Sunday, January 27, 2008

Race Report: Manhattan Half

One of the hardest parts of running races is the planning. I'm not a planner by nature, for better or worse, but running demands a fair amount of it. When I picked up my number, I got a very adimant notice from the New York Road Runners: baggage trucks would leave at 8am. This seemed curious for an 8:30am race. After all, the finish was a mere mile away. I'm not sure why the bags weren't just kept between the start on 84th and the finish on 102nd. Anyway, the prospect of freezing my nuts off for a half hour made me just skip the bag and go in running attire. That made for a tough start to the race: a good 50 minutes in 29-degree weather without much in the way of clothing. Ouch.

Once the race started, I settled into a pretty brisk pace. The outside goal was to break 1:30. According to my running books, a 3:00 marathoner should do a 1:25 half. Yikes. I'm not there yet, but I did run what might be my fastest half marathon, despite an absolute lack of strategy. The numbers tell the ugly path to 1:28:10:

Mile 1: 6:46
2: 6:54 (Great Hill)
3: 6:36
4: 6:35
5: 6:29
6: 6:40
7: 6:39
8: 6:53 (Great Hill, Part Deux)
9: 6:59 (forgot to hit my watch for about 10 seconds b/c I was struggling)
10: 6:35
11: 6:44
12: 6:56
13: 7:20 (with the extra .1)

Looking at the numbers and remembering how I felt, it's clear to me that I'm a long way off in terms of stamina. I was fine at the end of the race -- I even jogged home -- but the last couple miles were terrible. Mentally, I got content, thinking I'd break 1:28, and I ended up not doing it, because of the extra .1. Overall, I got 199th out of 4,900 or so. Not so bad. I want to go under 1:27 in the Bronx.

13.1 miles, 1:28:11

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