Race Report: NYC United Half Marathon

Date: March 17, 2019; 8:00 am

Distance: 13.1 mi

Place: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Weather: 34 F; 46% Humidity  

Finishers: 24,666 total (12,312 men / 12,354 women) 

Official time / pace:  2:11:18 / 10:01 min/mi 

You get the race that you train for. 

Going into this race, I really had no true expectations or goals aside from finishing. Although I did not run as well as I wanted to (due to lack of training on my part), I am glad that I went through with it. The night before the race, I was on the verge of not doing the race

For this entry, I guess that I could break this up in a few parts. 

Pre-race

NYC Half Marathon Outfit

Although I was assigned to Wave 1, I knew that I was not in Wave 1 shape. Plus, I did not want to have to arrive to Prospect Park by 6:25 am to check my bag. Then, it hit me. Do I really need or want to check a bag?  If I did not check a bag, then I could run in any wave, thus setting back my start time from 7:30 am to 8:40 am. Aka, I could wake up later.

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My plan was to leave the apt. at 6:00 am so I could run in the second wave. Yeah, that did not go so well. The idea was to take the A train to Metrotech and the F train from Metrotech to Prospect Park. First, the A train, which does make any stops from 125th street to 59th street and runs express, was running local from 125th street. Second, the F train was severely delayed so I had to take another A train future into Brooklyn, then take the G train (really, the G?) to Prospect Park. By the time I walked the mile or so from the subway to the security checkpoint, I knew that I would not make Wave 2. That said, I was not too bothered since I was kind of easy breezy with my start plans. At this point, I really wished that I had prepared a sandwich or something because I was kind of hungry before starting. 

Miles 1 – 4:

Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza

The first third of the half-marathon gave us a bit of a tour of Prospect Park and took us through the streets of Brooklyn. During these miles, I started off pretty slow because I did not want to risk injuring anything or running out of steam during the first part of the race. Late January was the last time that I ran anything over 8 miles. Plus, I was concerned that the first three to five miles were going to be pretty hilly. I probably could/should have pushed myself harder, but I did not want to risk the end of the race. Looking back at my experience, I am glad that I did not push myself any harder during this part because I probably would not have finished the run. 

There were not really too many crowds out during this part of the race, which was kind of weird, but we did spend some time in the less popular sections (to me) of Prospect Park. 

Miles 4 – 8:

Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge. Probably the least popular of the bridges that span the East River.

This part of the half-marathon took us through downtown Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Crossing the Manhattan Bridge was one of the things that I looked forward to . . . and feared. I was surprised that I did not struggle too much with the Manhattan Bridge. I do not know why, but I thought that we were going to be running on the pedestrian and bike paths, which have very steep inclines. However, we ran across the upper level of the bridge, which had a gradual increase in steepness. I thought that I would have to walk the incline of the bridge so I was quite happy that I managed to run the entire bridge. 

Arriving in Manhattan was so lackluster. There were hardly any crowds. Then again, I am comparing the experience of crossing a bridge into Manhattan from my NYC Marathon experience. In the NYC Marathon, you can hear the crowd’s cheers on Manhattan’s 1st Avenue roaring from the Queensboro Bridge. In last weekend’s half, you barely heard a peep. There was someone with a loudspeaker telling us that we had seven miles left.  I guess something is better than nothing. 

This portion of the race took us through Chinatown and along FDR Drive, which was also pretty quiet. Also, the beginning part of FDR Drive was very sticky; it reminded me of a nasty movie theater. It was like a glue truck had dumped glue along a 1 – 1.5 mile stretch of the route. 

Miles 8 – 12

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This portion of the half marathon took us through some great and iconic NYC sites: the UN, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central, Bryant Park, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, and Central Park. 

The first part of the segment was kind of nostalgic because we ran past NYU School of Medicine, which is where I completed my graduate studies. We actually past my old apartment building and old laboratory. 

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So many memories of boozing and cruising around Murray Hill. I mean, concentrating on my studies in immunology and molecular oncology. 

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On our way to Times Square

Again, I was expecting more folks along the course. 

