So this past Sunday, I was one of the 19,455 finishers of the NYC Half Marathon. The weather was decent, cold in the morning, body temp kept you warm during the race, followed again by cold after the finish.
During my last (and first) half, I had multiple hurdles to overcome and I paid the price physically. Quite a learning experience.
– No sleep at all the night before. Not done on purpose.
– Not enough training for proper distance: most of my training runs were 5-10k. Not enough to prepare for 13.1M
– Not enough training on hills. The run was in DE. I was unfamiliar with the course and not expecting so many hills.
– Didn’t eat properly afterwards.
As a result, I became extremely sick after I got home, which I contribute mainly to shock on my system.
I prepared much better on this run
– Training runs ranged from 5k to 13M.
– Ran at least 5x’s per week; sometimes twice in the same day.
– Ate properly before and after the race.
– I was already familiar with the course, so I knew there were only a few hills [1 big hill] at the early miles in Central Park. Central Park was, as expected, the toughest part – especially the wall in the northwest wall. After the park, it’s all downhill or level.
One somewhat unavoidable preparation mistake, that had a big affect on this race… was that I only trained on a treadmill.
This is due to the heavy snow this winter. The roads just didn’t have space for running – for pretty much the entire winter.
Treadmills absorb a hell of a lot of impact. So my ankles, knees, hips, shoulders – you name the body part…became accustomed to that reduced impact.
Once I hit the road, the jarring of the solid, unforgiving pavement caused my left knee to go out around the 8th mile; which reverberated to my hip; which then caused my right knee to join the left, most likely due to overcompensating.
I finished with a good time, but it could have been greatly improved if my knee held out. I needed to stop a few times and slow down at others. Frustrating.
Other than that, energy levels were huge. Loved it.