3 half-marathons, 1 full marathon and a number of smaller distance races later, I've definitely become a better, faster runner since that 10k last April so I knew that I was going to PR today no matter what.
What I didn't expect was to have to work so damn hard for it.
This race was tough. The race was mostly in Central Park which is where I did every single one of my long runs for the Philadelphia Marathon. The Harlem Hills aren't easy, but I did that loop 2,3, sometimes 4 times in one run. I think that's why I did so well in Philadelphia, because I had such a strong hill base and ran an entirely flat course. That's why my first marathon seemed so easy. The hills today weren't bad but training in Central Jersey, Florida, Texas and Iowa (read: entirely flat) for the the last 6 weeks made them a little bit less manageable than I would have liked.
It didn't help that I had to wake up 3 hours before the race started and take an hour long train + a 20 minute subway ride just to get there and wait around for an hour but what killed was the 96% humidity. It wasn't that hot out (70 degrees) but that humidity just got to me. The air was just so thick and it was so sticky. As soon as I started, I knew I wasn't going to run the race I wanted. By Mile 3, I just wanted it to be over. At Mile 4, I started getting horrible side stiches...which I never get. At Mile 5, I started to feel how close I was and tried to pick it up, but I got another side stitch and I just couldn't go any faster. I tried so hard to pick it up toward the end and I couldn't. I knew it was a bad race when I couldn't even sprint through the finish.
I finished in 53:36. A huge PR which I'm both excited and proud about but I'm disappointed about how the race went. I know I have a better 10k in me. But I'll just have to prove that to myself next time, right?
In terms of the race itself, I really liked it! An all women's race with awesome cheer squads (almost all guys too!) and a great but challenging course dedicated to Grete Waitz (9 time winner of the NYC Marathon) - what's not to like?
They had medals (a nice surprise!) and carnations for all finishers where I met up with the sweaty blog group for brunch!
I organized brunch for about 12 of us at Whym, a cute place right near Central Park. It was Emily (Sweat Once a Day), Celia (Running Seal), Ali (Ali on the Run), Tina (Carrots n Cake), Becky (Beck on the Run) Liz (Food to Run For), Ashley (Healthy Happier Bear), Theodora (Losing Weight in the City),
Kelly (Meals for Miles), Lisa (Early Morning Run) and Claudia (Challenging the Body). We had a blast! And I had Bananas Foster French Toast. If you ever come to New York, please let me know and I will take you to Whym and repeat this brunch because it was the best French Toast I have ever had.
We were all starving and I think all of 2 pictures were taken at the table. Oops. So this is the only picture I got from brunch (besides my food of course):
|Me and Ali!|
That's all I've got for you know. A 5am wake up call, race + brunch takes a lot out of you. I promise I'll post pictures