The Holiday 4-miler was my 34th and final race of the year. We ran counterclockwise around the 4-mile course of Central Park, starting and finishing on the 102nd Street Transverse.
Goals: To run between water stations and to finish with a 10:00 pace (40:00).
As some of you know, I’ve been sick off and on since the end of October. This was my first race since the NYC marathon (recap to come) and I’ve barely run 20 miles since then. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Every run has been a struggle. But, there was no way I was going to miss the last race of the year and certainly not the Holiday 4-miler!! I want my hot chocolate!! Not to mention, Freaky and Crazy Legs were going to be running it, too!
I took it easy this week and even waited to pick up my gear on race day, which I usually do in winter, anyway, because it’s very inconvenient to go to the NYRR office for pick-up during the week. The races start much later in winter (9:30 in this case), so I was able to sleep in and take my time getting there. Imagine my surprise when there was a line around the block for number pick-up! I hurried to the end and kept my eye out for Freaky and Crazy Legs. They got there shortly after I did. The line moved pretty quickly, but it was really cold and Freaky was shivering pretty badly by the time we got inside. After getting ourselves sorted, chipped and bibbed, we headed over to the start together. We passed Lou Just Lou warming up on our way over, so I just called hello. I decided to skip the warm-up myself. I dropped off my bag and went over to the start, looking for Lana and Bonnie, but finding Freaky and Crazy Legs instead. We started together, but they both quickly passed out of sight. The first couple of miles were a real struggle. I felt like I was pushing myself forward, dragging my body through a thick fog, and was already wheezing within the first mile. I made it to the first water station, just past the first mile marker, and was grateful for the walk break. I tricked myself through the next mile, but telling myself that the next water station would be just after the 72nd Street Transverse. It wasn’t, but by then, I was already more than halfway through the race and all I had to do was talk myself up Cat Hill to get to the next water station. One of the benefits of running so many of these races is that I know where they usually put the water stations. This time, I got it right - the water station was right across from the Met. I walked my way through the water station and used my inhaler to stop the wheezing. I started running again and the retching started right before the third mile marker. It wasn’t totally unexpected, but I’d made it through the first 3 miles and thought I might make it all the way. I kept to the side, but it stopped and I turned the corner onto the flat final mile and was able to pick it up a bit. At this point, I was finally feeling comfortable. I didn’t understand what had changed, but I went with it, finishing the final mile in 8:16!! I should have done that warm-up, after all! I had my first hot chocolate of the season and then Freaky, Crazy Legs and I headed off downtown together.
Official stats: I finished in 36:31 for an average pace of 9:07 over the 4 miles. I was 2618 out of 4951 total finishers, putting me in the 47th percentile. It was 29°F with 36% humidity and 6 mph winds. My splits from my watch were: 9:33, 9:14, 9:29, and 8:16.
Consolation treats: Freaky, Crazy Legs and I met up after the race for bubble tea, dim sum, followed by a food tour along Broome Street. When I got home, I had a chocolate brownie from Pret a Manger and my usual slushy Dr Pepper.
Thank you for all your support!
Pictures from the race and random pictures are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157603472609848/ and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157603476592217/