24
Jan
10

2010 New York Road Runners Manhattan Half Marathon

When I laid out my 2010 running goals I said that I wanted to run in two different half marathons this year and have at least one of those half marathons with a sub 1:50:00 time.  At the time I made the post, I was unaware of the New York Road Runners Manhattan Half Marathon — two and a half gruelling laps up and down the hills of Central Park at the end of January.  Naturally, I registered for the race.

It was brisk this morning, but not cold.  The air was about 35 degrees, cold enough that most people were wearing tights, gloves, and hats.  I warmed up by running to the starting line around West 62nd St at about a 10 minute/mile pace.  As usual, the NYRR staff were on the ball on made it incredibly easy to get started with the race.  I found my corral, which was a bit further back than normal due to the larger number of runners in this race, about 5500.

Although my training runs have been floating around 8:10/mi for runs around 7 miles, I felt like I wanted to take this run a bit easier.  I knew I couldn’t overrun and spend the rest of the day in bed.  Also, Central Park is tough, there’s a nasty hill on the northwest side of the park that I dreaded climbing twice.  I set my goal to finish under 2 hours.  The 1:50:00 goal would wait for another race that wasn’t so bad.

I got into my corral, turned on RunKeeper, and prepared myself for a leisurely couple of laps around the park.  My first mile was slow, about 9 minutes, largely because of the large number of runners in the park.  After that point I was able to pick up the pace some.  Familiarity with the park definitely helped out.  I’ve run enough around Central Park that I know every turn and hill in the park.

As I continued I kept up a good pace and RunKeeper dutifully chatted in my ear once every five minutes to let me know my approximate time, distance, and pace.  10:02, 9:25, 8:50, 8:40, 8:35, 8:30.  I was now at considerably under my 2:00:00 overall pace and feeling great.  I decided to try and stick with that pace.  But I was feeling great.  My pace hovered around 8:30, but then began to drop some more.  Even on tough miles, like mile 10 which faced the dreaded hill, I continued to do well.  In the end I crossed the finish line at 1:48:26, an 8:16 min/mi.

Split Times for Manhattan Half Marathon

RunKeeper Estimated Splits for the Manhattan Half Marathon. The Big Hill was Mile 4 and Mile 10.

The race was great.  A completely unexpected find, and even more unexpected that I would do so well.  Two weeks ago I had my first race with a sub 8 minute overall pace, and today I ran an unexpected half marathon and finished faster than I thought I could.  Interesting things await for the NYC Half Marathon in March.  It’s a considerably easier course with considerably more people.  Should I push down to 1:45?  I think I should.

Pace, Elevation, and Distance for the Manhattan Half Marathon

Pace, Elevation, and Distance for the Manhattan Half Marathon

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