About a month ago, I decided to see if there were any half-marathons between that point and my marathon. I’ve run two half-marathons this year, and I figured fitting in one more while I was running crazy distances like 20 would be no biggie. But I’m seriously feeling burnt out on running right now (once the runner’s high for that day wears off), so I didn’t know if I felt like committing to another half-marathon.
And so the inner debate raged until I realized there would never be a time again other than training for a marathon when it would be so easy to run a half. Anyway, I figured it would be an awesome pace check for Chicago—so long as everything went okay. So last week I signed up for the Newport Half Marathon in Jersey City.
I’d read Heather’s recap, but decided to run it anyway. I’m glad I did!
Like any other race, I wondered what the hell I was doing for the first mile. There were a lot of people, it was chilly, early in the morning, I’d taken two trains to get there. But, I tried to not let my negative thoughts get to me. I kept an eye on my watch and tried not to go out too fast, but I couldn’t help but run at a 9:14ish pace. I decided to let myself go with the excitement for a mile or two, but I reeled it back in after that and kept a 10:00ish pace.
The race started on the streets of Jersey City and continued there for 3.5 miles before entering Liberty State Park, where we had gorgeous views of the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty (hey Lady Liberty!) and Ellis Island.
Having training buddies all summer was so amazing, but I was excited to run alone to see what my own pace was. I started making small talk with a guy around mile 6, and we ended up running together until mile 10, chatting about Chicago! He ran it last year and is also running it this year.
Running with someone just makes the time go by so much faster. I don’t like listening to music while I run (I don’t like the pace of the music throwing off my own pace/rhythm)—but I love chatting. As we reached a water stop, I did some quick mental math (the one UGH about running? a lot of math), and realized that we were totally on pace for a 2:10 finish time! I ran my last half in 2:13, so I was super-excited for that.
You’re not supposed to try to PR when you’re tapering for a marathon…but it was hard not to try! We ran in Liberty State Park until nearly mile 11, so once we got out of the park, the race was nearly over. SCORE! I’d decided at 10 to pick up the pace, since I was feeling okay, and at 12, I started running my heart out. My legs definitely felt pretty tight, but it wasn’t impossible to run. I finished in 2:09:30 and was giddy with excitement! I had really wanted to finish under 2:10—and I did!! Considering I’ve been working on distance, not speed, I’m really happy with that. I’d like to run a sub-2:00 half one day, but when I can really focus on building speed.
I grabbed a banana and hopped on the PATH to Hoboken, where I met up with my mom. When I got home, I stretched, sticked, and took a bath in Epsom salt. When I had walked into the house, I was so sore that my mom said I was walking all crooked. When I got out of the bath, I was still sore and tight, but I felt human.
Yesterday was the day I PR-ed at a half while tapering for my marathon.
(LIE! Total big deal!)