Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen a race as cursed, weather-wise, as the More/Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon. I seem to remember it being really cold two years ago. Then of course, the infamous “fun run” last year. And what would the weather gods serve up this year? Constant, pounding rain…very similar to the 18-mile Tune-Up last year. I thought we were getting off easy only doing 13.1 miles. Boy was I wrong!
So the Flyers were acting as paceleaders again, and I signed up to help lead the 2:00 group…there would be 4 or 5 others in addition to myself, so that group would be in good hands. Hit up the expo on Friday…picked up my nice paceleader singlet (though as it turned out, white would not be the ideal color to wear on Sunday? 😉 ) Got my swag bag which actually had some decent stuff in it this year (e.g., a Lululemon headband, a box of Barilla Plus pasta)…and thankfully, no weird stuff like the dog food and Astroglide that were in last year’s swag bag. Carbed up Saturday night while with la familia for mom’s bday…but an early bedtime wasn’t quite happening, thanks to me not being able to tear my attention away from the old-school episodes of “The Hills” that MTV was showing nonstop 🙂
The alarm the next morning sounded at 5:30 AM…and all I could think about was the nap I was going to take later. Was really debating what to do in terms of the attire, as yes it was raining, but cool. I thought about capris/tights but nixed that as I was hopeful it would stop raining…and the less cold, wet clothing I had to deal with, the better. Plus I wanted something with pockets to hold gels (the singlet had a pocket, but was a little on the small side.) So decided to go with a skirt and the singlet, with arm warmers and my black Flyers cap…thinking that once we get started running, will be just fine. And even poked holes in a trash bag and put it over my outfit just to keep the rain off til then. But little did I know.
Yeah, when I got outside…it kinda sucked. And it seemed like once I got to the park and where the Flyers water station was, it was raining even harder. Thank god for some NYRR-supplied ponchos and for Mr. President lending us ladies his umbrella. I think we all shared the same sentiments…is anyone even gonna want/need pace groups today? Are race plans going out the window with the weather? Are we crazy for doing this? 😛 After what seemed like forever (we had to get there at 7, for an 8 am race start!) we headed towards the corrals. And unfortunately, once we hit the corrals, we had to hand over the ponchos. And I cursed my attire selection. Dear god, what was I thinking. It’s freezing. This sucks.
So we were all really really hoping that the speeches would be kept to a minimum, given the downpours…didn’t look like it was the case tho. Race didn’t start til a few minutes after 8. Oh and as we passed through the start chute, Kristin Davis (of SATC fame…oh and some may remember, Melrose Place too!) was waving to and cheering on the runners.
So the plan-a 2 hour (or sub-2) half…9:09s or better. Easy, right? Not so, the first mile was 10:09. I think my legs were still warming up a little bit (when we were in the corrals, my calves were shaking from the cold) but it was also really really crowded. Still crowded in mile 2, which was 9:24. Mile 3 was a little better at 9:04…so hopefully once the crowds clear out, we could make up some time on the back end. Oh, and this entire loop we were holding blue and white pace balloons, but the “2:00” had washed off because of the rain, so everyone was asking us “What group are you? What pace are you?” 2 hours, give or take. There were some who stuck with us throughout, like this one very sweet Italian woman (who said she loved NY so much that she thinks the lyrics of “Empire State of Mind” are so true 🙂 ) My co-paceleaders-CN, DM, DM (yep there were 2!), HM and JH were awesome…great company to help get me through the 13.1 miles. Oh, and can’t forget the Flyers who were at the water station just north of Tavern on the Green! (near the end of miles 6 and 12.) Seeing them in mile 6 was a nice boost, almost made me forget I had another loop and then some to go 😛
So by mile 7, we had made up the time and were on pace…just needed to stick to it or ahead of it for the remaining 6.1 miles. Which I was able to do, with the exception of the Harlem hill mile which was a 9:17. But I had to deal with another annoyance…my skirt kept slipping down and I had to keep pulling it up. If that sounds familiar at all, that’s because I had to do the same during the 18-mile Tune-Up in 2008…damn wardrobe malfunction!! But I knew what was going on this time, all the rain was weighing the skirt down and causing it to slip. So yeah…my singlet was probably see-through by this point, my skirt falling down, between those 2 things I was prolly giving everyone a free show. The Flyer water station could not come soon enough, as it meant only a little over a mile to go, and still on pace! Once we passed by mile 13, I yelled out that whoever’s still with me, we are gonna finish under 2 hours!! And so we did…on the clock and on the watch too (just under 1:58.)
Wow-SO glad that’s over!! And everyone around me seemed to share those same sentiments. The Italian lady gave me and one of the other pace leaders a hug and thanked us for doing a good job…which I thought was really nice and in a way, made toughing it out in the rain worth it. remember? what had I said before? “nothing would make me happier than helping runners achieve their goal, cross the finish line in the time they dreamed of.”
And like a cruel joke, the rain stopped once we crossed the finish. And even though I had warmed up while running, now I was starting to get cold. I saw women wearing those Mylar heat sheets but didn’t know where to find them…just keep moving forward. I stopped by the Flyer water station to say hi and thanks, and then headed home. And even took the subway to go one stop, thats how lazy I was. And went without Starbucks in favor of a hot shower, my Snuggie and a nap.
And I kept the medal I was given at the end…figured it would be a nice memento of sorts…if I ever want to wuss out on a run, think back to this one!! Though I hope Sunday has bought me some good weather karma for all remaining goal races of 2010! 🙂