Friday, May 13, 2011

NJ Half Recap (and catching up)

For whatever reason, I haven't been terribly motivated to blog these last few months. It's not for a lack of races (see Scott's Tough Mudder recap), but for whatever reason, I haven't been in a writing mood lately.

On 5/1, I ran the Long Branch Half Marathon. Several of the local NY Crowd were racing the half (Baker, Elyssa, Eissa) or the full (Neal and Sharon), and this was supposed to be my spring "A" race. After a solid showing in the NYRR Colon Cancer 15k, I felt that an appropriate goal for me would be to break 2 hours for the half (something I haven't done since the NYC Half back in March 2010). Remember, 2011 is my "year of recovery", so while my goal wasn't to PR the half - I just wanted to put up a time that was achievable, yet a good effort on my part.

Heading down to the race was a giant clusterf**k in itself. Traffic was horrendous, and the logistics of getting the car parked, and to the starting line were a nightmare. Despite having left more than enough time, we barely managed to swoop into the corrals before the start.

After waiting nearly 15 minutes from the race start to reach the starting line, I finally took off. The first few miles were very crowded, and I found myself pushing and jostling my way past walkers and slow runners. How they decided to line up so close to the front is just beyond me. After about 3 - 4 miles, I settled into a nice groove. I was battling an upset stomach most of the way, but I did my best, and kept a consistent pace, sufficient to hit the 2 hour milestone.

By mile 10, the heat started to get to me. I wasn't drinking much (for fear of throwing up), and the temps had increased substantially. I took a brief walk break, and started up again. Miles 11 - 13 saw consistent improvements in my pace, but by then, the damage had been done.

Turning onto the boardwalk (around mile 12), I looked at my watch and thought "I can still salvage this". I dug as deep as I could, but my watch clicked over the 2 hour mark some time between mile 13 and 13.1. I felt like I just wanted to sit down, and not even finish - but I loped the few remaining steps over the line.

I don't know why I am so bothered by missing my goal by 38 measly seconds. I ran a good race, put in a good effort, and missed a completely arbitrary goal by less than a minute. To put it into perspective, the best half marathon I was capable of (while struggling with heart issues) last year was > 2:30:00. To think that I beat my last few halfs by over 1/2 hour should be enough of a triumph to me. Considering that, I am grateful for my health, my ability to run, and my desire to continue improving this year.

In other news, it has been about a month and a half since I signed on with Team PRSFit. The workouts have been challenging, and have done a great job of pushing the envelope for me. My training plan has also gotten me back in the pool for cross training, something I haven't done in a LONG time. I am feeling really good about my training so far, and am starting to see my hard work pay off already. I am really optimistic as we head into the warmer summer months, and my training for NYCM starts to kick into high gear.

Stay tuned for what I am confident will be a great year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I say great job on the half. With the recent structured plan, your training has been great and you should be optimistic for good things to come in your year of recovery!