Thanks for everyone's comments and support over the last couple of weeks. It has been a roller coaster of emotions with the height, quite possibly occurring as my foot passed over the finish line yesterday.
Pre-race carbo loading actually occurred 2 nights prior to the race. 2 slices of pizza from Slice, an all organic pizzeria that I've wanted to try for ages. We had to pick up our race bibs and shirts from the New York Road Runners headquarters and Slice was on the way home, so it seemed as perfect time as any for some extremely filling and delicious pizza.
Friday meals were kept simple, I didn't want to introduce anything that needed too much digestion and wouldn't be out of my system by Saturday morning.
Race morning the alarm clock went off at 4:30 am. Surprisingly it was an easy wake and I had a pretty solid 6 hours of sleep. Usually I get super anxious the night before my long runs and as a result have a pretty restless night of sleep. I immediately went into the kitchen, made a cup of coffee (natural laxative and energy boost) and two pieces of toast with pb and half a banana. After eating I jumped into the shower, threw on my clothing, and went to the bathroom.
At 5:50 am I met 3 other friends and classmates to take a cab to Prospect Park (the start of the race). Taking a cab was the best decision, we got straight there in about 20 minutes, anxiety free, leaving time to check in bags, and get into our corrals. About 15 minutes before the race started I ate about 1/4 of a chocolate goo pack, it wasn't the best tasting thing, but it could have been worse and gave me some quick energy so I could save the glycogen stores.
At 7 am prompt the race began. I started off with my friend Elin, the others were placed ahead or further back depending on pace. With the crowds it took about 3 minutes to get to the starting line and another 12:32 min to finish mile 1. At this point I came across the first liquid station took a sip of gatorade and was right back into the crowd, though I realized I lost Elin. At this point the hills of the park crept up and the crowds thinned. By mile 2 I was back on pace and made up time between mile 2-3, given a long downhill stretch.
At this point I began the second loop of the park where I again was able to keep on pace, but began to really feel the hills in the park. I kept reminding myself that this would be the hardest part and once out of the park it was all a slight downhill stretch.
Mile 7 was the exit out of the park, halfway through and I was feeling great! At this point my eyes got a little watery, I couldn't believe I was doing this, last year I never would have thought that I would be a half marathon runner.
Well this excitement came a little too soon and I completely slowed between miles 8-9 and felt like everyone was passing me. At the next fuel station I drank nearly the entire cup of gatorade and a few sips of water (I think in the future I would also make use of some goo at this point) and felt so much better and was able to maintain my pace from here to the end.
At mile 11 I knew I would make it under 2 hours, my goal, but it would be close. At mile 12 I began to pick up a bit. I could hear the crowds and music and began making my way up the boardwalk. With 3/10 or so left I gave it all I could, not a full out sprint, not enough energy left, but fast. And that was it, I was at the finish line! Tears in my eyes, I completed my first half in under 2 hours. Officially 1:57:04. Average pace/mile-8:56, I don't have my splits.
At this moment Elin spotted me, she finished about 4 minutes ahead.
We grabbed chocolate bagels (yes chocolate, it was amazing), bananas, and more water/gatorade and walked to pick up our baggage. At this moment I immediately felt my legs tighten and stretched out. We walked around for a bit taking in Coney Island and in doing so I ran into a handful of people I knew, some from undergrad, some friends of friends. It's definitely at moments like that (running into people) that make me realize the city isn't so large after all!
After a 1 hr subway ride I was home, icing my knees, eating again-this time protein, I had my fill of carbs and then it was nap time!
Upon waking up I went for a walk crosstown to grab groceries and to keep moving. Then it was dinner time! A few friends came over for Tapas and Sangria, perfect way to cap the night.
Homemade hummus with pita and veg for dipping, 3 bean salad, spanish potato salad:
Dessert-mangos, strawberries, and chocolate dipping sauce:
Hope you had a great weekend!