In my pursuit for a sub 3:20 marathon I signed up for the inaugural Central Park marathon by NYCRUNS. Registration fee was $75 when I signed up and my fitness at the time coming off Harrisburg marathon (3:23:59) was pretty good. Training for this marathon was going to be mostly indoors as I wasn’t keen on sub freezing runs. However treadmill running for most of my long runs of training would be a determent to my marathon goal.
The weather race week heading into race day (February 24) was not looking favorable as the weather forecast was predicting snowy conditions the day before. Fortunately we were spared and had great racing conditions. The precipitation now in the form of rain ended early the night before and the temps were above freezing so black ice wouldn’t be an issue.
Right at the start of the race my legs felt quite heavy. My goal for the Central Park marathon was to use a progressive racing strategy. Start the first loop at 7:45, then 7:40, 7:35, 7:30 and 7:25. This goal wouldn’t be achieved on the day as my first loop was in the low 7:50s with more than an effort that I was anticipating. I still tried pushing on the second loop but the effort again was very taxing on this course. On the third loop I began to settle and accept an alternate race goal for the day.
By the end of the fourth loop just finishing below the 3:45 would be sufficient. Post mile 18 I found myself taking walk breaks between aid stations.
Many factors may have led to this subpar performance. Nutrition….but the leading factor I believe was lack of outdoor running especially during my long runs.
Going forward if I plan to do a winter marathon long runs will have to be done outdoors unless the conditions are unsafe.
I am still content that I was able to pull off a 3:33 even with walking today.
Solid race organization by Steve and the gang from NYCRUNS. Love the post race hot chocolate, the hoodie and medal. Excellent performance by Anh who ran a 3:56 just coming off a September delivery of our beautiful son, Miles.