So, the NYC half-marathon has come and gone and what an amazing experience it was! I had been wanting to run in New York City for a while and getting into the lottery for this race was so bittersweet. It was a race I had wanted to run, but the timing of finding out I got in was really bad. Going into this race, I was feeling a little uneasy about how my training had gone and what that meant for this race. I told myself, 'just have fun', and that’s exactly what I did! Being my first post-injury half and not being able to complete my 10-miler (twice) the week prior, I was unsure how things would go. Finishing became the goal and time went out the window. That was probably the best decision I could have made. I knew going into this, that these would be #MeaningfulMiles for my angel. ❤
The expo was less than desirable as NYRR is moving away from traditional vender expos. I did however get to meet some #WeRunSocial Crew at the expo, that was awesome. It’s always so great to put actual faces to these people you talk to online. I somehow ended up leaving with a few of them and hanging out for a while. New friendships were made. ❤
The race started in beautiful Central Park for the first (almost) half of the race before taking over the streets of Manhattan as we ran through Times Square, West side Highway, along the Hudson River, through Battery Park and ending in Wall Street. I was in the front-ish of the 3rd wave, and we had a later 8:10 start time, so it was kind of nice to take my time in the morning. My hotel was a literal 2-min walk through the park to the start, which was fantastic. I've learned my lesson about figuring out traffic/subway etc the morning of, so I made it easy for myself . ;) Getting through the security checkpoint was a breeze, although some people seemed very frantic about it. It was a chilly 30° at the start, but I’m somewhat used to the cold. I might not enjoy it, but I know how to react to it better than warm weather people. A quick stop for a picture atop a rock overlooking the skyline (recognize this view from a movie?) and off to my coral I went. i opted not to meet the gals and just run this race alone.
Central Park was gorgeous, despite there being no signs of spring in it. A few runner friends had warned me about the hills in the park and to take them easy. Wait, wasn’t I taking this whole race easy? Meh. I took the first mile to see how my ankle was feeling and give myself some space away from everyone. I was feeling pretty good so of I went and played with the hills. While I definitely noticed the hills, I was feeling particularly thankful for the hills I have been running on the weekends because I didn’t find the hills of Central Park to be too unpleasant, except that one somewhere around mile 4.5 (not sure exactly where it was) but that one I felt! Out of the park we came and I knew we would be headed towards Times Square. Though I had walked through Times Square plenty of times the night before, I knew this is one of the very few times they shut it down to traffic. I can’t even explain it, running through the streets with all the signs flashing without the worry of getting run over by an angsty cab driver. It was such a cool sight! I had stashed my GoPro in my pocket so I pulled it out and got some video/pics as I ran through. The crowds here were great and there was so much to see, so I paused the podcast I was listening to and just soaked up everything I could. After that, we veered off towards Westside Highway. The crowds in this area seemed a little spares but I just kept chugging along.
I knew we were headed towards the Freedom Tower, it was such a beautiful sight glistening in the sun. But, don’t be fooled like I was, the large scale of the building makes you think it’s closer than it really is. We all know that feeling of thinking you're almost there, but then it's actually farther than you think. I definitely started to lose a little steam here, somewhere around mile 10ish. My hip had started to bother me, where did this come from? I hadn’t dealt with hip issues for months, why NOW?? It was a tad uncomfortable, but not anything I couldn't run through. Knowing there was only a few miles left at that point, I kept reminding myself that the end was near and I run 5k’s on a regular basis-so just keep going. Those last 2-3 miles just wiped me. We were along the Hudson river pier and there was just a blistering cold wind coming off the river straight at me. Every single step felt like it took the effort of three- exhausting. I was getting anxious about finishing, but a quick glance behind me and seeing all the people fighting the same battle I was, provided some level of comfort. I saw the 20K marker and knew I was headed into the tunnel soon. I heard so much about this dreaded tunnel, it's dark, lonely and the road has a slight slant to it. But that tunnel became a godsend to me, a break from the wind and cold before my last push to the finish. Out of the tunnel and quick view of the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance before trucking right along through the finish and all I could think was warmth, I just want warmth. Lower Manhattan is notorious for being colder because it’s surrounded by water, and the tall skyscrapers create freezing wind tunnels. Needless to say, I was FREEZING cold while waiting for Lacy to find me in the mob of people.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed this course and race experience. Even though my time was not what I was hoping for, I had a fantastic first post-injury half and was able to push through despite my training not going as planned and the cold weather. I wish I would have taken my training a little more serious, but, life happened and I did what I could without giving up on myself. This race gave me exactly what I needed to see that after injury I could still run my favorite distance.
Would I do this race again? Abso-lutely! ❤
Provided the lottery system is good to me again, that is. Can we ogle over this gorgeous medal!
After the Race, Lacy and Iwalked an additional nearly 10 miles jut being touristy! I surprisingly felt great the next morning. I can't wait to run NYC again someday. What an amazing first visit to NYC! ❤
Dream Big. Work Hard.