I normally don’t let the gala eat into my running time, but life happens and sometimes, sleep is the priority. Then I was fighting off random upper respiratory bug. Thankfully not COVID, but so many cooties going around this time of year. So rest was the goal and A+
I run Ted Corbitt every year. It’s too special a race not to, and in fact that legacy is part of what got me out the door to run it last Saturday. It was my sixth and surprisingly 30 seconds/mile faster than last year. I say surprisingly because I feel like my running has been a mess this year.*
I didn’t pick up my bib and shirt until Friday as work was absolutely bananas. Even when I had them, I wasn’t sure I was going to run. The Florida runs had been a slog and 15K is a lot to gut out. But I woke up in the mood to run, the weather was gorgeous, and knew a full weekend of work would go better after a run, so I decided to take advantage of several thousand running friends and run as long as I was feeling good. I left late-a theme you’ll see more on later!-and ended up turning my warm up walk into a run to get into the start. Ooops. That meant my throwaway got tossed pretty much at the start as I was nice and warm, and it was almost too warm to run in my beloved 2017 Ted shirt!
With the course, I had an easy out at the 10K mark and at miles 1-5, I expected I’d be taking it. I was mentally and physically exhausted, but I was feeling good run wise and drawing some motivation from the crowds. There were some good signs and decent crowd support, which isn’t always the case for a in-park race.
At the 10K mark I made my decision and kept heading north. While I prefer the 102nd Street start to this race for reasons of convenience (and Cat Hill not being Mile 1), the E. 65th St. start and 72nd St. transverse finish make for a good course. I said to friends via text that I was going to try not to walk Cat Hill because if I started walking in mile 1 I’d be toast, but I did, and I wasn’t. I wasn’t using strict intervals, but the walk breaks made the runs faster. I said it last year, and maybe I”ll mean it for 2024, but doing a 15K undertrained is silly but thankfully this time it wasn’t painful. Just the expected DOMS from the hills.
As for my medal buddy? I knew Le Petit Prince had arrived but never passed it, until I did en route to the start. My route out of the park took me past Alice, but she was crowded and didn’t need a medal. Also, I’m too short to reach her head. So my French alien friend it was. The audio books on the run theme continues, and I listened to Bravey. What an absolutely heartbreaking yet beautiful account. I couldn’t get into it at all when reading it, and I’m curious whether I’ll have better luck with Deena Kastor’s book, which I similarly struggled with in print.
I laugh when I look at the subhead for my 2019 Ted. Yes, this year’s Run Merry shirt is perfect. Like that year, I made some good dietary choices and wasn’t an over sugared caffeine bomb. The Dunkin’ cut back went out the window, but I rebounded this week so we’re good.
*I accepted reality and dropped from the Frozen Penguin Half to the 5K. 5Ks in January are silly but I can’t skip my first race, and a Half just is not happening. I made that decision before I got sick, but it was going to be right regardless. There is no reason to rush injury.
After Rachel ran Tunnel to Towers with me and Eugena, she got the running bug and wanted a medal. While I have been under motivated to race, I love time with my friends and NYC Runs always puts on a good party so I was happy to celebrate the gala being over. Come race morning I was still dragging which meant I had to haul ass to get to the start on time, but I did by the skin of my teeth. It was another mild December day and the run to the start at E. 90th was pleasant. This race isn’t explicitly holiday-themed but since it was Hanukkah (and the 2023 Run Merry shirt is in the wash), it was time for some blue and white.
I apologize for the accidental near matching with my shoes. The latest candidate for keeping my right leg less cranky is a little bit of Deja Vu since I was in ASICS for the first seven months of my running life until I blamed them for my PF flare and “discovered” New Balance. I’m not feeling the side pinching that I did in the Adrenaline, but I’m still not sold. That said, they’re wonderfully cushy. I referred to my paces in this run to start and race as a bookend: 12:51/12:18/11:41/12:58. I wasn’t racing so I didn’t care, it was just kind of funny.
I think the course was the same as the Central Park Frozen Penguin, and I like that it’s only half of the Three Sisters. The run to the start is a good warm up.
The race was a good kickoff to and warmup for our holiday fun day. None of us needs anything tangible and we don’t get nearly enough time together due to our schedules so we give each other the gift of a day together. Lunch on Arthur Avenue and an evening at the New York Botanical Garden. The whole installation is amazing, but the Apollo particularly resonated since we just honored their outgoing President with a Lifetime Achievement Award.