United NYC Half — Everything But The Race Recap

If you saw my post from last weekend, you know the happy ending to my United NYC Half race recap, but I’m still working on the full story. Since this was my first destination race, I thought you might like to see how we spent the day before in New York City.

NYC Half Race Recap

It was part race preparation, part playing tourist, and part trying not to overdo it before the big day.  

United NYC Half Expo

My husband and I caught an early train into New York City, and headed right from Penn Station to the expo. While it was a long walk with our bags, it felt good to stretch our legs after 3+ hours on the train. 

The expo was busy, but not too crowded. I quickly got my bib and race shirt–thank goodness they encouraged us to try them on because I think they ran small. I resisted most of the race gear, but couldn’t resist these cute socks and headband.

NYC Half Expo Booty

I also picked up a pacing bracelet, which I never looked at during the race!

Exploring New York City

After I had my fill of the expo, we checked into our hotel, and then went to lunch at The Plaza Food Hall (a fancy food court in the basement of The Plaza hotel). From there, we decided to figure out the subway and scope out the finish area since neither of us had ever been to Wall Street before. It was fun to see them setting up the finish line and good to understand the last few blocks of the race–and the long walk I would have to exit the runner’s area!

After we figured out a good meet-up spot, I decided we should find the Chobani Cafe in Soho. I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since they opened, but never had time to venture out during my business trips. Since it was mid-afternoon, I went for the first thing on the menu with chocolate, their Pistachio + Dark Chocolate Sweet Creation.

Chobani SohoPlain yogurt drizzled with clover honey, topped with dark chocolate,
crushed pistachios, orange segments, and mint.
All of the flavors complemented each other so well–it was amazing!

The weather had turned drizzly, so we caught the subway back to our hotel, changed clothes, and did a bit of window shopping along Fifth Avenue before we headed out for an early dinner–back at The Plaza Food Hall. I opted for a quinoa bowl at the Tartinery. It had everything I love–quinoa, edamame, avocado, kale, toasted almond slivers, and a perfectly poached egg. 

NYC Half Dinner

Plus, they had a nice IPA on the menu! 

After that, we called it a night. I laid out all my gear, rolled out a few tight spots on a lacrosse ball, and triple checked my 5:00 am alarm before tucking in for a good night’s sleep.

United NYC Half Race Morning

My alarm did go off at 5:00, and I deliberately hit the snooze button. I planned to head out at 6:00 (when the Starbucks next to the hotel opened!) so I knew I had plenty of time to get ready. One advantage of a destination race is that by the time race day dawns all the planning and deciding has been done! 

NYC Half Pre-Race Selfie

My husband did not get up to see me off,
so I had to take a pre-race selfie in the hotel mirror.

I might have been the first customer at the Starbucks, but the coffee was ready. I sipped my grande dark roast and ate a few of my peanut butter crackers, but then decided to head to the start area at Central Park a few blocks away. The Wave 1 corrals opened at 6:30, right about when I got there. Since I was pretty early, there was no line for the security screening, but I can see why it could get backed up since we had to remove our Garmins and take out our phones to go through the magnetometers.

I walked through the park past a looooong bank of porta-pottys to my corral. The sky was starting to lighten, and I could tell is was going to be a beautiful day.

NYC Half Wave 1

One of the last packing decisions I made was to bring an old wool coat to wear and donate at the start line. It was so nice not to be freezing before the race! They had blue donation bins in every corral, and I was able to keep my coat on until 2 minutes before the start! 

I didn’t do a running warm-up, but I did some of the dynamic warm-up exercises from the Quick Strength for Runners book while I took in the atmosphere. Most people were in a good mood and grateful for the clear weather. 

The race was being broadcast by the local ABC television station, which was great for my Mom watching on-line at home, but annoying when the announcer told us we would start as soon as the broadcasters were ready–which was 7:32 by my Garmin. 

Is that too much of a cliffhanger? Not enough?

Have you been to a Chobani Cafe?

