I'm heading off to Colorado later this week, to visit with my sister, celebrate my birthday and to run a 5k race while I'm there. At the end of last week my mind was already vacationing, so I decided to just say to heck with it and take two whole weeks off of work. So I'm officially on vacation now and I probably won't get back to the blog until sometime after July 4.
This past weekend was rainy - actually this past week has been rainy, I'm getting heartily sick of rain. Saturday was supposed to be our running club's annual picnic. But just before I left to meet the club for our run before the picnic, the skies opened up and starting dumping much water on our soggy area. I bagged the run and went back to bed. The weather was kind of on and off all day, so I wasn't sure if they were having the picnic, but I didn't go to the park to find out.
Sunday dawned dry, if threatening. This time, the skies waited until I was already in the car on the way to the park. I turned around, but the rain would lighten if I headed back home. I did this like three times and finally decided to go all the way to the park and see if there was anyone there.
When I arrived, the walkers were heading out with their umbrellas. About 6 runners were heading back toward the parking lot. They said they were going out and did I want to join them. Now these were the diehards who usually go much longer and faster than I do. I asked how far they were planning to go. The plans called for a 10 mile run. I hesitated. They assured me that they weren't going fast. I decided that I'd go and turn around when I felt I had gone far enough.
We headed out at about a 9:30 - 9:45 pace. I'm not sure because the Garmin couldn't believe I was running and refused to give me a reading. We got to the 3 mile mark and I still felt good, so I didn't turn around. It had started to rain while we were running and I really started to get wet at this point. Soggy shorts, soggy shoes, wet head and rain spots all over my glasses. I ran with Christina and we shared a lot of moaning about the wetness. But I was still feeling pretty good with the running. At about 5 miles there was a bathroom so we stopped for a little while to refresh and to complain. I didn't see any point in turning around as I would have ended up doing 10 anyway, so I continued with them. I finished the 10 miles in about 1:40. This was the farthest run I've ever done. And at what I would have considered a reasonable race pace. Gosh, maybe a half marathon at some point is not totally out of the question :-)
Yesterday, I met Chelly in Manhattan as she had agreed to come with me to get my haircut. I've been talking about going short for a while, but hadn't got up the nerve. Saturday I decided that I was just going for it. I really like it. It's really short. Short enough that a razor was applied to my neck. Short enough that styling consists of running my fingers through it. I took a photo that isn't great, but you can get an idea. The top is longer with fairly short sides. The natural wave is coming out in kind of a tousled look. I figure I could probably use some styling product to encourage it to curl if I wanted a different look. Otherwise, it's just wash and wear.
Today I took my bike out instead of running. I really want to do a 22 mile ride at the end of July and I'm trying to figure out if it is a reasonable wish. I did about 6.3 miles in 40 minutes on the multi-use trail in the park that the running club uses. I knew it was hilly, but I didn't realize just how hilly until I tried it on a bike. I kept thinking that this is so much easier when I run. No wonder I barely notice the hills in Central Park. The bike was practically not moving at some points. But it wasn't too bad. I've never had a bike before and never really rode when I was a kid. Just enough to be capable of not falling down, but not enough to ever get that true comfort that kids get. So I've been having some mental obstacles. It's getting better and I'm pretty comfortable now on the bike paths in the park. I even let it go fast downhill! Auto traffic on the streets is different, though. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to get truly comfortable enough to ride on the city streets with the cars. But I think I can enjoy the bike even with these limitations.
OK, I'm off to Boulder! Have a great Independence Day!
Well, it is about time I got around to saying something about last weekend.
Summer has happened to NYC in a hard way and Sunday I awoke at 5am to temps already in the low 70s. Managed to get everything together and head out to the subway to meet Chelly at Central Park.
The race was pretty uneventful. Except for the weather, which had the temps in the high 70s low 80s, I can't say much about it. I ran an easy pace - 9:15 with a finish in 46:15. I was really spent by the end. No sprint at the end this time.
Tuesday nights is my running club's track night. Amazingly, on the track, I manage a sub 8 minute pace. This week, however, I think all the racing has caught up with me and on the second 800m I felt a pain in my left knee/lower thigh. Not sharp like I tore anything. I think it just tightened up badly. I quit for the evening and tried to stretch it out. I did a 3 mile run last night and while there is still an ache, it doesn't seem to be hurting too much. I won't be racing again until July 4, so hopefully, that will rest it enough. Because we got a jam-packed July coming up!
This was the big weekend. My first attempt at the 10K distance. I ran in theCircle of Friends New York Mini 10k with about 3500 of my close friends. Me and Lornah Kiplagat...tight.
The race is actually a blur to me. I remember snapshots. The start, when we were massed on Central Park West in the cool blustery morning. Thousands of women listening to speakers and wishing they'd be done with it, already, so we could move.
The first mile up CPW was my slowest. I was cold and needed time to warm up and I was also gazing around. I mean, how often do you get to run up the center of a major avenue in Manhattan without having a cadre of police officers chasing you?
I remember turning into the park at 90th Street. There was a group of Reservoir Dogs, I believe, cheering for us. Thanks, Dogs!
