So, I got my volunteer assignments for this year's marathon. Anyone participating in this shindig can look for me at the expo on Saturday from 12 - 5. I'll be in the registration area. For the big show on Sunday I will be at the 14 mile Aid Station in Queens. Probably running herd on boyscouts again. Why do I do this to myself?
On another note, I got tagged for a meme by my friend Nicole over at Two Sicilian Chicks You have to open the book you're currently reading on page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag with.
I'm currently reading Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. The fifth sentence on p 161 is: "You can hold on to me as long as you want."
I decided to run a race this past weekend. I had missed a race planned for last weekend due to my car being in the shop for over a week (a long story which will just upset me if I go into it here) and I had nothing definite planned for this weekend so I looked for a race close to home. I found a 5k in Oyster Bay, Long Island. That wasn't too far and it was connected to a festival the town was having that I thought I might be able to enjoy after the race. Saturday morning I got up early and, after taking care of the dog and eating breakfast, I headed out. I wasn't expecting to do very well. I haven't been running as much as I should due to a bum knee and some seriously lost running mojo. But I did manage to get in four short runs last week, including one nice tempo run, so I was planning on trying to do a sub 9:00 pace. The weather was perfect - a nice chill in the air. Fall has finally arrived in New York. I got to the start site in plenty of time to sign up for the race and look around to see if anyone I knew had also decided to do this race. I saw a lot of familiar faces from the area running scene but no one that I knew personally. So I just hung around trying to stay warm. I wasn't relishing the idea of standing around the starting line in my racing clothes. I headed out to the starting line about 15 minutes before the gun. Due to a mix up in which way we were actually heading, I ended up closer to the front of the pack then I planned. I went out much faster than I usually do because I didn't want to get run over. Once I had found a good spot and tried to settle into a good pace I knew that this wasn't going to be a good day. My legs felt uncoordinated and my breathing was labored. I kept checking with my Garmin and I was having to work hard to stay around a 9:00 pace. Oh well, so I was just going to try and keep a respectable pace and enjoy myself. The first mile passed in about 8:53 - that was the early rush mostly because I was definitely going slower than that. The second mile went by in just around 18:00. The course was lovely - horse farms on one side and a nature preserve on the other. I was eying another runner. It might sound a little snobbish, but I often motivate myself during a race by finding someone who I think looks like I should be able to beat them and try and keep up with them. This man I saw was about 20 years my senior and was running that morning in a pair of sweatpants and a button down cotton shirt - like you might wear with a sportscoat. Plaid, even. Anyway, I decided that, while anyone can be a runner, I had to be a faster runner than this man. So I kept him in my sights and eventually passed him. I felt victorious! Also, around the 2 mile mark the course took a definite downward trend. I mean, we hit a mean downhill. Of course, this probably meant that the beginning of the race, which I had some trouble with, was mostly uphill. Ahhh! My legs had also loosened up to where the running was starting to feel more fluid. I decided to throw caution to the wind and let myself fly down the hills. Wheeee!!!! It leveled off eventually. Perhaps a quarter of a mile before the end. I pushed myself across the finish line for a 26:22 gun time. That is a personal best for me. By only 3 seconds, but still a PR. I checked with Garmin. I managed that finish time by doing the 3rd mile in 7:34! WTF?!? I've never even got close to that time for a mile, even at the track. One thing this race has taught me is that I really have to start doing some warm up before a race. Even after all this time running, and even after three half-marathons, I still feel like I'm not going to be able to run the whole distance. So I worry that any distance spent in a warm up is distance that I won't be able to get in the race. Which is ridiculous. I stuck around for the awards which lasted until the rest of the festival started. I walked around for awhile, tried some of the food, but finally decided to go home because my hips were bothering me a little and I was tired.