Posted on Oct 30
Kim Smith VS New York City; Team New Balance Marathoner Makes This Her Race
Sunday, November 3rd some 48,000 people will run the ING New York City Marathon. Team New Balance will have New Zealand’s Kim Smith in the front of the elite women’s field hoping to make this her race. Smith, coming off her giant, blowout win in the BAA ½ Marathon in Boston in early October, has reason to be confident as she’s finding her entire year pointing to this event. We caught up with Kim between training sessions to hear about her year, her diet, and what she’s expecting in NYC. Whether you’re new to the sport or a long time fan of running, you’ll be interested to hear what Kim Smith has to say before NYC.
@NBRunning: How important is New York City for you this year?
@KimSmithNZ: It's been a bit of a rough year this year with some injuries and I’ve found myself here with a big focus on this race. It's ended up being the focus of this year. Back in 2008 I ran my first race in NYC but dropped out, ran 2010 and 2011 (TIMES RESULTS), and then with Hurricane Sandy hitting last year, well you know that we didn’t get to race.
@NBRunning: Last year was intense for many reasons and obviously everyone who was in NYC and in the neighboring communities remember where they were when the storm came in. Where were you when the race was officially canceled? What was that vibe like in the elite racing community?
@KimSmithNZ: I remember I was in the hotel lobby and I’d been thinking that the race would be canceled… When it was officially announced, people seemed upset on both sides, because people were really angry that the race was going to go on and in my world, I was surrounded by all the runners that had trained all year for a race that didn’t happen. It was a disappointment for many reasons.
@NBRunning: Talk about the racecourse itself. I’m going into my first NYC marathon this year and would love some inside tips on what to look out for.
@KimSmithNZ: The race is pretty amazing overall. You’ll find the Central Park hills get pretty hard … the crowds in most parts that are deep and loud … but coming off the big bridge into 1st Ave after all of the silence on the bridge, when you turn the corner onto 1st Ave (mile 16), it's just a giant loud crowd. You have to be careful there because people really go hard because of the excitement and there is a lot of race left from that point. Pacing is very important to any race this long. Going out hard because of race day excitement is always something I tell people to look out for.
@NBRunning: What are you eating to train and win major marathons?
@KimSmithNZ: Having a healthy diet comes when you’re getting enough of everything. With hundreds of miles a week you have to sustain the energy you’re tapping into each day. You really need to refill the stores - protein within 30 minutes of each training session is key. Carbs before races to get stores is also extremely important. I just eat healthy simple foods. Nothing too tricky.
@NBRunning: Do you have a weakness? Are there foods you crave?
@KimSmithNZ: Yes, I have a sweet tooth. I like sugar a lot, but I’m a little lucky that I don’t really have to worry about weight. I don’t believe you should abstain from anything; as long as you’re training hard enough you should have the things that make you feel good.
@NBRunning: What do you say to new runners or those thinking about giving the sport a try?
@KimSmithNZ: The great thing about running is that pretty much anyone can do it, you just need a pair of running shoes. It’s a cheap sport to get into, doing local 5ks and 10ks are usually a great places to start out, but it does become addictive, and a marathon will come up for many people who fall in love with running. The marathon is funny because it's hard for everyone, for elites and new runners. We’re in it together.
@NBRunning: What will be on your feet for NYC?
@KimSmithNZ: The RC 1600 . I really like the shoe. It's lightweight and comfortable, and I have been training and racing in it with no blisters. I really like them.
@NBRunning: You’re coming off a big win in Boston where you owned the field for 13.1 miles. How are you feeling with this much turnaround time between races?
@KimSmithNZ: I’ve had to take it easy after the ½ because NYC was only 3 weeks away. When there is $100K for the winner like in Boston it changes things a little; I pretty much had to race. In Boston I felt very strong going up the hills, which, as you know, is encouraging going into NYC, a hilly course. There is no question that Boston was a good confidence builder.
@NBRunning: When you’re out in front, leading the race, do you feel more pressure from within or do you feel in control in that position?
@KimSmithNZ: It makes me more confident when I’m in the lead; I feel very in control. And to cross first is always a great feeling. Winning a big race as an elite is a big deal and you have to take time to celebrate that, savor and enjoy those moments.
@NBRunning: Who are you looking for as main contenders in New York this year?
@KimSmithNZ: NYRR always puts out a good field and this year is obviously a strong field. There's a world champion in the mix… its a packed field... there's a bunch of other women who have done very well. In a major, being in the top three is huge and I would love to be in the top three. Again, the women in this race are fast.
@NBRunning: Do you have any idea what to expect for times? What would you be happy with on the clock as you cross the line?
@KimSmithNZ: I’m not sure about the times. Each year can be very different. They matter, but ... I’ll give you an example: In 2012 I finished New York in 4th with a time of 2:29. That race was a pretty slow 20 miles and what felt like a 6-mile dash at the end. And if you look at 2011, I went 2:25 and finished 5th after everyone went out super fast and then died as I got back into the front group. Not really thinking about times at all. This race is about finishing in the top three.