Cloudy? Check. (When I left for the race it was thundering, lightening and a light rain. It stopped right when the race started at 7am.)
Cooler Temps? Check. (mid 70's)
Humid? Double Check! (90% - made for tough breathing)
So with all my troubles and woes from being sick and not being able to run as much as I wanted in preparation for this race, I did compete on Sunday.
This is a one of a kind race for NYC. Even though the NYC Half Marathon (13.1 miles) is only in it's third year, this race is considered to be the second premiere race for NYC, with the NYC ING Marathon being the first. Professional runners come out to run with the rest of us (10,000 to be exact) that comprise the heart of running this race.
The first 7 miles of the race was the toughest. If you haven't trained for hill running, you'll get into trouble here. Central Park is filled with them, especially the dreaded Harlem Hills. I knew I needed to go slow and save energy for the last half of the race. I paced myself nicely, a bit slower than I normally would have run.
I hit a mental block, or The Wall, as it's called in running, around mile 6.5. I totally wanted to quit. With having been sick and recently back to the doc for a diagnosed inner ear infection, I was considering bee-lining it for the nearest subway. I kept telling myself that I just had to get to mile 7 and I would be out of the park into a downhill flat course. I dug deep and kept on going.
Once we were out of the park we got to run through the heart of Times Square. This was completely awesome. Being able to run down the middle of the street with no traffic, no crowd trying to get here and there across the streets was definitely worth finding the mental energy to get to that point.
I managed to run through to mile 8. Once I got there, I had to run/walk the last 5 miles. This is something I haven't had to so since I started racing three years ago. I knew all the reasons it was hard for me to keep running straight through to the end, reasons that were out of my control. I also knew I wasn't going to stop until I reached that finish line!
And reaching that finish line I did. I had my worst time for running a half marathon, but I am extremely proud of myself for finishing. I crossed the finish in 2 hours and 43 minutes.
I totally earned this baby...