I had decided a few weeks ago that I actually wanted to race this race. Racing it basically meant another attempt at PR-ing and seeing as how I am in the midst of marathon training, I thought I would actually have a shot. 13 miles is nothing compared to 20!
I heard horror stories about the ferry ride over and how crowded it was, so I decided to take the earliest ferry at 6:30 am. I attempted sleep at 9:30 the night before, but I don’t think I fell asleep until close to 11. I woke up at 4:30 and after 2 subway trips, I arrived at the station at around 6:15, I quickly found Jenny and we took the ferry over together!
We of course, had to take the obligatory shot of the Statue of Liberty. Since we were on the 6:30 ferry, we were of course SUPER early and had over an hour to spare. We chatted, discussed goals, went to the bathroom a few times and then decided to shed our warm clothes and drop our bags around 8:00. It was chilly out, but I was so glad it wasn’t raining (aka perfect running weather)!
We also caught up with Adriana at this point, who is my racing buddy and we all headed over to the corrals together. I wished Jenny luck on her first half marathon and talked with Adriana a bit more before she headed up to her speedier corral.
While I was freezing my butt off, someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was cold. I turned around to see Jen! We talked about marathon training for a bit and then wished each other luck. About 5 minutes later the race started!
I cannot remember this race mile by mile, it was a mixture of nice scenery and ugly industrial buildings, but I honestly didn’t even mind because I wasn’t paying much attention to what was around me (unfortunately). I was so focused on my pace and how I felt, it was tough to think about anything else. I did however notice the Verrazano bridge! There were definitely some nice views of the water and the bridge! I tried to soak it all in and was definitely thinking about how I was going to be running over that exact bridge in only 4 weeks!
I tried to start out slow, my first mile was 9:02, which was a little faster than what I was aiming for, but I made sure not to push too hard and to pay super close attention to how my body felt. I couldn’t stop thinking about the halfs I ran in the beginning of the year and how I would feel great and had a solid steady pace, but would burn out at mile 8 or 9 and ruin the rest of the race. I was so scared of that happening.
I had a conversation with myself the whole entire time. This thing was 90% mental for me. My pace was great, my body was feeling pretty good, but I started to get a little tired around mile 7 and I forced myself not to freak out. It was around this point that I shut off my music because I was hoping to see my coach on the course! Unfortunately she couldn’t make it out, so I didn’t end up seeing her, but it was still a good distraction because by the time I had given up looking, I was almost at mile 9 and there was a giant mountain in front of me to climb!
Holy hill at mile 8.5 – 9! This thing wasn’t that steep, but man it felt loooooong! It felt worse than anything in Central Park and it was at this point that I told myself, “I will not let this ruin me, I will not let this ruin my race!” Thankfully there was some relief between miles 9 and 12, there were a lot of good little downhills and I started to feel really good again. At mile 11, I knew I had this! I came up to the 12 mile marker and was so happy to have only a little over a mile left.
That one mile? Ugh, it was pretty dang hilly. I REALLY had to push myself through that last mile! I was struggling to keep my pace up and to just keep going. My body wanted to give up, but my mind would not let it! Again, I wasn’t going to lose this thing in the last mile. Thankfully the finish was a small downhill and I totally took advantage of it and sprinted my heart out across the finish line.
I finished and was immediately overwhelmed! I had snot coming out of my nose, I got insanely emotional for some reason, and I just couldn’t pull myself together! I was a total mess, but I freaking did it!!! I PR-ed and I was so happy! GIVE ME MY MEDAL 🙂
I PR-ed by 1 min and 10 seconds and that is after I did that freaking trail race of insanity last weekend! My body was definitely not recovered and I was not running on fresh legs, so I am pumped to smash this record again when my body is a little more rested and prepared to race. I may not run that fast right, but I’m working on it! I have a strong desire to get faster and faster and I just hope to keep chipping away at it.
Official results: 1:57:21
Average Pace: 8:57
I said to myself before the race began that I probably wouldn’t run this race again since it’s such a pain to get to, but I actually ended up loving the course! It may be because it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it! It had the perfect amount of uphills, downhills, and flat lands to run on. Maybe I will actually be back next year! Thanks for the warm welcome Staten Island!