So, I’ll start of by saying this actual race really isn’t anything special. I ran it last year and to be honest, it’s not the best course and the organization of the event is only ok, but since I was really only looking for a non-Disney race for a PR attempt and I had PR’d at this course last year I figured why not (and the medal is actually pretty good!).
To make it even better I eventually convinced my friends Dan (who you may recognize from my Disney Marathon recap) and Pat (who paced me to my most recent PR at the Disneyland Half Marathon) to join me!
My current half marathon PR was 2:05:22, so being conservative my only real goal was to break 2:05. That is until our other friend Jenn (also featured in my Disney Marathon recap!) went and PR’d the NYC Half last weekend with a time of 2:02:48…suddenly Dan and I had a new goal! Nothing like a little friendly competition to light a fire under you, right??
Well, Pacer Pat came to our rescue and offered to help us get there! Except come race morning Pat had a slightly different goal in mind…he decided he was going to pace us to run 13.1 miles in under 2 hours. Since this was pure crazy talk, I figured I’d start off with the guys and then fall back as their pace became too much for me since I definitely wasn’t trained for a sub 2 hour finish!
So that I don’t bore you with the play-by-play of the actual race (remember, boring course), I’ll say this…it was cold. And we ran fast (or at least fast for me!). I was surprised as mile by mile I kept up with Pat and Dan and we stayed on pace to finish under 2 hours! (P.S. if you’re looking to PR I highly recommend Pacer Pat. Seriously, I think he should start charging for his services!)
It wasn’t until mile 10 that I started to slow down and got a little nervous that I may not make it. As we made our 2nd lap around the lake the wind really picked up (of course blowing against us) and I got really really cold.
My legs weren’t even hurting (amazingly!) and I didn’t feel that tired, but I couldn’t feel my hands or arms and I think my body began to focus all it’s energy on shivering and trying to stay warm instead of running (according to my Garmin report it was 37 degrees, 29 with the windchill!).
Lucky for us Pat had built in enough of a cushion, so even though we slowed down just a bit the last few miles all three of us crossed the finish line together in 1:59:05! (My original text alert said 1:59:01, but today the official time on the website says 1:59:05…Dan’s says 1:59:04. Damn, now I need to beat him!)
We celebrated as any good Disney
nerds fans would by heading over to the Queens Museum of Art to see if we could track down any Disney related memorabilia from the 1964 World’s Fair (that and it was heated so it was nice to go inside and thaw out!). As Disney fans may know, the area we had just run through was not only the site of the Worlds Fair, but it was the original home of some of Walt Disney’s classic rides such as It’s a Small World and the Carousel of Progress!
(For some great information on Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the 1964 World’s Fair and it’s Walt Disney ties check out THIS post from ImaganeeringDisney.com!)
Back in the city we met up with Jenn (who was thoroughly annoyed with us for beating her new PR!) to celebrate! (Which we did by eating A LOT.)
A HUGE thank you to Pat for his pacing services (and warning me about upcoming speed bumps ; ) and Dan for keeping me entertained by yelling out “BEAT JENN!” randomly throughout the race, I wouldn’t have even considered trying to run under 2 hours without you guys!
And of course thanks (and hugs!) to Jenn for kicking ass and PR’ing her race to motivate us (and for being a good sport about our race rally cry being “Beat Jenn!”). You guys are the best!
Congratulations! That is just awesome, and I knew you totally had it in you to run a sub-2:00 half.
So that race is in Queens? It’d be fun to run it sometime, but I’m learning that I definitely prefer to train for fall races. It’s just too cold (to train and to run!) this time of year. 🙂
Yes, the race is in Queens and goes all around the Flushing Meadows Park where the World’s Fair was held. The course isn’t great, but it’s local for me so an easy one to do, plus when I did it last year it was MUCH warmer, definitely not usually this cold this time of year!
Congrats on the PR! I have my sights set on a sub-2 hour half someday…thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
Thanks Jennifer! I just recently started doing some speed work but it looks like it’s already starting to pay off which is encouraging! Definitely motivated to keep it up now! Good Luck with your sub-2 goal!
Congratulations. You sound really excited and quite right too!!
Very excited, especially since it was so unexpected!
Great job Danielle (and Pat and Jenn and that tall kid)! Looks like I have an impossible goal to reach for the Disneyland Half this summer. Thanks. 🙂
Thanks Adam! Just remember #BeatDan!
Congrats on the PR Danielle that is huge! What an awesome time!! I’m doing my first half in July it won’t be sub 2 hrs but I can’t wait to run it!!