Grand Central, NYC

Grand Central

It was during this part of the half that I was becoming quite fatigued and a bit over the race. One cool aspect of the NYC Marathon is there were large crowds (maybe not in the Bronx) that power you through the race. For the NYC Half, you kind of had to power yourself through it. The large majority of this chunk of the race is pretty flat so that made life a little more simple, which took my mind off of my fatigue. I pretty much cranked up my tunes and kept saying “one foot in front of another.”

Times Square

I’m running through freakin’ Times Square!!!

I started to overheat a bit and, at mile 11, had to walk a little. I think taking a bunch of selfies, pictures, and videos in and near Times Square kind of drained my mojo. The sad part is many of the Times Square pictures did not come out right so pretty much a bunch of time wasted. 

Miles 12 – 13.1

Absolute disaster. I totally forgot about the little hills sprinkled in Central Park. These hills are not super steep or difficult to climb, but my legs were pretty much done at this point. Around mile 10, I started to feel soreness in both of my quads, which was general pain from not running for the past 45 or so days. My bad. To get back into the groove and to finish strong, I tried to fartlek between light posts in Central Park, but after three or four fartleks, I had to walk again. I think this is the first time that I ever had to walk during the last mile of any race. But hey, I should be happy that I made to mile 12 without too much of a struggle. 

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Although it was not my best half-marathon (and surprisingly not my worst), I still had somewhat of a blast. Well, a blast until the last mile. That last mile was a true killer. Since I did not do bag check, I could not take a picture with my medal and a cigarette.

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The woman taking the picture was supposed to get a shot with the medal FACING the camera.

 Post Race:

I was so lucky because the finish is pretty close to the bus line that more or less drops me off in front of my apt. Although the bus takes longer than the subway, I do not think that I could have walked up and down a bunch of stairs for the 2 or 3 train. Once I arrived to Harlem, I treated myself to a splendid, yet simple, brunch at Harlem Shake. I even got myself a nice mimosa. Once the cashier found out that I ran a half-marathon, she really hooked me up the champagne portion of the mimosa. BTW, the grits with turkey sausage are AMAZING.

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Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, I managed to fit in a few more drinks with the BF husband. Actually, I would have had a few more drinks even if it was not St. Patrick’s Day.

Whiskey, Irish Carbombs (the husband never had one before), and Pisco Sours

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A milk mustache from the Irish Carbombs.

I hope everyone had a great running weekend or a great chilling weekend. 

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I know that I have been MIA

I’ve been dealing with some stuff. Buuuuut, it’s not like many people read this thing. 

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Well, I have a feeling that the NYC Half will not happen for me. Does anyone have a 10-day half-marathon training plan that they can hook me up with? The last time I ran any significant distance (5+ miles) was over three weeks ago.  Perhaps, I will do my 2017 NYC Marathon game plan for this half-marathon: run the first half “strong” and see where the rest of the race takes me. Hopefully, it will not take me to the emergency room. 

As most of my readers know, I do not really get into the details of my personal life, aside from my pooping, drinking, smoking, and general randomness. BUUUUUUT, I got married on Friday!!! Most of the time from my last entry involved entertaining out of town and out of the country guests. Today, my liver was like: you got one more day of drinking and eating fatty foods, bitch. 

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I feel like my Ernie doll, and Burt is MIA.

Catch you on the streets. 

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 7

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Planned mileage: 17.5mi

Completed mileage: 18.5mi

Actually, with this training update, I think that I may be on the right path for training for the United NYC Half Marathon. For once, I completed all of my planned training goals, and my back did not been bother me as much . . . for the most part.

Let’s get this started.

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Elliptical and strength training

Unfortunately, I arrived at the gym kind of late and was unable to do as much as I wanted to with my strength training (arms and chest). But something is better than nothing.

Since I did not do much on Monday morning, I had planned to run with Harlem Runs. In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to run with a running group. Harlem Runs has weekly Monday and Wednesday runs so I figured it would be a good start. I arrived home from work to change into my cold-weather running clothes, but the BF informed me that he washed our clothes AND the dryer was broken. No run for me because my cold-weather clothes were all wet. Oh well, there’s always next week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4.5mi

Completed: 4.5mi, 10min stair climber, 35min stretching

Man, I hate treadmill running.

