Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bronx Half Marathon

I never really wanted to run this race. Having just run a half marathon 2 weeks ago, I knew I wasn't going to be setting a PR today. Not only that, but I didn't want to injure myself. Unfortunately, I'm always feeling this pressure to get in my 9 qualifying races.

As some of you may know, the NYC Marathon has guaranteed entry for NYRR members who run 9 qualifying races in a year. (In fact, I got my "invitation" for this year's marathon just this past week.) Since I don't run on Saturday I'm a little more limited in my race choices. Add to that my call schedule, my training schedule, the Jewish holiday schedule, my friends' weddings schedule, etc. ... and you get the picture. So when there's a race available on a Sunday, I generally try to run it. Which is why the 2 weekends after a half marathon I've run another 2 races.

For some reason the NYRR Sunday races seem to be concentrated around the beginning part of the year. In past years I hadn't been training for anything in the spring, and so that worked out ok. This year I'm thinking about the Long Island Marathon, and I'm not sure I want to run 4 mile races on both the weekends before that (for example). Even later in the year, if I run the NYC marathon in November, I may not want to run a half marathon and a 5K race on the preceding two weekends. And so with all this in mind, I signed up for the Bronx Half.

Maybe I should have realized something when my alarm didn't go off this morning. Sigh. I had set it for 6:15 but it seems like I didn't actually set the switch to "on". (Either that, or I turned it off when the alarm went off this morning - and then forgot about it.) Luckily, I somehow woke up at 6:45 and rushed through my morning routine.

I made it over to the vicinity of the race by 7:23 for an 8:00 race. No problem, right? Wrong. It took more than a half hour to find a parking spot, and when I did find one it was about a light year away. (I work in this part of the Bronx every Friday, and there is never any parking. Why the NYRR feels the need to start the race here is beyond me. There are other subway accessible parts of the Bronx, that also have space for cars. Unfortunately the subway wasn't really an option for me.) I wasn't planning on winning this race, or even really racing it, so I didn't stress too much. I also didn't run to the race on the sidewalks, so that I wouldn't tire myself out unnecessarily.

I got to the race 13 minutes into it. Last week, I was still waiting in the "wave start" at that time. Not so, this week. Unfortunately I had been busy on Thursday and couldn't pick up my number in advance. By 13 minutes into the race the registration area had already closed up shop. The boxes were all there, but nobody was willing to help. (Actually one person tried to help, but another "volunteer" told her not to, that it was closed. Thanks!) So I had no bib, and no chip. Sigh.

I talked to the head timer and he said it was ok, and to just stop by the timing tent when I was done, to give them my time. So about 20 minutes into the race, I started. There was a couple of other guys there who started as I was stretching. I told them the people in front us were going to tire out and we still had a chance to win this thing. :-)

The race was freaking empty. Since everyone was 20 minutes ahead of me, there was nobody running with me. About 2 miles in, the lead runners passed me in the opposite direction. And so for the next 10 miles or so I was running in the opposite direction of everybody. Nice. The crowd support was minimal - I could count them on one hand. We passed by tons of houses and apartment buildings, but I guess 9am was too early for them. One woman was actually cheering from her 5th (or so) floor apartment, and it was kind of uplifting. But really, there was nobody out there. The biggest presence out there were the cops standing at each intersection. I'd say 5% cheered, 40% spaced out, and 55% looked annoyed to be out there in the cold.

My running was actually ok. My knee didn't bother me at all. I was too warm at times, as I had forgotten to take off some of the layers. I also realized that I had forgotten to put on bodyglide. I was nervous about that, but it wasn't a problem in the end.

Most of miles were about 9 to 9:15. A few miles from the end I started to realize that I could cross the line with a net of less than 2 hours. Even though I had initially planned to not race this, and I was taking it easy, I still foolishly sped up a little. I ended up crossing the line with a net of 1:59:26. I stopped by the timing tent and gave them my clock time (2:24:28) and my net time. (I felt bad afterwards because I remembered stopping my watch for about a minute or two while I waited for the portapotty. Oh well.)

My splits, if anyone cares:

After the race I trudged back to my spot. My quads wee sore, mostly from those last few miles, I think. I was hoping to try and get my bib after the race, but they were all gone. I have a collection of all my race bibs, so I really wanted it.

I'm not sure why, but I was too embarrassed to ask people for their bibs. I figured a lot of people would be throwing them out and it wouldn't be an issue. As it turns out, I guess most people do that at home. I did rescue one from the trash, as gross as that is.

I'm still hoping to get my bib from the NYRR, but if I don't, this one will go up on my wall.

In other news, check out my training log in the sidebar. In addition to this race putting me over 100 miles for the year, it also puts me over 1,000 lifetime miles. I've definitely run more miles than that, but in the past (the pre-Garmin era) I never kept track. I had to start somewhere, and so that total includes only the miles I know I've run. And now that number's over 1,000. Cool.


Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

You're so persistent! I would have packed it in and called the race off.

Let's hope that Brad Luff doesn't want his number back.

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Juls said...

Great job sticking to it. I hope NYRR come through on their bib for you.

Nice training log. I love tracking my miles.

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Uptown Girl said...

Impressive to stick to it. It would have been way too easy to just say "i'll do this another day."

Tracking miles rocks:)

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Curly Su said...

That's pretty funny about the bib. I'm impressed you did it; like some of the other commenters, I would have bagged it as well. Congrats.

And, sorry I missed you. Next time!

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Darrell said...

Now that's persistence. I think its great that you stuck with it and had a decent race to boot.

I hope you can get your real bib and I think its hilarious that Shoreturtle looked up the rightful owner. That cracks me up.

Sunday, February 11, 2007  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Good job on doing the race despite being late and all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007  
Blogger Rae said...

That's the most hilarious half report I have ever read. Some people blog for years about preparing for a big half. I say if you get your bib back you need to mail the other one to Brad Luff.

You need to come down and watch a Preds game!! Nashville fans are the best!! We got to go to one of their playoff games a few years ago and it was sheer insanity.

Sunday, February 18, 2007  

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