The weekend of the NYC Half is finally here! I haven’t been this excited for a race in a long time. Maybe it’s because it’s my first “destination” race. Maybe it’s because I love running in New York City so much. Maybe it’s because I know so many people who will be running with me on Sunday. Regardless, ask me what I’m doing this weekend, and be prepared for a gushing response.
I’ve crossed off all my training runs and made my packing list. I’ve downloaded my registration confirmation and shown my husband how to use the tracking app. Since it’s Friday, I’m joining the Friday Five 2.0 link up hosted at Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness, and sharing five other ways I’m ready to run the NYC Half.
I Booked My Hotel And Train For The NYC Half
As soon as I learned I’d gotten in to the NYC Half, I booked a hotel room at the New York Hilton Midtown. I’ve stayed there a few times for work, and know it’s very close to Central Park. It also was surprisingly affordable for such a nice hotel.
A few weeks later, friends who had run the NYC Half before suggested staying near the finish, at the Holiday Inn Express. Since their reasons made sense, I booked a room there too. (Both places had penalty-free cancellation policies.)
Once my husbanded decided to accompany me, I was leaning towards staying at the Hilton–I knew he’d want to spend time in Midtown, walking along Fifth Avenue and visiting Rockefeller Center–but I didn’t make my final decision until this week. Since I will be more stressed about getting to my corral on time than getting back, I opted for the Hilton. I will just have to deal with getting back up to Midtown after I’ve got that medal hanging around my neck. 😉
I wished I’d booked train tickets as early as I booked my hotel. Amtrak prices change with demand, and I’m sure I could have paid half as much if I bought them earlier. I first booked a train that got in to the city early in the afternoon, but then panicked about having enough time to get to and through the expo, and switched to a train that gets in late morning. Thank goodness Amtrak has penalty-free reservation changes!
I Studied The Course Map
For The NYC Half
One reason I am so excited about running the NYC Half is that I will get to run in Central Park and run in parts of the city I’ve never seen.
I’ve run the Central Park loop several times, and love the contrast between the scenery inside the park and the skyscrapers that border it.
I’ve walked from the Hilton to Penn Station, so I’m also familiar with the route to 42nd Street, but it will be totally different–and much more fun–running down the middle of the street.
After the turn onto 42nd Street, I will be in unfamiliar territory. While I plan to push my pace, I hope to be in enough of a groove to take in the sights as I run by.
I am prepared for cold wind along the Hudson River, but hoping it won’t be too brutal. I’m also excited to see Battery Park, although I may be in too much of a haze by then to notice much!
I Studied The Elevation Profile For The NYC Half
Of course, the road map only tells one part of the story, so I’ve studied the elevation profile for the NYC Half as well. It looks intimidating with all those hills in Central Park, but I keep reminding myself that I’ve run those hills, I know those hills, and I can handle those hills.
I Set A Goal Pace For The NYC Half
I don’t usually go into a race with a specific finish time in mind, but I do have goals for the NYC Half. My main goal is to finish within 2 hours. My dream goal would be to finish at about 1:50, but I’m not sure that’s realistic in a field with 20,000 runners, several hairpin turns, those Central Park hills, and ….
I’ve Stalked The Weather For The NYC Half
The theme for this week’s link up is winter fitness rants, and while this winter hasn’t given me too much cause for ranting, March sure has tried my patience. It was 20F for the Reston 10 Miler, balmy a few days later, in the 20s again last weekend, and a snow/ice storm kept us home from work on Tuesday.
Last weekend the NYC weather forecast looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
That looks better until you get more details on Saturday night:
If there are 1-3″ of snow on the ground come Sunday morning, all bets are off. Hopefully the race won’t be canceled so we can still run for fun.
With the weather so changeable, I really can’t decide what to wear. Good thing Amtrak doesn’t charge for luggage–I can pack several options and change my mind several times before I head out to my corral on Sunday.
How do you decide what to wear for a destination race?
Has Mother Nature been moody where you are?