I love the Mini!
As I thought about a goal, I knew it was going to be a weird one. My 10K outdoor PR is from Rockland Lake, flat as a pancake on a beautiful November afternoon. On the other hand, I knew the race would be a personal course record because I wasn’t trained last year and was injured. On the other other hand, I haven’t touched the Harlem hills since January. I finally set my goal at 1:15:00 with a dream of 1:10:00.
OK, I may love the Mini in theory, but I hated it today and I still hate the 10K distance. I noted the latter when re-reading last year’s recap, but I thought that was probably a thought coming from being undertrained. Nope. Running it as part of a longer run or even a training run? Fine. A race? No thanks.
Rachel and I worked together in the first half of my time at NYC & Company and she’s been an invaluable help as I try to figure out this whole running thing. We were messaging this week and realized the stars might align for pre and post-race meetups. I’m so glad we did this photo pre-race as I don’t think I was smiling this much after.
I had a whole bunch of nerves leading up to today, and I had no idea why. They weren’t based in anything identifiable. I think they were part of what lead to an extra snooze or two. Despite a later start than I wanted, the trains cooperated and I was in my corral by 7:30. It’s weird starting outside the park, but I loved listening to the starts of the professional wheelchair & elite race(s) before the corrals started to go off. This was slightly odd too in that rather than corrals collapsing and a general rolling start, each moved up to the start and then started as a group.
The first mile felt weird. I felt oddly wiped, and my Achilles were achy. I realized why on the former when I saw my watch at mile one. 10:12 (watch), 10:15 (Strava) was way too fast. I didn’t actually feel like I was running that quickly though, and I realized it was warmer than I expected. Although I was dreading the Harlem Hills, miles two and three were pretty decent and I was pleasantly surprised by the West Side rollers not being terrible “in reverse” and even the evil hill behind Lasker Rink didn’t seem as evil as I remembered it. I actually ran a pretty solid if unspectacular 33:30 5K.
As I said on Strava, though, I ran a good 5K and then I hit a wall.
I’m not sure if that wall’s name was heat/humidity, sun, hills or disorientation. I think it was a little bit of all
- the weather was swinging wildly all week, both day to day and in its predictions for today. By yesterday morning it had changed from rain to partly cloudy. By the time this morning dawned, it was full sun and while seasonable for June, we’ve had a relatively unseasonable spring so it was a quick transition to summer, and I haven’t run in heat since Fort Lauderdale, last Saturday’s jog to the gym notwithstanding. I had water in my belt, and stopped at all aid stations, but I was definitely thirstier than I’d liked. Time to recalibrate my water breaks to the right amount of fluid for summer, and probably switch to carrying Propel. And as was the case last year, I was oh so grateful for sprinklers at the last two water stations and at the finish. As much as I don’t like Gatorade, I mixed a dash of it with the water at the finish line to get something besides water into me. I had a brief flare of the “goose bumps” that hit me during Squirrel Stampede, but I was able to run through them
- Disorientation is probably the wrong word, but I have muscle memory for the turns and landmarks when running counter-clockwise in Central Park. That doesn’t work so well in reverse. Apparently I should run in this direction more than once a year. Once I got through the Harlem Hills I was expecting Fred and Cat Hill to come much more quickly and once I got through Cat Hill I thought the bottom of the Park would come more quickly. I think part of the latter was that I was just done.
During mile six I’d pretty much decided I wasn’t going to run Queens. The 800m to go signs were not helping, nor was the peekaboo view of the finish when I knew I still needed to round the bottom of the park, and it was taking all I had in me not to walk it in. And of course the finish is atop a (small) hill. There’s no rational reason for this. I can do 10K, it’s just brutal in a race when the mind wants to be done at 5 miles. Time for some mental training to go with the physical? It doesn’t help that three of the four 10K races I’ve done were in warmer weather than I’d like, I’m sure.
Debriefing with Rachel at Naumberg Bandshell was helpful as was running through the aforementioned sprinkler. The race didn’t (just) suck because I haven’t trained on hills in five months. The heat was a thing. If a way more experienced runner can struggle, it’s OK that I did too. And I know what I need to do to make it suck less. Go back to Mile High Run Club and hit the Hills instead of doing my favorite 15K loop that avoids them. Alas, I don’t think that will happen before the next run that features them-surprisingly for a 5M. And yes, I’m absolutely running Queens next weekend. Haven’t decided whether I’m actually going to do the NYC Half next year, but I’m so close to 4/6 that I want the guaranteed entry in case I do run it.
And although I hit a wall, my second 5K wasn’t terrible at 37m. It’s a sixteen minute course PR and I nearly hit my dream goal despite running 30 seconds per mile slower than last weekend’s race. So I’m happy, despite not being satisfied if that makes any sense?
Speaking of the aforementioned next run featuring the hills, SparklySoul was at the post-race festival and a little retail therapy goes a long way. In the clearance bin I found this, which will be perfect the Pride race. I don’t always run in headbands, but sometimes you just must. The festival had a meet & greet with Desiree Linden, and if I ever did a runfession, I’d say that I had no interest in standing on that line. She’s amazing, a force of nature, but there was no way I’d come up with an interesting thing to say and the line was just too long. I’m sure they’ll be an NYRR Run Center opportunity.
I didn’t have it in me to run home so I walked, and by the time I got to some shade near Conservatory Water I was a little more smiley than the finish, and maybe a hair more mature than last year? Err, the sprinkler might say otherwise.
Training This Week:
remarkably close to what I laid out last week. Higher mileage than recently due to Saturday race following a Sunday one. I have come to like Saturday races giving me Sunday to sleep in. Linking up with Wendy and HoHo as per usual.
- Monday, I was a little sore so I decided rather than cross train I’d just stretch well at the gym and walk home.
- Tuesday, escaped on time for a Central Park run. Calves were whingy, so I didn’t push it and had a good stretch after.
- Wednesday, #GlobalRunningDay. So much fun. I did one of NYRR’s happy hours and I didn’t lose the group! We did the bridle path, which I’d somehow never run before. I love it and will absolutely be doing it again. So zen! I was a bouncing fool at the end and got to chatting to some fun folks. Dana was the coach and while I doubt I could actually do Tempo Tuesdays, I liked her style. Maybe in the fall. Also learned, butt kicks and high knees make for a fun and silly warm up, way better than aerobics which I cannot do. Also cool, Team for Kids ambassador Molly Huddle was at the Run Center just before all the runs headed out.
- Thursday, wanted to run before a morning meeting but I overslept and just got in a quick 20m run. I love how morning runs make me feel and wish I could convince myself to do them more often
- Friday, complete rest day. I went to the beach with a book or three after work. Hit my step goal, but that was it.
- Saturday, the 10K. I didn’t run to or from the race as I wasn’t feeling it before hand and it was too hot after.
Total Mileage: 20.3 and I hit 300 on the year.
Plan for Week:
(aka, why I need to get back on a training plan)
- Monday, run of undetermined length
- Tuesday/Wednesday -off, most likely, due to work
- Thursday, run of undetermined length
- Friday, short shakeout or cross train as I really don’t want to run three days a in a row
- Saturday, Queens 10K