Thursday, April 1, 2010

NYC Half-Marathon

The month of March was a busy one for me!  After getting my NASM re-certification out of the way, I had to really buckle down with my Half-Marathon training in the midst of trying to find a new apartment by April 1st (which is quite the feat in New York City…I didn’t actually secure a place until I had less than a week to go!).  The apartment search was pretty stressful, but luckily I had my runs to clear my head and keep me focused on something else.  13.1 miles of something else!

Last May, I ran the Brooklyn Half-Marathon with one of my best friends, Melissa Salvatore.  As a recreational runner who would run AT MOST 6 miles (and that was a stretch before my training) at a time, I would have never thought running 13.1 miles a possibility for me. In January 2009, Melissa called me and said she wanted a friend to help to keep her motivated with her weight loss goals for her upcoming wedding.  She had visions of training for a 10k at first.  When I told her that would be just great for me since a 10k is just a little more than 6 miles, she changed her mind.  She said she wanted to do something that would be challenging for the both of us and suggested a Half-Marathon.  I kind of thought she was crazy at the time, but I accepted the challenge anyway and a couple of months later, we completed the race strong and proud of our accomplishment!

Here’s us before and after the Brooklyn Half:

Even though we finished strong, I thought that I probably didn’t need to do another Half again.  I accomplished it, done, over.  Then in about maybe November, my former roommate Andrea Schmidt mentioned that she wanted to sign up for the lottery for the first New York Half to be raced in March instead of in August.  When she was looking at the New York Road Runner’s website (, she described that the race would run around Central Park, down through Times Square, and end at the tip of Manhattan.  The race sounded so amazing.  To get to run through the streets of Times Square down Broadway  was just too cool for words, in my opinion.  I thought I would sign up for the lottery and if I got into the race, I would be destined to run the NYC Half.

I guess destiny was mine. I got in.  I couldn’t believe Andrea and I BOTH were picked since I knew of so many others that had not been!  This time around, I knew what to expect.  For the Brooklyn Half, I believe I might have over-trained by running almost every day. At the time, I was a bit nervous to run the distance and I wanted to make sure my body was completely prepared. This resulted in a a bit of fatigue in my legs and a few injuries here and there.  

This time, I took it easy, knowing I didn’t need to over do it.  I ran every other day and cross trained on my non-running days by weight training and stretching.  After being reminded of the importance of foam rolling in my re-certification workshop, I incorporated quite a bit of that corrective stretching as well.  Corrective stretching is so important when you’re running that much!  

The week before the race, I had a minor injury in my ankle that I believe was aggravated by trekking around NYC in ill-fitting boots while apartment hunting.  I was nervous that it would hinder me from running the race but luckily, after icing, not running 6 days prior to the race and wrapping it in an ACE bandage (see picture below…that’s an Ace Bandage, not a long sock),the swelling in my ankle went down and the race went off with out a hitch!  Here is Andrea and I (March 21st 2010) before the race at about 6:30 AM and before the sun had risen…

The weather could not have been any better with temperatures reaching 60 degrees accompanied by sunny skies.  There were bands playing, cheerleaders cheering, and family members/friends supporting on the sidelines as we ran one and a half times around Central Park, through Times Square, across 42nd street, and down the Hudson River to the lower part of Manhattan.  It was an amazing race in which I finished stronger than my last and I even felt as if I could have continued running past the 13.1 miles!  Here are Andrea and I post Half…We were so happy to have experienced the awesomeness that running through most of Manhattan (especially Times Square) brings.If you have any questions on how to train for a Half-Marathon, please don’t hesitate to ask!  For now, you can check out this website:

It’s a great outline for a 12 week training plan that I think will help any novice Half-Marathoner.  Don’t be scared to literally go the distance.  If I can do it, you can too! You have no idea what your body and mind are capable of achieving together.  If you believe in yourself, the accomplishment is yours.

Be well!

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