I was completely relaxed about this race, even though I’d heard so many bad things…!
“The hills in Central Park are impossible, do them twice? What?”
“One time around is enough for me, thanks”
“You are going to get so bored doing the loop twice!”
Really, even some of the BGR girls refused to do the race because of the hills. I really wanted to do this race because hello?! It was my first all girls race and if I plan on running a long time in NYC I better get to know Central Park really really well. So basically I had no worries–and no expectations for a PR even though I had doubled my mileage and stayed consistent since the Rock N Roll DC Half.
I obviously planned my outfit weeks in advance because that’s what I do! Heck, I already have my Brooklyn Half getup ready but that’s for another post.
I woke up on time after a very restful night, I was a little worried because I had spent the day prior on my feet a bit too much hanging out with the boys all over the city–but I felt fine. Made breakfast, slipped on my gear and got on the subway.
Unfortunately the subway did its usual weekend antics and I didn’t get there until 10 minutes before the race began!! I left my house with 90 minutes to spare–ugh. Usually the ride is about an hour or less.
I had a small tea while I was on the train and for the first time I actually had to use the potty before the start of a race! There were SO many girls waiting. It was another 20 minutes before I did my business and jumped in the already slow moving crowd to the start line.
Did I mention the weather was insanely perfect? I’m not even used to single layer race conditions–it was so freeing! When we crossed the start line it was somewhere around 8:13am. I felt good–no lead legs–breathing felt controlled and I didn’t feel frantic. I even saw Natalie Morales breeze past me!
Around mile 3 I heard hooping and hollering through my (insanely good) playlist and when I looked to my right it was Deena Kastor running past all of us is the outer lane. She waved at us and it was the perfect pick me up because I was starting to lose focus right at that moment.
As I began to see consistent 12s and 11s on my Garmin, I realized at mile 8 I would be able to PR and it wouldn’t be by a couple of seconds it would be by full minutes!
Around Mile 12 even though I was still pacing myself and calculating times in my head, I really ran out of gas. I started repeating positive mantras out loud to myself and pushed even when my brain said girl go sit down somewhere.
As I approached the finish line with so many spectators I felt strong for the first time in a long time. Usually I’m dragging myself to the end and this time I ran with my head up smiling at everyone I passed. I got a beautiful medal, a heat sheet and of course my boys.
I PR’d by 2 minutes and 20 seconds. In Central Park!
I’m just going to pause here to say that I was really beginning to think that I would never PR again. I thought the PR in Trenton was a fairy unicorn, a mythical creature found only in my imagination. I have done 3 half marathons since and did not even come close. To do it on a tough course in my hometown–was a big deal for me. It helped restore much needed confidence in my running especially with marathon training starting in less than 3 months!
I headed to the med tent immediately to get a jump on the splitting headache that was imminent by getting some Tylenol. The med tent was a total triage scene–ankles twisted, ice packs everywhere, one woman being exported out on a stretcher–all of it. Doing a half marathon is tough work, I’m so grateful for a body that allowed me to do so for a 6th time!
Having my boys there was just the icing on the PR cake. My hubs brought a ball for them to play with and they just ran all over CP like it was theirs. My eldest of course wanted to wear my medal so I gave it to him because he is just so cute.
3 Lessons Learned From The Women’s MORE/Half Marathon
If you have to go to a potty with 10k people in a race– NEVER EVER look down before you go #traumatized
Listen to your friends advice but make your own decisions when it comes to races–hills are not that scary after all!
Wear the prettiest tutu and all the cool girls will compliment you while you are running–over and over! It is a definite confidence booster!
Extra credit: Sports Bras you workout in may not be appropriate race wear. I got my first set of chafes this weekend–I’d show you pictures but judging by my husbands strong reaction to them you can take my word they were pretty brutal.
Check out my video of the event, including my thoughts and footage from the scenes of the race!