Well I signed up for the Manhattan Half Marathon a few weeks ago to make myself do a longer than 8 mile long run, which I seem to be incapable of without several thousand other people to run with. Eh, what can you do - besides be glad that we have so many races here! I was pretty hung over and sleep deprived but I woke up at 7:00 and didn't feel awful so I decided to show up. And it was a balmy (for recent conditions) 19 degrees. #winning. Or something.
The course is two loops of Central Park plus another loop of the south end. It is hilly but it's my normal training loop so I knew what to expect. I pretty much wanted to run a normal long run pace and just get the miles in my legs. No racing for me. I strolled to the start around 7:58 am for an 8:00 start, which is a benefit of living half a mile from the race start! I love where I live. Not only do we have the best stoop on the Upper West Side....
But it is so close to the park, which is my favorite place in the world.
So the entire first loop of the park I was busy coming up with reasons as to why I was going to quit after one loop. Oh my foot hurts, oh my butt hurts, etc., etc. But I sucked it up and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. The funny thing was I kept feeling better and better and my splits showed it - my first 5 miles or so were maybe 8:45 pace, whereas my average miles over the second half were closer to 8:10-8:20 pace. Not bad for a 'long run', for me at least! Around mile 11 my IT band did actually start to lock up a bit and that was unpleasant, but at that point I really wanted to finish! Strange what the brain will do over 1:50 of running. My last mile was 7:47 - I did want to pick it up a little for that and pass as many people as I could. No real reason, just to see how my fitness was. I have to say outside of my aches and pains, and a very bad chub rub (the shower was extremely unpleasant for the first two minutes or so), I feel like I am reasonably fit! Thanks to a very easy week after the coast ride, I feel recovered, and outside of my poor chafed legs, I don't feel too much worse for wear. Especially because the race/run was immediately followed by a large, steaming cup of coffee. There are few things coffee can't fix.
Now I am off to pick up my road bike, which will be sporting a fancy new chain and (hopefully) a sweet 11-26 cassette. I was thinking about swimming but the idea of chlorine mixed with my poor legs doesn't seem like a great idea. So it may be a mellow afternoon, followed by a hot chocolate date with my UWS bestie and a chili festival downtown later on. Good day.