As in: meh is how I feel about my race today. Forgive the bad attempt at punnery; I just awoke from a nap!
You know that awesome feeling when you’re running a great pace, just bouncing along with springy legs and full of energy? I love that feeling.
Today was, like, the opposite of that feeling.
So, well….I finished. There’s that. My time was nothing to write home about, I came in at 1:48:29. I know that is a perfectly respectable time and I should just shut up and be happy about it, but it’s frustrating because:
- My long training runs were faster than this pace and felt a whole lot easier.
- My 13.1 split for the NYC full marathon last November was only about 30 seconds slower.
- A couple of years ago, I ran a half on a whim and ran about the same time. (On a whim as in, decided on Friday afternoon to run on Saturday, hadn’t been running hard at all, hadn’t run more than 5 miles in 6 months, etc.)
Why do I even bother training? Gah.
So where did things go wrong? I’m not really sure. The entire morning was a bit of a debacle, starting with the hooligans who chopped two hours off of my sleep time by screaming outside my window this morning at 3:30 AM. Thanks, hooligans.
Then there were the antics of the wonderful MTA. On the weekend, there is one subway line, the C train, that runs up Central Park West from my neighborhood. Come to find out, as I did when I got to the platform, there are no C trains this weekend. And only some of the A trains are running local to replace them. But there is nothing indicating which trains those are. Awesome.
Fortunately, I’d left plenty of time for such mishaps. Even so, by the time I got to the start I had just enough time to check my stuff and hit the port-o-potties before ducking into my corral at the last second.
After 30 minutes of standing around (ugh – although I expected this) the race finally started. My legs felt unbelievably heavy and sluggish, but I still managed to go out too fast.
Mile one: 7:22. Crap, too fast.
Mile two: ~8:15. Crap, too slow.
Mile three: ~7:25. Well, that felt like a sprint. Let’s slow it down again.
Mile four: ~8:25. Aaaand too slow again.
Mile five: ~7:45, I finally hit my goal pace, but at this point it felt way too fast.
Mile six: I am so over this race and I don’t care anymore. It’s a good thing I checked my Metrocard in my bag or I’d mosey right on over to that sneaky A train and get right back on.
Mile seven: Turned off my watch.
Mile eight: I give up, I am walking through this water stop. Oh, water and Gatorade? Sure I’ll have both – it’ll lengthen my walk break. Heh. Glug, glug, glug.
Mile nine: massive side cramp.
Miles ten, eleven and twelve: I really just want this to be over. Are we there yet? How about now? Now? Now?
Mile thirteen: Thank effing gawd.
Let’s just count the mistakes here, shall we? Going out too fast? Check. Chugging liquids? Check. Horrible attitude chock full of negativity and self-defeat? Big fat check.
Newbie mistakes, all of them. But I’ve been racing for 16 years. I should know better.
Obviously, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The half marathon is a hard distance to race for me; I have trouble keeping my head in it for that long. And maybe I had unrealistic expectations, but I’ve been happy with how I’ve been training lately and I really thought I had a shot at a good time (which for me would be under 1:40). Even the “worst case scenario” time that I had in mind going in to this was 1:45. I thought for sure I’d at least be able to manage a sub-8-minute average. Not today.
Race: NYC Half Marathon
Date: March 21, 2010
Conditions: Warm (55*) and sunny
Mile Pace: 8:17
Overall place (all): 3,238 / 11,493
Overall place (females): 910 / 6,073
Age group place (F 25-29): 305 / 1,825
Oh well. I guess one mistake I won’t make is letting this race stop me from getting out and running hard and doing better next time. Because I know I can do better. Not every race can be a stellar one. Sometimes races suck. It’s extra painful when it happens on a longer race that you’ve put some time and effort in to training for, but such is life.
On to the next one, right?
Today’s EAT: After subjecting my husband to a solid hour of pouting and sulking (sorry, hubs!), I bucked up and cooked some brunch. Waffles with caramelized pecans, and bananas – yum! And some turkey sausage and eggs, too.
That massive waffle resulted in a nap shortly thereafter!
Today’s DRINK: It’s not really brunch without…
Although I wasn’t really in the mood to celebrate when I first got home, I decided that a mimosa was in order. I mean hey, I finished a half…if nothing else, I got a great workout this morning. That’s reason enough for some bubbly, right?
Today’s RUN: As described in way too much detail above. 🙂
I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow – maybe I’ll got to a mellow yoga class or something? And this afternoon I’m putting together my race schedule for the next couple of months. Redemption will be mine!