Sunday, July 19, 2009

Right then, right there I feel this burning pain

Yesterday was the Run for Central Park 4 miler. Let me just say, I do not enjoy racing in this hot sticky weather. If this wasn't a team points race, I would have been home with my feet up, drinking my morning beverage, watching the Tour. 
A little background story on why I run these team races: when I joined Front Runners in 1999, we couldn't field a women's team (a team is 5). It took a few years before we were able to. It was a goal of mine and a few others to get a team of women out there. Now, 10 years later, we have no problem doing that. We are by no means the best out there, usually finishing somewhere between 10-14th each race. But we're out there! And that's important to me so I always try to be out there too.
Now on to the race. The heat wasn't the problem, it was as it is often said in this part of the country, the humidity. The official race site says it was 70 degrees (I dont believe that, MAYBE at the start) with 94% humidity. You need a snorkle to run through that. I warmed up by running to the start, 3.2 miles. 
I lined up with team mates RayK and Megan. Rachel is running the SF marathon next week, so no running hard for her (oh except her 6:32 last mile!). Megan and I hemmed and hawed about what we were going to run. I suggested trying to break 30, she was game for that.  The first mile has the biggest hill of the race, Cat Hill. This is good, it keeps me from going out too fast and then it's out of the way. We went through mile 1 in 7:36. Mile 2 has some fast down hill but I didn't want to go crazy. Mile 2 7:26. Mile 3. Oh mile 3. I've had long meaningful conversations with people about mile 3. I hate mile 3. Here's mile 3 and mile 4:

So mile 3 is a bit uphill. Really it's not killer, but at that point in the race, most people seem to slow down. I'm not exception. Megan pulled ahead of me a bit and I couldn't really stay with her. Mile 3 7:50. UGH. Luckily, on mile 4 I was able to bridge the gap a bit. Mile 4 is mostly down hill so it's fast. The final turn to the finish is in the 72 st transverse. It can be a total night mare with all the tourists trying to get to Strawberry Fields and having no idea how to cross the street during the last quarter mile of a race (hint: don't). I could see Megan just ahead of me. I figured she had about 10 seconds on me and I wouldn't be able to catch her. Mile 4 7:15.  Finish time: 30:10. Megan finished 30:08. I have no idea how it was only 2 seconds. Ugh. Right past the finish, she turned to me and said that was HARD. It was. It was like running while being water boarded. We finished 13th out of 26 with Megan first and me 2nd.(Rachel with her "easy run" still finished 4th for the team).
Then it was time for brunch and my post run Coke. Post run is the only time I drink soda, I dont even really like it but right then it tastes so good.
Today, long run day. I wanted to get out early so I could get home to see the end of today's Tour stage. I started at 7am. I figured I'd run easy and do 16-17. I ran down the West Side hwy to meet up with the Front Runners doing this week's long run. I was in no hurry. I had no intention of running hard at all. Today was such a better day. Touching the upper 60s, almost no humidity. I did 16.6 miles at 9:39 pace. My average heart rate? 140. (my max is 200 for you geeks out there) 140 is about what I hover around on recovery runs so I'd say this was a very good run for having raced yesterday. I end this week with 45 miles on the nose.


L.A. Runner said...

Great job on the race, as usual. That weather is pretty brutal for NYC, isn't it? Way to hang tough! Something about running hard makes me want carbonation, too, but I prefer diet coke. Keep plugging away, dear!

DogPound said...

well, it's not atypical for NYC. We've had a very cool summer so far so I can't really complain. It's just NOT fun to run hard in.

Girl In Motion said...

You're such a toughie for racing in those conditions. Great job and congrats on not melting entirely.

Anonymous said...

Wish me luck for the SFO 1/2 tomorrow
Awesome article on how you have improved

DogPound said...

Mike, let me know how your half went!

Anonymous said...

I did the first 1/2
I finished in 1hr57 - 55.5% age grade
Nice cool weather
I have a LONG way to go if i hope to get under 4hrs in New York in November - havent given up on it yet, but hope the "mid-long" at pace and speed workouts in the Yasso plan help
Great w/out for you today