Thursday, March 20, 2014

Race Recap: NYC Half Marathon 2014 -- Lucky 13!

Last Sunday I completed my 13th half marathon right here in New York City. This is my third year running this race which I completed in the freezing cold in 2013 and with my parents spectating in 2012 right before my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. 

It's always a fun race but, like, all NYRR events lately, it's mucho expensivo. At something like $120, I may have to start evaluating if my wallet can continue to handle these races! (Answer post-analysis: No, no my wallet can not continue to handle these races).

It is the price you pay, I suppose, for running these world class events. Evidently over 20,000 of my fellow runners completed this race, which is truly insane when you think about it. That's like... a town. All running a Half Marathon. Or something.

People fly in from all over the world to run races such as these and I've gotten to thinking that perhaps I just shouldn't feel the pressure to always run them just because I live, you know, right here. I'm thinking that I may want to start focusing on smaller [read: cheaper] races. And I may want to focus on more races outside of the Tri-State area.

But then I get coerced into [read: just asked once] to run a Half I know I love, and it's all over. (P.S. Look for my 5th Brooklyn Half this coming May...)


Here's how things went down. I woke up on Sunday morning at 5:15 am to get dressed and prep. I want to complain but, to be honest, I have written way too many of these posts where I did this TO MYSELF so really....just....yeah.

I checked the weather hoping that the 30 degree plus wind prediction forecast had changed. Indeed it had. It was now 25 degrees. Ugh.

Along with many other crazy wayward zombies runners, I made my way over to Central Park South to check my coat and some items for after the race.

It was cold. It was dark. And I was angry. I took a selfie of myself to exhibit my emotions:

...and then upon review realized something...

Yep, we are starting to look alike. It's amazing. I'm going to give you a moment to let that sink in. And then another moment for you to collect yourself.


We good? Good. Let's continue.

The baggage check area was a little bit of a hot mess. But then again, so am I, so who am I to judge? 

By 7 am I had to peel myself away from my puffy coat and make my way through security. I thought I had plenty of time before my 7:45 start, but security was out of control and took me nearly 30 minutes to get through.

In this day and age -- given what happened last year in Boston -- it makes sense and I'm not going to argue it. It is what it is. I suppose to run these big, world-class events, it's a reality that we are just going to have to live with. But for those of you thinking of running a big race? Leave yourself time. And bring hand warmers (mine may have saved my life!)

Through the annoyance of security, sunrise in Central Park is always a happy thing.

Wave 1 began at 7:30 and then fifteen minutes later my Wave started. The course began at 72nd Street on the East side of the park and ran counter-clockwise around the park to start (including a brief detour at Central Park North). 

Just past Mile 4, I had a little cheering squad waiting for me including Silvia, Rachel, Nicole and -- #1 Fan -- Betsy. 

I took a blurry photo of them while I was runnin'! TALENT.

Remember...#1 fan is a tier, not a person.

The course exited the south of the park around mile 6 and started my favorite stretch of almost any run. Ever. 

They shut down Times Square...and you run through it! THROUGH TIMES SQUARE!

This -- by the way -- is the only acceptable time for a New York-er to enjoy this hellhole of a neighborhood.

Me enjoying Times Square. Running Selfie!!!!

The race then took a right on 42nd Street and ran to the West Side Highway. We turned left, and then ran South to finish near the tip of Manhattan.

I finished in 1:58:27. My 2nd best time ever and my 3rd time at sub-2:00.

Check out my hot splits

What was most astounding -- and pleasing -- about this time is that I am smack dab in the middle of marathon training mode. I'm sore. I'm tired. And I certainly haven't tapered. I am in shape, but this was not the main event. And, to me? That's pretty amazing.

Now, what Run, MeriG. Run race recap would be complete without the obligatory "try to pose for the professional photos" photos? A boring recap, that's what. So without further ado:

Peace signs in Time Square

Getting ready to blow a kiss.

Blowin' that kiss in an oh so sexy manner.

A little excited in Central Park

Pushing it to the finish. I don't PLAY.

My 13th Half was a great experience, and one I highly recommend for any runner -- be you advanced or looking for your first Half. The crowds are wonderful. It's relatively flat. The scenery couldn't be better. And the energy of 20,000 other runners propels you. 

Now? The fun just begins. In exactly a month from tomorrow I'll be at the starting line of Boston. Between now and then I have two more long (looooooong runs) and then what I've decided will be a delicious taper. And my fundraising for Dana-Farber? Well that has been nothing short of amazing

With the support of my amazing donors and after this NYC Half experience, I feel confident, I feel calm, I feel strong, and I feel ready to tackle the world. In short? I've never felt better.

* * * * * * * * * *

I am running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge! I have raised an astounding $9,325 towards my goal of $10,000+! Find our more or donate here:


  1. I simultaneously love and hate your blog. Getting super homesick with all the city pics, but love that I feel like I ran the race with you!! Congrats on your super-amazing-kickass-runner time! And be careful with those poses, they could be sent out to 20 thousand people next year...


    1. Thanks, lady! Ha, I know, it's only a matter of time. I have a feeling those Jingle Bell Jog photos are going to bite me in the butt....

  2. Ohh I love the #1 fan/best friend being a tier not a person. So true! And congrats on rocking the race!

  3. Congrats on a great half!!! Jealous of your hand warmers I almost didn't even bring gloves - I don't think I felt my fingers until 4 or 5 miles in. SO COLD. And what great pictures! Love them all! Seems you are totally ready to rock BOSTON!!!

    1. Glad you appreciate the photos. It's my favorite source of race distraction. Photo shoot!!!!