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.ย  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!)ย  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!)ย  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!)ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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 ๐Ÿ˜›ย  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.ย  Headed to corral 2 this year…moving on up in the world!!ย ย  Was joined shortly by GW and JJ, another Flyer.ย  JJ said he was just gonna run this at marathon pace so I thought “OK guess I need to stay ahead of him.”ย  National Anthem, then the first corral and elites were off.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

So another clean start, this staggered start system that Philly has used the last coupla years has worked well.ย  Settled in right away.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜›ย  Anyway, the mile 1 split sort of put the concerns to rest.

And the next 3 miles wove through Center City.ย  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.ย  Not that I went out too fast, but just that I was gonna have to fight for this one.ย  There was a guy who was pacing with me through this part…unfortunately lost him a little after mile 4.ย  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.ย  The last 2 times I ran this race, we ran out on MLK Drive and back on Kelly Drive to the finish.ย  Starting last year, the course was reversed.ย  OK, may not be a bad thing, means that hill at mile 13 will actually be a downhill this time? ๐Ÿ™‚ย  But dammit, a sidestitch crept up in mile 5.ย  It went away after I grabbed water, but resurfaced during mile 7.ย  After that, I knew I was gonna have to take fluids more than I normally have in a half.ย  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.”ย  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.ย  Where’s the Falls Bridge, and the turn to the finish?ย  Ah there it is, mile 9.ย  One more mile, and I can try and pick it up to the finish.ย  Which I did for mile 11, but 12 and 13 were struggles-though I was still passing people!ย  And there was something with the camber of the road that was aggrevating my right side.ย  Finally, I could see the mile 13 marker but not the finish!ย  Oh wait…they got rid of one hill and swap it for something shorter and steeper.ย  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.ย  Glad that’s over!

Got my medal and a picture and gathered up whatever goodies they have after the finish.ย  Found GW and JJ afterwards…both had PRed.ย  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.ย  Thank god for the MGD 64 beer tent to numb things a little.

So I have mixed emotions about my race.ย  On one hand, I’m definitely glad to getย under 1:40 again, shows that 2009’s race was not a fluke.ย  And hey, if I was stillย able to run under 1:40 on tired legs, what couldย I have done had I been tapered?ย  Yeah…definitely wonder what could have been if I was able to race it.ย  But have to take it for what it is-a tuneupย for NYCM.ย  (And good learning with regards to hydration and fueling and how much I need.)ย  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.ย  In terms of race predictions, McMillan sez 3:28:43…and Iย usually add 10 minutes for theย NYCM hills…so 3:38.ย  Not quite where I want to be…guess I haveย my work cut out for me in the next 7 weeks! ๐Ÿ™‚

dreams do come true

This has been such a tough race report to write.  How does one put into words….how it feels to just be floating along for 13.1 miles, to have it just seem too perfect, too easy, a dream coming true right in front of my eyes.  I’ll tell ya, two days later I’m still riding that high and I hope to be riding it in 5 weeks from now…

Long story short-as you know from my previous post…Sunday’s Philly Distance Run went much better than I could have expected.  And yeah of course, there were the tiers of goals before the race…

Main “I’d be happy” goal-Sub 1:45
Stretch goal-under my PR of 1:42:20
Uber secret super stretch goal-1:40…either sub-1:40 or 1:40:xx
 
And which goal did I achieve?  Well once again, I will start this report off with the stats and the splits…
 

And now the story!!  I guess in a way it starts on Friday when I was doing my last run before the race, an easy 3.5 miles with strides at the end…and during the run I found myself daydreaming of running a certain time, envisioning the finish line…the clock saying a certain time…etc, etc, etc ๐Ÿ™‚  Anyway run done, work done for now, time to carb up (which included Rosh Hashanah dinner at the parentals on Friday nite!) and rest up…

Saturday morning came…NJ Transit time!!   But a little different this time-you see, I took up Uptown Girl‘s offer to crash with her at her parents place near Philly for the race weekend.  (And also, I get to partake in another Rosh Hashanah dinner on Saturday nite…see, I’m not such a bad Jew after all!)  So surprisingly, there were absolutely no NJT issues on the trip there-you see, that never happens, so of course I took it as a good sign  ๐Ÿ™‚  So anyway, made it in one piece, and we were off to the expo…got our bibs and techie(!) shirts!!  Didn’t do too much damage to the credit card…the expo was so-so, but when I saw tangerine PowerGels, you can bet I snatched more than a few of them up ๐Ÿ™‚  So done with expo, time to go home, relax, put our feet up, conserve our energy, have dinner…before we knew it, was almost time to get my beauty sleep and knowing there wouldn’t be a lot of time to spare in the AM, made sure everything was ready to go…D-tag on the shoe, bib pinned on my top, Garmin charged, all accessories out, etc (remembered Mr. Garmin, but forgot the HRM strap!  who am i…?)…set the alarm on my CrackBerry to 5 AM and after reading and answering some “good luck” texts ๐Ÿ˜‰ went to sleep…dreaming of PRs…