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Wednesday:

Planned: 8 X 400m intervals

Completed: Rest. I think that I went out for drinks with friends after work. 

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 8 X 400m intervals; broken up 3mi run; 45min strength and weight training

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What polar vortex? Since the temperatures were around 4 degrees, these runs were obviously done on a treadmill. One cool (no pun) thing about this polar vortex was the gym was virtually empty. Score.

Since I skipped Wednesday workout, I combined the intervals with my “3mi” run. I say “3mi” because I did a 0.5mi warm-up followed by the eight intervals and a normal 2.5mi “recovery” run. Actually, my workout was kind of awesome. Aside from the first two intervals, all of the other ones was sub 2 mins.

Friday: 

Planned: Rest

Completed: 20min elliptical and 30min stretching 

Saturday: 

Planned: 9mi

Completed: 9mi 

This run was kind of make or break for me, especially after what happened with last week’s long run. Last week, my back really started to hurt within the first two miles of my long run. I managed to complete this run in Central Park; unfortunately, I had to walk a couple of times. But, 9 miles are 9 miles. I really noticed that I need to stop relying so much on the treadmill because it gives me a false sense of security when I eventually start running outside. In my defense, it has been really cold. Although I walked a few times (those damn Harlem and Sister Hills), I managed to eek out fartleks for a mile or so during miles 7 and 8. Or was it during miles 6 and 7?

Sunday: 

Planned: Rest

Completed: 20min stair climber, 60min strength and stretching, and a couple of bike rides through the city.

I think that I may have a new Sunday morning routine. Now, I will work out at CrunchUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2280 Fitness in FiDi (Financial District), then ride a CitiBike to Brooklyn (about 1.5mi), and teach my Sunday Bio class. Normally, I hate on many of the Crunch Fitness locations in NYC, but this one is amazing. Yes, I know that a lot of the awesomeness is because the gym is brand new. BUT, this location is HUGE, and there is actually enough room to workout. Plus, the locker room is also huge so you will not have to be on top of other half-naked men trying to change. Since FiDi is pretty much a ghost town on the weekends (and weeknights after 5-6pm), the gym is relatively empty. I have to say that I had a very pleasant experience on Sunday.

Oh wait, there was some BS associated with Sunday. While waiting for the subway to commute from Harlem to the gym, I sat in something that I thought was piss. Annoyed, I had to go home, literally wash my ass, and go back to the subway, which cost me 30 minutes. I think that I actually sat in malt liquor, but I’m still not 100% sure. I could have been malt liquor and piss combination – you never know with NYC.

That aside, I was really feeling Sunday for some reason. I think it had a lot to do with it not being a million degree below zero. After class, I was invited to a bday party on the UES. Rather than taking the subway, I decided to make it a bike ride, which was about 4.5 miles.

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All in all, I had a GREAT training week, which is something that I have not been able to say in a VERY long time. I just hope that I did not overdo it, making this training week a hot mess. My back pain has greatly reduced; I think taking out the glute extensions was a major factor. Today after work, I was thinking about going to Zumba class, but maybe I should sit it out and actually take a REAL rest day.

Goals for this week:

-Definitely go running with the Harlem Runs crew. I’m thinking that I will go on Wednesday since that is the group speed workout day.

-Begin increasing the distance for my interval runs (800m or 1600m intervals).

-Although this may not happen this week, but I need to start introducing more hills into my runs. The first part of the new half-marathon’s course is somewhat hilly, and we have to cross a bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan. For this Saturday’s long run (10mi), I think that I will incorporate the Manhattan Bridge, which on the United NYC Half’s course.

I hope y’all had a great running week.

Random Thursday Thoughts

-The United NYC Half Marathon course has been updated. No annoying hills in the northern part of Central Park. 

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-Did you know that Times Square is closed to normal traffic only two times a year? One for the ball drop. The second for the NYC Half-Marathon. 

-Is it me or are students more aloof and delusional these days?

-Since this polar vortex or whatever it’s called is hitting 2/3rds of the U.S., I was wondering how cold is too cold for running.

