So, I'm getting behind again. C'est la vie! I'll start with my race last weekend. I ran the adidas Run for the Park 4M race in Central Park on Sunday. This was the first race that my friend, Chelly, had run in a while and I was looking forward to hanging with her at the park. We met up at the usual spot - 72nd Street and Central Park West. The Pope was in town and he was staying at 72nd Street on the other side of the park, so that entrance was closed. It also made for some re-routing of traffic and mass transit, but I didn't have too hard a time getting into the city. Chelly had been on the fence about running the race--she didn't think she was ready--but she decided to give it a go. I told her that I'd come back and run with her after I finished to help her keep up her pace and stick it out until the finish line. The NYRR was instituting a corral system starting with this race. So, Chelly and I had to split up for the start. We usually try to start at a point about halfway between our two paces, but this time we weren't going to be allowed. The corral system didn't really help the start. It still took about 3:30 for me to cross the start line. The odd part was, in the past, the pack would open up at that point as those who had placed themselves too far forward began to fall back and those who got trapped too far back began weaving through to get better placed. This time, the pack I was in stayed pretty much together. It forced me to run at a good pace as I had been placed with a 8:49 pace based on my fastest race, which was about a year ago. I haven't really been running that fast lately. This worked out wonderfully for me. I ran all 4 miles at a pace that really made me feel like I was working for it. I decided at about the 2 mile mark to stick on the tail of a woman that had been in my area for a while. I dogged her through the rest of the course. She had more left at the end, though, and finished about 25 feet in front of me. But I managed a 33:57 for the race, which is a 8:29 pace. That was my fastest race in Central Park ever and only 25 seconds behind my PR. I was ecstatic. After grabbing some water, getting my chip clipped and catching my breath, I turned back on the course and started walking/jogging back looking for Chelly. Beside running at a slower pace, she probably had started about 3 minutes after I did, so I didn't find her until I had got back almost to the 3 mile mark. I waved at her and jumped into the course. She had been trying out a walk/run method to keep herself going and said she actually didn't feel too bad. I told her that we weren't too far from the finish line and warned her that there was a photographer a short way up the course. I joked about actually getting some photos this time. It turns out that the only pictures they got of me were when I was running with Chelly. I asked if she had anything left as we turned for the finish line and then pushed it a little so that Chel would finish strong. We walked through the park heading to 5th Avenue to catch a cab downtown and get brunch. On the way, we walked by the carousel, which I mentioned that I hadn't been on since I was about 8. So, of course, we had to take a ride. It's a little more expensive than I remembered and I found out that sitting a horse post-race is a bit hard, but it was fun. I didn't remember that it was so fast. The big event this weekend is our club race. The Alley Pond 5 Mile Challenge is a tough but fun course through Alley Pond Park in Northeast Queens. So anyone who sees this, come on out. It should be a blast. I'll be running the race this year. My best 5 mile time is on this course, for some odd reason, since I think it is the toughest 5 mile race that I've run.