2012 running goals, or something like that

So as I said in my 2011 year-in-review post, I’d address 2012 later.  Well, it’s later 🙂

So here’s what I got on the horizon so far this year…

  • Boston Marathon (4/16/12)  Obviously this is the biggie as of now.  Time goals?  I don’t know as of now.  At the very least, I want to finish-yes, I want the jacket 😛  I do want to enjoy the experience-and not be in misery for the  last 10K like I was in NYCM.  Ideally, I would run a respectable time, as I am in the need for marathon redemption 🙂  I do have to take into consideration that my training will be 3 weeks shorter, therefore a PR may not be realistic.  But if everything were to go right?  Obviously I would like to requalify…but would shoot for sub-3:40.  None of this 3:35 nonsense, that’s crazy talk!  I should have known better, the B.A.A. gives us upper submasters the extra 5 minutes for a reason.  I guess I’ll re-assess goals as we get closer to Patriots’ Day!
  • NYC Half-Marathon (3/18/12)  After being a lottery loser last year, they actually let me in this year!  Yes I know what the price tag is, and it would cost just as much, if not more, to travel to a half.  For me, I felt it was worth it for several reasons.  It’s perfectly timed as a Boston tune-up.  Last time I ran it was the inaugural race in 2006, and I was not happy with my race at all.  I’d love to get redemption from that one!  This is also the last chance to run a NYCMQ half time under the “old” standards-1:37 or faster (not sure if I’d run NYC or not, but it’d be nice to get the qualifier just once.)  Not sure if I’ll be quite there just yet, but who knows what can happen in 2 months?  (or maybe I can run 1:37:51 to beat my 2006 time by 10 minutes…hehe.)  Finally, the course is changed a little bit, and I’m liking it!!  Start in the lower part of the park, counterclockwise loop in the park (if we have to do the full 6 thats the direction I prefer,) one less mile in the park, finish now near the Seaport.  Should be fun!!  (and will be amusing to see the St. Patrick’s Day drunks leaving the bars around the same time that I’m heading for the start.)

    the new course!

So those are the only 2 races definitely on the schedule as of now.  What else would I like to see happen this year?

  • A 10K PR.  It should not be that my 10K splits in both Philly halfs I’ve raced (46:29 in 2009, 46:38 in 2011) are faster than my actual 10K PR (47:06, set in 2008.)  Maybe try for one in the Mini 10K in June?  The thing is that one is hit or miss in terms of weather. 
  • Sub-7 minute pace short race?  (e.g., 3-miler, 5K, maybe 4-miler?)  I’d have to get back into the shape I was in last summer…then find a flat course in good weather.  Maybe sometime in the fall?

As for the fall-have no clue what I will be doing, race-wise.  Let’s see how the spring plays out…



my first F35-39 race (staten island half report)

So even though I mentioned the possiblity of racing the Staten Island Half previously, I was sorta quiet about it since I wasn’t sure what my strategy was gonna be.  I had signed up just to have the opportunity to use it as a long run, or marathon-pace run if need be, as it falls on the weekend between my two 20-milers.  But after missing my goal in Philly, Coach T and I talked about the possiblity of racing this one, and he did give me the blessing to go for it.  I ran this race only once before-5 years ago, but just as a training run.  I distinctly remembered 1 hill in the beginning, and a biggie at mile 8, but was described by many as a PR course.  The weather forecast was a bit warmer than ideal, but considering I ran great races in the summer heat, I didn’t let that psych me out one bit.

So that Sunday (4 weeks out from the big day, to be exact), I did the routine that most likely would happen on marathon day too.  Woke up way too early.  Breakfast and coffee (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice coffee FTW!  Perfect since I ran out of Peppermint and almost out of Gingerbread and those won’t be back in the stores for while.)  Put the race outfit on…went with the Adioses again for the shoes, and actually tried out a different racing outfit-Flyers singlet (I usually wear the fitted top) and my Lululemon Speed shorts (instead of my short fitted Nike shorts.)  As the shorts have gel pockets, I wouldn’t need a pocket in my top…so I wanted to try out racing in this combo.  (is it me, or do I use this half to try out new shorts?  Last time it was the infamous “naked shorts”…)