-I do not understand when standing in a line with 5+ people why people never have their money, debit, or credit cards ready once they arrive at the cashier. You’ve been in this line for over 15 minutes and the thought of paying never occurred to you?

-iTunes should offer refunds. I purchased Thalia’s latest album. I bought it mainlyyjprvpeyr9k12bgttvgv2bng_thumb_2215 because I follow her on Instagram and constantly hear parts of the first three songs that were released. I purchased the album and was very disappointed. Those are the only good three songs. C’mon, girl. . . do better. 

-Continuing with that story. The BF wanted to rent a movie from iTunes. I straight up told him “Since I wasted money on this damn Thalia album, I am not giving iTunes another red cent over the next 24 hours!!!”

-Yum. The BF made an empanada gallega.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_2230-Fyre Fraud: This meme made my day. 

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Enough randomness, I gotta put on 80 million layers so I can go to the gym. Right now, my weather app says that it’s 4 fuckin’ degrees . . . Fahrenheit. 

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 4

61 Days Until the United NYC Half Marathon!!!

Planned mileage: 18.75 miles

Completed mileage: 16.3

It felt nice getting in a full week of running and getting back on track for the United NYC Half Marathon. I will say that I kind of missed it over the Christmas and New Year break. Oh, I would have completed all of my planned mileage, but all of the treadmills were occupied for my three-mile run on Sunday. I did 30 minutes of elliptical work instead.

This will have to be a quick report because I have to start doing some work. Actually, this will be quick because I cannot remember much of what happened this week. I guess that my mind was still in vacation mode for most of the week.

Monday:

Planned: 40 min X-train

Completed: 3 mi run, 25 min elliptical, and stretching

Basically, I did a morning run and an evening workout that consisted of elliptical work and stretching.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4 mi run

Completed: 32 min on the rowing machine and 30 min stretching

I do not really remember why I did not run on Tuesday. Maybe it was raining in the morning.

Wednesday:

Planned: 1.75 miles (7×400 meter speed intervals)

Completed: 3 mi (7×400 intervals) + warm up and cool down

Ok, now my mind is back. I really enjoyed this workout. I performed the 400-meter speed runs followed by 128-meter cool off. I am quite proud that I managed to run sub 2min for all seven of my intervals. Hopefully, I can extend a similar trend once I start doing Yasso 800m intervals in the upcoming weeks.  Oh shoot, I need to start doing some hill work soon too.

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I really love Marcus Garvey park because it has a path that is very similar to a regular track. Oh, and the park is like one block away from my apartment. One loop is a little more than 500 meters, so it is perfect for running 400m intervals with a track vibe to it.

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Actually, the folks smoking cigaweed first thing in the morning is a little annoying, but what can you do? I guess you could call the police, but snitches get stitches.

Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: Nada

Eh, I overslept and missed my morning run. Then after work, I decided to get much-needed after work cocktails.

Actually, I overslept because I woke up a bunch of times during the night due to the BFs LOUD ass snoring. How do y’all cope sleeping next to a loud snorer? I need some tips.

The meme is 100% correct.

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Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: 3-mile treadmill and strength training

What KOS doing a workout on a Friday night?!!! I guess that one has to do what one has to do.

My local Crunch fitness installed new treadmills that are supposed to closely mimic outdoor running.

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Honestly, I did not really see/feel a difference between this treadmill and the regular treadmills. Maybe I did not play around with all of the “fun” features. It seems as if the person who authorized this purchase for the gym may have gotten scammed. Great, so Crunch fitness will probably raise the membership fees for this waste.

Saturday:

Planned: 7 miles

Completed: 7.23 miles

This run made me feel like such a whiny baby. Well . . . the pre-run made me feel like a whiny baby. Saturday’s temperature was around 31 F, and as most know, I cannot stand running in the cold. I knew that I needed to get this “long” run out of the way. Also, I knew that I needed to do it because I need to start getting used to running in the cold. After bitching and moaning for most of the morning, I decided to get my act together and do the dumb run. And then, the cold weather was not THAT bad. For my upper body, I wore a short-sleeved tech T, a long-sleeved tech T, and very light hoody. Within 200m of the run, I had to take off the hoody.

