I love Flushing Meadows-Corona Park so despite the long haul out there, I was looking forward to running this race. It also happened to be “free” as I cashed in my New Balance rewards for a bib. Way more excited about cutting back on race fees than I am about saving money on shoes. I thought briefly about goals, but didn’t know enough about the course beyond NYRR’s “fast, flat” description to set any meaningful ones.
I was happy to be in Wave II which meant an 8:15 start vs. 7:45. “Sleeping in” until 5:30 was lovely. Luckily, trains cooperated perfectly and I got to the Park in time to check my bag (in awe of those who can do without at least a book!) join the insane lines for the port-a-potties. Besides lost sleep, the only down side of a race with a commute. Usually for Central Park races, pre-departure bathroom stop is sufficient. Corrals had collapsed by the time I got to the start so I slid in where I saw a mix of JKLs. Like last week, this was a full step up and start as a group, but it went faster as only G-L were in Wave II.
It was warmer than I expected and I decided quickly that this race was going to be like the Fort Lauderdale Half: go with a plan or finish smiling. I opted to finish smiling and to quote Rachel who cheered me in at the finish “you looked so strong”. So smiling and strong became the new plan. I realized during mile one that “flat” included highway overpasses and realized that flat isn’t a universal comment, although this is certainly less hilly than Central Park.
Part of the plan that I did stick to is more water at the water breaks. For all the cool & cold runs I’d really only stopped enough to wet my throat, but June temps require actually drinking and since I haven’t quite mastered drinking and running (or walking) I slowed down and paused at the water stops to drink about a full cup of water. And yes, I enjoyed every sprinkler. I’d rather finish slightly slower and not wiped from the heat.
Unlike last week, the earlier miles were harder than the latter ones. I needed to settle into a groove and I don’t think I was hydrated enough before the day as I was on the go most of Friday. While this wasn’t one I could run to and therefore warm up, I think that’s part of why Italy was my best run this month. Going to try to run to both next weekend (yes, both. EEK!). The first 5K was a struggle but the second half went quite quickly. I think not knowing exactly where the end was helped.
I dubbed the route a squiggle. The 80s child in me saw an etch-a-sketch masterpiece. What I loved about it was passing all of the Queens culturals that have made their home on the side of the former Worlds Fairs. It certainly makes for more diverse scenery than other Park runs. It also really helped me realize where some of them are in relation to one another as I usually to a hub-spoke approach from the 7 Train at Citi Field. What I don’t have, is photos. I wish I had a shot of the unisphere “rising” as we crossed the second of the overpasses, but I saw it too late to stop and had too much crammed in my phone pouch to take it out on the run. So, no photos. Generally an indicator if I’m feeling under the weather.
During the run, I wasn’t happy as I thought the time was going to be a disaster, but other than mile five (crowded water stop, another overpass), I found a sweet spot and just stuck with it. I’m pretty impressed with my consistency and I know there’s something to be said for the heat & humidity resulting in a lower pace. So maybe summer is the time to ease off PR chasing? It’s really not fair to compare it to more moderate weather.
Crossed the finish, got my awesome medal and caught up with some friends who were also running. Yay for mini reunions. I had the best laid plans of changing into comfy clothes and relaxing in the park, but it was hot and my allergies were flaring big time so I headed back to the train. I realized too late when I looked at Instagram that the unisphere medal in front of the Unisphere would have been awesome. I’d say next time, but I don’t think I’ll run this one again. It was fine and fun, but it’s a long haul for a 10K. I got back to the city, hit the gym for their foam roller-legs feeling pretty good today and happily handed off the post-race bag. I hate throwing that out, but I’m not a Gatorade/Power Bar person so was happy for it to go to good use. I came home and then pretty much chilled out for the day. I needed a mental health day after a busy week.
- Monday, I needed a break from the world. Following the bridle path to its end was the perfect answer. I actually should have realized that it connects with the reservoir path from a billion and a half times running the latter, but it was a “duh” moment on a beautiful Monday night. Would have gone longer but for the time and needing to get back to NYRR to collect my clothes.
- Tuesday/Wednesday – off as planned
- Thursday – supposed to be a run day but I realized when I got to the gym that I’d forgotten my watch and headphones. My head wasn’t in it to begin with and I lasted about 30 seconds on the treadmill. So I walked home. It happens.
- Friday – morning shakeout to test the calves because I knew I’d want the downtime after work. Mission accomplished.
Plan for the Week:
- Monday – treadmill run. We’re hitting 90 and this delicate flower doesn’t do outdoor runs at 90. Possibly also kettlebell depending on how legs feel after Saturday’s.
- Tuesday – off, work event.
- Wednesday – TBD
- Thursday – run of undetermined length
- Friday – off
- Saturday – Pride Run. New to me NYRR race. I think I have a fun outfit planned. I’m not crazy about this 5M course as it’s the Harlem Hills, but it is what it is. No PR chasing. Goal is just to have fun and finish smiling while celebrating LOVE.
- Sunday – Achilles 4M. Love their work. Standard 4M loop but not sure what legs will feel like after hilly 5M the day before so this may be a fun run.
All these races in June was more than a little over ambitious. So I’ll be glad for some down time and sleep. Maybe. I was wide awake at 7:30 this morning but coaxed myself back to sleep.