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!