Next thing I knew, it was 5:15 AM and Uptown Girl flipped on the lights in my room to wake me up…holy sh*t why didn’t the CrackBerry go off?  Eventually figured out that it might have helped to turn the alarm to “On.”  Learning for next time.  Thank god I had everything prepped the night before, as I got dressed and ready in record time, since we had to be on the road by 5:30 AM!  (Figured I can have my bagel w/ white chocolate peanut butter and french vanilla coffee in the car!)  Don’t know how I pulled it off, but I did.  And to the city we go…

So…when we get there, there’s another treat in store.  Ya see, a friend of Uptown Girl’s dad has done this race every year and therefore gets VIP access for himself and others…I think you can see where this is going ๐Ÿ™‚  Yep, how cool was it to be kinda sorta hobnobbing with the elites (Ryan Hall!), not to mention portapotties that we didn’t have to wait on line for, water and Cytomax at our disposal (and I caught a peek of some “after-race” beverages…hehe.)  Was still a little chilly then, still had my long-sleeve shirt and pants on and would wait to take those off to let the legs stay as warm as possible.  But was cool with it because it obviously meant perfect racing weather ๐Ÿ™‚  Just tried to relax, had the iPod and listened to some of my favorite pre-gaming songs…yep of course “Pocketful of Sunshine” and “I Gotta Feeling” were on that list…oh and Madonna’s new song “Celebration” was in there too, definitely a great song to get you psyched up to run well!!

So it’s around 7:20 and us gals decided it was time to roll.  Made any last minute preps and headed towards corral 3 (cool, one up from last year! ๐Ÿ™‚ )  Again, they weren’t being totally policed…but what can you do.  And not surprisingly, the NYC local running scene was in effect…NY Harriers, CPTC, Urban Athletics, NYAC and others…ah just like another NYRR club points race, plus 20,000 other peeps.  Well not really like that but you get what I’m saying…sometimes it’s nice to see that NYC familiarity away from home in a way.  (surprisingly, almost no Flyer representation!!  Only saw one other there besides myself…hmmm maybe everyone preferred to run the Queens Half? :-P)  Anyways, was almost go time!!  Before we knew it, it was 7:45 and the elites and 1st corral were off…a minute later corral 2…then in another minute was our turn!!

So mile 1, that was where these wave starts came into play…where last year I remembered a lot of dodging in the mile, I was really able to settle in right away.  Especially since the first few miles are on the narrower streets of Center City!!  Nothing too crazy, just an effort I felt I could maintain for 13.1…and when I saw 7:30 for the first mile, I had a feeling this was gonna be a good day.  And when I saw my mile 2, mile 3 and 5k splits (while passing other local NYC runners that are usually ahead of me in races) I knew it was gonna be a great day!!  Could it be, my dream race is actually unfolding right in front of me?

So now we were going back in the direction of where we started…looked at my watch at mile 4 (stuck by my rule of not looking at my watch unless at a mile split or a 5k/chip mat split)-just under 30 minutes!!  Remember, it was a longtime goal of mine to break 30 minutes for 4 miles…and now I did it in my last 2 races en route to a longer distance!!  Passed by the start/finish area and heard “Let’s Get It Started”…were people still waiting to start at that point?  Either way, that’s one of my fave running songs and was great to hear at this point. ๐Ÿ™‚

So now we were on the nice and shady MLK drive for about a 5-mile stretch.  And I was loving that.  The legs knew exactly what to do, they were just totally dialed into 7:30s (give or take a second or 2).  And whereas last year, when I remember that it felt like work…I was still feeling great, was just cruising along.  Hit the 10K point…OMG, that is actually a 10K PR for me!!  Only point where I may have felt the tiniest bit of a “fade” was in mile 8…but my tangerine PowerGel (which thankfully I was able to hold onto!) took care of that ๐Ÿ™‚