Once we were in the Park I was feeling pretty good. I didn't feel like I was going too fast. My split for mile two was 18:42. Very comfortable.
Mile three had a good bit of downhill, so I picked it up and did it in 8:31. Wow! My 5k split, according to NYRR, was 29:30. Pretty good and still feeling fine.
Mile 4 was 8:45. I was getting fairly even mile splits. This was going great.
I think I saw the Dogs again, with their pompoms somewhere in there. And there were plenty of guys in the park, cheering on the field from the outside lane.
I stayed pretty fast for mile 5 - 8:29. I remember thinking when I saw the 5 mile marker that I was now entering unknown territory.
Mile 6 was my fastest - 8:23. There were markers up from 800 meters out telling us how far we had to go. After many weeks of track workouts, I'm now familiar with just how long 800 meters is and I was sure I could pull out a 4 minute or better time for that distance. I was feeling amazingly fresh, so I started to speed up into my interval training pace. 400 meters out and I'm still going strong. At about 200 meters I could see the finish line and I think I got a bit dizzy with speed. I poured on even more and just starting whooping and hollering as I got down the chute. Unfortunately, most of the women in front of me decided to slow down as they approached the end. I was forced to weave to avoid running people over. I probably looked like the biggest goof, but I got my first 10k in 55:29! How fantastic is that?!
Chelly ran this race, too. A few months back when I told her I was planning a 10K in June she said she might come and cheer me on. This turned into her coming to the park for a long run and meeting me at the finish line. Next thing you know, she signed up to participate. We discussed what our goals for the race were. My gold medal ideal was to beat 55 minutes. I just missed it. Chelly had her gold medal as a 1:15 finish. Well she didn't miss it by much and finished in 1:16.52. I think the medals we got for finishing were a big incentive. Congrats Chel!
So I got an exciting notice on my door Thursday evening. UPS had attempted to deliver a package from Downtube.com. My Bike!!! The delivery attempt wasn't until after 6pm. This meant that any instructions I sent through their website regarding the delivery wouldn't actually take effect until Monday. I wanted my bike! The notice said that the attempt on Friday would be between 10 and 6. So I stayed home from work on Friday with eager expectations of my first ride.
I hung around the apartment on Friday. Afraid to even take the dog out for a walk. We just made quick jaunts out to the front lawn. I couldn't miss the delivery after taking the day off. I got some tidying done. Did a little stitching - I'm working on Lamb's Halloween by Earth Threads. I'm doing the piece on a hand dyed fabric called Fossil by Picture This Plus. Ate lunch. Checked out every large vehicle that passed by the building. Finally, at about 2pm, I saw a UPS truck go up the side street near my door. After about 20 minutes, Shannon was desperate to go out, so I walked her to the corner to see if the truck was still down the street. Gone! What happened?!?
My package finally arrived at 6:05. I was so pissed. A totally wasted day and I could have easily made it home in time to get the delivery. Also, since I now had to run all the errands I hadn't done earlier, I wasn't going to be able to take a ride!
I did unpack it and set it up so I could get a look at it. Isn't it lovely? All shiny and new! It's still sitting in that exact spot. It poured all day Saturday. I haven't got to ride it yet. Aaargggh!
Sunday was the NYRR Anniversary Run. The race that grew. It started out as a 4.8k race (48th Anniversary, 4.8k - get it??) But then it became a 4.8 MILE race. That's some serious distance for me. I can do the distance, but haven't raced it much. And I have a big 10k race planned for next weekend. So the plan was to just run it at training pace, or a little bit faster. The course was around Central Park clockwise, which is the direction of the 10k, so it would be a good training run. Sure.
Sunday was lovely. Cool and overcast at about 60 degrees fahrenheit. Perfect running weather. The running joke all morning was how everyone would get a personal record in that race. I set off at a comfortable pace. I tried to ignore most of the other runners and just run my run. My 1 mile split was 9:05. Not too bad. Was planning a little slower, but I was happy with that.
Continued running at what felt like a comfortable pace. Mile 2 - 8:44. Oops! But I think there was a bit of downhill because the second mile was a lot of people's fastest one.
Mile 3 and 4 were both at 8:56. What can I say, it felt really comfortable. I didn't feel like I was pushing at all. I was thinking about really pushing the last half mile or so - just to see what I could do. I still felt fresh and comfortable. So when I hit about 4.3 miles I started to turn it on. I was breezing by runners. I was actually shocked at how much I had. My Garmin caught the last .9 miles (I forgot to hit the button right at the finish line) at a 8:00 mile pace. Wow! I've done a faster mile, but to pull that out in the last mile of a 5 mile race, wow!
My official time was 44:42 with a chip time of 42:49. That's really faster than I wanted to go, but I'm not too worried. I don't think I'm going to have any problem with the 10K. I should even be able to manage a time easily under an hour, if nothing goes wrong. At this time last year, I was gearing up for my first race - a 5k which I finished in a little under 35 minutes. I was concerned about finishing. My goal was just not to walk. I'm floored at how much better I'm doing now.