recap on MORE women’s half marathon

Five long days after NYC MORE Women’s ½ Marathon and my butt is finally not hurting. I ran so hard I think I gave myself a hemorrhoid. It was either the race effort, or the 5 nervous toilet and porta-potty trips before the start line, but either way, the pain is dissipating and I am ready for this weekend’s long run again.  The road leading to the race was a fun one. My employee Lili had suffered a stress fracture in her foot the prior year, and to assist her return to running, I had assumed a role as her coach, her PT and her introduction to the local trail system. Limiting her to the more forgiving local trails, we ran twice weekly before work, in spring through the thick oak-pollen, through summer in the gracious cool mornings shaded in the woods, through the crunchy leaves of autumn and then all through winter, with headlamps and nervous footing in the pre-dawn, the snow, the sleet, the low teens. We stopped to clear garbage from the trail; we cooled down at my neighbor’s house, periodically checking in on the dogs, the chickens, the guinea hens, the quail. Her pace was improving, her hills were strong, and most importantly, she was pain free. Limited to three weekly runs, I designed once weekly hill workouts, speed workouts and we did our own thing on the weekends with the long runs. She ran with her twin, I ran solo in the woods.

When we lined up on the start line in New York, we were well prepared for the hills in Central Park, having been unable to avoid them even on our ‘easy” days. My GPS died as the national anthem played and I reflected on running my own race as we stood a minutes silence for last year’s winner Sally Meyerhoff who had died a few weeks prior. I took off with a relaxed but brisk pace, and tried to settle in to my own internal rhythm, the one I used in the woods, where the GPS holds no meaning. The usual adrenaline rush present at bike racing and triathlon was much reduced. There was no AC-DC “Highway-to-Hell” blaring from the speakers; muted Sinéad O’Connor, Enya and Pink came through intermittently in waves.

The rough and tumble was absent, and as we passed the many women walking the course, there was much cheering, sisterly support and “excuse me” or “Oh I’m sorry am I in your way” and “did I just step on your sneakers?”. I loved it! The hills came and went, I counted my strides as I climbed on the first lap, a left-over habit from my bike racing days when these inclines were so familiar. I held steady paces for each mile, despite the changes in terrain, and knew that I could hold this pace for another lap. I challenged myself to push on the second round of hills, knowing the pace was the same, only the effort was increased. The last three miles were a bit of a blur as I pushed to maintain pace on the rollers, but the mile pace clock was still stable as I passed.  I was keeping my mind busy as I multiplied by sevens, adding and subtracting seconds for the various paces I thought I was keeping. The final mile, the final stretch to the finish line. I picked it up, strides with good form, zipped up my top, wiped the snot off my face (another left-over from elite bike-racing) and pegged it. Lili cleared the line shortly thereafter, we grabbed lunch, a shower, and hit the LIE with four aching legs, one sore butt, and two broad smiles.

One hour, thirty minutes, fifty three seconds. Two Honey stinger blocks, no fluids, no GPS. Fifteenth overall. Phew. I guess the trail work paid off. 

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AG %

FITZGIBBON SINEAD F40 49 EERC SAG HARBOR NY 15 15 3 1:30:53 6:56 1:27:09 45 75.5 %

About sineadpt

physical therapist, PhD candidate, bike fiend, swim nut, run loony, multisport athlete, bike fitter, coach, general life enthusiast
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2 Responses to recap on MORE women’s half marathon

  1. niamh fitzgibbon says:

    o my goodness! that’s pretty damn impressive! right down to all the counting and calculating a time. apart from all the training to get you that fit. Christ almighty girl. Mind that arse of yours. It’s special!

  2. niamh fitzgibbon says:

    o and that photo is totally gorgeous!

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