NYC Half Recap

NYC Half Recap

First off, thank you all so so much for all your well wishes, tweets, and everything else this weekend. It meant so much to me and brought a huge smile to my face on race morning. Thank you.

Short story of my NYC Half race? Not my best day but I finished and I smiled during the race. I followed my plan to run at a comfortable pace, and I felt strong running up the hills in Central Park.

I had a bit of problem with my hip early on in the race and then my knee at about the halfway point. From that point on, I didn’t try to push the pace and just focused on finishing (even though I really wanted to stop at Times Square). So that’s what I did.

Longer version of the NYC Half? Well, that’s a bit longer…

Taper Week Worries

So you know how I mentioned on Friday that I was having some aches and pains in my knee? It was a little more than that. After a confidence-building training cycle, my knee started mysteriously hurting during taper week. I would feel a funny clip or tweak in my knee when I walked (kind of feels like my meniscus getting caught).

Needless to say, I was freaking out. But after a short shake-out run on Saturday, everything felt OK and I just chalked it up to race day mental worries.

NYC sunrise

Race Morning

Race morning dawned bright and early. When I got out of bed, both my knee and foot felt great and I thought that my worries were behind me. My only concern that morning was staying warm before the start of the race. It was about 33 degrees and with the windchill, the temperatures were in the 20s.

I wore my race clothes, a throwaway long-sleeve t-shirt, a sweatshirt, wind pants, hat, gloves and wrapped myself in a fleece blanket. I’m so glad that I did because I was nice and toasty at the start.

There was quite a bottle neck leading to the corrals as we all had to go through metal detectors. Once I got to the corrals, things moved pretty quickly and before I knew it, it was time to start running.

Miles 1-3

The race started on East Drive and East 72nd Street and traveled north for 2 miles. Mile 3 took us out of the park to run along 110th Street to the western edge of the park. We then looped back along 110th Street to re-enter the park.

I warmed up within the first mile and got rid of some of my throwaway clothes. I tried to remember to hold back and not worry about weaving in and out between runners.

Miles 4-6

Mile 4 took us up the big, main hill in Central Park. I felt really good and comfortable running uphill. I remembered Jess’ advice that it should feel like someone is giving me a light push on the back. Getting up and over the hill was a confidence boost, although I kind of forgot that there were rolling hills along the rest of the west side of the park but I took each hill as they came.

Around mile 4 or 5, I started to feel my quad tighten up and then my hip flexor. Every time I brought my right leg up and forward, it would pinch. I kept telling myself that it would go away, that it would loosen up and go away.

At mile 6, we exited the park and, despite my hip, I felt good. The hardest part of the race was behind me, and I knew that I could keep the same pace or even pick it up during the last half.

NYC Half finish

Mile 7-8

Mile 7 led us from the park to Times Square. It was such a rush to run along 7th Avenue and through an empty Times Square. I knew that I wanted to run faster but didn’t. Somewhere along the way, my knee (the surgically repaired one) felt like it almost buckled. Damn it.

Once that happened, I started to lose the mental game. I started feeling my hip hurt more and I was disappointed that it wasn’t my day. I focused on finishing – on making it to the finish line because I knew that Ed and my kids would be waiting for me there.

I might have made some promises that I would go to physical therapy and consistently do all my exercises if I finished the race in one piece. But really? I wanted to stop, hop on the subway and go home.

After Times Square, we turned on 42nd Street and headed for the West Side Highway. Holy wind.

Miles 9-12

The last 5 miles of the race ran along the West Side Highway – flat, straight miles down to Battery Park. These miles fluctuated from “Oh this is great! I’m almost done!” to “OMG I’m not going to make it!” to “Enjoy this moment and how far you’ve come.” I focused on an even effort and just kept going. But man, those were mental miles.

