Hey guys, here’s my race recap from the half marathon this weekend in NY! BTW, if you’re interested in running this race next year, now’s the time to sign up! First 50 registrants tomorrow (registration starts at 7 AM) get 50% off, 30% off for the next 50, and everyone else gets 20% off till March 29th.
We woke up on Saturday morning at 6:45 AM, and I quickly got dressed and pinned on my bib. Mike told me to wear an extra layer because it was cold and windy, and am I glad I did! I had planned to wear just my Nike Hyperwarm top and a light wind-blocking jacket, but I added a light North Face fleece, which I didn’t intend to use for running, in between:
Nike Hyperwarm long sleeve top, North Face fleece, and Brooks Nightlife L.S.D Lite Jacket III (light wind-blocking jacket)
I also wore my Brooks thermal running tights, a fleece hat, and wind-blocking gloves. With the wind, I’m glad I wore all I did.
After I got dressed, we headed out around 7:30 to find breakfast. Isadora’s Café across the street was open, so I grabbed a blueberry yogurt muffin. It was delicious! I ate about half the muffin on the way to the subway, and decided my stomach couldn’t handle anymore (I was feeling both nervous and excited). Mike had me drink half a bottle of water as well. We got to Flushing around 8:15, and had no trouble finding our way from the subway station to the race location since we just followed all the other folks wearing sneakers and running gear, lol.
I’m wearing a winter coat on top of all my running clothes.
We headed inside the National Tennis Center to wait for our friends, Tiff and JJ. Many of the other runners had the same idea.
A few minutes later, our friends arrived! Tiff and I had planned to run the race together, but unfortunately, she suffered a foot injury during training. She was such a great sport though; she got dressed up in her running gear and bib and decided to run the start of the race with me!
Aren’t we cute!!
About 10 minutes before the start of the race at 9 AM, we headed outside to do some warm ups.
…and take cute photos, of course :)
As we lined up, I realized the race was not as large as I expected, just a few thousand runners – about the same size as the shorter Pacers races I had run in. I think it was just the right size; big enough to feel festive and exciting, but not so big as to feel overwhelming and require a lot of maneuvering into position at the beginning of the race. Someone sang the national anthem, and then we were off! Tiff ran next to me gamely, and peeled off, wishing me good luck.
Miles 1-3 went quickly, and while I noticed that I was running at a faster clip than I had planned for (I wanted to run the first half at about a 9:30 pace), I didn’t try to slow myself down too much. I warmed up quickly, but unfortunately, I really had to pee…no port-a-potties in sight. Sigh.
During Miles 4-6 the urge to pee disappeared magically. I tried not to think too much about how that happened…these miles were a little tougher, windier at times. But I pushed on, taking a gel at Mile 4 and drinking water at every water station.
Around Mile 7, I hit my first mental block and I wanted to slow down – the heavy wind was really getting to me. But I told myself to just push till Mile 8, where I would take another gel and drink some water. I continued to take it mile by mile until Mile 12; at this point, I finally turned on my music to push me to the end!
Me taking my gloves off in the last mile. That’s when you know it’s go time =P
I was completely surprised by Tiff jumping in at the last half mile – she gave me MUCH needed encouragement and told me the finish line was just up ahead. She knew exactly what to say to get me to the finish line. And then I saw Mike, JJ, and my sister J waiting right before the finish line, cheering louder than anyone, and they gave me to the energy to sprint to the finish!
My paces (I forgot to turn off my Garmin, so it recorded the rest of the day until the battery ran out lol):
I was training for a 2:10 finish, but I ended up running a lot faster with all the speedwork that I incorporated – my final chip time was 2:01:46, a PR! Well, any time would have been an PR since this was my first half marathon, but I was pretty ecstatic.
The medal!! It felt so great around my neck, I wanted to wear it ALL DAY (I didn’t).
Silly pictures post-race – sister J on the left, Tiff on the right, me in the center
Dawn’s Race Quick Notes
Course: Nice and flat. Not particularly scenic, especially at this time of year.
Course Support: Water and Gatorade only, plenty of aid stations. Could have used some more port-a-potties during the first few miles, but that was just my experience.
Size: 2228 runners in 2013 (yes I looked it up!) There was also a 5K that started earlier, that had about 500 runners.
Weather: Cold and windy! I saw lots of requests on the Facebook page to move the race a month later to April. No dice; they posted the date and it’s March 22th, 2014.
“Extras”: I don’t think this race series has expos, which was fine with me. I liked the tech t-shirt, drawstring bag, and medal!
Post Race NY Fun
We headed to Tiff and JJ’s hotel after the race (thanks for letting me shower, guys!!) and played with their adorable dogs before heading into Manhattan to meet with friends and FIND FOOD (I was starting to turn into a hungry monster). The first thing I ate was this egg salad sandwich from Tour Les Jours (a Korean bakery – delicious).
And then I proceeded to devour kimbap (Korean sushi, sort of) from E-mo’s down the street.
E-mo – means aunt on your mother’s side in Korean
Making amazing kimbap factory style in a tiny kitchen
Yes, I wanted Red Mango too, but I was stuffed at this point!
I met up with my high school BFF Katie afterwards, and after a visit to Starbucks, we hung out at the hotel bar until dinnertime, watching the basketball games that weekend. We had dinner at a nearby Japanese restaurant (we were all tired of walking at this point!!).
Katie grinding her sesame seeds like a pro.
It was an amazing visit, and I was a little sad to leave the next morning! But now I’m glad to be back home in DC. Where we were greeted with absolutely amazing weather this morning. I’m kidding, it was snowing. Seriously?? Snow in late March?
Do you think the weather has been crazier this year than in the past?