Sunday, February 22, 2009

Manhattan Half Marathon 1.25.09

Hi all,

Race number 3 (2nd 2010 marathon-qualifying race and 1st Grand Prix Half Marathon) was the Manhattan Half Marathon. We ran 2 counter-clockwise loops of Central Park, plus another mile or so to make up the half marathon distance.

Goals: to run between the water stations and to see if I could run at 10:45 pace (2:20:50) for the entire run.

I had 21 miles on the training schedule for today, so, to break it up, I decided to run the center 4-mile loop of Central Park before and after the race. This meant that I couldn’t bring a heavy jacket, because it had to be small enough to fit into a backpack I could carry for the final 4 miles. Once again, I had to take a bus to the train, so I had to get up even earlier than usual to get there in time to run the extra 4 miles (I expected it to take about 44 minutes). I was the first person to leave a bag in the baggage area, which made me a little nervous, but I certainly wasn’t going to carry it for 8 miles. I ran the central loop in about 42 minutes and then huddled with the rest of the masochists waiting for the race to start. We were facing the Time Warner building and could clearly see the temperature: 14. It had probably been about 12 when I ran the first 4.

I tried to take it nice and slow and stick to my projected 10:45 pace. The first mile is a mostly-downhill swoop around the bottom of the park and it went by about a minute too quickly. Because of the hills, it’s hard to run an even pace, but I did manage to run easy most of the way. I was a bit too cold at first, but warmed up as the miles went by. As I passed the Time Warner building after the first 6 miles, I checked the temperature and saw the numbers change to 15. When I passed it after 12 miles, it had jumped all the way to 17. I finished the race almost entirely on pace, then put my jacket and backpack on and jogged the final 4 miles. The second time around, the 4 miles took a little longer – 44 minutes. I ended up heading back down towards the start of the half and the Time Warner building let me know that it was now 18. I was so cold that it took me only 8:30 to walk the half mile down to the subway station!

Official stats: my official time was 2:20:06 for a 10:41 pace. My splits were 9:41, 10:46, 9:29, 11:41, 10:46, 10:41, 10:22, 11:24, 10:28, 11:52: 10:44, 10:49, 10:28, and 1:02 for the last tenth of a mile. I was 3962 out of 4596 total runners, putting me in the 14th percentile. It was 14F with 52% humidity and 6 mph winds.

Consolation treats: I had a chocolate tasting scheduled for the afternoon, so that was my treat. No slushy Dr Pepper this time, because I didn’t get home until dinner time and I only drink soda during the day.

Pictures are available at

Here is an album of random food pics:

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