Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cherry Tree

Well this certainly has been an interesting week. I had a bit of a cold that's been going around early in the week. I was hoping to do my 20 miler earlier in the week because of a 10 mile race I wanted to do today. That didn't work out, I just wasn't up with it so I did 12 on Wed, hoping I'd feel better by Friday to do my 20. HHMMMM, running 20 Friday, racing 10 Sunday. Not ideal but oh well. My idea was to run the 10 as my tempo, warm up 3-4 run the rest tempo.
But I'm jumping ahead. Friday rolls around, I am feeling better. The weather, however, has turned back to it's wintery windy self. It was about 26 with a windchill of 15. This is not what I want to go out and do 20 miles in. Oh well. I loaded up the ipod, put on the Garmin and decided to go out with out a route. I ran around Central Park until I hit 20. I averaged 9:36s. Not bad. It didn't feel bad. I was a bit tired by the end, but that's to be expected, it is 20 miles, the weather is crappy, I'm getting over being sick, and I hadn't run that far since the NYC Marathon. 
Today's 10 miler was out in Prospect Park. It can be done as a 3 person relay or you can do the race of the hardcore and do the whole thing. For those who don't know, Prospect park has no flat areas. At all. It's like a roller coaster which if you do 10, you get to ride 3 times. I love this race. It feels like my whole team comes out to do the relay with more and more people opting for the whole 10 (I sure did miss Muffy's Diving Team this year I must admit). Plus it's small. No chips, nothing fancy, just fun. 
Like I said, my plan was to go out easy and do the last 6-7 miles like a tempo run. Well, plans are meant to not be followed. After a spastic start where my friend Sharon and I couldn't seem to find each other so I could get my number, I was ready to go. I was pretty much pinning it on about 10 seconds before the start. 
And we're off. I looked down at my half assed pinned on number, it was 113. I though, huh, that's cool, my birthday is 1/13, maybe this is a good sign.
 Granted, the first mile is pretty much down hill, I really thought 8:05 was a little fast for what was suppose to be a warm up mile. The big hill would come on mile 2 so I eased up a bit. Up the hill, mile 2 8:32. Ok, that's more like it, for now. Once over the hill, the course goes to rolling. Mile 3 7:53. Ok, so much for warming up, I guess I'm warmed up. Just after mile 3, there's the transition for the relay. I see all the Front Runners there, cheering. 
1 down, 2 to go. 
Our uniforms have a star in a circle on the back. It's a great way to recognize each other from behind. Or it can look like  a target. I see 2 ahead of me. One I know is my friend Les, I'd know that anyway. A 6'3" black man is hard to miss. Next to him, Lynn. Lynn and I consistently run very similar paces. I'm wondering, how on earth is she that far ahead of me? Then I decide I want to catch her. From the looks of it, maybe in the 3rd lap. 
Mile 4 7:36. yea, that's fast, but I did just run that nice down hill that I saw in mile one. Plus now, there's someone I want to catch. 
Mile 5 7:57, starting on the hill. As we get near the top, I close in on Lynn. I call out to her as I pass and we chat for a second. Then I see another Front Runner ahead I ask her who it is but she says she hasn't been able to get close enough to know. Ok, now I have another rabbit.
Mile 6 8:05 with most of the hill.  
Going down the roller again towards mile 7. My other team mate is Meggie who's doing a relay.  In my mind I'm thinking who else on the team is doing 10? Is there anyone ahead of me? Meggie goes into transition and Jess comes flying out for their team's last leg. No way I can stay with her. No way, she's FLYING! 
Mile 7 7:38. Oh yea, that nice start of the last loop down hill! Only one more time up that big hill! I'm running along and hear someone shout GO FRONT RUNNERS! A team mate running the other direction. Not long after he shouts at me, I hear it again. GO FRONT RUNNERS! 
Crap. Who's so close to me?
I turn around, it's Lynn. 
Ok, I passed her once, now I want to hold her off.
Mile 8 8:04 as I start up the hill for the last time. This is it, this is the 3rd time, I dont have to come up this again, just get over it. I'm going through the park in my mind. There's a lot of down hill to come at the end of this. I look at my watch: 1:03:54. Can I get under 1:20? How awesome would that be? I was hoping to be last years time of 1:24:04, really just wanting to get near 1:22 and now I'm thinking about 1:20.
Mile 9 8:13. The big hills are done, one mile to go. 
Just after I pass the 9 mile mark, I see Kieran, another Front Runner, running the other way. He's already finished his 10. He turns around and asks me how I'm doing and what I'm aiming for. I tell him I want to get under 1:20. He looks at his watch and says, ok, let's go. Kieran ran a few feet away from me urging me to move my ass with his sweet Irish voice. Oh I was moving my ass alright, I'm pretty sure I was drooling. I passed a guy I had been yo yoing with the whole race and he let's out a cheer for me. I'm looking at my watch, I'm looking and the small rolling hills, knowing I have one more small corner to go around and it's all down hill. I am flying. As I come in, I can make out the blue and orange of FRNY in a blur. I see the finish and the clock which says 1:19:42 as I cross. I hit my watch which says 1:19:21 (no chip timing). I am dizzy with happiness. Right on my heels is Lynn. Not far behind her, my long time training pal, Claudia. I stumble around for a few minutes then go to thank Kieran.
I changed and hung out to watch everyone else finish before heading over to Sandi's for a huge team brunch. 
Since this is all paper timed, no official results yet. Oh how spoiled we are! Where is my instant gratification!
This race has given me a world of confidence. I can't wait to see what I do when actually taper for something.


Girl In Motion said...

Whoa, missy, GREAT report! Great RACE!!! I am utterly thrilled with your insanely big PR today. And that you beat your teammates(sorry if they read this) so handily. NJ is looking fabulosos for the Doggie Girl, that's for sure. Celebrate tonight and eat something crappy! You deserve a vat o' chocolate.

L.A. Runner said...

A 5 minute PR???!!! That's is awesome stuff, especially considering you had a hard week before the race! Wow- amazing! Great job beating your friend, too.

DogPound said...

I think I'm just getting faster from read your and GIM's blogs.

Glorybelle said...

You kicked ass! Nice job on making your sub 1:20 goal.

Anonymous said...

Amazing race
you dont kow me - but you gave me (web based) advice to purchase a Garmin last year around NYC marathon

Please would you tell me what exactly you mean by a "tempo" run - about how much faster than usual or at what HR (compared to normal)?

thanks and pls keep writing - you are inspirational

DogPound said...

Hey Mike,
Thanks for your comment, I remember you from last fall.
here's a link about tempo runs:,7120,s6-238-267--11909-0,00.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you

good luck in NJ


TiredMamaRunning said...

EXCELLENT, doglb! You had a killer weekend, between the solid 20-miler in craptacular conditions, and fighting for that massive PR to boot.

You're gonna be SO ready to kick butt at your spring marathon.

jaysummer4 said...

Way to go! That's a terrific race.

I got to run in Prospect Park a couple of years ago on a NY visit. Loved it.

Robin Gray said...

Great report and well done!!! I was the guy you were yo-yo'ing with. That was an awesome last mile you ran, left me for dust :-)