Mile 13

FINALLY. The last mile. We ran through the Battery Tunnel, which was kind of freaky since it was so dark. We exited the tunnel, ran up the ramp, turned on Maiden Lane and then onto Water Street to the finish line.

nyc half finish 2

Mixed Feelings

Here’s the thing. I’m really proud of myself for training for, starting and finishing the race – my first half marathon in probably 10 years. That I continued to run even though I wanted to quit. That I enjoyed the race and smiled.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t run a stronger race and that my knee acted up. Actually, I’m really annoyed that my knee and hip acted up. I’m not trying to make excuses but I was hoping to have a better day.

But, I did have the best cheering squad on the course. Thankful that Ed and the boys were able to come out and cheer for me even in the freezing cold weather.

And thank you Jess for getting me here. I definitely wouldn’t have made it this far without you and your amazing coaching!

How was your weekend?

Read more about my training here:


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  1. says

    I’m so proud of you for not just this race, but your whole training cycle! I know it was a hard day, but you had so many accomplishments, that this was just one piece of the puzzle. If you think about the race in the fraction of time you spend on that event during the rest of the training cycle, I think you will be reminded of your SUCCESS! You are always so positive, and even on not your best day it still sounds like you rocked it! xoxo
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Tri Training Week 2My Profile

  2. says

    I really enjoyed reading this mile by mile recap. It’s amazing that you accomplished this after such a long break from racing. My kids came out to greet me, holding signs, at the end of one of my races and it was the BEST feeling.
    Shana Norris recently posted..Twitterature: March 2014.My Profile

  3. says

    What a journey in more ways than one! My last half had a very similar story. Training went well and then race day everything started to hurt. I remember making the PT commitment too. Haha! Very frustrating but I’m glad you persevered on. It’s quite an accomplishment! Well done friend!! I’m proud of you!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Birthday Bucket ListMy Profile

  4. says

    Congratulations! I’m sorry you had a rough day out there yesterday, but so happy you stayed positive. You had a successful training season though and that’s more than 2/3 the battle! I hope you recover quickly and your knee and hip get their act together asap!

    Thank you for letting me be your coach and take this journey with you!
    Coach Jess recently posted..LA Marathon Recap: I Left My Ego In New York City or Check Yourself Before You Wreck YourselfMy Profile

  5. says

    Congrats, Christine! My sister just talked me into doing the Mountain Goat 10 milers again in Syracuse. The hills are killer, but I’m still determined to finish AND have a beer after I cross the finish line (it’s the little things).
    Michelle Montero recently posted..I Feel Pretty?My Profile

  6. says

    Congrats on a great race, Christine! I know it’s easy to focus on the negatives and what if’s, but you should be so proud of training hard and finishing the race with a smile. Glad your family could get out and support you. There’s nothing better than sweeping up the kiddos at the finish line!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Luck of the IrishMy Profile

  7. says

    Congrats on finishing out when you felt like quitting. That’s so hard to do. But I’m really sorry you were hurting…I really hope you can figure out the issues and get them under control asap. Take some nice down time this week!
    misszippy recently posted..All the greenMy Profile

  8. says

    Congrats chickie!! You certainly persevered through this race and for that you should be proud! It’s been a journey for you and you have worked hard! So great to have your family waiting at the end!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  9. says

    Congratulations! I had to laugh, mile 10-12 I’m usually doing that it’s almost over, it’s never going to end, I’m so close, I’m not going to make it mental dance in my head too. I hate that you had some knee and hip issues. But you finished proud!!

    • says

      ohmygosh that mental dance at the end is hilarious. Literally like yipee!! and I’ve got this! And then two seconds later I want to crawl. The hip is better but I have to get my knee checked out to figure out if it’s just a fluke or something else.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Being Afraid. Being Brave.My Profile

  10. says

    Congratulations!! It’s so hard to finish a race when you are having a hard time. So good for you! I was watching the race on the computer and thought about that dark tunnel and how weird it must be to run through there.
    Nice work and hope you are feeling better today.
    Robin recently posted..My Dance Card is Filling UPMy Profile

