Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 nyc half marathon: race report

even thought this was my 5th nyc half marathon, it seemed new because the last time i ran this race was way back in 2010!  both the new course and that i hadn't run in central park (excluding the last couple of miles of the nyc marathon), since last september, may have added to that feeling.  normally, i'd be on my 3rd or 4th nyrr central park race by march (i had signed up for the kleinerman 10k in January, but skipped it b/c of the foul weather).

weather-wise, the cold and wind chill, didn't make for an auspicious start.  it was a solid 20 degrees colder than the day before - when i got to run a few miles in shorts.  but when i got up sunday morning, it was back on with the tights - and two long-sleeved shirts.  as it turned out, i added a third layer, my windbreaker, at the last minute.  it was strange bouncing between feeling overdressed - most of the race - and thankful for the extra layer - running into the wind.

it was the wind blowing across 59th street as i walked over the park from the subway that made me put on the windbreaker.  as i walked up to the corrals, i realized that i had left my power gels in the bag.  i seriously toyed with idea of walking back to the baggage truck, but since i had already go thru the police checkpoint and the corrals were right in front of me, i decided to skip it.  then, as i was trying to remember which mile the gu station was located on the course - someone offered me a gu!  a total random act of kindness (or maybe karma)?

aside from that brief interaction with the runner who offered me a gu, the rest of the time waiting in the corral was uneventful - and very cold.  luckily, as the corral filled, the collective body heat of my fellow runners warmed the place up a little (as did the sunrise, a little after 7).  when the gun went off, it took a solid 2+ minutes to reach the timing mat at the starting line.  on the way there, we ambled past the starting corrals for the second wave!

between getting to the start and running in the heavy crowd, mile one, at 8:18, was my slowest of the race. i would have 2 more 8 minute miles during the race, but the rest were mostly 7:40's and 7:50's.  the pace was noticeably slower than my performance at the boston buildup 25k the week before, which means i didn't get in enough recovery.  then again, it could also have been from the irish whiskey tasting at zachy's the prior afternoon, or the st. patrick's day party that night (where i limited myself to a pair of killian irish reds).

here are my race splits:

5k  25:03
5m  39:51
10k  49:21
15k  1:14:11
10m  1:19:26
20k  1:38:13
13m  1:42:39
13.1  1:43:24

7:54 pace

by way of comparison, my five mile split at the 25k was 37:59 - roughly 2 minutes faster.  at mile 10 of the 25k i had run 1:16:34 - i had fallen 3 minutes off that pace.  i had run 13 miles 1:39:19 at the 25k, still a solid 3+ minutes faster than my 1:42:39 split at the half marathon.  even so, i was more than pleased with the outcome - and i managed to shave a full minute off my fastest nyrr half marathon from 2013 (1:44:28 at the staten island half) :D

my half marathon goal for 2014 is to get my times back under 1:40 (which i probably would have swung if the 25k and half dates had been reversed) :D

one final thought on the the course - well may two - was the thrill of coming out of the battery tunnel underpass and seeing the brooklyn bridge looming ahead, as we ran to the finish.  that moment slightly inched ahead of running down seventh avenue, as times square loomed straight ahead.  either way, those were the two main touristy highlights on the coursed for me.  and, in something of a surprise, it seemed to be colder and windier at the finish, down in the financial district, than it was in the park (or maybe that was just exhaustion?)!

here is the link to my race photos & results.

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