I was always hoping to run the NYC Half Marathon when the course was only through Manhattan.
And I had entered the lottery several times but never got in.
The start of the course was changed in 2018 to Prospect Park, Brooklyn with the finish still in Central Park, Manhattan.
In 2019, I was lucky to have a fast enough time (for my age group) to get in.
I signed up for the Virtual NYC Half Marathon as my 57th Half Marathon for several reasons:
- NYC Half Marathon was cancelled in 2020 (when I time qualified again).
- I did not get in through the lottery in 2021.
- I decided not to take a charity bib for 2022. (no hotel or travel necessary if virtual)
- I wanted to run it in 2023 and if I ran the virtual, I could get a guaranteed entry.
- I had to run at least 10 miles (per my training for my April half marathon.)
Half Marathon Training:
If you follow my posts, you also know that I am not strict about following a training plan. I ran my last half marathon on February 27 in NYC and was not planning on another until April 16.
Actually I had thought of running a local 4 mile race today. But I had not signed up yet.
So I ran my usual 3 milers during the week.
Yes, I was a little nervous that I was not prepared for run 13.1 miles. In the previous two weekends, I had only run 8 and 5 miles. Hopefully, my legs would have muscle memory from the Feb. 27’s half marathon.
So the goal for this half marathon was completing my 10 mile training run with a few miles added on (maybe even walked). As long as I wore my Garmin and synced 13.1 miles with my Strava account, I was golden.
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
I ran the real thing in 2019. I felt so fortunate. Running down Times Square was truly amazing!!
Running it virtually in 2020 on the Nisky bike path was not amazing. LOL
I again contacted my friends and one agreed to run some of the miles with me.
We decided on our normal long run day which is Saturday and planned to meet at 9:00 at the rail trail.
I worked all day the day before but relaxed at mah jongg after my usual pre-race dinner of pizza.
Unfortunately, the forecast was for rain!!! I really didn’t want to run 13.1 miles in the rain nor did I want to postpone it until Sunday. I just crossed my fingers that they got the forecast all wrong.
I got up early and had my usual race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee.
I checked the weather. It had rained overnight but it appeared to be just cloudy with no rain in sight!! Woo Hoo!
I didn’t pay too much attention to the temps (but I should have since I was over dressed)
No need to worry about bag check since I could just leave extra clothes in my car.
My plan was to walk 3.1 miles first and then meet Sherry, run 5 miles, then turn around and run back to our cars.
As you see, I tried to incorporate some NYC in my outfit: my 2020 half shirt, LeBow hat and NYC calf sleeves.
I arrived early as I had to walk the 3.1 miles (a 1.55 mile out and back.)
As you can see no one was out yet… but that would change as the morning wore on.
Nothing too exciting to see or photograph since I run here all the time (except in the winter).
But obviously, I have not been here since November.
I got back to our meeting site early. Barbara was finishing her run and Deb was starting a short one.
Soon Sherry arrived and she agreed to do 10 miles with me. Yay!
Sherry and I run about the same pace. Today she warned that she was not feeling it and I might want to run ahead. I told her that it didn’t matter to me how slow we went and I would walk as often as she wanted.
The course we chose is slightly uphill. It was actually warm and humid. I had taken off my beanie (wish I hadn’t forgotten my baseball cap) and rolled up my sleeves (definitely over dressed). We were glad that it was overcast.
We walked often… just whenever we felt like it (and more than we needed). This run was at a much slower pace than we usually run but I was totally fine with it.
We got to the end of the rail trail and we had only run almost 4 miles
so we continued another mile or so and then turned around.
No needed water stops but I was getting hungry so I ate a GU.
Obviously the rest of the run was slightly downhill but that didn’t mean that we walked less. LOL
Finally the last two miles or so I ran ahead. I was anxious get it over with!
And we finished…13.1 done for me!!
So no crowd support or bridges or parks or Times Square but we did it. Thanks to Sherry! I earned that medal and this:
Additional Race Reflections:
I finished in a little over 3 hours… not bad considering it was really a 10 mile training run and a 3 mile walk.
Yes, I am disappointed that I could not run the real United NYC Half Marathon.
But I am excited to have the opportunity next year!! (It you do not live in NYS, try entering the lottery and join me and Deborah)
- The weather (it didn’t rain as predicted)
- downhill course for 4 miles or so
- A friend to run with
- slept in my own bed the night before
- great post race snack
- no water stops
- no crowd support
- over dressed
- Nothing 🙂
Would I recommend this race?
Sure but only if you cannot run the real thing!!!
And it does get you a guaranteed entry into next year’s race.
A 5 mile race next weekend and another NYC race but only 5.8 miler (one loop) in Central Park.
Then a local half marathon. The third year for this race but the second year on its original course. A downhill course. Lots of running friends. Should be fun… I
Happy Running! Anyone ever run a virtual half marathon? Would you run virtually to get a guaranteed entry into a race? Please share.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these ladies.
I’m linking up also with this link-up: