Friday, March 28, 2014

NYC Half 1:17:17 - big PR, BIGGER goals

I know. My goal at the NYC Half marathon was to run a sub-1:17 and I didn't BUT I'm still happy. Amazing. I have to consider that without Devon (Central Park Track Club coach), I probably would have convinced myself that a 1:18 would be a good effort. Though, far from my potential, a 1:18 seemed a probable achievable number. Safe and still a big PR. Devon, on the other hand, laughed at my 1:18...even at a 1:17 and told me I can run a 1:16. Plain as day, no blinking. In my mind, I'm thinking oh geez, that's fast but once the number was set, that's what we've worked towards since December. 5:52 per mile was (still is) the magical number. The workouts: 8 milers with 4mi at marathon pace, 4mi at half pace - tempo 6 milers - the split 5ks, 1st at 5:52/mi and 2nd at 5:49/mi - the mile repeats at 5:30-35 - Repeat 1ks at 3:13-17 - 400s with a few below 70seconds AND the amazing part was the workouts were all done indoors. Yep, all on the treadmill and indoor track. I think I counted 24 speed sessions since January and only 4 of those were outdoors. FOUR! Because winter sucked. Planned workouts fell on ice, wind, snow days (well, that pretty much encompassed every day this winter) so I kept it indoors. For one, I can't run fast when it is 20degrees outside. I barely can run fast if it is 30degrees outside and two, ice is evil so I opt for warmth, my sports bra and shorts and my oh so loved moving platform.

What's there to say about the half marathon? It went as I planned. I didn't fall apart or run the first mile to fast. I was just off by 1.2 seconds each mile. Maybe with a warmer start (40F instead of 33F) and less swirling wind, I could have had my 18sec without changing anything. I went out in a 5:49 and stayed very reserved when climbing the hills in the park. Kept behind runners to help block the wind (pissed off one girl who threw in a little elbow and a 'I'm going to cut you off because you stole my windblocker' move -- I was there first!) . Once we slingshoted (slingshoted or slungshot?) out of the park, down Times Square, I felt amazing...adrenaline surged and I probably should have went with it, maybe ran a low 5:40 mile instead of a 5:52. I was trying to conserve, stay smart and kept saying once I hit the westside highway, I can take off ... well, the taking off never happened. I didn't fall to bits, I just had nothing faster than a 5:54 and I lost my seconds. Ah, so close yet so far away. Hey, it was a 2min31sec PR over 11months -- getting faster.

I know I have a sub-1:17 in me right now so I'm ok with that. AND so happy that I snuck into the TOP 20 albeit with a 20th place though still TOP 20. That felt good, what didn't feel good was convincing myself I should run the 7 miles home because I have a 50-miler on the calendar. So, carrying a large bag of clothes, I trekked north. Realizing, with every slow passing mile, that this sucks and I am running out of fuel, my right arm falling asleep because I am carrying godforsaken bag of sweaty clothes, and my legs hurt. Luckily (or unluckily), I had 5$ for fuel to keep me hopefully pressing on and not passing out on the side of the road to simply be mistaken for a drunk HAPPY ST. PATTY'S day chick. The smart thing to do with the 5$ would have been to buy a Gatorade and banana; the not so smart thing to do is to go into Jamba Juice, realize that I can't afford fresh squeezed orange juice, barter with the lady to sell me half a cup, get rejected then decide on a 2ounce wheat grass shot and a pint sized banana. It seemed logical because wheat grass is very healthy and green. I like healthy and green. What isn't logical is that wheatgrass probably has negative calories and will do sh*t to get me home. So, with a healthy dose of wheatgrass and a banana, I marched on to run the last 2.5 miles but my march lasted 5 minutes when I saw the subway. I honestly thought I was going to pass out which is embarrassing at best. Anyways, I made it home. Happy with my 1:17:17. Reinvigorated to qualify for those damned Olympic Trials and think it is time to conquer that Chicago Marathon course with a sub 2:43 effort! Oh yay! BUT first, a little frolic in the woods May 10, 50 miles hopefully fast and hopefully...well, I'm not allowed to tell you my ultimate goals at that race because Mike said it is bad luck. I'll just say I want to run that 50-miler pretty darn fast.