Monday, March 26, 2012

Race Recap: 13.1 New York

13.1 miles. Done and done.  Woohoo! I'm a half-marathoner!

Saturday was an absolutely perfect day for a race: 60 degrees and partly sunny.  I was nervous, excited and couldn't wait to get going!  I picked up my friend who was running the 5K and we headed over to Flushing Meadows. 
Congrats on your first race, friend! :)
My family arrived just in time to see me off to the start.  I lined up in the 2:30 corral, hoping I could pace myself accordingly.  Someone sang the National Anthem, the gun went off, and I walked/trotted to the start.  And 4 minutes later, I crossed the start line of my first half-marathon.

Mile 1= all smiles
I spent the first few miles talking to myself.  Telling myself to slow down.  My plan was to run the first half at 10:20-10:30 pace.  According to my GPS, mile 1-5 were consistently 10:05-10:10 instead, but I felt good and it actually felt like I was going slower than I could.  So I maintained around 10:10 for the rest of the race, occasionally speeding up when I saw my cheer squad!
Fist pumping for my crew!

I am so super appreciative of family & friends who came to cheer me on! I know it's not easy to figure out what mile markers to go to, spot your runner and then stand around waiting for them to get to the next spot.  It really does mean a lot to me that they were there and they definitely motivated me!  My mom even made cheesy glittery signs for me!
Thank you, amazing fan club.
So back to the race.  Miles 7 & 8 were a serious struggle for me.  It was a long loop around Meadow Lake, which just seemed endless, especially because you could see straight across the lake to the runners on the other side.  I had my fuel belt on, mostly because it's what I had trained with and I really hate drinking from the paper cups at water stops.  My plan was to alternate my water and Gatorade, take Gu Chomps at Mile 5, a Honey Stinger around 9 or 10, then dropping the belt with my support team and using the water stations as needed until the end.  I did well with all of that, except that I'd never used a Honey Stinger before (I prefer Gu...but I hadn't been able to find the flavors I like when I went to the running store).  I HATED the Honey Stinger.  I've heard people swear by it, but it was just not for me.  I took a quarter of it and immediately threw it out.  And then ditched my belt right before Mile 9. 
Bye Bye Fuel belt!
Mile 9-11 were great.  I was in a routine and felt strong.  I was taking in the sights and really enjoying the race!
And then there was mile 11-12.  Ugh.  I was back inside the main loop of the park, but there were still 2.1 miles to wrap around.  My feet were hurting and I was ready for the race to be over.  I was envisioning the finish line (which wasn't hard to do since I could essentially see across the park to it...) and the delicious beer that I had waiting for me.  I pushed through but it was not fun.
Pretty sure this is mile 12.  Pushing through.

It was an amazing feeling to see Mile Marker 13.  With the supportive screams from my fam & friends, I powered through to cross the finish line! And had this really fantastic photo taken of me:
Ha! 13.1 done!

My only goals for this race were to run the entire distance and to enjoy myself!  Check and check.  But I did also have a time goal in mind, which was 2:15.  And wouldn't ya know...I finished in 2:14:52! Right on target!
After 3 months of training and not drinking, it was certainly time to celebrate my accomplishment!  My cheer squad and I stopped at Queens Kickshaw for the most incredible grilled cheese sandwiches and a few beers! If you're in the Astoria area, this place is a MUST.  It was definitely refueling at it's finest.
Oh, hello beer! I've missed you so!

All in all, this was a fantastic experience!  I set a goal, trained for it and successfully accomplished it!  I'm very proud of myself and can't wait for my next running adventure! 


  1. Great job Kim!!!! And welcome to the 13.1 club =) I love your facial expressions in those pictures, especially the one at mile 12- priceless!

    So what's next?

  2. Thanks so much! It was a great experience and I can't wait for more! I think I'll probably wait until fall for another half though!