Sunday I ran my 3rd and final half marathon of the spring season, the Queens Half Marathon. It was hard to turn this one down since there are not often half marathons close to me, but man am I looking forward to not running another for a while!
This was again put on by NYCRuns, who I clearly prefer to race with.
I woke up Sunday morning definitely not feeling well. Saturday my stomach had been feeling upset and unfortunately by Sunday was not much better. I was a little happier though knowing there were restrooms on the course.
Because of that I barely choked down water and some dry cheerios on my way there before my stomach was all sorts of grumbly again. I spent some significant time in the porto potties, crossed my fingers and headed to the start a few minutes before it was time.
It was an absolutely beautiful day but I have been in this running thing long enough to know that starting a half marathon underfueled and dehydrated isn’t exactly ideal.
|Blue skies for days!
I had no goals for this race. My spring goal was to get back to sub 2 shape since I hadn't broken 2 hours since fall of 2012 (which happened at Frozen Penguin).
I was coming off a normal training load having run 20 miles for the week already with 1 rest day on Saturday. I knew to not expect anything stellar but just go with it.
The race begins and per usual I do not look at my watch until the first or second mile. I missed mile 1 but at mile 2 saw I was running under 9 min mile pace so start to think about going for another sub 2 effort. Problem was I felt every bit of effort. I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be an “easy” day where the miles click. I was working for it too early on, but kept it up, that is racing right?
As we were coming up to the half way (it was a 2 loop course) I knew I had to ease up. My legs were shot already; not really pleasant when you have only finished half the race! I knew I had time in the bank to take it easy for a few. I started taking in water at the half way and walked through the stops each time. My fingers were so swollen I knew I had to hydrate.
I was using the course signage, not when my watch was beeping for the mile markers. I had estimated with 5 miles to go that even if I just kept a 9:30 pace I would be sub 2.
With 2 miles to go, I was ready to be done so picked it back up.
I still thought I was on track.
Then I hit the mile 13 marker, my watch beeps at the same time for mile 13. My time is 1:58 and change I am like .1 to go I am golden. Then I look in the distance, the finish looks REALLY far away.
Well, it was. From that mile 13 marker to the finish was .27 miles.
Which put me in the finish at 2:00:32.
Which is a very good time considering I'm not rested, I’ve raced most weekends and my stomach was very much bleh the whole time (but didn't have to stop! it's amazing this whole Crohn's being in remission thing, IBS sucks, but is a whole different and easier level of stomach issues to deal with).
However, I know I could have come in under 2. I am not saying the course is “long” but I’ve run enough to know not to go by garmin but by mile markers. Tangents are hard to run 100% correct. So I did. I did my calculations at the mile markers so thought for the entire race I was golden. To have the 13 mile marker a quarter mile from the finish, not cool. Also means the others mile marks on the course were off a bit.
In the end, what does this mean? Absolutely nothing. I wasn’t racing for time, it wasn’t a PR race. But, I had decided to not phone in the race and run a sub 2, so I was working out there. And, I had more, as my splits here show:
8:57, 8:51, 8:45, 9:00, 8:45, 8:52, 9:21, 9:24, 9:30, 9:22, 9:27, 8:57, 9:10, 8:11 (.27)
I was able to quite efficiently drop back the pace for the last couple miles and could have done it sooner, but thought I was okay.
Sigh. In the end half marathon number who knows what in the books and this made me hungry to work for a PR this fall!
Now, I sign off on race season having run several as most people are starting! A possible 5 miler by me this weekend but I am pooped!