And I left my place around 5:30ish, and barely caught the 1 train at Times Square.  Yep, even though NYRR suggested we take the 7:30 ferry at the latest, I felt that would be cutting it too close.  I took the ferry to a Staten island Yankee game this past summer, and it was almost a half hour late.  If the 7:30 was that late, I’d be missing the start.  So I decided to take the 6:30 ferry…I’d rather get to Staten Island early and zone out rather than be in the terminal on the Manhattan side and stress out.  And given that the ferry terminal had plenty of runners, I wasn’t alone in that assessment (of course, some may have been frontloading with a few extra miles.)  I strategically positioned myself near the ferry entrance, and when the doors opened, was able to get a seat near where the exit would be on the SI side and a window seat too.  I think this ferry left maybe 5 minutes late…not too bad, I just listened to my race morning playlist and enjoyed the views during the trip.  And even after getting to SI, the time seemed to go by quickly…found a place to sit and chill out (beautiful morning to sit outside by the water!)…chatted with Flyer and non-Flyer friends, before I knew it, was time to head to the corrals.

just out of the starting gate-i'm to the right of purple chick

So I don’t know who was on announcing duty today, but I actually missed Mary Wittenberg.  This guy was going on and on about the weather and how it was so hot…oh yeah and the comment about how the ChampionChip is “as useful as a rotary phone” (if thats the case, can I get my $35 back that I paid for it way back when?)  I even heard the guy was making fun of people who were late because they were delayed by the ferry…yeah there was some drama there.  Not only was the 7:30 ferry late, but it couldn’t hold everyone waiting.  There was an additional one added around 8-ish, I believe?  But still there were definitely a lot of people who were going to miss the start.  (wow-am I glad I decided to go on the early ferry!)  Even though they did say they were going to delay the start, Mr. Garmin said I started at 8:32 (original start time was 8:30) so they couldn’t have waited that long…

So we headed out of the stadium and onto the streets…mile 1 was uphill but I felt in control.  When I saw my first mile was 7:23 I was pleased…but there was the possibility I may have gone out too fast.  Oh yeah, we were running on unshaded roads on a warm and sunny day, and remember that supposed “flat and fast” course?

Um yeah.  I remembered there was gonna be a hill at mile 8, but I definitely did not remember some of the others!

I just kept going…at around mile 3 I saw Lam speed past me…apparently he got caught on one of the late ferries and had to weave his way through the field (but no worries, since he still PR’ed!  yay!)  I said to him to “go get it.”  As for me, it’s possible my fast start worked against me, as the next 3 miles were 7:34, 7:44, 7:42.  Uh oh…could I be in trouble?  Somewhere in mile 4 I heard someone cheering for me…I looked quickly and saw AP, our Master Blaster…since he’s our resident Staten Islander, I figured he’d either be running or spectating. 🙂

Mile 5 dropped to 7:55…yeah that was up another hill.  But still.  I could have very easily thrown in the towel but just make the rest of the race a marathon-pace run but I chose to fight.  Being that this was an out-and-back, what goes up must come down, right?  And we were nearing the part of the course that I really liked, as the turnaround as around a mile away I saw people coming back on the other side…then it was my turn to hit the turnaround…I heard people cheering for me and if I couldn’t acknowledge you, I’m sorry-was too focused on the task at hand but know it was appreciated! 

just passed my teammate with a mile or 2 to go...

Then mile 8 brought the hill.  The one that 5 years ago I said was “a bigger bitch than I am.”  Seemed like it lasted almost the entire mile!  “Come on, Flyer!” said a guy wearing a NYC Triathlon top who was trying to encourage me to stick with him.  Relief when we hit the top.  At 8:04, this was by far the slowest mile of the race, and my only mile over 8 minutes.  Even the downhill right afterwards…didn’t feel like a reward right then and there, took about 100-200 meters to recover from the hill.  Mile 9 went through Fort Wadsworth…boy it’s gonna look quite different in 4 weeks, just crawling with runners 🙂  Come to think of it-I’m sure there was a view of the Verrazano Bridge somewhere in these last coupla miles but I didn’t even notice!  Exited the Fort and went back into town…saw AP again with his son, and he was taking pictures…I’m sure I didn’t look too happy at that point though 😛

So up til mile 10 or 11, was just trying to maintain pace.  By this point there were people to pace off of…NYC Tri guy, and a couple of Dashing Whippets (I just hoped I wasn’t being too annoying, my breathing was getting loud by that point…working hard!)  In the beginning, everyone who had started late and weaving their way through the field…didn’t know who was running what pace!  By now everyone had pretty much settled in.  Memories from the backstretch…me saying “Shut up!” to those saying “Almost there!” and having other runners say “thank you!”…the very welcome sprinklers at the water stations and elsewhere…the DJ playing “Rain Over Me” and me thinking “ooh rain would be nice right now” 

finishing stretch!

