Thursday, March 21, 2013

New York City half recap and bronchitis

I was so excited heading in to the New York City half and had set big expectations for myself. I wanted to be top 10 and run a personal best - under 1:11.50. Both of these I did not achieve as I came 15th and ran 1:12.06. I was very disappointed after the race and could not really explain what had happened. Right from the beginning I just could not get on pace. My goal was to run 3.20 min/km or around 5.21 min/mile pace.  My pace ended up being 3.25min/km or 5.29 min/mile.  I am nearly doing this pace every Saturday in my 70 minute tempos so quite frustrating.

At the start line I was nervous but very excited. Lining up and seeing all these amazing runners everywhere was great. Even though I had warmed up very well I was still freezing and waiting for the gun to go off seemed like forever. The temperature during the race was minus 1 celsius which my body was not used to after being in Houston for 6 weeks where the temperature averaged around 20 celsius.  Once the gun went off I tried to forget about the cold and just focus on getting in a pack and pushing through the first 10km in Central park as this was the hilly section of the course. I passed the first mile in 5.27 - already well off pace. I just kept thinking about pushing strong and trying to increase my pace. I got in to a small pack which was good and we were able to push the pace a little. However at 5km there was a big hill that seemed to go on forever. I just could not function up the hill and the pack got away from me.  I tried to stay focused and kept the pack in sight and used this as my motivation to catch up. Once we got out of central park my goal was to really push and get back on pace. However my body just did not feel right. My legs were heavy and still cold and just could not move faster :-( I caught up and passed a few girls after mile 10 and just wanted to get to the finish. I was still hopeful at mile 10 of a personal best but crossed the line short.

My splits are below:
5km: 16:53  10km: 34:21   15km: 51:24   20km: 1:08.22  Finish time: 1:12.06

After returning to Houston I began to feel really bad and had fever, headache, bad cough and aching chest and back. I went to see the doctor and found out I have bronchitis and the flu. Not a very nice combination :-( I did have some coughing before the race so not sure if the bronchitis was starting then and maybe this had some impact on my performance in the half. Or maybe just a combination of everything. I have to take about a week off from any physical activity until my resting pulse is close to normal (normally 45bpm and now 88bpm) and I don't have trouble breathing in. I have to give my lungs a chance to recover. Also this small break may be what my body needs before the build-up to the world championships in Moscow on August 10.

Even though the race did not go as I wanted racing in the New York City half was a great experience and I was lucky enough to be amongst some of the best runners in the world. It was lovely to meet some new runners and get some new contacts. It is always great hearing other runners ideas on training and racing. You always come away with valuable information. The course was beautiful and running through Times Square was exciting (even though I could not pay too much attention to the surroundings). I also got to meet David and Jane Monti and the other New York Road Runners staff. They all did such a great job in hosting the athletes and putting on a great event.

I am very excited to announce a new sponsorship with Lance McClintock. He is a wonderful chiropractor who I am going to every week to get therapy and active release. Lance is a great guy and I am very grateful for his services and sponsorship. As every runner knows a critical part of training and improving is staying injury free. Seeing Lance every week and getting therapy is one way of doing this. If you are in the Houston area and need treatment I would highly recommend Lance. Lance works at Greenway Chiropractic. Their phone number is 713-355-5343. The link to his website is:

Also thanks to Mizuno for their continued support. It was exciting to put on the lovely yellow uniform and be racing under Mizuno. Congrats to Caroline Rotich also Mizuno runner who won the race!!

Photo during New York City half