So this past Sunday I ran the NYC Half marathon– which was a race that had its ups and downs (literally and figuratively). It was 30 degrees at the start…much colder than I would like but at least it wasn’t snowing! The first 6 miles or so of the race are a loop of Central Park, including the “Great Hill” which is more much more annoying than great in my humble opinion.
Then you exit Central Park and head straight through Times Square– by far the COOLEST part of the race and I’m sure a big reason why the entry fee is a whopping $117 (yikes!) They shut down 7th Avenue from the park exit at 59th Street all the way to 42nd St., and there are tons of people lining the streets to cheer you on. Also, because I ran this race to raise money for the ALS Association, in memory of my Uncle Mark who died of ALS, and the ALS cheering section was at the Mile 7 marker in Times Square, I deliberately used that portion of the run to reflect on Mark and my family, which was a perfect motivator to get me through the final 6 miles of the race. The ending portion of the run down the West Side Highway was a little more boring–but flat and fast and old territory to me, as it’s my usual haunt for runs these days, and the fact that the race ended a block from my apartment was a nice bonus too!
Here is what I took away for this half-marathon, my first in quite a few months: 1) My knees are not what they used to be. They are getting creakier and the soreness from longer runs lingers much longer than before; 2) I was slightly undertrained for this race, since most of the training took place during the dead of winter and I decided to stick to the treadmill most days, and it showed, with a slower than normal finish time for me; and 3) even though I have run a marathon before, I am SCARED for the NYC Marathon in November. I know I can do it, because I’ve proven to myself already that I’m marathon-capable…but doubling what I did this past Sunday seems daunting. Guess that’s what the next 6 months are for!
Now I’ve given myself a few days to “rest” (still working out of course but not on a training plan/schedule) and decide what my next moves are. I’ve entered some shorter road races for the next couple of months and I’m still considering entering a Sprint Triathlon this summer, which also seems daunting, mostly because of the potential monetary investment and the fact I’m not really what one would call a “good swimmer” :) We’ll see how it goes!