Mile 9 brought the Falls Bridge, the first “hill” of the course.  Last year I remembered it being totally unwelcome at that point ๐Ÿ™‚  But this year was a different story.  I thought of what LG would say to me when we would run up the hills in Central Park…or if he’d be cheering me on in a race near a hill…focus on form, lean into it, look to the top…before I knew it, I was at the top and thought “that’s all it was?”  It really did seem shorter than last year! ๐Ÿ™‚  So after turning onto Kelly Drive (and even for the previous coupla miles) I was debating whether or not to start picking up the pace a little…but decided to stick to the plan-first 10 miles for pacing, last 5k for racing.  No chip mat at 15K, but I saw a split of 1:09:45…guess I really need to race another 15K, as my PR for that distance is 1:17?  The 10-mile split brought another PR as well! ๐Ÿ™‚  (ahhh revenge on Cherry Blossom!!  I knew I was capable of better than 1:19…)

So remember last year, my then wannabe, now actual teammate DK was running with me for the last few miles, and I remembered I really needed that…but this time was just me…and I was making it happen.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw mile 11….I only have 2.1 miles to go?  How did that happen?  This truly was the race I always daydreamed about…when you’re just flying high, every mile split coming in better than you imagined…

But during mile 12…dammit, a sidestitch got me!!  Just kept running and tried to breathe through it…under no circumstances would I stop or walk, but it signaled that I needed fluids and decided that even though there’s such little distance to go…as soon as I saw a water stop, take something!!  Thankfully, there was one right after the mile 12 marker…and that turned out to be exactly what I needed.  And looks like it didn’t slow me down too much, but of course wonder what could have been…

I remembered mile 13 last year as being evil…as it was the 2nd hill of the course, at a point where you did not want one.  And I barely had anything left, it was all I could do to dig deep and run a 7:46 mile (after two 7:41’s!)  Don’t get me wrong, I felt the incline, but I also felt I still had a little something left to leave out on the course.  Then partially through the mile, KW from the Harriers passed by and said good job, and I said I was gonna try and stick by him…or at least keep him in my sights for the rest of this mile.  Couldn’t quite keep him in my sights for long, but it did get me to pick up the intensity even more for this mile…and I see a CPTC girl…hmmm can I pass by her too?  Well I did, and in the process, ran a smokin’ hot mile 13!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well another thing I think I have improved upon this year is a good finishing kick…as last year at this race, I just remembered it being pretty weak.  Well not only did I have to hold off the CPTC chick that I passed, but I heard the announcer encouraging us to “get in under 100 minutes!”  Wow even with the wave start, I have a chance of getting under 1:40 on the clock too?  I gotta go for that!!  And so I did-making it with 8 seconds to spare!!  Wow!! (and just barely finished ahead of the CPTC girl too…hehe)  Was sooo happy….yet in a way, a little sad it was all over!!

Got my medal, my picture taken…then headed back to the VIP area for the real celebration to begin ๐Ÿ™‚  And it turned out I wasn’t the only one celebrating-Uptown Girl smashed her PR with a 1:40, and just ran a very well-executed race in the process.  So anyway, remember how I said I saw certain beverages before…yep they were “adult” beverages :-P…downed 3 bottles of MGD 64…which I guess is the equivalent of one normal beer, as it did not even get me buzzed, not even in my post-half marathon depleted state ๐Ÿ™‚  But hey, free beer is free beer!!  And it just felt so nice and celebratory to be tipping those back on such a beautiful day!

I don’t think I need to say any more to sum up the race and how I felt about my performance…I think I’ve said enough ๐Ÿ™‚  I can only hope I can repeat this in a month at MCM.  And oh yeah…of course I had to look up what this time predicts for other distances ๐Ÿ™‚  And the McMillan calculator says that a 1:37:36 half predicts…a 3:25:50 marathon!!!  Ummmm OK.  I do know I have to keep in mind that this was a supah flat course.  But still!!  At first I thought that I wouldn’t be drastically altering my goals, as all I wanted was reassurance that 3:40 would be doable.  But is it possible that 3:40 may be setting the bar too low…boy, my marathon goal is really up in the air now!! ๐Ÿ™‚

an early birthday present

Yes…with the Philadelphia Distance Run falling 5 days before my birthday…what better birthday present can there be than a new half-marathon PR (not to mention getting the half-marathon monkey off my back? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I’ll start this race report off with the stats and the splits…

Mile splits (unofficial):

Mile 1-8:10
Mile 2-7:31
Mile 3-7:46
Mile 4-7:45
Mile 5-6:45 (short!)
Mile 6-8:59 (long!)
Mile 7-7:53 (sports drink)
Mile 8-7:52 (gel)
Mile 9-7:54 (hill!)
Mile 10-7:47
Mile 11-7:41
Mile 12-7:41
Mile 13-7:46 (another hill!)
last .1-0:50

And now-for the story behind the numbers.

