Monday, April 4, 2011

13.1 Miles Later...

Another medal to add to my slowly growing collection! (Notice how nicely the ribbon colors match my jacket.)

Yesterday, I participated in, and finished, the MORE + fitness Women's Half Marathon in Central Park. The weather this year was much better than it was last year, when I bailed out after 2 miles of race walking in the pouring rain. The sun was out, and the temperatures were in the high 40s/low 50s throughout the race. Plus, I found a fantastic place for a pre-race pit stop - the third floor restroom of the Time Warner building in Columbus Circle. It was so much nicer and warmer than the porta-potties in the park! Plenty of room to remove extra layers before the race, make sure everything was pinned properly, in my race belt, etc.

This was also my first experience fully participating in a half marathon. (Last year's soaking wet 2 mile torture sess... I mean adventure does not count.) It was also my first half marathon/marathon experience without the benefit of 16 weeks of pre-race training offered by Team in Training. So, I really wasn't going into it with too many expectations other than finishing it this year. I managed to hold down a solid 15 minute/mile pace for most of the race (which was a feat in itself). I had to slow it down for the last 2-3 miles because my right calf muscle felt like it was going to cramp up. I really had to push myself, but I did it, and I did it in about the time I figured I would - 3:30:57. Not my greatest, but I wasn't third or fourth from last, this time, either. I was more like three hundred something from last.

There were some definite highlights and lowlights. Highlights included seeing my wonderful Team in Training friends out there cheering for me, including, but not limited to my "Team Words with Friends" friends Carolyn Brafman and Rachel Masterman, coaches Pam Wille, Dari Passarello and Ellen O'Shaughnessy, Noah Santorello, who manned Harlem Hill and stayed up there throughout the entire race all by himself to cheer us. Seeing my training buddy Norma Jennings briefly on our approach to Harlem Hill, after which point she left me in the dust. I really owe my cheerleading friends out there on the course. Knowing that I would be seeing their faces again was a big part of what kept me going during that second loop around the park!

Which brings me to the lowlights, the main one being two loops around Central Park. Who invented that torture??? Having to do Cat Hill and Harlem Hill once is bad enough - twice is just horrid. I have now made a new promise to myself (the first one being NO MORE TED CORBITT 15K ever again - EVER). that new promise is: No more Central Park races over 10K - PERIOD! One loop around the park is enough for me, and 10K should pretty much cover that. Now that I have done the MORE + fitness Women's Half Marathon and finished it, I think I may be done with it. Time will tell.

Next up on my schedule are two charity walks - Walk MS New York and AIDS Walk New York, both of which are roughly 10K. Then the fun begins - 16 weeks of training for the Hamptons Half Marathon with Team in Training!