After the bridge at the beginning of mile 12, I thought the hills were over…ugh I guess I forgot about one more!  But then I really think it’s downhill from here?  And passing by the mile 12 marker, I could hear the announcer for the finishers but I forced myself to not look in that direction, just crank it for the last mile.  Headed down the ramp into the stadium with about a half-mile to go and I knew it was just a straight shot to the finish.  And the clock was saying 1:40:xx…which was just alright by me!! 🙂

Final time-1:40:27, 7:40 pace.  My 3rd fastest half ever (only 2 faster were in Philly) and a soft “hilly course” PR, i guess 🙂 

The deets:

Split Time Elevation Gain Elevation Loss
1 7:23.8 17 10
2 7:34.7 32 51
3 7:44.3 14 14
4 7:42.1 45 14
5 7:55.2 68 12
6 7:26.2 0 94
7 7:42.6 13 22
8 8:04.8 105 0
9 7:30.6 0 70
10 7:32.5 13 32
11 7:44.0 0 5
12 7:57.3 61 43
13 7:25.0 39 43
13.1 0:43.6
(6:38 pace)
0 0

As you can see, the elevation changes tell the story of the splits!

And I was 12th in my new age group…my highest age-group placing ever in a NYRR race!!  Maybe there is something to this whole 35-39 age group 🙂  The Flyer women took 3rd and I was the 3rd Flyer female so I got one of these:

And yeah, I know the high placing and finishing 3rd among the Flyer women was only because a lot of the fasties did Grete’s the previous weekend…so a little bittersweet.  I’ll take it though!  Hadn’t gotten one of those team medals in a long time (few years?)…we have so many fast women on the team now, the times I finish top 5 are few and far between!

So even though I would have loved to have run 1:38-1:39…or better if that was where the day took me, I’m still happy with this race.  I could have easily thrown in the towel and “tempoed” it but I fought to the finish.  Unlike Brooklyn, I wasn’t roadkill in the last 5 miles 🙂 And besides, I do remember that it was only a few years ago when I was frustrated at being stuck at a 1:47-1:48 plateau for the half, I was trying to break 1:45 but coming up short…now I can knock on the door of 1:40 in non-ideal conditions on a hilly course?  And of course, eye on the prize and I like that this race predicts a 3:31 marathon…

Next?  Now it’s time to get in that last big week and the last 20 miler, then taper down and stay uninjured before the big day in 4 weeks!

third time not a charm (rock ‘n’ roll philly half report)

Before the longer story, I’ll cut to the chase now…wasn’t my best (2nd best, actually), but thankfully not my worst.

So even though I hadn’t really tapered for this thing, I was trying to stay hopeful that I could bust out a good one.  The room number in the hotel I was staying at was a sign…room number 724-and isn’t a 1:37 half 7:24 pace? (1:37 is the open standard for a qualifying time for NYCM/NYC Half…the latter being a little more important to me as I’d like to run that one again and the only way I will get in is to qualify on time!)  So did the usuals the day before the race…hit up the expo (spotted Kara Goucher at the Nutrilite booth-we passed on getting an autograph as the line was too long) and dinner at Buca di Beppo (almost a reservation snafu, but got it sorted out!)  Then time to put out the clothes for the next morning (including folding over my bib so the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half” wasn’t showing, that bib was way too damn big!)  And had to decide on shoes…was debating between the Launches and the Adioses, but decided to take a chance with the latter, paired with my black CEP compression socks (the hot pink ones would have clashed 🙂 )

Got up, had my usual bagel w/ white chocolate PB and coffee, got dressed, hydrated, and everything, walked over to the start (a mile from our hotel)…and when I stepped outside, was greeted by some very nice racing weather…great, guess I have no excuses 😛  After checking bags, Flyer GW (my traveling companion) went to do a warmup, I had to take care of other business and stretch a little bit more before heading to the corrals.  Headed to corral 2 this year…moving on up in the world!!   Was joined shortly by GW and JJ, another Flyer.  JJ said he was just gonna run this at marathon pace so I thought “OK guess I need to stay ahead of him.”  National Anthem, then the first corral and elites were off.  Then time to move us up…and I didn’t go anywhere near the timing mats until we were allowed to go-learned from my mistakes at the Corporate Challenge 😉

So another clean start, this staggered start system that Philly has used the last coupla years has worked well.  Settled in right away.  GW pulled ahead, as did JJ…now I didn’t know if this meant that I was going slower than hoped, or that just like last year’s Scotland 10K, he wasn’t really gonna stick to marathon pace 😛  Anyway, the mile 1 split sort of put the concerns to rest.

