Friday, October 14, 2011

A Half Marathon PR Two Years in the Making - Part 1

As you're reading this, keep in mind that I wrote half of it nearly two weeks ago and the other half today, which is why date and time references may not match up. 

Yes, all. It's true. After two years of waddling through half marathons (8 of them, actually, but who's counting), I've finally broken the half marathon PR I set two years ago this coming Sunday. That was the Staten Island half marathon and it took place a month before the New York City Marathon. I ran it in 2:06:17. For a long time after I had a difficult time maintaining a pace under 10 minutes per mile during half marathons. Mostly it was a mental thing, but for a couple I did have some foot issues. This is a rundown of my half marathon track record:

Half Marathon Grand Prix: Manhattan - My very first half marathon. I ran it in 2:11:53. I didn't realize it at the time but it was really pretty decent for a first half marathon.

Half Marathon Grand Prix: Bronx - My very first Bronx half took place in February (it's since been moved to August due to the New York Half Marathon now taking place in March). The weather was perfect. Even though these races were only two weeks apart, Manhattan was held in 14 degree weather and the Bronx was held in 50 or 60 degree weather. It was weird, but I certainly wasn't complaining for the Bronx half. I ran it in 2:11:38, besting my first attempt by mere seconds.

Half Marathon Grand Prix: Brooklyn - To this day, the only Brooklyn half I've run. It's such a popular race that it fills up within a day or two and registration opens up sometime in January. Granted, it was around 90 degrees during this race, but still. I remember not being strong during the race. I remember taking the two laps around Prospect Park a little fast, which always freaks me out and typically hurts the rest of my race. I ran this one in 2:22:00.

Half Marathon Grand Prix: Queens - I don't remember this one very well but I'm sort of okay with that because I didn't do very well, either. Time: 2:19:53

Grete's Great Gallop: I don't know what the deal was with these later 2009 half marathons. I seem to have settled into a 10:40ish pace so that I finished most of them around 2:20. Grete's is always the same course, two clockwise loops of Central Park. It's not my favorite course, but the race atmosphere is always great. Time: 2:19:00. Oh! I also remember that this was my first experience with the fantastic after-Gallop food. They served lox on bagels!

Half Marathon Grand Prix: Staten Island - Lo and behold, a half marathon PR that also accomplished my goal of running a half marathon under 2:10. Since this was my first Staten Island half, I didn't have too many expectations. I actually met some friends there and was happy for the good company, even if it was only before the race started. What I do remember about this race is that I did well because I met someone else I knew at the race, passed her in the first mile, and then kept imagining that she would catch up! Perhaps it's not nice and maybe there were better ways to motivate myself, but for whatever reason, that one really worked!

NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon - Time: 2:19:24. I dunno, all. I guess this was my go-to half marathon pace. The Manhattan Half Marathon is also two loops around Central Park, but these are counterclockwise and start at the lower West end of the park. This one was meh for me. The best thing about it was having brunch with friends after. Special shout-out to one of those friends, Szymon, who is running tomorrow's ING Hartford Marathon!

You know what? This is getting boring for me and probably more so for you. Let's make this a Part 1 and leave it at

To Be Continued...

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