Yesterday the city kicked off Scotland week with the NYRR Scotland Run 10k. Although it wasn't my best run, I had a great time. The morning started out great. Because the race had a 10am start, much later than most, I was able to get up at a civilized hour and didn't have to be out the door until 7:45. It was freezing, however. It just shouldn't be 27 degrees at this time of year! But I decided to go with a single layer on top and one of my heavier pairs of tights. I was hoping that it would warm up a bit before the race started. I piled on the layers for the trek into Manhattan. After a pretty uneventful trip into the city on the subway (you always spot the ghostly masses of runners as they gather, getting off along the park, the stop depending on whether or not they've pre-registered and whether they are planning to warm up on the way to the starting line) The park was already set up with a few tents from the Scotland groups that came for the week. After picking up my t-shirt, they also were handing out goodie bags, unusual for NYRR races. There was a nice little bag that contained a small Scotland flag on a stick, a rain poncho with the saltire and a few other little trinkets. I'm not currently in possession of any tartan clothing, so I had opted to wear blue and white to match the flag and got a flag painted on my face before the race at a tent in the park. While wandering around, I bumped into one a couple of my fellow Striders. I walked to the start with Tom, who actually runs a good bit faster than I do, but he lined up with me in the 9:00 mile area. I was a bit nervous about this race. I haven't run the distance in quite a while and wasn't sure how it was going to feel. I ran a pretty good 4 mile race last weekend, but when I went out for an easy 4 miler mid-week I had felt awful. The legs were leaden and I was exhausted afterward. Once the gun went off, we did the usual stand around and wait. I believe it took us about 4 minutes to get across the start line. I ran with Tom for the first couple of miles, which meant that I was running a bit faster than I would have run by myself and Tom was running slower than he would probably have gone on his own. I think it was about the two mile mark, after an uphill that felt like Mt. Everest, that I waved him on and told him that I'd try to find him at the end. The next two miles were tough. I knew I wasn't running exceedingly fast, and yet I was having a tough time going. I actually walked a few times. At about the 4 mile mark, I started to loosen up and felt my stride getting easier. Mile 5 was right around 9 minutes and I pulled one sub-9 mile out for mile 6. I kicked it into the finishing chute and finished in exactly 58:00. The festivities after the race were great. There was a stage where a band was playing called The Red Hot Chilli Pipers - what a blast! Think rock band with bagpipes. They're apparently, all the rage in Europe, but I had never heard of them. After the band played, they had a number of raffles for Scottish goods and a free entry in the Loch Ness marathon. I didn't win any of them. But I hung around for the band after that, which played a tune for a Scottish folk dance called 'Strip the Willow'. There is a photo of me dancing on the NYRR webpage, which I copied here. I'm to the left of centerin the photo, with the white hat on. This is a race I think I'll try and do again next year, if only just because I can't pass on a chance to see a whole lot of men in kilts!
On a more serious note, quite a few of the local runners are planning on seeing the movie 'Running for Your Life', directed by Judd Erlich and premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, this film is a documentary about the life of the major force behind the creation of the NYC Marathon, Fred Lebow.
I feel like I'm getting sick every weekend. I know it isn't quite that often and quite a few of my 'sick' times have just been feeling a little subpar, but I'm really sick this time. This was going to be a pretty busy weekend. There was at least one local race to choose from on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday night was a special run to celebrate the leap year--a 5k at 11:59pm on Friday night on the runway at Republic Airport in Farmingdale. I really wanted to do it, but the weather forecast was awful. I still left it until about 10pm to decide, but at that time it was already snowing, so I scrapped that idea and looked at Saturday and Sunday's schedule to pick a run. The weather forecast called for the precipitation to last into early Saturday afternoon, so I made the decision on Friday night to sleep in on Saturday morning so that I could be ready for an early start on Sunday. Sunday morning was the Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5k Run in uptown Manhattan. I haven't done this one before. I've heard the course is a bit hilly, but it's only 5k and I figured it would be fun. So Saturday was spent running all the errands for the weekend so that Sunday would be free for the race. I started to feel kind of tired in the early afternoon, but I was planning on hitting the sack early for a 5:30am wakeup. Got to bed around 9:30pm. Woke up a few hours later to take the pup out for a constitutional and noticed that I felt achy and shivery. Aaarghh! Made the decision that an early morning run may not be the best idea and turned off the alarm. Well, I woke up a bit later with a headache that could fell a horse, fever chills and body aches. I spent most of the day passed out on either the bed or the sofa. The whole day just kind of blurred into one big pain. Monday morning, felt a little bit better, but I had already decided to take a sick day - the joys of state employment - but figured I would just use the day to recover. I didn't feel much better, however. The head pain finally started to ease off around mid-afternoon and I felt capable of taking a shower (almost 72 hours...yech!). By the evening I felt pretty good, but was going to stay home another day, because I could. Oftentimes when I'm sick it affects my head, which sucks, because staying home would be fantastic if I could read or work on my computer but, of course, I can't. This post has taken me a few days to write. My head still hurts, but not horrendously, but my balance centers are out of whack, I can't focus. So this morning I woke up from an awful dream. I dreamed that I was at the starting line of the NYC Marathon with some of the ladies from my running club. For some reason we were inside and it had been my idea. We were standing around a hallway when the start time passed. No gun! So I yell at everyone that we must be too far away to hear it. Then we start running out of the building and I realize that I'm lost and we've missed the start of the race. How very odd. I have to admit that I've let the idea of doing the marathon this year percolate in my brain. It will depend on how my knees feel once I start getting ready for the half-marathons that I'm definitely doing this summer. If my body feels OK come May, I might just try. So I don't know what this dream is telling me about the idea.