Race number 20 was the Race for Central Park. We ran the 4-mile middle loop counter-clockwise, finishing on the 72nd Street Transverse.
Goals: to run between water stations and to run at 9:30 pace (it was already 78°F when I got up at 6:30!)
It has been a month since my last race (I still haven’t written recaps for 2 races from June) and this was my first week of training, after 2 weeks mostly off. I had originally hoped for a 9-minute mile pace, but knew the heat would make things difficult. I decided against a warm-up, so I was able to sleep in again. I ran into Seth near the port-a-potties and he pointed out Rachel for me. We hung out until it was time to drop bags and hit the corrals. I knew from the heat and humidity that there was no way I could go all out, so I just dropped back at the start and tried to keep it slow. I never felt like I was working hard, but every time I stopped running I felt like I was burning. I used my inhaler again at the first water station and that helped a lot. I made it to the second water station without any extra walk breaks, but lost it in the third mile. I felt like I was stopping every few feet or so. I reset my goal, hoping to finish in under 40 minutes and, as a secondary goal, to finish in under 40 on the official clock. I got myself back in the game for the last mile, but not soon or fast enough.
I found Rachel right after the race and we were chatting with her friend, Lindsey (sp?), about running half marathons. Mark found us and we talked until it was time for me to head home to get ready for my volunteer shift at the NYC Tri.
Official stats: my official time was 38:33, for an average pace of 9:38. My splits were 9:31, 8:48, 11:12, and 9:07. I was 2860 out of 4607 total runners, putting me in the 38th percentile. It was in 79°F with 65% humidity and haze.
Consolation treats: I stopped at Bouchon Bakery on the way home and had a cup of hot chocolate (I know it was hot, but I’m restricted to soft food until further notice, so no cookies or cakes for me). I also hit Whole Foods and got myself a chocolate mousse (very soft!)
Next up: NYC Half Marathon (7/27), Disneyland Half Marathon (8/31) (believe it or not, there are no NYRR races in August, though I might run the final Media Challenge)
Race pictures plus some random city shots are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157606277065200/
Bonus Recap! To counteract my dissatisfaction at being forced to volunteer at an NYRR race in order to automatically qualify for the NYC marathon (I run dozens of NYRR races and don’t feel I should have to choose one to NOT run), I volunteered for the NYC Triathlon. I signed up for the expo, to avoid being stuck in the heat all day, but was reassigned to the yellow transition area. I got there (despite all efforts by the MTA to keep me from getting downtown) at 1:30 and was assigned to check bar ends as the cycles were brought into the transition area. It turns out that if the cycle doesn’t have bar ends, the rider will be penalized. If there is a wreck on the course, an open bar end could impale someone. Most people were okay with their bar ends (or had bikes that don’t have them), but I did catch a fair number who had to go to the Toga tent to get them replaced, so I saved them from penalties.
I was also back-up security (there was only one guard at our gate) and had to make sure that only yellow-banded participants came in (which led to trouble when parents tried to bring in their young kids) and no bikes got out. Most people were nice about it, but some people threw fits. I’m impervious to fits, though, so they didn’t get past me and neither did their kids. Or pets. Or the guy who left his media pass at the hotel. Of the people who brought their kids with them and had to choose to either leave their kid outside the transition area alone or trust someone to rack their bike for them (we lost two volunteers during the afternoon – one left and the other was reassigned), my favorite was the last guy I had to stop. I had already trained my replacement and was getting ready to head home, so, as he stood there apologizing for causing trouble, I offered to rack his bike. He agreed, thanking me profusely, and off I went. When I’d finished, I heard him call to me from the fence, thanking me and apologizing again. I was glad to see him, because I was worried that he’d be confused about where his bike was during the event.
I had wondered if volunteering would inspire me to sign up for next year’s triathlon (volunteers get automatic early entry), but all I could think about was how stressed everyone seemed. I did get to see my friend, Stephen, though, and was able to wish him luck! Maybe I'll come back as a volunteer next year.