Timeline

December 3rd -Tannenbaum 10km 31:28

  • Set goal  of breaking 68 min at NYC 1/2
  • 5 Weeks of solid training and  big workouts

January 11th - Slip on ice

  • 2 weeks cross training
  • 1 week completely off

February 3rd - Run 20 min

  • 4 weeks of training

March 3rd - Chilly 5km - 15:13

  • Strained achilles from race
  • 1 week of training on a strained achilles

March 12th - Cross train for 3 days

March 18th- NYC ½ - 1:09:01

The Build

Looking at this timeline you can see I didn’t have a great build up for this race. This is the first time that I have had to deal with an injury that has kept me from running.

I know when people share their experiences about being injured they talk about how they learned so much about themselves and saw it as an opportunity to grow and persevere and that they made it their business to embrace the cross training… Well I am going to keep it real with you and say I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I was irritable all the time and not pleasant to be around. I complained constantly and wrote a whole novel in my head about how this was setting me up for a poor spring/ summer cycle. The chapters included “You Will Never Break 70 Min In The Half Marathon”  and “ You Will Never Catch Up”. Go ahead call me dramatic. You have no idea.

When I did get back to running it wasn’t smooth. My paces were slow and my workouts were not consistent. I felt like I had wasted my time cross training. I know how hard I push myself when training on the roads. I failed to replicate the levels of pain and discomfort in the pool or on the elliptical that I put myself through on the road. I felt that I had done all I could do and that I was still failing.

Towards the end of Alex Hutchinson's book  Endure, he mentions that he knows his biggest opponent on the start line is his mind - and that is the ONE valuable lesson that I will take away from this injury. Your MIND is STRONG (this I knew) Your mind is a TOOL (this I knew) Your mind is your OPPONENT (WHAT!? I thought it only worked for me!). I used my strong mind to push myself and breakthrough in Chicago last summer. The difference is that during my Chicago build I was harnessing the power of my mind as a TOOL and during this build I had let my mind get away from me. My mind was no longer a tool that I was using but an OPPONENT that I needed to beat. Let me tell you when you have a strong mind that is pushing you the wrong way it is hard to push back against it and to change the negative narrative.

The Race

Leading into race week I had take a couple days off running because my achilles  was bothering me. I contemplated not running. I felt that I didn’t have the training to produce a result that I would be proud of and I didn’t want to further aggravate my achilles and spend even more time cross training.

In the end I decided to let all time goals go. The main goal was to finish the race without further damaging myself.

Start line to finish line the race was amazing. The course was super challenging with a lot of elevation, turns and wind (coming from every direction, yes that is possible). It was also the coolest course that I have ever raced on. Starting in Brooklyn running down hill, Running up the Manhattan bridge and down the other side into the city, through Time Square and into Central Park. It was all very awesome.  

The plan was to start off at 3:20/km and run a controlled 70 min … I didn’t even think I would be able to do that. I had only ran one tempo workout where I was able to hold a pace faster than 3:20/km.

When the gun went off I ignored the pace on my watch and just ran based off of effort. I checked in on my 5km splits to give myself an idea of how fast I was going… I was going much faster than expected but the effort had me just on the line of discomfort so I kept it there.

I was very cautious not to push myself over the line of discomfort into pain. How you get fit matters...You have to suffer - Another lesson from Endure. Although the cross training allowed me to keep up my aerobic fitness, I wasn’t able to push myself into a state of pain and dive into it the way that I do when I train on the roads... I didn’t have the training required to make myself suffer for an extended period of time so I kept the effort at comfortably pushing the line of discomfort but not crossing it.

Coming down the finishing stretch and seeing 1:08:40 on the clock was the first time the whole race that I felt a real sense of urgency! I had worked so hard all week to let go of time goals and not care about the clock and for about 21km of that race I didn’t care about time… but coming down the finishing stretch and seeing 1:08:40 on the clock I switched from - happy to be here - to BREAK 69!

I crossed in 1:09:01

SPLITS

5km - 16:26 = 16:26

10km - 32:29 = 16:03

15km - 49:10 = 16:41

20km - 1:05:35 = 16:25

21.1km - 1:09:01 = 3:26

All things considered NYC ½ went better than I could have hoped for. No I didn’t break 68 min, but I ran a time that my training log says I had no business running.

I am excited to see what I can do later in the spring once I string together some consistent training. 

Onwards

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SIDE NOTE:

I Hate to Complain…. BUT

I was disappointed with the logistics of the race. It was the most stressful start ever.

It was the most poorly thought out / organized start line that I have ever been on.

There was no sub elite entry so we had people with 1:30:00 pace bands on their wrist and  earbuds in their ears taking selfies of themselves ahead of us.

We had to be in the corrals early and weren’t able to do any real warm up once we were in. No Strides, no dynamic drills just standing there in other people's piss (lucky you if you got to use a bathroom) and the cold.

They had issues with their clocks / timing… The initial results posted were not correct and it took them hours to fix it. The results said I ran 1:08:41 and my watch said 1:09:03. I don’t always trust the distance on my watch or the pace but I do trust its ability to count running time.

I just expected better from a world class race.  

To finish on a positive not I'll say it one more time - Everything in-between the Start line to finish line  was awesome. 

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