  11. says

    Congrats my friend! You did it!!!!! There’s always that mental push & pull during a race but you won the battle and achieved your ultimate goal! It was cold, windy and a LONG stretch to the finish & you overcame it all. I only wish we had gotten a chance to meet. Next time!
    Allie recently posted..The Rest DayMy Profile

  12. says

    It was such a freezing day! I wondered if that was good/bad for you.
    And you did it! You really did it!
    Big congratulations to you. Are you hungry today? I get hungry from power walking to the mailbox.
    And you have the cutest cheering squad ever.
    I had a halfway good weekend. Saturday was a wonderful birthday party at a museum, a visit to my favorite candy store in the country and a girls’ night out. Sunday..started with someone puking. That’s never good. The positive is that it was NOT the stomach bug which I was so afraid of because of the contagion factor.
    Tamara recently posted..The Beauty In The Sick Day.My Profile

  13. says

    I totally get it sister. I have had more races like this then I care to admit. It really is symbolic to life– you have good days and bad, good races and bad. The bad races teach us more about ourselves than the good, they make us stronger and more grateful, more humble. Each one teaching us a new lesson, or guiding us in the direction we were meant to be on. Sending love and peace your way this morning, and a huge congratulations for finishing a tough race!

  14. says

    awesome job friend, so much harder to push through a race or any run with any sort of pain going on, so to do that and finish strongly, is awesome. I would have equally been frustrated by the issues and wanting to run a happier race but I guess life happens sometimes, right?! glad you had such a great cheering squad!!!
    Jolene recently posted..The MFEO Chronicles: Sarena & TonyMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you my friend! It’s funny – I felt really grateful during the race and enjoyed the race. It was only afterwards that I think it all sunk in – the pain, the disappointment, etc. Funny how that happens. The cheering squad was the best. Thank goodness for them!
      Christine Yu recently posted..Being Afraid. Being Brave.My Profile

  15. says

    Sorry about your hip and knee pain – I hope you are having those checked out today (or soon!).
    Way to go on finishing and still smiling – you are so strong!!!
    Love that you had such a great cheering section!!!
    Kim recently posted..Day With KT Is EvolvingMy Profile

  16. says

    Congrats on finishing the half! It’s super frustrating to have aches and pains along the way, but its not something you can control. Great job on powering through it and getting to the finish line. I can only imagine how awesome it must feel to run through an empty Times Square. Maybe one day!
    Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life recently posted..Frozen Penguin 5kMy Profile

  17. says

    Congratulations!!!!!! Oh man, sorry to hear about your knee and hip, but you should be so proud. YOU DID IT! I think we all are a little hard on ourselves after a race. It’s just our nature. But……… embrace it Christine. You are fabulous! :) And yes, best cheering section ever! He he.
    STUFT Mama recently posted..I TriedMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you! Thank you Kristin! Your kind words mean a lot. It was funny how my tune changed after the race from smiling and (mostly) enjoying my run to being disappointed. Oy. Silly expectations. Thank goodness for my cheering squad for helping me to put things in perspective!
      Christine Yu recently posted..Being Afraid. Being Brave.My Profile

  18. says

    Christine– huge congrats on finishing the half!!! It’s definitely no easy task to train and complete a half-marathon, and your body acting up is totally out of your control. It’s so inspiring and amazing that you pushed through it, completed the race and accomplished your goal! I have been training for the Women’s Fitness NYC half on April 13th, and it looks like I’m going to have to pull out because my ankle has been acting up for the last few weeks and looks like it’s only getting worse. I am so bummed, but I know I have to listen to my body. Loved reading about your experience. Hopefully I will be able to do another race in the near future!! (And you, too!!)
    Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday: Zoats, Salads & Juices, Oh My!My Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much Jordan. I so appreciate your words of support. I’m so sorry to hear about your ankle. That’s the worst and so frustrating but yes, so much better to listen to your body and take some time off now versus seriously injuring yourself. I hope everything feels better soon!!! And yes, there will be other races.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Being Afraid. Being Brave.My Profile


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