I’m a little late getting this recap up, but such is
laziness life, right? Right.
So, as I mentioned in my Bronx 10 Mile recap, the Staten Island Half wraps up my goal to run each of the five NYC borough namesake races in 2018, which differs slightly from NYRR’s Five-Borough Series. I ran the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half, the Brooklyn Half Marathon, Queens 10k, Bronx 10-mile, and now the Staten Island Half. Doing all of these races will get you guaranteed entry into the following year’s NYC Half Marathon, which is rad, but you don’t, otherwise, get anything special. Not that I need anything special. This also my fourth race in five weeks.
Race morning started off
dark bright and early with a 5am alarm. I threw on my clothes and got out the door to drive to Staten Island. Living in Jersey City makes getting to Staten Island via public transit a pain in the butt so I decided to drive and make my morning a lot easier. The drive was quick and easy and I had no trouble finding street parking just a couple of blocks from the race start. I had 20 miles on the day, as I did the weekend before and this past weekend, so I got right to my pre-race miles. I always find it easier to do my extra miles before a race rather than after.
The weather was nice and cool and it was still dark out when I started, but I headed down the direction of the course to knock out my seven-miler. I went just about three out and then came back a bit past the start and then turned around to finish near the porta-potties. Unfortunately, I left myself a little too much time for my pre-race miles and ended up with more than a half hour to wait and hang out in my corral before the race started. I did my best to keep warmed up, but it was chilly and I was sweaty so my body temperature was dropping. On the fortunate side, though, I did run into fellow Team Nuun member Sonia who was out for her long run. It was nice to have a quick little chat with her!
The Staten Island course is rather hilly, as is fitting for a race in Staten Island, so I wanted to make sure I was starting off not too fast. With seven miles on my legs already and being at the end of my first peak week for marathon training, my legs were already beat. I figured a 1:45 would be a reasonable target for the day.
I started with the 1:45 pacer just behind me and, not more than a mile into the race, he tripped and hit the ground hard. He seemed to get up pretty quickly, but oof, that sounded painful. Still, they passed me and stayed just a bit ahead for the rest of the race.
The early miles were uneventful, my legs were super tired so I was counting down until I was done right from the start. I just stayed in my head and trucked through rolling hill after rolling hill. At the turnaround at mile six, I was glad to not be heading out still, but I knew there’d be a bigger hill to climb around mile eight since we had come down it on the out part of this out-and-back.
By now, I had been walking through water stops and grabbing Gatorade to try to get a little extra energy going. The hill at mile eight wasn’t fun, but was a bit better than I had expected. Still, those last five miles weighed heavily on my soul. Despite that, I was starting to pick it up a little as we entered Fort Wadsworth. My legs seem to do this often late in races.
With 5k to go, we were now officially on our way back for the finish. I let my legs run the speed they wanted and I enjoyed a little bit more of a flatter section for a while. As we got inside the last mile, we hit some tough hills again. These were hitting me with 19 miles on my legs for the day and so I felt them hard, but I powered through.
At the top of one hill, we made the final turn towards the finish. Of course, this was also uphill. I had just enough left in me to get to the finish and call it a day.
I was reasonably happy with my result for the day. Given the extra seven miles beforehand, the already tired legs, and the hills, I was happy to still walk away with a negative split.
The Staten Island Half is a bit of a pain to get to and the course isn’t the most interesting, for the most part, but it still felt like a good race. It was, of course, well-organized, as all NYRR races are and it was a nice change of pace from running in Central Park.