On Sunday I ran the NYC Half Marathon in Manhattan. It was my first time running a half marathon. In fact, it was the longest run I’ve ever done in my life. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, and the longest distance I’ve gone in a single run was nine miles when I was in cross country in high school. I’ve never had a particular desire to run a half marathon, but when a friend asked if I would do it with him, I said sure, why not. I signed up with the intention of training for the race since I don’t really run long distance anymore, but between work, traveling, and wanting to keep a social life, it didn’t really happen. The longest run I completed leading up to the race was seven miles the Thursday before the big day. By that point I didn’t have high expectations for myself; I simply wanted to try to finish the race without walking and attempt to finish under two hours.
On race day, March 16th, the weather was unfortunately pretty cold which planted even more dread in me. I sweat a lot, so I didn’t want to wear too many layers, but my teeth were chattering waiting for the start of the race. At that point the mantra I kept repeating in my head over and over again was “”You only have to do this once.”” After struggling with trying to fit my headphones plug through my new armband into my smartphone in order to listen to music (rookie mistake, I know), the rest of the race was kind of a blur. Besides urging myself to just finish the race, I let my feet just take me. I really fed off the energy of the other runners. You know in spin class how the instructor always says to ride the beat? Well I just rode the wave–of people. Even though it was annoying dodging around people, it was kind of comforting having a mass of people around me all working towards the same goal and headed to the same place. It helped me keep a steady pace throughout the run.
I was too focused on finishing the race (aka not passing out) to take pics, but thank you @swilliame, @real_newyorker, @marjfai, @nrsuyadiz, and @lalotta85 for the awesome #nychalf instagram pics
Besides the energy I felt from the other runners and from all of those cheering us on, the race course itself helped to keep me motivated to continue running. It definitely wasn’t a boring course. We started in Central Park, looped around the park, went down 7th Avenue to 42nd Street, then across 42nd Street to the West Side Highway, then South down the West Side Highway into Battery Park/Tribeca. It was really cool running through Times Square and on the West Side Highway towards One World Trade Center. The World Trade Center was my marker in knowing I was close to the finish.
I surprisingly felt pretty good throughout the race. I had a few sips of Gatorade at almost every mile to stay hydrated and to keep my energy up. It wasn’t until the very last mile that I even contemplated giving up, but at that point I was too close to the finish to stop. I finished the NYC Half Marathon in 1 hour and 46 minutes. I was so proud of myself because I crushed my goal of finishing under two hours and I hardly even trained! I placed 4,311 out of 20,750 total finishers, and for my gender, I placed 1,144 out of 10,989 total female finishers.
I love running and staying active, but I’m not into competing anymore; whenever I work out now, I want to do it because I to not because I to. So, while at this moment in time I can’t say if I’ll ever run a half marathon again, I’m so glad I did it at least once in my life. I’m really proud of my accomplishment. Cheers to small feats in life! 🙂