After a perfect race in Myrtle Beach, I'm ready to challenge myself for the NYC 1/2. I've wanted to run this half ever since I interned in the city during college (which embarrassingly, was so long ago, the race was still held in August!), but have never been able to get in through the lottery.
I'm suspicious of the NYRR lottery- it seems too lucky to get into both the marathon and the half back-to-back after years of trying with no luck, but I'll take it! I secretly think that everyone who was supposed to run the 2012 NYC Marathon and applied for the 1/2 got in, no questions asked- I've seen too many runners around the blogosphere who were NYC marathon refugees get into the 1/2 to think otherwise. To which I say, thank you NYRR, you do have a soul!
Anyway, I digress. Plan of attack for NYC. I'm no dummy, there are just a few weeks until the race, but I do want to take some time off to reach a goal of 1:48 flat. That's 36 seconds faster than Myrtle Beach, which I'm going to make more manageable by breaking down to average pace.
My pace in Myrtle averaged out to an 8:16. I ran a tad bit further than 13.1, which is to be expected, but if I plan to run 13.1 miles at an average pace of 8:14, I'll be aiming for a 1:47:51. Given that you always run just a little bit further than race distances, I think an 8:14 average can put me right at 1:48:00. Looking at my splits from Myrtle Beach, I think this is a reachable goal. I had 6 miles at or under 8:14, and now my challenge is to get all of them there.
My training schedule for the next few weeks will look like this: 3 weekday runs with one speed workout, one run focused on hills, and one focused on just getting the mileage in at at decent pace. Capped off with a weekend long run with hills, and one day of cross training to round the week out. I started this little plan this week, and my 10 miler in Central Park (done on Friday to avoid the rain) kicked my booty. From being sick and then retreating to the treadmill in bad weather, I hadn't run in Central Park in over a month. I was sucking wind like crazy when it hit me: I have no excuse to feel like this on race day.
My run in Central Park is the exact 1st half of the course. Cat hill, Harlem Hills, love them or not, we're running them on March 17th. I have 'home field' advantage and it would be stupid to waste it by not running those damn hills every time I can. Hopefully a few uncomfortable runs in the next few weeks will translate to a better race experience on March 17th! I'm really hoping to reach 1:48 on race day, but if nothing else, hopefully this plan will get me to the finish line feeling good and ready to drink a green beer to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!
Have you run the NYC half before? Running it this year? Any tips?