Two years ago I was introduced to the NYRR 60k, which some fellow PPTC members ran 2 weeks after the NYC marathon. Here's how it went for me...
They say a half marathon is half crazy and 26.2 miles is full on crazy. So what's running 37.28 miles 2 weeks after a marathon? You can fill in the blank yourself, but for everyone who did the NYRR 60K yesterday, they called it a fun day.
I was skeptical. 9 loops of Central Park. And I wasn't sure I would recover in time. They said a marathon distance is a good training run, but not when you're probably racing it, which I ended up doing 2 weeks ago (ok, I planned to run slower, but that's beside the point).
So my recovery went well, I still had/have PF issues, that I was managing ok. And I fit in 5 recovery-ish runs afterwards, within the 2 weeks between, to keep loose, my sanity and confidence.
On race morning, I was tired and cold.
The night before, my boss invited me to a board game night at her and her boyfriend's place, together with other co-workers, so I didn't get the exact rest I wanted. I did get to eat some carby and salty chinese food, which I've found a good pre-race meal for me. I also brought non-alcoholic beer to their place from Athletic brewery, which is the best non-alcoholic beer I've ever had! Going to and from her place was also a challenge, because the Q train wasn't running, instead replaced with bus service, which led me to stand out in the cold, longer than I would for a train....hence why my body temperature wasn't to par race day morning.
Despite the body temperature challenges, I remembered when I ran the Tito's Trail and Tacos 50k, early this year, the temperature was similar, so I dressed the same.
To add on to it, I felt rushed because it took me longer than expected getting to Central Park, with 15 minutes to spare. Luckily PPTC cheerers and pacers were setup on the way to the start, so I dropped my backpack and change of clothes off, hurried to hand my drop bag off, that had my fuel, and quickly hit the portapotty.
I barely popped into the one corral just as the race was about to start. My sneakers weren't even tightly tied and I didn't do a good job pulling enough gels from my drop bag. I eventually did stop to tighten one but the other was still loose.
I had a few pacers lined up, thanks to Rachel's excellent spreadsheet! Lisa and Maya were my first pacers. They did a great job making the time go by quickly and at a conservative pace the first 2 hours or about 13 miles, at a 9:30 to 10 min pace.
Christine took over, and we talked about her Ironman experiences. Then as a surprise, Justin popped in with us and his Tunisian friend (Olia?). Christine finished her hour with me and went to pace someone else, but Olia continued for another loop (she was training for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and putting in a 20 miler).
Michael Franco was supposed to take over, but when he saw I was taken cared of, he paced someone else.
Pafoua was next, and she picked up the pace for me. I did take a quick bathroom break at this point. We ended up doing a few 8 minute-ish miles and she helped me focus on my breathing, which helped me for the rest of the race. She told me later on the pick up in pace was all me and we lightly argued over it on Facebook. I really thought it was her setting the pace!
A good strategy I had since mile 18, was not looking at my watch. I just kept saying I was at mile 21 and this made me feel good. The next time I looked at my watch, I was over marathon distance and this was a great feeling and I was feeling great too!
When Kirstie took over, I was already pumped up from Puf's push and I could tell Kirstie wasn't ready for that. Leo also jumped in, when he couldn't find Eric to pace. They kept me focused for the last 8 miles (2 loops). I was 5h 35 mins in, when I realized I needed an 8 minute pace to beat 6 hours. I had about 3 miles left, so just took off, first losing Kirsty and then Leo (almost feeling bad but knew they'd understand)!
Racing through at an almost 8 minute pace, I crossed the finish line at 6:03, realizing I was doing math based on 36 miles...not 37.2 :) Strava had me at a 5:57 finish time, but that didn't take into account my pit stops, so about 6 minutes was spent at aid stations, which isn't too bad. Something to consider when I run this next year.
Overall I had a great time and because of the support from my running club, it felt more like a party than a race!!
BTW, we were like the only running club there and out of about 400 registrants, we overtook the field with almost 30 members of all different paces, from 4:45 to 10 hour finishers!
More info here from 2 years ago https://pptc.org/blog/nyrr-nyc-60k-race-recap