And the next 3 miles wove through Center City.  I was keeping consistent, and actually wasn’t too far off from my opening mile splits last time I ran this race…but today, was feeling more like work than it did 2 years ago.  Not that I went out too fast, but just that I was gonna have to fight for this one.  There was a guy who was pacing with me through this part…unfortunately lost him a little after mile 4.  Not surprising, he said he wanted to run 1:30-1:35…

So after passing by the start/finish was a little bit of new territory for me.  The last 2 times I ran this race, we ran out on MLK Drive and back on Kelly Drive to the finish.  Starting last year, the course was reversed.  OK, may not be a bad thing, means that hill at mile 13 will actually be a downhill this time? 🙂  But dammit, a sidestitch crept up in mile 5.  It went away after I grabbed water, but resurfaced during mile 7.  After that, I knew I was gonna have to take fluids more than I normally have in a half.  And I was feeling sort of under-fueled too…my gel boost in mile 8 could not have come soon enough.

And mile 8 was my first (and thankfully only) mile in the 7:40s…I thought “oh no you don’t.”  I’m not sure what I could salvage with this race, but at least I want to avoid feeling like roadkill like I had in Brooklyn.  Where’s the Falls Bridge, and the turn to the finish?  Ah there it is, mile 9.  One more mile, and I can try and pick it up to the finish.  Which I did for mile 11, but 12 and 13 were struggles-though I was still passing people!  And there was something with the camber of the road that was aggrevating my right side.  Finally, I could see the mile 13 marker but not the finish!  Oh wait…they got rid of one hill and swap it for something shorter and steeper.  But once I crested that, the finish was in sight and gave it all I had…oh damn won’t be getting under 1:40 on the clock…haul ass and you can finish under 1:39…finished…1:38:58.  Glad that’s over!

Got my medal and a picture and gathered up whatever goodies they have after the finish.  Found GW and JJ afterwards…both had PRed.  In fact, seemed like everyone I knew who ran that day (lotsa local NYC team peeps made the trip out) had PRed…ugh, what could have been.  Thank god for the MGD 64 beer tent to numb things a little.

So I have mixed emotions about my race.  On one hand, I’m definitely glad to get under 1:40 again, shows that 2009’s race was not a fluke.  And hey, if I was still able to run under 1:40 on tired legs, what could I have done had I been tapered?  Yeah…definitely wonder what could have been if I was able to race it.  But have to take it for what it is-a tuneup for NYCM.  (And good learning with regards to hydration and fueling and how much I need.)  Maybe I’ll give it a 2nd go in Staten Island, maybe I’ll just use that as a pace run-we’ll see how I’m feeling in 3 weeks.  In terms of race predictions, McMillan sez 3:28:43…and I usually add 10 minutes for the NYCM hills…so 3:38.  Not quite where I want to be…guess I have my work cut out for me in the next 7 weeks! 🙂

week 11 wrap-up

7 weeks to go…less than 50 days out…time flies.

Well this was an interesting week of sorts.  Highlighted by “Bibgate“.  Unfortunately, I got that news the day of my track workout, and it definitely threw me-I was “off” the entire time.  I was supposed to hit 5:00 per 1200 and was way off…

Interval Distance Time Pace
1 1200m 5:06.37 6:50.88
2 1200m 5:06.12 6:50.54
3 1200m 5:12.80 6:59.50

Not sure if I was still feeling my MP run from Sunday, or if it was Bibgate getting to me, but I wasn’t happy with this one at all.  Especially the last one-I was definitely hauling, and the heart rate data showed it, why was it so slow?

Tried to put it behind me for Thursday, 2 consecutive tempo loops of the Harlem Hill loop (approx 1.41 miles).  My 2 loops were 10:56/10:35 (7:43/7:28 pace)…improvement from the last time I did this workout in May, when I ran 10:56/10:57?  Was the first really cool night in awhile (very windy too!)-felt a little underdressed in short sleeves and almost could have been glove weather!!

