I think I walked most of this one.
Mile .37 - 3:36 My Garmin got the course a little long. I think it lost a quarter of a mile in the first part of the race, so all my mile markers are probably a little off. I managed to get it together to run through the finish chute. Someone handed me a cold soaked towel, which was fabulous. I got my medal and my goodie bag with a bag of pretzels, a pear and a bottle of water.
Final time - 2:15.28 I'm a little disappointed in the time. It's fantastic for how I felt that day. I was sure that my time was much slower. But I was really hoping to get closer to my time from the More marathon. I was even slower than Steamboat and I didn't have the altitude to blame:->
I was going to do another half in the fall, but I think I've decided not to. First I'm going to rest up the knee and see if I can get that straightened out. Then I want to go back to the fun of the shorter races. I'm already registered for a 5 mile on Sept 9 and there is a relay on Sept 8 with the club which would probably be a blast. There are also a couple of organized bike rides that I'm looking at.