Hey, gonna give a little break down of my weekend exploits in New York City. It was a rad trip, whilst there I saw some old friends, ran a race and enjoyed some pints, it was delightful. wanna hear a more specific and detailed analysis? Keep reading…
So like I said, was in NY for the NYC Half Marathon this past weekend, I needed to get in some sort of race effort before Rotterdam and this event happened to fit into the schedule perfectly. I was pretty excited heading in because training had been going well and it was an excuse to go to NYC, which is one of my favourite cities in the world.
Rolled into the city on Thursday, we were staying right in the middle of Manhattan near the park, times square and all that jazz. I think that this area has the most tourists per sq/ft. in the world, it’s chaos. I tried to go for a run when I first got in but was almost immediately destroyed by a speeding taxi. So then I just walked to the park and jogged around there for a bit. Central park is a wicked place to run. So many people and such cool energy, I was definitely digging that vibe.
On the Friday I met up with some old buddies for dinner. It is always awesome to catch up and chill with old friends. These girls all live in Brooklyn and they’re killing it in the big city. These girls are generally awesome, but they took me to a BYOB restaurant, this would usually be rad, but two nights before my race? Come on! That was a pretty bitchy thing to do. Here I am in this awesome city, hanging with my old buds and at a byob joint! Party Rob wanted to come out so bad! I had about 3beer and I was ready to get going on a full on lower east side bender, but I managed to control myself and hop on the subway back to the hotel. I was actually in bed at a decent hour. I’m growing up!
Saturday was St.Paddies day and all I did that day was basically watch a bunch of drunk people frolic through the streets. It was hilarious, so many drunkards! I witnessed fighting, throwing up and general debauchery, St. Patrick would have be proud.
Sunday was race day, race was at 7:30 so I was up at 4:30 for my breakfast of oatmeal, beet juice and coffee, there is potential for some terrible stomach issues with this combo, but I’ve rocked this pre run meal enough that my gut knows what’s up. We got bused over to the course and had some time to just chill and warm up. I did my 30min warm up jog around the famous central park reservoir, it was neat jogging around there all by my lonesome as the sun rose over the city. Did a little pick-up some strides and I was ready to roll.
So lets go back a bit, did mention that this race was stacked? Yeah, incredibly stacked, so many fast guys! We had the technical meeting the day before and as I looked around that room I started getting very nervous. I knew this race was gonna be fast and I was just hoping that my legs would be ready to go. Coming in coach and I talked and decided on a few goals. The plan was to just get in the pack and roll with the crew for as long as I could. We were looking to get the feeling of pack running back after 10weeks of solo work. We also wanted a nice hard race effort with the last three miles hurting pretty good, looking to get into that “Oh shit I’m fried but still have to keep given’r” zone. There wasn’t a particular time we were shooting for, I secretly wanted a sub 63, but Pete said a 63:30 would be just fine.
The gun goes off at 7:30 and all these fast bastards just start sprinting, it was absurd, we were going so fast! I tried to settle in at around 400m but almost immediately got dropped, so I sped back up and clung on to the back of the pack. As the mile approached I was just hoping to hell it was fast, luckily it was a 4:37 so I was satisfied. We settled a bit and rolled a 4:41 next mile. Then fools decided to start sprinting again and we covered mile three in 4:31, we rolled through 5km in 14:19! at this point I was already starting to accumulate crap in my legs so I had to back off. It hurt my pride, but shit man I still had 10miles to go! That 3rd mile was the fastest mile I have run in this whole build up. I wanted to run with the pack, but to continue to do so would have resulted in something truly horrible.
So I got dropped by the pack and then ran on my own for a bit. I Came through 10km in 29:24, which happens to be a PB, good stuff. I was hurting decently by this point so that was nice. At about 6.5miles we left the park. We turned onto 7th ave towards TimesSquare. People, this next mile was quite possibly the most awe inspiring mile I have ever run. Here I am all by myself running solo down the middle of 7th ave, it was this huge concrete canyon straight through Times Square in NYC, the road is completely shut down and it is just us runners. Goose bump inducing stuff for sure. For a few seconds I forgot about how I was slowly dying and I took in the view. It was amazing.
I regained my senses and continued to push, at this point I had run a couple pretty slow miles, but I was holding it together decently well. At about mile 7 a group of dudes rolled up on me. This was a huge blessing as I was able to tuck in with them and get pulled along for a few miles. Finally at mile 11 I broke pretty hard and that group ran away. I don’t remember exactly what was going on in my head, but I was fairly uncomfortable and definitely in that ” “Oh shit I’m fried but still have to keep given’r” zone, so that was nice. Finished up in 63:29.
This is not a stellar time, but I think that I can take a lot of positives outta this race. I ran friggen hard, I hung on well despite the stupid early pacing, and I was very happy with my focus and general mindset throughout. It was my first positive race experience in a long time, and I’m super excited to keep rolling into Rotterdam.
One of my best buds from University came up from DC to watch the race, and along with another university friend who lives in NYC we went out a grabbed a few PB pints at a place called the Pony Bar. the Pony Bar is pretty incredible, it specializes in American craft brews and every pint is only $5! Needless to say that I was a little less restrained than I was on Friday and I had a joyous time with the dudes. A bunch of the other runners ended up at the Pony Bar also, and although I was 26th in the race, I would say I was easily top 3 at the after party.
I dragged my ass outta bed on Monday, jogged in the park one last time then headed back to Guelph. Overall this weekend rocked. The NYRR and that whole crew was just incredible. They were fantastic hosts and they put on a world class event. I can’t wait to run the NYC Marathon one day. Also got to see some old buds and meet some cool new folks. Shout out to my room mate Gary! Gary is a coach with the Aussie crew, and he is a bad ass. I love Aussies, maybe I’ll move there next, I’ve never met an Aussie I didn’t like. And yes, I’m being serious. I may move to Austrailia!
Okay, have a good one! Onward to Rotterdam!