As for today’s half, there is a full report to come, but I will say for now that the popular opinion on the poll was correct (1:37-1:39.)  There was no PR, but still glad to get under 1:40 as it was definitely tougher going than I expected.  Of course, I knew it was gonna be a challenge going in as I was not tapered…

guess my half-marathon time, 2011 edition

It’s back!!  Less than 2 weeks to go til the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half, time for the guessing game to start.

Realistic guesses please!  To help with that, here’s a little data…

Best half ever was from this same race in 2009-1:37:36.  2nd best was 1:42:20 in the 2008 race!

In terms of predictors for now…my Club Champs 5M time predicts 1:40:25. Keeping in mind that was a hilly course and on a hot/humid day and I wasn’t really tapered…with the flat course, and being a little further along in training, I’m hoping I can better that prediction a little bit.

In comparison, 2008’s Club Champs 5M time predicted 1:46:30 and I ran 1:42:20 that year…and in 2009 the Club Champs 5M time predicted 1:42:41 and I actually ran 1:37:36.

Orrrrr…if you want to go by paces per mile-in 2008 I ran 7:38 pace at Club Champs and 7:48 pace in the half.  2009, ran 7:21 pace at Club Champs and 7:27 pace in the half.  2011, I ran 7:12 pace at Club Champs and ??? pace for the half…?

As always, one of the choices I feel is very unrealistic, but I felt I had to put it in anyway.

My goals for this race…would like a PR, definitely want under 1:40 to prove that time 2 years ago was not a fluke (is it me, or am I having to prove that a lot of times aren’t flukes…)  And wouldn’t mind hitting the NYCM/NYC Half qualifying standard of 1:37 or better (provided that does not get changed)

Vote early. But do not vote often-I once again fixed it so certain people won’t try and stuff the ballot box…you all know who you are!

Thanks for playing!

from the archives: my first half-marathon

Well apparently, August 29 is a milestone date of sorts. In 2010, this is when I move to a new apartment, a new neighborhood. Back in 2004, that was the date of my first half-marathon ever-the Manhattan Half-Marathon. As I found this race report somewhere, I figured it’s only fitting to share this one with you all (while I’m busy with, uh, manual labor of sorts.) Enjoy-and see ya on the flip side!

Here it was-my first half marathon. The distance was a little intimidating, especially considering my previous longest race was a 10K, which was half as long. My mileage leading up to the half was pretty good. I had lots of encouragement from my teammates that I could do this (one of them even thought I could do it in 1:45-sheesh!!)

But I was still nervous-I had 2 things working against me: 1-the remnants of a tight right hip that I incurred in the mile race 2 weeks earlier-it was still bugging me in the race the week before, though the pain had substantially subsided, and I truly felt like I had gained my speed back. 2-as per tradition, this race, no matter if it was scheduled in the beginning or end of August, would be a hot, humid day (the weather report was 81 degrees, and was humid as hell.) The upside was that after a horrible course design last year that included 3 repeats of Harlem Hill, 2 repeats of Cat Hill and the course moving in the harder counterclockwise direction, the course this year was just 2 clockwise loops of the park-meaning the easier of the 2 Harlem Hills (but still tough), and Cat Hill being downhill.

So I get to the start bright and early (7 am start!) Was absolutely packed-probably about 6000 people there. You knew it was gonna be a full house when you see race bib numbers in the 10000’s. Lined up near the back of the 8 minute group in hopes that it would prevent me from going out too fast. Saw a teammate of mine, CC, at the start and we chatted a few minutes before the starting gun went off, trying to get each other psyched up for the race. The starting gun goes off but due to the volume of runners, we didn’t actually reach the starting line for about another 3 minutes. So trying to be cautious, ran the first mile at an easy pace. Wound up leaving CC behind, as she going slow due to nursing an injury but saw another teammate of mine, TB, midway through mile 1, and we just started chatting and just decided to team up and pace each other, as we’re pretty similar in terms of pace. My first mile was 9:14, which I thought was a little slow but figured it was much safer than going out too fast, and stepped it up a bit. We were joined by another teammate, NG, during mile 2, and we pretty much finished the first loop of the park through mile 7 together.