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24 Responses to United NYC Half — Everything But The Race Recap

  1. I want to do this race so badly! One day I will!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Five Pieces of Indispensable First Race Advice (Running Coaches Corner)My Profile

  2. Marcia says:

    We don’t have a Chobani cafe that I know of…
    The removing Garmins thing is new since I ran NYCM in 2014. We had plenty of screenings but not that. Can’t wait to hear more!
    Marcia recently posted…5 Reasons to Run the Chicago MarathonMy Profile

  3. Is that snow behind you?

    I have to say that I’ve never seen so much hype for a half marathon! I guess because it’s NYC, it’s a big deal!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…7 Tips to Keep Running Without Ruining Your Family VacationMy Profile

  4. Yes…that’s a substantial cliffhanger! I’m excited to hear the rest of the story šŸ˜‰
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…My Favorite DAM raceMy Profile

  5. Did you stay real close to the Plaza? When I go into the city again for an overnight trip, that’s were I want to stay!
    I to did a pre-race recap with more details of the weekend and expo because I didn’t want my race recap to be too long. I hope to have that portion up by Friday! Can’t wait to hear about your race.
    PS, my husband didn’t get up to see me off either!

  6. I did not know that there was now a food court in the Plaza! We used to love walking over there to look for “Eloise” when my daughter was little. Can’t wait to hear all about the race

  7. Kimberly G says:

    So glad that you had an awesome time in NYC! Looking forward to reading your recap šŸ™‚
    Kimberly G recently posted…Tunes Tuesday 3.21 ā€“ Red Hot Chili PeppersMy Profile

  8. Laura says:

    The wool coat was a smart move! I love being cozy and warm at the start until the last possible second. I had no idea there was a Chobani cafe, I’m going to have to find it next time!
    Laura recently posted…Post Race SurprisesMy Profile

  9. Gina says:

    That’s so funny about your pacing bracelet – I never look at mine either when I grab one. I’ve never dropped at a race, I just stand at the starting line and freeze! šŸ™‚
    Gina recently posted…Walking On Clouds – Review of Oofos Original Sport SandalMy Profile

  10. Can’t wait for the race report. That yogurt though … yummm!!!
    I want to so badly run the NYC but the full instead.
    Smitha @ FauxRunner recently posted…Publix Georgia Half Marathon with The Kyle Pease FoundationMy Profile

  11. This makes me want to go back to NY ! Not sure the next time I will be there…. hopefully in June.
    Karen @ fit in France recently posted…Fit in France updateMy Profile

  12. Rachel says:

    Your food pics look divine. I can’t wait to read your recap!!
    Rachel recently posted…Running Slower and Racing FasterMy Profile

  13. Looks like a great start to race morning! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  14. I don’t usually get to spend much time (or money for that matter) at expos betc aude my kids are with me. However, on the odd occasion, I do enjoy them!
    Anna @ Pipers Run recently posted…Charge the Garmin!My Profile

  15. Love NYC because of the food! A Chobani cafe?…Only in NY right! The quinoa bowl looked delicious too. I ran NYC marathon a few years ago and want to go back and take my family this time.

  16. Toni says:

    Looks like a great start! I ran the NYC half a few years back and loved it!
    Toni recently posted…2017 Echo Half Marathon Training Week 1 RecapMy Profile

  17. great cliffhanger! I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. Sounds like a perfect pre race day to me!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…My Florida Favorite Races with MBMy Profile

  18. Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says:

    Looks like a great start! That meal looks fabulous and I love those socks. Can’t wait to read the rest šŸ™‚

  19. Great pre-race recap! Sounds like you had a great day before the race and some good eats! Can’t beat NYC food options!
    Love the socks and headband, they are definitely cute! Can’t wait to read your race recap! šŸ™‚
    Shannon @GirlsGotSole recently posted…Things Iā€™m Loving (March 2017)My Profile

  20. Sounds like you found a great balance to the day. Can’t wait to read your race re-cap!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Weekly Wrap: Catching UpMy Profile

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