As most of you may know, the half-marathon distance has been sort of a monkey I’ve had on my back for a few years. I set my PR of 1:43 in January 2005, and have not come close since (my next best time being 4 1/2 minutes slower!) Hoping my marathon training 2 years ago may fix that, but both halfs I tried to race were cursed with downpours. But I had a feeling this could be my year…I was patient and decided to save my half-marathon attempt for a good course at a more ideal time of year (read: hopefully no heat and humidity!) And Philly was already good to me with the Broad Street Run…

So the plan was as follows-train it to Philly on Saturday, stay overnight, train it back to NYC on Sunday. And shocker-NJ Transit did its NJ Transit thing…as my train left Penn 15 minutes late with no explanation. (and once again, I was sitting by a bunch of annoying kids who just yapped away the entire time. Why does this always happen to me?) I thought I was gonna miss my SEPTA connection in Trenton, thankfully they held it!! Took it as a good sign ๐Ÿ™‚ Dropped my stuff off in the hotel, went over to the expo, got my bib (with a very cool number-#4444!!) and browsed around. I didn’t really do much damage to the credit card, there was nothing I really wanted to buy-though this “Will Run For Wine” singlet was very tempting!! Only thing I bought was a coupla pairs of throwaway gloves, as I will need for the NYC start and I remember they werent at last year’s expo. I ran a coupla more errands, then back to the hotel to rest til dinner…my legs were tired and I was a little worried about that. I met up with Flyer VV for dinner at Buca di Beppo-hey if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…my pre-race meal did me good for Broad Street so of course I duplicated it-right down to the glass of merlot. VV was running not just his first half, but his first race ever so I gave him plenty of pointers. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wound up crashing mad early…needed my beauty sleep for the next day!!

Race day…the usual routine!! Woke up too early as usual-had my usual cup of coffee, bagel with white chocolate peanut butter, got dressed, stretched, hydrated…listened to pre-run music…and yes, “Pocketful of Sunshine” was one of the songs as it was at Broad Street, and another one has been added to the list-“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. I left my room around 6:30 and stopped by Starbucks to get my “magic” concoction-coffee with a shot of vanilla syrup. Drank that and then it was time to warm up…and how perfect was it that the start was a mile away? There’s my warmup ๐Ÿ™‚ Hit up the porto-johns…and from what I heard it was perfect timing, as I only waited a few minutes and I heard there were half-hour waits at times. I dropped off my bag at gear check, stretched a little more, and by that time, the corrals were open. I was in corral 4, which looked like it was pretty close to the front. However, these corrals weren’t being completely policed, as there were people who belonged in corrals further back walking forward, and no one was really stopping them…whatever. I saw Uptown Girl-she was in corral 3, so she hung in the back of that corral, and me in the front of 4 so we chit-chatted a little while waiting for the start. Her TRD teammate, AH joined us…he was going for around the same time I was so we figured we could try and work together. Once again, I was pretty calm before the start…gonna be a good thing!! The singing of the national anthem signaled that it was almost start time-oh, but the person singing either botched the lyrics or came up with his own…needless to say there were a lot of “WTFs?” around. The wheelchairs were off, and then so were we!! “Beautiful Day” by U2 was playing as we crossed the start…and boy, I hoped that would be true!! ๐Ÿ™‚

There was a little bit of maneuvering in mile 1…definitely a lot of people not lined up right, but maybe a good thing so it could hold me back a little. AH and I stuck together for the first half-mile but then he pulled ahead and I let him go…we’ll each run our own race. Saw Flyer CD and his fiancee (and former Flyer) EB cheering…I smiled and waved to them, was good to see some support on the sidelines. At mile 1…hmmm. I knew I wanted to be conservative, but thought that was a little slow…picked up the pace a little bit as we headed past City Hall and onto Market Street. As for the 2nd split, I don’t know if that was too fast, or was mile 1 long and 2 short? Either way, I was right on pace, and my mission for the next few miles was to just maintain 7:50s or better. I was so glad to make the turn and head west, as we were running directly into the sun and now the sun would be behind us for at least a few miles. Saw CD and EB again near where I saw them previously (the out and back on Benjamin Franklin Parkway)…and through mile 4, all was well…time to leave the city streets behind for a bit and run along MLK Drive.

