last year, i got chosen through the lottery to run the NYC Half 2013, and i chose to go to Colorado to visit my brother and snowboard with one of my best friends instead. this year, i was fortunate enough to again get in through the lottery — so this morning, i ran the NYC Half 2014. and i loved every single second of this race.
this race included quite a few “firsts” for me:
*first Manhattan race. yes, after living here for 3.5 years, i’ve run halves in Brooklyn, Queens, and even New Jersey, but never in Manhattan. March 16, 2014: checked that off with flying colors.
*first cold-weather race. yesterday, it was 55 degrees. today, it was 30. i’ve never run a half marathon in under 50 degree weather before, and the first mile was definitely spent jogging out those tingly sensations from spending a cold 45 minutes filtering into Central Park and hanging out in the corrals with the thousands of other runners. i had three top layers, a headband and gloves on, and i didn’t even consider taking any of it off. it wasn’t freezing, but when the wind whipped, it was certainly on the brisk side. i think i’ve determined that 60s-70s are my ideal running weather.
*first race run entirely solo. although i’ve run most of my races alone, technically, i’ve always known other people at the race or showed up with friends. i attended this one entirely on my own and actually didn’t speak a single word to anyone until i ran into my brother and friends who were cheering me on at mile 7. almost 30,000 people, and this was a completely solo endeavor for me. and you know what? i rather loved it. it’s nice to have something that i am passionate about entirely for me, simply because i love it so much and will continue to do it if i never see a familiar face again. i really, really love this.
*first pain-free race. (woot!) hallelujah! something to be said for not over-training! no IT problems, no calf problems, no problems. i felt great throughout this entire race and actually ended it with lots of energy left over, sprinting through the finish line. there was only one teensy injury, which i didn’t realize happened until after:
pretty gross, right? you’re welcome for that visual. hey, nobody ever said runners had cute toes, especially riiiiight after a long race. and that’s a pretttty impressive purple blister, if i do say so myself. pedicures, anyone?
this was a truly awesome race, and made me feel so blessed and thrilled to be a New Yorker. the course included some epic, iconic elements: it started in Central Park (holy hills) and then shot us out onto 7th Ave, which was shut down for us runners. that was the most amazing moment for me: running out of the Park and seeing Times Square entirely car-free, only runners littering the streets, packed with people cheering us on from the sidewalks. we turned onto 42nd St and shot over to the West Side Highway, which was also closed down for us, and ran that all the way down to Battery Park, through the tunnel, and up and around to the South Street Seaport. and i had a perma-grin the entire time we ran through Times Square, elated to be a part of such a monumental day in NYC, running down through the heart of the city as though it was something out of a movie. such an indescribable, once-in-a-lifetime moment.
one of the best parts of the race for me, besides the fact that i felt strong and elated and healthy and amazing throughout the entire thing, was that my brother and some great friends were here to support me and cheer me on. i first saw them around mile 7, on 42nd St. and 8th Ave, holding homemade signs and screaming. i felt so, so grateful and blessed to have such encouraging and wonderful people there for me. it was totally worth taking 30 seconds off my time to stop, hug, and photo opp:
the race seriously flew by for me, and felt like the quickest half i’ve ever run. before i knew it, i was rounding the end of Manhattan, passing the South Street Seaport, and sprinting across the finish line toward my medal. and my brother, and another amazing friend who woke up mega early to support me, and a Starbucks.
this was the 7th half i’ve done in the past 2.5 years, and definitely the best i’ve ever felt in a race. in terms of time, it was my second best, which totally thrills me considering i really didn’t do many long runs to train for it, i’ve been sick for the past 3 weeks so had to take all running easy, and i haven’t been running outside in the cold much at all. maybe i should just start training less from now on. 🙂
final time: 1:54:44. i’ll certainly take that.
so this was a truly epic day for me, and makes me so thankful to be healthy and to be able to live out my passion for running. first NYC race: huge, huge success.
hope you had great weekends, loves! xo