Race number 16 was the Japan Day 4-Mile Run. We ran the middle loop, starting and finishing on the 102nd Street Transverse.
Goals: to run between the water stations and to finish in under 36.
I am trying to get back into my marathon training, so I had planned to run 4 miles before the race and then 4 miles after. Because my subway line is still messed up (bus to train), I had to get up earlier than I’d hoped, but I managed to get to the Park right at 7. I dropped off my bag and started my warm-up. I ran the race course, so that if I got behind, I would be able to start the race as I came around to the transverse again. It was warm, but I tried to keep it slow and I walked up the hills. I’d given myself 45 minutes to run the 4 miles, but I was running 10-minute miles, even with my long walk breaks.
I was supposed to meet Roxy in the yellow corral, but it was impossible to find anyone. They’d only set up 3 of the 10 or so corrals, so there was a lot of mingling going on. I did find Rachel, though, and we chatted a bit before the race started. She took off, looking strong. It had gotten warmer or more humid and it was harder to breathe this time around. I was able to make it to the first water station without walking, but then decided to walk when I got to the 2nd mile marker on the 72nd Street Transverse. I got hotter and hotter and had more and more trouble breathing and ended up walking partway up Cat Hill. I’d been watching out for runners in skirts with ponytails to see if I could find Roxy, but she caught me walking up Cat. I tried to run with her, but had to stop to walk again. Three walk breaks in one mile killed any chance of making my goal. After cresting Cat, I ran to the 3rd mile water station, then, after that walk break, was determined not to stop again until I’d finished. As I was passing the walkway near the top of the baseball fields, I saw a commotion to my right and saw a runner collapse. Someone caught him and a small crowd gathered, but I ran up to every volunteer I passed to tell them about the collapsed runner, anyway. The medical tent was just before the finish and I stopped briefly to tell them, then tried to go back after I’d finished, but one of the court marshals wouldn’t let me go back and told me to walk around, even though I’d explained that there was a collapsed runner. I found another volunteer and he pulled out a map, asked me exactly where I’d seen the runner collapse, and took off. I got my chip clipped, then drank some water. I found Rachel, then Mayumi, then Roxy, then Lou. I didn’t win anything in the raffle. I’d been hoping for the trip to Japan, so I could give the tickets to my sister. She was born while we lived there and I think she would like to take her husband to see her birthplace.
Roxy and I took off for the 4-mile cool-down, but I didn’t get very far. We decided to walk it, though, because the Japan Day Festival didn’t start until 10. We got as far as the Marionette Theater, then cut across the Park to get back to the East Meadow. We passed the Shakespeare Garden and the Belvedere Castle, which overlooks the Turtle Pond. The Festival had started by the time we got there, but the food wasn’t going to be ready for about a half hour and the lines were already long. We wandered around the tents, received loads of tea (both cans and bags), took advantage of a Hello Kitty photo op, then walked back to 59th Street for lunch – pizza at Whole Foods. Yum!!
Official stats: my official time was 38:02 for an average pace of 9:30. My splits were 9:05, 9:20, 10:54, and 8:48. I was 1589 out of 2490 total runners, putting me in the 36th percentile. It was 65°F with 87% humidity.
Consolation treats: While waiting for my Dr Pepper to slush up, I was able to instantly gratify my slushy Dr Pepper yearning with a Dr Pepper freezer pop, thanks to Pete, who told me about them (and would have sent them from CA, if I hadn’t found them in NYC). I also had a bag of Worcester Sauce potato chips from the UK, a hamburger cupcake, and a gold-leaf-covered dark chocolate Buddha, which I’ve been saving for this occasion.
Race pictures are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157605348385359/
Pictures from my weekend in the UK are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157605290657770/
Pictures of Central Park are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157605343065862/