And this part was much shadier, which was a relief…even though the temps were in the high 50s, the sun was strong which made it feel a little hotter. Was still feeling decent-this definitely was no cakewalk (and as I was telling myself “this is a goal race, you gotta work for it!”) but I felt a helluva lot better than I did at this point in…last year’s Queens Half for example ๐Ÿ™‚ I concentrated on just staying relaxed (yeah, some yoga thinking got into me…the word “flow” went through my head several times along that stretch!) I saw singlets from other NYC teams…CPTC, Warren St, NY Harriers…and passed on by em ๐Ÿ™‚ When I saw the mile 5 split I said “No eff-ing way…” we were all in consensus that it was short. Confirmed by the long mile 6. Was trying to do the math in my head to average the 2 but the brain wasn’t having it ๐Ÿ™‚ Grabbed some Cytomax (which I actually do like!) past the 10K point but spilled part of it on myself…thought “great, now i’m hot, sticky and sweet.” It’s crazy the things that run through your mind during races!

Around mile 7.5, I took my gel and tried to grab some water at the mile 8 station to wash it down…but grabbed another cup of Cytomax instead. Oops!! Hopefully that won’t do damage (it didn’t.) And in this mile this guy, DK ran beside me-one that was a wannabe Flyer and was contacting those what were doing the race to see if anyone wanted to run together…I had said at the time thanks but no thanks, as his plan was to take it easy-and I reminded him of that :-p The response-it’s hard to hold back when you’re in the race atmosphere…anyway, DK asked if he could stick by me so he wouldn’t be tempted to go any faster and I said sure. Actually-it was good for me to have a pacing buddy for the last few miles.

Mile 9 included the Falls Bridge…and the first hill of the course!! Granted, its nothing compared to Central Park, but still, a hill is never welcome ๐Ÿ™‚ I said “where the hell did that come from”? ๐Ÿ™‚ It was short, crossed over the bridge where there was a bagpiper playing…reminded me of PD playing at mile 20 of the NYC Marathon :)…then a little downhill to come off the bridge and onto Kelly Drive…where there was still a bit of shade, but we were running into the sun once again, so it was definitely heating up. There was no chip mat at the 15K marker, but I looked at my watch quickly and saw it was at 1:13:xx…hmm, guess that 15K PR is kinda soft. At the 10-mile split…I tried to do some quick math to figure out if I was on pace or not…I had sped up a little in mile 10, but was it enough? Whatever the case, time to get to work for the last 5K.

Make no mistake. It was tough. It was hot, my legs were tired. DK was a great pacing partner though, just letting me stay quiet and just run, but being encouraging too. At the mile 11 and 12 splits, I said “nice…” I think I had it. (DK had started 20 seconds ahead of me, so he thought we were cutting it closer than we actually were…may have been a good thing though!!)

My god, mile 13 was evil. The 2nd hill of the course, but at the point where you definitely do NOT want one (reminds me of the last 1.1 miles of the Brooklyn Half!) I was so tired. After mile 12…it looked like I could just coast along at an 8 minute pace and still make it in under 1:43…but why take that chance. This was the defining moment of this race…the point where I told myself the most influential thing…“You did not come this far to have another ‘so close’ moment.” Not just far in terms of traveling, but the fact that I was on PR pace for so long…no effin way was I gonna lose it in the last mile, just suck it up…almost there!!! The mile 13 marker was a relief…it was all downhill from there to the finish-literally!!! My sprint at the end of halfs is never my strength, and it wasnt today, but at that point I did not care!! I crossed the finish line with a huge smile and the first thought that went through my head-GOODBYE, 3 1/2 year old PR!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Got my medal, my picture taken (and several comments about my very cool bib number!!) some water and sports drink-and more Starbucks coffee!…didn’t take food, as once again I really didn’t feel like eating (normally the case after a hard effort like this). I got my bag and walked around the finish area…partially to walk off the effort and partially to look for people. I saw Flyers JB, JA and FR…i saw Uptown Girl who was happy with her MP effort. I walked the mile back to the hotel which I really needed…got cleaned up, checked out, then me and VV (who had a great first half with a 1:52…i told him he’d be able to run under 2 hours!) celebrated our efforts with burgers and beer. Then off to the train station for me, and thankfully a drama-free train trip home!!

I was very pleased with this race!! Unlike the Vegas half-which even though it was a PR, was kinda anti-climactic…this one was very memorable. Plus, the pacing in that race wasn’t my best (only thing that saved me in the last 5k was a tailwind), whereas this one I feel I paced a lot better. I was glad to finally run the half-marathon that I thought I had in me, but was never able to produce…especially since I wasn’t completely tapered for this, wonder what I’d be capable of on fresher legs!! But like I said before-the monkey is off my back, no longer does the half-marathon PR need to be asterisked!!

And as for my NYCM goals? The McMillan calculator predicts a 3:35:49 marathon…add 10 minutes for the hills, still on target for an under-3:50 goal!! Not gonna be drastically altering my goals (maybe be a little more flexible, like hit between 3:45 and 3:49). But next year, maybe next year…