Thank you so much! My advice (not that you asked!) for your first half is to not focus on time at all, just enjoy the experience and make crossing the finish line your goal! You can always go for time after that. Good Luck!
Thanks Danielle. I certainly will be happy with just finishing! – Simone
I’ve already claimed Pacer Pat for my next half marathon, regardless if you and Dan run it as well. He’s MINE!! You can’t have him! My new goal? #BeatDanielleAndDan! 🙂 hahahaha congrats again on the PR, now I just wish I ran this with you guys! Disneyland for sure 🙂
I think Disneyland should be a full herd run (except for at the very end when you and I sprint to the finish and #BeatDan!)
How exciting you broke the 2hr barrier! Yay, congrats! Even with the freezing cold weather!!! Also, that museum sounds like a really cool place to visit!!!
Thanks! Definitely looking forward to seeing what I can do in better race conditions!
CONGRATS! I am dying to run sub 2 and it’s tough to get there!
Thanks Heather! Under 2 hours was definitely a long term goal so I’m pretty shocked I got there already…time to set a new goal I guess!
I’d like to propose: #winDisneyland
I’ll second that. Shall we add it to the bylaws??
Congrats on your sub-2 PR!
I ran this race last year as well. Even though there is tons of stuff to see in this park (I didn’t realize how big it is!), I agree. It gets boring when you keep looping. Must check out that museum next year, though!
Yeah, it’s actually sad to see how run down some of the buildings are in comparison to the pictures from the World’s Fair, it’s too bad they don’t fix them up, it would be such a great area!
Congratulations on the PR!! And surviving the cold (although, from how the winter has been here in MN, I would WELCOME it being in the 30s even if it *felt* like the 20s…ugh, winter..:) ). Congrats again!!
Thanks! I’ve been training in cold weather so I didn’t think it would be that bad, but the wind towards the end seemed to really get to me!
OMG, that’s phenomenal! CONGRATULATIONS! That’s amazing! And you were worried!
I need to find someone willing to run slow enough with me to pace/push me. Maybe when I become a real runner someday, I can run with the big kids like you guys lol
Congrats again! Absolutely outstanding.
Thanks Kellie! Trust me, I was just as surprised as anyone with my time! Having people to run with definitely helped!
Awesome!! Congrats on the PR!!! And sub 2!! And congrats on surviving the cold – brr!! Just when you think spring has sprung, the cold temps return!
Thanks Emily! Definitely wasn’t expecting it to be quite so cold!
Great recap! I’m so glad I was there to witness your new PR! Such a fun day…..caution runners, speed bumps ahead 🙂
I love running with you guys, can’t wait until next time! : )
Daniielle, congrats on the PR! I Just recently began reading your blog. I love it because your earlier race times are where I’m at right now, so I can elate to your running story. I’ve run 2 half marathons, both at a 10:20 pace finishing in about 2:15. My most recent race was just this past sunday. I’ve completed both of these while training on relatively few miles per week- about 20-25 on average. I was wondering what you did to improve your race times? How many miles a week do you run for training? I think I want to start running more miles per week, but I’m not sure how many I should gradually build up to.
Also, your yoga for runners has been very helpful!
Hi Becca, first of all thank you so much for reading – I’m glad that you can related to my experience and that you are enjoying the yoga for runners!
My weekly mileage really isn’t that high, I probably average only about 20-25 miles a week as well (except when I’m training for a full marathon, then it goes up a bit). I think each person needs to find what works best for them and for me that’s been keeping my mileage pretty low usually running 3-4 days a week and having 1 day be speed work and 1 day be a long run. The Runner’s World Smart Coach app is a great resources for building a training plan, you put in your time goal, average weekly mileage, etc. and it will give you a custom training plan including speed work.
Hope that helps some, please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions, I’m always happy to talk running and yoga!
Thanks for the reply!
For speed do you do usually intervals, fartleks, or tempos?
I will check out the Smart Coach app.
I just started the speed work recently, but so far I’ve done intervals (usually 5 miles of 800 hard/ 400 jog) and temp runs. The nice thing about that Smart Coach app is it actually gives you the paces you should do these workouts at to see improvement!
I just checked out the app- I’m excited to get rolling with it!
I am so sorry I missed congratulating you on such a huge accomplishment! (I was out of town for nearly a week and missed loads of great blog posts, obviously!) Way to go on kicking 2;00 hours to the curb. So excited for you! That is my goal and now I am so close…..hopefully next half.
Thank you so much Pam! I was just as surprised as anyone to break 2 hours so soon, to be honest it was actually my long term goal for this year! Time to set a new goal I guess!
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