Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Half

Finally, a recap of Sunday's race.

Saturday night, I stayed at Leslie & John's place on the Upper West Side. Team in Training was meeting on 90th & 5th at 6am, so had I traveled from Brooklyn I'd have had a ridiculously early start.

As it was, I woke up at 5am, ate a Clif bar (Peanut Butter Crunch) and had a cup of coffee, then made my way (in the dark!) across the park. The purple singlets were amassing in full force! It was exciting to see people I'd trained with two years ago when I did the triathlon, as well as my fellow marathon trainees.

We coralled by pace time - I optimistically lined up just behind the 10:00 mile marker, and chatted with a woman from Vancouver while waiting for the race to start. The speakers weren't great that far back, and we couldn't hear most of the pre-race announcements. I don't think we missed much!

It seemed to be getting darker instead of lighter as the race start (7am) approached. The sky looked quite ominous. We slowly made our way to the starting line, and I officially started my time at about 7:07am.

It was really exciting running with over 10,000 people! I usually get excited at the start of a race and run way too fast for the first mile, but this time my pacing was successful, and my time at the first mile marker was 11:04. I was a little worried that I was running too slowly, but remembered that I still had 12 miles to go and could make up a bit of time.

The first 7 miles were in Central Park. About halfway through mile 6, just as I was running down Cat Hill on the East Side of the park, the rain started. Not gradually, either. It *poured.* Some runners cheered, and some groaned. A guy running near me commented that he guessed this was a triathlon and we should start swimming now. Hee.

It was still raining when I exited the park on 7th Ave. I looked for my cheering squad, Agent DLang, at the park exit (he said that's the first place he'd be). I finally spotted him about a block down 7th Ave., holding a big sparkly G^2 sign! Yay! My shoelace came undone just as I ran past him so I ran over to the side and snuck in a kiss after I retied.

I continued down 7th Ave. and through Times Square, which was pretty cool - tourists were shoulder-to-shoulder under the hotel awnings watching the race! I passed the Naked Cowboy standing atop a double-decker tourist bus, and followed the runners right onto 42nd St.

The race continued to the West Side Highway, where there was a band on stilts! There were a few spectators along the course at this point, and despite the drizzly weather people were cheering enthusiastically.

DLang showed up again around 23rd St., but I barely saw him because I am SO FAST. Hee hee. Seriously though, I got there faster than he thought I would.

Just before the finish line, there was a band of merry TNTers cheering madly as I ran by. What a great feeling. Coach Lisa was at the 400m marker, and her words of encouragement ("Only a quarter mile to go! Finish strong!") carried me over the finish line. Thanks Lisa!

I finished the race in 2h13m. My splits were as follows:

Mile 1: 11:04
Mile 2: 10:47
Mile 3: 10:26
Mile 4: 10:30
Mile 5: 10:28
Mile 6: 10:22
Mile 7: 9:33
Mile 8: 9:57
Mile 9: 11:28
Mile 10: 8:09 (Mile 10 was obviously mismarked!)
Mile 11: 10:09
Mile 12: 10:10
Mile 13: 9:36
The last .1: 1:00

I'm very happy with the race; especially my pacing.

Nutrition notes: I stopped at most of the fluid stations and drank either water or Gatorade. I had Gu (Chocolate Outrage - yum!) one hour into the race.

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