3:10am. My alarm goes off. I feel nervous as if this was my first half marathon, but it’s not. I’m excited and I stay in my bed for an extra five minutes and then I get up. I do the morning rituals, wash my face, and brush my teeth and then head to the kitchen.
I immediately get breakfast going. Whole-wheat toast, peanut butter and bananas. (Nothing new on race day.) As my toast is going I start to get dressed and push play on DWTS season 19.
I get on my clothes, eat breakfast, snap a few pictures and then I am on my way out the door.
At 4:48am I am out the door. Making my way to the train station and I am freezing. Apparently this year the half is much warmer than pervious years but that doesn’t change the fact that I was shivering cold.
I met a friend of mine, Ngozi who is a member of BlackGirlsRun! as well and we took an easy train ride up to 59th street. Once there, I was immediately cold and shivering and found an hotel to stand under one of their heat lamps for a few minutes before trying to find the rest of BGR! for our group photo.
After that we walked to our corral, used the bathroom one last time and made our way in the corral and of course I was freezing. It took awhile of us to start but after 10 minutes or so in the corral we were finally off.
Mile 1: Very easy mile in central park. I felt good and actually was shocked that I didn’t get too tired. I went in knowing I had to pace myself if I wanted to finish this race in 2:45:00.
Mile 2: I’m still looking very good in my mile pace. I’m thinking to myself, I know I can do this in 2:45:00. My legs felt good and my body felt good so I know I got this.
Mile 3: This mile felt the longest because it was almost like a long loop. Coming off of mile two you can see mile three but you don’t get to mile three until after you complete this loop. Once I got to mile three I was relieved.
Mile 4: The mile with the hill. This was very bad, because as a runner I don’t train on hills often enough. (I know, horrible) So I walked most of it, but when I descended, I ran. I was a little off pace with my timing by two minutes but still feeling good.
Mile 5: Seems like a blur, I actually really don’t remember it. I just know I was still in the park and that was about it, oh and I was still behind pacing by two minutes.
Mile 6: Making my way out of the park and turning the corner and thinking to myself, “this is the Times Square part, time to get the camera out.” And that’s why I did. I stopped to tie my sneakers, got up to run and soon, took out my camera to take a couple of pictures.
I’m in Times Square and my left ankle is somewhat bothersome, I try not to think about it and I just keep running. I turn a corner and I see the McDonalds, BBQs and Dave and Busters. I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m really running through this, you can’t do this any other day.”
Mile 8: I’m crying at this point. I look down at my watch and I already know I’m way off tempo. I’m on the West Side Highway and I stop over to stretch my calves out. I continue running and immediately stop again because my ankle is becoming too much to bear. At this point I know I’m not going to make my goal of 2:45:00 but I just wanted to come in under three hours.
Mile 9: The pain has gotten worse and I’m crying again. I can feel myself limping and I can feel my left leg in pain, my left ankle in pain and my right leg compensating for the pressure I’m putting on it. I’m now cold because of this huge gust of wind that that now taken over me and it’s only making it even worse.
Mile 10: I see a medical tent, I think to myself “should I stop here? If I stop, someone is going to have to pull me out and take me to the finish because I am not running again after I stop.” I don’t stop, I keep running, well walking at this point and I just keep thinking about my ankle. I keep doing a run/walk type thing but it’s just not working and I am walking way more than running.
Mile 11: Crying again, I see another medical tent and think to myself if I should stop. But it was freezing cold and the last things I want to do are sit in the freezing cold and get taken care of. So I pass it, then thought about turned around, but I decided not to. As I finally stop crying I remember thinking to myself “If someone was to come and ask me right now if I was ok, I would just burst into tears, so please no one ask me or touch me.” Of course two minutes after I just finish that statement, my friends Kenny and Amy come over and Kenny asks “What’s wrong,” and the tears come, because I’m upset and disappointed on how I’m performing, I hate the fact that I am now at a three hour half. But I don’t know how to convey that without crying like a child, so I just stay quiet and we run.
Mile 12: It’s tunnel time and I know that this race is almost over. Everything from my legs to my lower back is tight, which means I pulled something somewhere, but I just don’t know where. I’m still running with Kenny and Amy, which is a good thing. I’m just so mad at myself for not being able to meet the goal I’ve set for myself.
Mile 13/.1: It’s time for this race to be over. As the three of us are coming up on the finish line, we see a whole bunched of flags lined up towards the finish line. I hear Kenny say “find your flag and touch it,” but I can’t touch my flag because it was too far out. Panama, I focus on it and just keep running. I turn the corner and I see the finish line. I didn’t want to be rude and break away from Kenny and Amy since they stayed with me for so long, but I was so focused I just did my thing and ran. And then I crossed the finish line. 3:13:03, very disappointing and upsetting because I know I can perform better than that.
I receive my medal and not even two seconds after, a medic comes up to me and asks me “what’s hurting.” Without crying I muster up the courage to tell her what happened and we walk over to the medical tent. While walking I noticed that I was limping and I figured it must have been so apparent for someone to ask me what’s hurting. I sit down and Lisa ices both my ankles and I’m out of there.
I see my friend Alexie and I speak to him, I take a photo even though I wasn’t up for it and I go meet by best friend and her friends for lunch really wasn’t up for that either, but I was hungry, so I went.
After lunch I went home, shivering and cold on the train, showered, stretched and slept until about 8pm. Watch TV, spoke to my friends Avonna and went back to sleep.
That’s it folks. Hoped you enjoyed my recap of the UnitedNYCHalf. This race was a once in a lifetime experience and not because I wouldn’t do it again, but because it was very expensive for a half in NYC and I’m ready to travel to do races, so thank you NYC for this race.
Like KissTheRunner on Facebook: Facebook.com/KissTheRunner