January 22, 2011

Manhattan Half-Marathon: An Epic PW

I like to think if you're going to fail, do it with flair and have a great story to tell. That's exactly what I did today at the Manhattan Half-Marathon, aka the coldest, most miserable, excruciating, slow, brutal race. Did I mention miserable? Runners love to talk about setting a PR (personal record), but what about a PW (personal worst)?

My friend Beth came up from Philly to join me for a second time at this race. It was 14 degrees and brutal the first time around so why we thought it would be fun to do it again is beyond me. She arrived Friday evening and the revelry began. We had two years of catching up to do over many glasses of wine, and suffice it to say we behaved exactly how one shouldn't behave before a race.

With Beth at our final celebration spot

We went to sleep around 12:30am slightly inebriated and set the alarm for 30 minutes before the race. I'm not sure if I simply selected the wrong time or if I thought we'd be magically teleported to Central Park, but it was never going to get us there on time. Plus we had to pick up our numbers and timing chips at a completely different location before 7:30. I was awakened by Beth saying, "Kristin, it's 6:54." We had seconds to decide if we'd attempt to make it or do what we really wanted to do, which was go back to sleep. But our adventurous sides won and we dressed and ran out the door in 10 minutes flat. A very impressive performance.

Best pre-race dinner EVER

Wearing yesterday's makeup and still feeling a little buzzed we realized we'd have to skip number pick-up and go straight to the race. We wouldn't have official times but neither of us cared. We suddenly bought ourselves enough free time to stop for coffee, an absolutely brilliant decision. We sweet talked race officials into checking our bag even though we had no official proof we were racing and strolled to the start about 10 minutes late. I was in denial I'd have to drag my hungover self around Central Park twice and then just for fun, run an extra mile.

The race went exactly how you'd expect it to go under these circumstances. I started out at a respectable 8:50 pace but spent too much time fighting back the urge to vomit so I eased up. For an idea of how my stomach felt, check out this blog on the running phenomenon the blogger coined "burfing." I settled into a consistent 9:15-9:30 pace, a full minute slower per mile than I should be running. My legs felt like lead and I saw my life flash before my eyes on the hills. Then somewhere around Mile 5 my pace went from ridiculously slow to glacial. I could barely move myself forward. I actually thought about bagging the race after one loop but the thought of sitting around in the freezing cold waiting for Beth made me push on. I hit 13.1 miles in about 2:05:00 and completed 14 in 2:14:00.

The positives about this race:
  • About every 20 minutes I burst into laughter at the memory of our crazy morning and the crazy night that got us there. It was priceless. I think my fellow runners thought I was insane.
  • The 14 degree temp sobered me up lightning fast.
  • By Mile 9 my hangover was completely gone.
  • One year ago I couldn't run. I was still fighting through the final phase of recovery from my torn PF. Even a miserably cold hangover run is a gift.
  • You can't take everything so seriously. Having a fun night with a friend and managing to do the race, even if not ideally, is far better than not enjoying and embracing life's moments.
  • I shared it with a good friend and will definitely remember this one.
And the best thing of all is the brunch we ate afterward. This, my friends, is reason enough to drag yourself out of bed and go for a run. It was followed up by a two-hour nap and a very relaxing evening in pajamas with the cat. So in the end, this might have been the perfect day.

All mine, and I had a donut for dessert


  1. WOW! That is pretty fun. Good time for a hungover run. I would not have made it.

  2. Way to make the most out of it and have fun! It sounds like you had a blast and that is what matters most :)

  3. I know it might have been a PW, but wow... what a great story and great memories! Life's too short to not have days like this! :)

  4. you definitely caputured it: you got to run in CP and last year at this time you couldnt run


  5. I agree with Colleen, life is too short! Awesome race report!

  6. Well if you're gonna fail, you may as well have fun doing it! Well, sorta "fun". Running with a hangover isn't awesome, but the story/experience after is!

  7. That pizza looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I'm seriously drooling over here. Yum.

  8. I had forgotten on brutal, miserable, cold, and absolutely fun that race was!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...