Sunday, February 11, 2007
PR! (NYRR Half Marathon Grand Prix: Bronx)
Today it just felt right. I woke up feeling energized, ate the right breakfast (usual breakfast that is - oatmeal with raisins, half an apple, a little peanut butter, some protein powder and a little honey) a little more than two hours before race time, felt rested and relaxed, and wasn't stressed about running a fast race. The race was on a course that I'd never run before, but I had heard it was pretty flat. It was cold out, but it didn't feel nearly as cold as the Manhattan half, and it wasn't really windy and it was clear and sunny.
I got a good start, about a minute back from the front and took it relatively easy the first mile (splits are below). I was feeling good and the course was, in fact, nice and flat. My only concern was that I might have overdressed. I certainly wasn't "warm", but I was feeling a little stuffy and thought that I probably should have gone with a lighter second layer on top. But that was a moot point obviously (and as it turned out, it never warmed up enough for it to be a problem). My next two miles were a little too fast and mile four was too slow. After the fourth mile, I eased into a comfortable pace and ran around 7:15's for the next seven miles. I ran a little bit with one guy who wasn't in any mood at all to talk, but mostly ran on my own. I drank bits of Gatorade here and there and had a gel right after the mile seven marker. Pretty early on I could tell that I felt good and had definite visions of a PR. My heartrate (I finally got a new transmitter - Elizabeth had an extra one which she was kind enough to give me) was pretty high - generally between 158 and 161, so I knew there was a chance that I would fall apart. But I just kept going. Miles eight and nine felt the hardest. But as it turns out, those were two of the fastest miles that I ran! When I passed the mile 11 marker and realized that I was totally on pace to get a PR, I decided to turn it on. Mile 12 was fast (7:01), but mile 13 was my fastest of the day (6:50). I was flying to the finish (and passing a lot of people) and felt great. I finished in 1:34:14 - over 45 seconds to spare.
I set my half marathon PR a few weeks ago at the Manhattan race (1:36:17), but in my head I knew that I ran a 1:35:01 in the first half of the NYC marathon and definitely wanted to beat that. There's absolutely no reason why I should have a half-marathon PR from a marathon! (The funny thing is that my 10K PR is from last year's NYC Triathlon - but I think I've only run one 10K since then. Strangely, that's not a usual distance for NYRR races.) I also really wanted to get sub-1:35 at some point this Spring. So, running 1:34:14 today was extra special, and the best part about it was that I felt good doing it. It's fun to be in a physical place where I can go out and run a half marathon and not suffer through it or face a tough recovery.
I met up with Assaf after the race. I saw him a couple times on the course (him going one way, me the other) and could tell that he was flying. He ended up running 1:16:32, which is incredible. Twelfth place overall, out of nearly 3,000 runners. That's just plain sick.
Elizabeth and Emily ran 15 miles. They had wanted to run 18, but just got too cold - and they were running the extra miles without and water or gatorade. They've now got exactly three weeks until race day. I'm excited to cheer them on in LA!
After I got home, had some food and took Charlie out, I jumped on the trainer for a quick (35 minute) and easy spin. I wanted to stretch my legs a little and also I'm used to doing both a bike and run on Sundays. I didn't feel any need to rush onto the bike, and the timing today worked out well.
Run - February 10
Distance: 13.1 miles
Average heart rate: 159
Course: Bronx - closed streets, but I have no idea where we actually ran
Conditions: Cold, 19 degrees, calm wind, very sunny
Bike - February 10
Time: 35 minutes
Average heart rate: 109
Mile 1 - 7:38 (started easy, crowded course)
2 - 7:07
3 - 6:54
4 - 7:23 (slowed because worried that mile 3 was way too fast)
5 - 7:14 (eased into comfortable pace)
6 - 7:13
7 - 7:16
8 - 7:12 (this felt like the hardest mile, I'm surprised it was this fast)
9 - 7:11
10 - 7:17
11 - 7:19
12 - 7:01 (realized that PR was possible)
13 - 6:50 (really turned it on, fastest mile!)
.1 - :42