Half Marathon #25 (State #23)
Weather - Sunny, Windy, Very low 30s
As soon as we heard about the NYC half marathon, we knew we wanted to do it. However, like most of these races... it is a lottery system that determines whether you are in or out. We put in our registration in June and didn't find out until December that we were picked. Well. Actually, *I* was picked. L was NOT selected. Luckily, we had done our research before registering, and I was able to convince a woman at NYRR that we HAD to both go. She claimed she could not guarantee anything, but was kind enough to squeeze L's registration through. So... off to New York.
And what REALLY makes this race even more special? Race day falls on the anniversary of the very first half marathon we ever ran! 3/20/10 we were at the start line of Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab, Utah. One year later, and we are set up to race our 25th half marathon??? Hard to fathom how far (and how crazy) we have come :D
Anyway... in typical B & L racing... there was going to be some logistical issues. If you haven't been to NYC lately, let me tell you that it is expensive. We didn't want to have to stay in the city more than one night. As much as we enjoy adventure and being out of town, we also don't like to leave the kids longer than we have to. Finding an affordable flight to La Guardia was a bit of a struggle. And we weren't able to find one direct. What THAT meant is yet another red eye. Blah. So our adventure begins at 1:00 am on Saturday...
I can't sleep on a plane. Neither can L. We can, however, sit there twitchy and uncomfortable until we arrive at our layover location, Detroit. We get there EARLY (before 6 am). We find the only (and most incompetent) Starbucks in the airport. After 30 minutes we are armed with coffee and hang out at the gate until our flight leaves. Flight to New York is fairly uneventful.
|First NY cab ride!!|
We figure that a good way to kill time is to walk slow and to do some sightseeing...
Then we see the Empire State Building!!
We decide that's a MUST while we are in the city, and since we are already there, we head that way. Just GETTING to the top took longer than it did to look around once we are there. FYI, the "cheap" ride to the top takes you ONLY to the 86th floor. If you want to go all the way, it was something like another $20 a person. We decided that 86 floors was plenty high enough. Here are some pictures of the view. It was a nice day, but VERY windy that high up!
|In the distance you can see the Statue of Liberty|
We then continued walking, and soon we were headed into the heart of Manhattan! We didn't even go in, but I just HAD to take a picture anyway:
By the time we got to Times Square we were RAVENOUS. Planet Hollywood seemed like just as good a place to eat as any. They told us the wait was 5-15 minutes. 45 minutes later, we finally were seated. And had a ridiculously expensive side salad, but a super awesome turkey sandwich made up for it. YUM.
In case you hadn't noticed it about me and L, we are creatures of habit. So we were PSYCHED to find an Applebee's only a ten minute walk from our hotel. Score!! We of course ordered the same thing that we always do, but it was about three times as much money. Guess we were paying for the experience too :D
After dinner we decided to walk around a bit more:
We stopped at a small shop on the way back to the hotel where we got our beverages (I had to settle for a can of Coors Light). The plan was to go to bed as early as possible... However, I had been suffering from a nasty head cold for a few days, and I really wanted to take some Nyquil before bed. I had to wait until at least 9:30 (4 hours between cold medicine doses).
I normally don't sleep that great the night before the race. Probably a combination of NO sleep the night before and the cold medicine, and I slept pretty good. Except for waking up in the middle of the night with a nosebleed...
Alarm goes off at 5:15. The race doesn't start until 7:30. We take about 30 minutes to get ready, and we needed to take a cab to the start line. Unsure of how traffic would be, etc., we always like to be a little early.
|What better race to wear this outfit??|
We were dropped around 6:10, and we had some time to kill until we had to drop off our gear. It.Was.Cold.
|From the starting corral|
|Waaaaay back in corral #10|
|Me & L|
|Minutes before the race is to start|
The first half of the course was run through Central Park. It was REALLY pretty, and there were TONS of spectators. The first 5 miles was one big loop, and then the next 3 was a repeat of the beginning of the course.
The first few miles I was feeling really good. There seemed to be a lot of aid stations, the cooler temperatures that had been so annoying earlier felt good to run in. I had found a good pace. As is turning out to be typical in my racing, I started to feel like I needed to use the bathroom around mile 4. It wasn't that urgent and since there were lines for all the bathrooms at the aid stations, I figured I could hold it until we came full circle to where we started and I knew there were a lot of them.
Around mile 5.75 I saw some a bit further off course but with no line, so I headed that way. Not sure how off course it was, or how much time it took, but of course I felt better. We had been told that the first half of the course was harder and "hillier" and I was looking forward to getting out of the park and seeing some new scenery.
|Approaching Times Square|
There was a weird U-turn on 8th, and then we headed down along the Hudson River toward Battery Park. It was pretty chilly running along the river too, but it was a clear and beautiful day.
My legs were still feeling pretty good, and I didn't feel nearly as tired and out of shape as I have the last few races I've run. It helped that there were a lot of aid stations. Those quick walk breaks help a TON!
|Aid Station around mile 11|
Crossed the line, and felt GREAT!! So happy to be done!
|Just crossed the line - ahead is the Financial District|
Official Time - 2:05:14
Overall - 5952/10201
Gender - 2485/5440
Division - 546/1640
5K Split - 28:34
10K Split - 59:50
15K Split - 1:29:28
20K Split - 1:59:03
Official Pace - 9:34
Garmin Time - 2:05:16
Garmin Distance - 13.32 miles
Garmin Pace - 9:24
Mile 1 - 9:08
Mile 2 - 8:38
Mile 3 - 9:10
Mile 4 - 9:30
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 10:35 (bathroom)
Mile 7 - 9:45
Mile 8 - 9:02
Mile 9 - 9:23
Mile 10 - 9:49
Mile 11 - 9:32
Mile 12 - 9:22
Mile 13 - 9:10
Mile 13.1 - 8:06
Then came the struggle of finding L. In a race this big, with this many spectators, it's a little scary trying to find her. Luckily she is like a girl scout and "hugs a tree" as close to the finish as possible. We were both freezing and headed to bag drop to get our stuff. I was so cold I could barely put my jacket and sweats on!
|View from Battery Park|
We never really did warm up after the race. We were carrying all our luggage around, and doing more shopping, and after a few hours we decided to just head to the airport.
The only real problem at La Guardia? No place to get a burger... there was one sports bar and they only had Veggie burgers??? Seemed Un-American to me. We settled for a salad to hold us over until we got to Chicago. As in most of our travels, the very end of the journey ended up being the drama. Our super late flight (we were supposed to land after 11 pm) was delayed almost 2 hours. Due to "maintenance" our flight didn't land until after 1:00 am in Denver.
So... NYC was a great experience. So fun, and I am so happy we got into that one.
Half #25... COMPLETE!