I am already in Lucca Italy, so slower strolling on my mind and agenda, but I couldn’t let the NYC half marathon come and go without a post! Honestly, I’ve been waiting for 2 reasons – 1) the internet here in my apartment in Lucca is down for the second day in a row (add in gross sheets and ARG!) and 2) I was still holding out hope that the “nice” runners I met in the subway were actually going to email photos from the run as promised (I really regret not running with a phone/camera, that’s what I get for joining the 21st century so late). But alas, we will do the best we can with what we have….
The day before the run (actually for 3 days before the run), there was a big expo/packet pick-up, where you got to get your number, shirt, spend money on more shirts, and find your name on the wall of runners (and panic wondering if your plane would get in on time in the snow so you didn’t miss the window to get your number):
The run started off in Central Park (where a nice woman took a picture AND emailed it to me):
We started in waves (different start times, as you can’t have 20K people all start at once!) and then in corrals – amazingly enough while I was in the last wave, I was NOT in the last corral (i.e. I was not the slowest runner there – actually came in 400-something in my 600-something person age group). From this point words do not do it justice, so I will search the Internet for photos that do – picture a completely snow-covered Central Park bathed in bright sunlight – and then picture 20,000 people running through it, at one point doubling back and passing each other – the energy was palpable (I tried to psychologically harness it to help my momentum)…
photos from the interwebs (not convinced the first one is this year):
After we made our way up and back through Central Park (about 6.5 miles) we got to run straight down through Times Square (7th Ave.) – for some reason that was even a bigger rush (or maybe just one I could appreciate more because the VERY hilly part of the run was over). Alas, more bad planning – while I knew Steve was waiting on the sidelines along Times Square to wave, we managed to miss each other in the giant crowds and 10+ blocks (again, Hope, carry a phone). So, while I am not in this (that I know of – you can play find Waldo), Steve took this:
After the rush of Times Square, all that was left was another 5 miles down Manhattan in the 34-degree weather to the final rush of crossing the finish line! I have to say, I look pretty good after 13.1 miles (and less freezing than those around me):
Honestly, it was the MOST amazing race I have run, so I will have to revamp my “top 4 runs of all time.” Though, if I can get a little philosophical on you for a minute….. For the first 6 miles I had a lot on my mind, so I knew I wasn’t fully appreciating what I was experiencing – I would tell myself to be Buddhist and in the moment and then I finally started to pay attention and take beautiful photos in my mind’s eye (yes, I know, real ones would have been good) – which just gets me thinking about how fast life passes (waxing poetic after turning 50 I suppose). And, speaking of turning 50 – I trained for this race like I haven’t trained in a long time – I felt GREAT – I fathomed myself running at record speeds (for me) and didn’t even start to get tired ’till mile 12 (usually hits between mile 8 and 11) – so I was really surprised that I was at least 5 minutes shy of my “PR” (personal record – something many runners strive for). I can’t help but wonder – was it all those darn hills (6 miles of them) or are there no PR’s left to get after 50……..?