Seven weeks ago on a Monday afternoon in the office at 200 Park Avenue, my friend and colleague, Wyatt Melzer, and I googled “NYC half marathon.” We had talked about doing this before, even scheduling something along the lines of “Race Discussion” in our calendars twice to review races and commit to one – but those meetings never happened. That Monday was my first day back in the office after a week long trip to Telluride and I was feeling motivated. This time was for real, we were going to book a race.
Looking back, I could not have been happier with my decision to participate. Below are some things I learned from running (I wrote all of these notes down on evernote after returning from a post-race brunch – amazing – and before a post-race nap – even more amazing – so it was all fresh on my mind. The italicized text is what I added since.)
If any of you have ever done a race before, I am curious to hear your opinions on some of my immediate “post race thoughts” and better yet – would love to sign up for a new challenge with you in the future. Some ideas Wyatt and I are circulating are the Mighty Montauk Triathlon and the Paine to Pain Half Marathon. Let us know if you are interested or have other ideas. You can post those ideas in the comments section of this article so others can see them or e-mail me directly at [email protected].
Reflections on the Half Marathon:
– You can push your body way further than you think.
– Running without a sense of the course is beneficial – you just keep going. (I had never been to Flushing Meadow Corona Park and even though the course was 2 loops, I was so into the race, the music, the energy that I did not really pay attention to my surroundings – other than appreciating the beauty of the park. If you have not been, I highly recommend checking it out – there’s a beautiful river, soccer fields, art sculptures, etc.)
– Weather is super important, couldn’t have had a better day. (It was 54 degrees when we got there and since the race started early, was only 58 by the time we finished before 10am – PERFECT!)
– Beat my goal by 30 seconds per mile (over 6 minutes) – need to make new harder goals.
– Life: set goals, achieve them, set new ones – on repeat. Unbelievable way to live. Both professionally and personally.
– Run/train/socialize with friends who push you. Wyatt 4-year lax player at UVA, me just someone who enjoys to run (no college sport), but made it great.
– Any run more than 6 miles is not a “joy run” – body should not be running more than an hour. That is when the pain kicks in.
– After race, strong feeling of accomplishment – but not a runner’s high. (There is a big difference.)
– Carboloading very important. Science behind the dieting good to follow. (It wasn’t until Mike Casey, Regional Director of Operations at CBRE, asked me what I was going to eat the night before that I even thought about “carboloading.” When I began to do some research, the articles I read clearly underscored the importance of eating right before the race – essentially, giving your body the fuel it needs to keep going. I ended up following this diet which was perfect for me because it was written by a 150 lb runner (close to what I weigh.) The large oatmeal cookie as a “lunch dessert” – not something I normally do – was awesome.)
– On run, music helps, but need more than that. I would tell myself on repeat “I can do this, I can do this.” personal motto/mantra to keep pushing.
– Continue to challenge myself physically with other competitions. I will run the NYC marathon. As of now, shooting for 2017.
– Find other events like tough mudder, triathlons, 10k’s, half marathons to do in the interim. Ask friends to do it with me. More fun training with friends – holds you accountable and you both strive for improvement. (Anyone else use runkeeper? If so, please add me as a friend and we can track each other’s progress. If you don’t use runkeeper and like to run, this app is a MUST. Been using it since 2012 and can track all my activities.)
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!