During mile 8, I started to fall behind TB and NG-this was where my inexperience with the distance was coming into play, as well as the heat and humidity taking its toll. But I gelled at the water stop right after the mile 8 marker-that gave me a boost. I was still lagging, but then I was joined by another teammate friend, DC, who wasn’t running in the race-she tried to keep me encouraged and entertained up until mile 11-and then I knew while I was tiring, I had 2.1 easy miles in front of me. Mile 12 was Cat Hill downhill, did it only 3 seconds slower than the first time around. Caught up with TB during mile 13 and we pretty much stuck together til the finish line.

Then came that last .1 mile. Unfortunately it was uphill. But at that point, it didn’t matter. The announcer was saying “finishers, stay to the right” and I could see the finish line and I think to myself “Holy sh*t, I’m FINISHING this thing!!” Even put my arms up victory-style!! Crossed the finish line in 1:52:55 (8:37 pace.)

I netted out like this:
1st 6 miles-9:14/8:42/8:22/8:45/8:24/8:14
2nd 6 miles-8:41/8:29/8:42/8:59/8:46/8:17
Last 1.1 miles-8:26/0:55

I’m very happy with my time  considering the course, conditions and my first attempt at the distance. Also-I know I lost a minute or 2 due to the water/Gatorade stations-they were pretty slow especially during the second loop, plus due to the weather and distance, instead of taking a gulp of water on the fly, I took my time and drank the entire cup-probably 6 times in total. But it greatly helped to have my teammates and I pacing each other-all about teamwork baby!!!

I was glad that my one big summer goal was fulfilled!! (And surprisingly, I was a LOT less banged up after this than I was after the mile race-not sore, however was very slow a few days afterwards. But got my groove back later in the week.) No more halfs for me this year-looking forward to running some fast fall-weather times in some shorter races, but looking forward to tackling the half-marathons in the other boroughs next year!! (cooler days and flatter courses-I’ll get that 1:45 yet…)

holiday, celebrate…

If we took a holiday (oh yeah, oh yeah)
Took some time to celebrate (c’mon, let’s celebrate)
Just one day out of life (just one day!)
It would be, it would be so nice!

And the long Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer has come and gone.  (Well thanks to the wonder of carryover vacation days, I’ve extended mine another day…)  Though it wasn’t as jam-packed and memorable as last year’s, it was still quite lovely all the same.  Spent a lot of time outdoors…be it either running, lounging out in Central Park with friends, or just wandering the west side path…

As part of my long run Saturday (11 miles), I checked out the newly opened portion of the west side path that goes from around west 84th to 93rd.  Good to not have to detour through Riverside Park anymore, but warning-it is very narrow during that portion, best to go single file!!

Sunday consisted of a lonnggggg picnic in the park….good food, friends and drink (sangria in picnic-sized boxes rule!)  Then yesterday consisted of a run, brunch and some girl talk with TB who was back from Europe (but is gonna come home for good in a coupla months-much earlier than expected!!  yeah!) and lounging out on the west side path…and eventually taking advantage of one of the best Monday evening dinner deals-$10 fajitas at Cilantro!!  (plus happy-hour special margaritas!)

And though I raced on Memorial Day last year, I’m so glad I skipped it this year.  Besides other reasons, I heard reports that it was a rough day.  And besides, I’d rather look forward to and concentrate on having a good race at the Mini 10K.  I do have a time goal in mind…not sure if I want to say what it is just yet…

And on the topic of races, I could help but notice some of the recent dissention on NYRR’s Facebook page-specifically about the Brooklyn half and what it *didn’t* offer.  That NYRR should be ashamed of themselves for not giving out finisher’s medals, and that “seasoned runners don’t care about the medals but newbies do, and not getting a medal cheapens our effort” or something like that.  Hmmm, I seem to remember I didn’t receive a medal for my first half-marathon.  The Manhattan Half in 2004, anyone remember that one?  Late August, 2 loops of Central Park, hot as hell, not anyone’s first choice for a debut half-marathon (yeah I don’t know what I was thinking.)  But I finished, and just seeing my name in the results as a half-marathon finisher was good enough for me.  I agree with this comment someone else made: “You really think you wasted your time? You ran 13.1 miles. Do you really believe that your accomplishment is tarnished because you didn’t receive a medal?”  Hell, I’ve run almost 20 half-marathons and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I received a finishers medal for the race.  Guess it is what you make of it.  Stepping down off my soapbox now…