Sunday, March 20, 2011

My own half marathon

Today was the NYC Half Marathon (which I definitely want to do next year!). The course starts in Central Park, goes down 7th Avenue, cuts over to the Hudson at 42nd Street, and ends downtown in Tribeca. Running through Times Square is not something you get to do every day, and in my daily life I avoid it at all costs -- too many tourists, too many people, too much!

I had 13 miles on the schedule for Saturday, but when Saturday rolled around, I just wasn't feeling it so I decided to run it on Sunday. I had a noon brunch date with my friend Eileen, so I knew I had to get this run in early, and the thought of getting up early on a Sunday and running 13 miles before brunch made me oddly excited (yes, I'm a weirdo runner girl. I admit it). So I went with it, opting for 50 minutes and upper body weights on Saturday and a Sunday Runday.

I set out at 8:45 this morning, and got to Central Park when it seemed like most people were on their second lap nubbin of the CP loop (there's one full loop, then 2 miles down to exit the park at 59th and 7th). I somehow successfully crossed the wave of people and headed west, where I thought I'd just run a couple loops of Central Park and head home, but I decided at the last minute to head for the West Side Highway. I ran down the steps (must remember to take a picture of them next time I run!), and headed north. The wind was insane -- I felt like it was holding me back in running but I kept a great pace and just counted down till I could turn around and have the wind at my back. I ran two miles up, close to 116th Street, then headed south. It was so cold running north against the wind, and running south I felt totally overdressed and HOT!
Pretty scene heading south -- yachts, NJ and lower Manhattan

I ran down to 23rd Street, and at 42nd Street I had my second run-in with the NYC Half Marathon! There was some interesting entertainment (Brazilian dancers I think?), bands, and a few runners pushing it to the end.
Go runners!

There were many supporters encouraging the runners still in the race to keep at it, but I also saw quite a few people who'd completed the race running up the West Side Highway after the race...crazy, but totally something I would do if I had to get a long run in!

I ran a half marathon on my own today, opting to go for 13.1 instead of just 13, and I set a PR of sorts (which I won't count as a PR since I had to stop once to tie my shoes and snap a photo!). I ran 13.1 miles in 1:57:47 -- nearly 9 minutes off my last half marathon, which was 2:06:10. I've been itching to run a half since then to try and break 2 hours, and today proved to me that I can do it and one day soon, I will do it.

It also let me know that I am faster than I give myself credit for. Oftentimes I hop on the treadmill at set it to 6.2 mph because I know I'll break a sweat and I'll also feel like I accomplished something. I can't say I've ever run more than a half-mile at 6.7 (a 9-minute mile), but now I know I shouldn't be afraid to. (However, I will say that while some people feel they are faster on the treadmill than they are outside, I think I tend to be a person who's faster running outside than I am inside...what can I say, I love the fresh air!)

Here's my map and splits for today:


  • Mile 1: 9:14
  • Mile 2: 8:37
  • Mile 3: 9:33
  • Mile 4: 9:19
  • Mile 5: 9:13
  • Mile 6: 9:02
  • Mile 7: 8:55
  • Mile 8: 8:47 (Powerade gel)
  • Mile 9: 8:51
  • Mile 10: 8:59
  • Mile 11: 8:57
  • Mile 12: 9:03 (evil steps at 72nd St.)
  • Mile 13: 8:23 (running my guts out)
  • 0.1 nubbin: 0:50
Total time: 1:57:47, wich an average pace of 8:59. The last time I had an average pace of 8:59 for anything over a half mile, I ran a 4 mile race in just under 36 minutes. I have to say, I'm pretty damn proud of myself for pushing my limits and running like hell. It was really a VERY good run!

After the run, I stretched very quickly (need to get on the foam roller again tonight!), showered, and headed to the Upper West Side for a much-needed brunch, free Rita's water ice (free every spring equinox), and free macarons! I wandered around the UWS before walking back across the park and feeling incredibly grateful to be a New Yorker. 
So pretty in the park!

I also found myself totally coveting an awesome home just off of 5th Avenue:
The one with the light blue Parisian!

Sigh. Maybe one day.

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