I should have been done with my ninth race last weekend, but I totally slept through it. Oops. I went to a friend’s housewarming party last night, but stuck to two drinks and was home by 11 so that I could be up and at ’em early for this race.
My lovely friend/neighbor/Junior League co-chair Shannon was also running the race, so she and her husband gave me a ride out to Prospect Park, which totally beat dealing with the mess that the subway is on the weekends or spending more money than I should on a cab.
Having a nice warm car to sit in also meant that I could wear this and not freeze for too long before starting. (Props to Pearl Izumi for sending me these awesome arm warmers.)
Also, I would like to thank NYRR for allowing me to run with bells on. Literally. (Because I’m always running with bells on, figuratively.)
So, the race itself. You probably want to know how it went, not what I wore, huh?
Well, hang on. So…it was really crowded, like most NYRR races. Prospect Park is significantly smaller than Central Park, though, so it felt even more crowded.
Last night, I thought: this is just a fun race. It’s called a jog. I’ll just take it easy, no need to run balls to the wall.
This morning, as I crossed the first timing mat: I WANNA GO FAST!
So, I shot out my first mile at a 7:56 and foolishly thought I could hang on to that pace for another 2.7 miles. A month ago, that probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but I feel out of running shape right now, and I wanted to die after that first mile. During that first mile, I thought, this is great! I will just try to keep my pace below 8-minute miles for the next 2.7 miles.
Mile 2: seriously? I ran 25.2 more miles than this just over a month ago? HOW? It also got a bit windy during this mile. I went from thinking “just below 8-minute miles!” to… “ooh, under 10 would be great.” I ended up, however, doing this mile in 8:31.
Mile 3: ugh, 3.7 is deceivingly long. It’s cold out. Maybe you shouldn’t have skipped so many workouts in the past month. You need to start running more again. I passed a Port-a-Potty and considered stopping to use it, but I knew I would mentally throw the towel in after that, so I fought through it. 8:52.
Mile 3-3.7: YOU ARE STRONGER THAN THIS. You ran a marathon a month ago. (Wo)man up! The race was a 6K (<– so random) because of construction in Prospect Park, and I’ve never run that distance before, so I had a hard time trying to set a goal. My original goal was under 30:00, which would have been at 8:06 pace; doable when I’m in slightly better shape, but not right now. After that, I decided I’d come in below 32:00, come hell or high water. After the 3-mile mark, I picked up the pace and just sprinted it out to the end.
Cruel? There’s one last turn just before the end, and it is deceptively long. The volunteers shouted “just one more turn, and you’re there!” before we turned. While this was technically correct, I assumed that we’d turn and the finish line would be right there, but it was actually at least another minute of running for me. And 31:03 after I started, I was done. Whew!
I stood and waited for Shannon, wheezing a bit from my poor lungs trying to adjust to the cold air. Two blog readers stopped to talk to me, and I tried really hard to smile through my wheezing.
I am done with 9+1, and I now have guaranteed entry for next year’s NYC Marathon! And I didn’t have to do the Ted Corbitt 15K, which I hate. [Recaps of the other 7 races here. Thankfully, one race I had signed up for and then went away that weekend got canceled, so I only had to do 8!]
And seeing everyone all decked out in Santa hats and socks and the drunk Santas roaming the streets and feeling the chill in the air? Yeah, it’s really beginning to look a lot like Christmas to me, and I can’t wait!