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I will say that I really enjoyed the run. Aside from the 28 F weather, it was a very lovely day. My run pretty much consisted of running to Central Park and doing loops around the Harlem Meer, which is about 0.8 miles. I really need to decide if I want to report my distance in miles or meters because this back and forth is really annoying me. 

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During my one of my loops, I ran in and around Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. In all of my 16+ years in NYC, I have never visited the Conservatory Garden. The garden is quite nice, but I think the views would have been better in the spring and the summer.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 30 min elliptical and strength training

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Without going into great detail, Sunday was pretty much a leg day.

Although I did not get into it in this update, I have been trying to do daily stretching and core exercises at home before going to bed . . . except on those cocktail nights.

Random: I really want this T-shirt.

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That’s it out of me. I hope y’all are having a great start to your week.

Catch you in the streets.

Random Thursdays

Just a couple of randomness for this windy day in January.

  • It is tough getting back into your professional and fitness groove after two weeks off.
  • I’m really getting into my half marathon training plan (after weeks off). I hope I can keep this up.
  • I really want a pair of these state flag tights. Too bad the ones for my states, Virginia and New York, have not been made. 😦 I think there are only Maryland, Texas, and California.

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  • Speaking of buying tights, I need to buy more underwear.
  • After writing this post, I think that I’m going to register for a few races. I might as well start knocking off races for the 9+1 NYC Marathon entry for 2020.
  • After seeing YouTube posts about Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly”, all I have to ask is WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!!!
  • I’m really starving . . . damn Intermitting fasting. When is my fasting period over?!

I’m back . . . kind of sorta.

Not only did I take two weeks to “celebrate” the birth of my Lord, but it also seems that I took two weeks away from my half-marathon training plan. Very bad, KOS. Very bad, KOS. Now, I’m getting back to my routine . . . I hope.

Lol, I actually forgot the floor where my office is located. 

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Word on the street is that we have 69 days left until the United NYC Half Marathon. I didIMG_4876 complete a very struggling 3M run this morning. Man, it was cold AF this morning (24F). Although this entry is not going to be my usual weekly training recaps, because I have not done shit since the 20th. No wait, I lie. I did attend ONE Zumba class during my break. Well, I did watch over 18 seasons of The Amazing Race. So, I did “run” 18 “races”.

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Here are a few things that I think that I need to do to get back on track.

Lose some damn weight. OMG. How in the hell did I gain 18 pounds from June to last week?

Weight Loss Struggle

There were some good lows and bad highs regarding my weight in 2018.

This graph confirms one thing – Intermittent Fasting (IF) works for me, and I will start IF’ing tomorrow. During 2018, I IF’ed from February (the start of Lent) until June (my all-inclusive aka drink like a fish vacation in Cancun). It’s kind of strange that I gained weight while training for the NYC marathon. Actually, it’s not that strange (for me) because I tend to overeat while training. Just because I run 15 miles does not mean that I should eat a million tacos and wash them down with a million margaritas. Ok, I guess that I may have partied a little too much during December and January with all of the holiday parties and birthdays. I know too many people born in Dec. and Jan. Come to think of it, I have another bday party this weekend. Oh and my delicious eggnog martinis, eggnog smoothies, screwmosas, and any & all things whiskey- or gin-based did not help.

During today’s run, I noticed that the middle part of my back was super sore. I think my back muscles may have atrophied during my staycation because of my extreme couch surfing. Hang ten. I hope this is just an issue of getting back into the groove. For January 2017 and 2018, I have been cursed with flare-ups of my herniated disc in my lower back. Actually, Facebook reminded me that two years to this date, I was in the ER for FOURTEEN hours because of my back.

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To get more integrated into some running communities, I have renewed my lapsed membership for the New York FrontRunners and joined Harlem Runs. The latter starts its runs a block away from the apartment so no excuses.

I hope everyone is having a great time meeting their new year’s resolutions. Or rather new year’s intentions. Recently, I learned that you are supposed to make intentions instead of resolutions. Ummm, aren’t they both the same thing? Something you start on Jan. 1st but fall off around Superbowl Sunday. Ok, let me stop hating.

Let me see what y’all have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Catch you in the streets.