Friday, March 28, 2014

Race Report: Michelob Ultra NYC Half Marathon

Saturday morning started early-ish, but not nearly as early as I could've, thanks to a 9am race start. We were out the door by 7am to make our way out to Queens. The weather was gorgeous when we stepped out of Susan's door, but when we finally got off in Queens it was cold and super windy. Rude.

First subway selfie!

We got there around 8 and were treated to indoor bathrooms with the heat cranked to approximately 110 degrees. I was sweating. And then freezing again. What a treat. We dropped our bags and extra layers of clothes and walked a ways to the race start. I was wishing I still had my grumpy pants from the Madison Marathon to wear and drop at the start. Brr. I said goodbye to Susan as she made her way up to the fasties and I had time to do my hip swings/stretches before the race started. I had to chuckle when I got up to the starting line, as they had "corrals" 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, etc set up about 2 feet apart from each other. Needless to say there was a lot of holding back in that first mile, but that was ok. My game plan was 9:40-9:50 for ~5 miles, and then 9:30-9:40 for the next 5 and then BTTW the final 5k.

The crowd cleared out during mile two and that's when we started running in to the winds. Blech. It was around this time that I noticed my HR was a bit higher than it should be. My legs also felt like trash. According to Susan's fitbit, we hoofed it 9 miles the day before the race. My legs essentially felt like I was running the second half a marathon. Uff. I adjusted my goal to 2:05 and kept plugging away.
Mile 1 9:34
Mile 2 9:36
Mile 3 9:55

I knew the race was really twisty turny and that we went through the same route multiple times, so I honestly never knew where I was in the race route. And because of that, I have a hard time really remembering specifics about the race. However, I know I was counting down to the 10k mark, because I was planning on seeing (=meeting) fellow Packers fan Kristin, who was going to be cheering there after running the 5k 7 months preggo, nbd.

I almost missed her until she spotted me (I was expecting a much more major baby belly, she's teeny!) and she surprised me with this AMAZING sign and many cheers via megaphone.
Amazing, right?? I died.

Mile 4 9:54
Mile 5 9:55
Mile 6 9:51

When I saw Kristin it was on a very abrupt up and downhill, so of course my knee and hip started squawking on the downhill portion. Ugh. Around this point I re-adjusted my goal to sub 2:10. I found that doing this really helped me from just giving up and walking. I really just wanted to be done.

But I kept going. There were a few out and back portions were I hoped to see Susan, but no such luck. I was passed by the lead dude at mile 9? I think as he was doing his second lap toward the finish. Can't say that I've ever been lapped in a half marathon before, but there you have it. :)

Mile 7 10:00
Mile 8 10:20
Mile 9 10:31
Mile 10 10:58

I walked through the water stop at mile 9 and the start of mile 10, my fingers were super swollen and I had only been drinking water, so I took in some gatorade as well. I should've probably brought some salt packets, but I was expecting to it to be in the 30s. Oops. I kept recalculating my finishing time based on a ten minute pace, completely oblivious to the fact that I wasn't running a 10 minute mile, at all. 

My heart rate was crazy high the second half of the race, and I couldn't bring myself to push harder the last 5k as planned. I thought I would flatline. With 1.5 miles left I kicked it in (perhaps kicked it in should be in quotes there) because I figured I could handle 15 minutes of a super hard effort (again this was me assuming I was running a 10 minute pace, hah). 
The last mile and a half seemed to take forever. We did a weird curviness so it was hard to tell where the finish actually was. 
(ouch, clearly my form still blows when I'm tired)

When I got to the final stretch, I realized I was going to be close to my Sioux Falls Half Marathon finishing time, and I wanted to be faster than that. I couldn't remember what the time was, but I knew it was a 2:14:something so I started counting down the seconds to 2:14.

Mile 11 11:15
Mile 12 10:44
Mile 13 10:22
.14 1:07
I finished in 2:14:09.

Many thanks to Susan for all of these finishing photos even if I am displaying a most horrific form. Part of the reason I didn't want to run any slower than I already was is because I didn't want her to weight for me to finish (turns out she did anyway, she's so speedy!).
Here we are with our super sweet signs from Kristin.

Her outrageous pants really helped me pick her out in the crowd. :) I'm standing with my legs as far apart as possible due to the fact that I have zero skin left on my inner thighs. #ouch

Originally this race was chosen a) because I was going on vacation to NYC and wanted to run a race while I was there b) I wanted a more immediate race to keep me training through January-March despite of our ridic winter and c) I wanted some confidence going in to my April/May halfs that a 1:55 is a possibility.

Well, 2 out of 3 isn't bad, right? One thing this race did give me is some insight on my training. The longest tempo run I've done is a 4 miler, and that showed massively. Once I got about an hour in, my heart rate became almost unmanageable. Also all of my long runs have been plain long runs, no pick ups, no fast finished. Part of that has been that I wanted to remain injury free in upping my long run mileage week by week, but now that I've run up to 14 miles, I can add some fast finishes and pick ups to half of the long runs.

I also need to make sure I stick to my plan and not go out too fast. If you check out my first two mile splits, despite all of the bobbing and weaving that I did, I still ran them about 10 seconds per mile too fast. That resulted in my heart rate being high almost from the beginning instead of starting out slower, bringing on a mini-bonk just past the halfway point.

Also I have no clue why I wore the shoes that I did. I've been wearing them for speed work of about 3-7 miles at a time, but I should've been smarter and wore a more substantial shoe. They certainly didn't help my form falling apart issues. Uff.

Regardless half marathon 19 is done, and numbers 20 and 21 are in 4 and 5 weeks!



..:danielle:.. said...

you are still beyond stinkin cute. team green!

Unknown said...

YEA! Go team green!!! Maybe the death virus had something to do with being tired??? So great to meet you and cheer for you!!!

Unknown said...

You did great! Windy races are tough but you finished strong. Good luck on your upcoming races!