How often do you get to say you ran a half marathon with a couple of your best friends? As you may have read yesterday, or picked up from other posts and social media, my two best friends were in town and somehow agreed to run a half marathon with me. My friend Lindsay (on the left) had run two half marathons in the last year, but my friend Laura was just signing up for her first half ever!
We sure shared our fare share of nerves throughout the weekend, even leading up to the start of the race. I don’t know about anyone else, but I still get race jitters – no matter how many times I’ve run an event.
This guy’s sign pretty much sums up most of our feelings. Ok, just kidding. I knew what I was in for and definitely could have trained better for it but let’s just say the countless Polar Vortexs didn’t help with that.
Anyways, let’s take a step back and go over pre-race routines. We considered going out to dinner Saturday night but realized ordering in would be so much more “New York” and just more relaxing and comfortable. For a few girls who had been out and about all day and had a race to rest up for, it was a no-brainer and so enjoyable.
We found a hot spot of Italian food just a short distance away and ordered up some favorites – spaghetti for Lindsay, Rigatoni for Laura, and cheese ravioli for me. I felt like I’d been transplanted back to the days of high school cross country where we would have a pre-race pasta dinner filled with pasta, lasagna, bread, fruit salad, salad, and dessert. Goodness knows how I didn’t gain more weight back then.
RACE DAY ~ SUNDAY 4/13/14
The alarm went off bright an early at 6am and after reminding myself why the alarm was set for such an early hour, we got dressed, and scarfed down a bit of oatmeal and banana. I honestly don’t always enjoy eating before running, just because my stomach likes to act up, but 13 miles is a bit of a doozy without any fuel.
The race was in Central Park and boy was it a picturesque day. The temperature was around 55-58 (I swear by the amount we sweated it was warmer) and plenty of people were out to cheer.
For some reason the first few miles were surprisingly tiring and I have no explanation why. Maybe we were just getting warmed up or it hadn’t sunk in that we were actually running a half marathon. The course took us twice around Central Park (counterclockwise), which happens to mirror the route my friends and I take on a weekly basis. This helped in my favor because I actually could envision the course, something I’m not usually able to do.
I was surprised to note that there were no fuel stations (other than Gatorade and water) along the route, but this was fine because I rarely eat or drink while I run anyways. Although, after finishing the race, I really could have downed an entire bottle of Simply Lemonade. I settled for some original Gatorade and a crisp apple and held out until breakfast. The bagel was all for show as it didn’t really seem appealing and was clearly not a New York bagel.
I loved watching all the different runners – different bodies, different paces, different outfits (dominated by Nike and Lululemon), but all out to run a race. We were even surprised by a high school friend who happened to be in the city and stand along mile 12 and cheer. We were so happy to see a familiar face and ended up grabbing brunch with her afterwards. I was quite hungry at this point and gladly inhaled a stack of diner pancakes with fruit, over easy eggs and coffee.
The only way it would have been a more perfect weekend is if I knew when I would be able to see these girls again. Until the next trip :)
“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch — what makes you go beyond the norm.”
– Cicely Tyson