Hey, ya wanna hear all about Rob’s trip to the big city? okay then, let’s do a race recap. As already mentioned, I went to NewYorkCity this past weekend and ran in the NYC half. This was my second time doing this event, and just like last year it was awesome! The New York Road Runners are amazing to work with, the course is so friggen cool and the competition is always top notch. This is probably my favourite race to compete in. it’s rad man.
Heading into this race I was optimistic, I knew I was fit, training has been going very well. But at the same time I wasn’t setting my sights to high because racing during marathon prep is always an interesting endeavor, you can never really predict how the legs are gonna respond whilst racing mid-grind. Sometimes ya feel great, other times you feel like death, all you can do is show up and just hope you can gather enough of your shit together to get the job done!
Pre race coach Pete and I had a quick chat and decided on a race plan, it was quite simple; roll with the main pack for the 1st few miles and then read the body and adjust as needed. The field was stacked; Kipsang, Lagat, Ritz and so forth and so on, we did not think that the early pace would be an issue. (on another note, another reason I love this race is because I am a huge fan of our sport and it is so cool to get to hang out with and then line up and race against other athletes that I respect and look up to so much) So the gun goes off, we do our little sprint thing then settle, and then we settled a little more and then we just kept settling! We were damn near jogging! Mile was hit in 5:00.
I think the weather had something to do with this early tempo, It was cold man, quite cold indeed. We had a bit of a head wind for the 1st couple miles and nobody was to keen to be up front taking on that cold ass wind. I don’t blame them either, because when I jumped to the front I immediately regretted that decision. My hands froze rather quickly and my dink was getting very cold very quicly. But This had to be done. I needed a quicker pace!
Now here’s the thing folks, I understand that this is a race and time should not matter. Gotta race the competition not the clock. I was okay with that, but I was here to get a gauge of my fitness along with a solid race effort. I already knew I could run 5min miles all damn day, training has shown me that. I also didn’t really feel like jogging in a pack and just waiting for a move that I could not cover. Let’s be realistic, I’m a 63min guy, these are a bunch of 60-61min guys, when they feel like going they are gone!
So keeping that in mind after the 1st slow mile I decided that I wanted to go faster, wanted to test fitness not tactics. I went to the lead and got into a comfortable yet steady rhythym going.
I watched a replay of the live broadcast after the race, the commentator was todd williams who was a bad ass runner during his day, at the beginning of the race he noted that sometimes hobby joggers will sprint to the front just to get on tv. So after the 1st mile when I took the lead Todd Williams was all like; “this is one of those guys I was talking about before, this guy is gonna get a kick outta saying he led all these awesome runners” (not a direct quote, but it was along those lines). Then again a little later on; “we still don’t know Mr. Watson’s first name…” Man it was embarrassing to watch that. I know I am no superstar, but it was a little blow to the ego. Effing Todd Williams…
Back to the race. So I continued to just roll along with the dudes for a few more miles, we went through the 5km in 15:04, 5mile split was 24:08 and then it happened, it was inevitable folks. They ran the next mile in 4:31…I didn’t. I really wanted to keep contact with the group but that surge was just to quick, the legs were feeling a little heavy and they most certainly lacked the pop to change gears like that. I was suddenly alone, alone and sad.
I felt sorry for myself for a couple min as they ran away. But then I hit the 10km mark and my time was 29:54, not bad, 2nd 5km was decent and I was still feeling very under control. I just kept running as fast as I could. The only cool thing about getting dropped was that for the 2nd year in a row I got to run through Times Square solo, such a cool experience!
The last 10km was pretty uneventful folks. I just kept pushing, picked off a few stragglers and ended up finishing in 63:22. A new PB, I’ll take it!
Overall I was very happy with my race. My legs were definitley tired, but I was able to push hard and run a steady and strong race. It was also really fun just experiencing the awesome atmosphere of a big NYC road race. It’s all good folks! The body is feeling good, the head is happy and we are rolling, onward to Boston!
So here is what we are gonna do now folks. We’re gonna smash these last 4weeks and then we are gonna smash Boston. This is very exciting stuff!
Good luck to all y’all out there in your own training and racing adventures, spring racing season is approaching. let’s all roll together.