It’s a bit of a dreary Sunday here in NYC, which means I don’t feel guilty about staying indoors this morning to catch up on blogs, reality television and even a little bit of sleep. In fact, I’d say this rest is well-deserved, considering I spent Saturday morning in Central Park running a relatively solid 10K that, up until the same morning at 6 am, I wasn’t sure I’d be running. Despite humidity and a tbd foot injury (tbd because I still haven’t gone to the doctor), I ran the race to the best of my ability and accomplished what I wanted to do in my first race since the National Marathon: Have a lil’ bit of good old-fashioned fun. So let’s rewind a little bit to see how I got my little broken Sometimes Healthy body to the starting line:
Prepping/Not Prepping for a Race I May or May Not Run
As I mentioned in Friday’s post, this 10K has been weighing heavily on my mind. I registered for it back in April way before the foot pain started. It’s a women’s only race, and a lot of my favorite bloggers were planning to participate. And even though my foot pain had persisted, I wanted in on the action. I went back and forth a million times yesterday as I tried to decide what to do. And in between all of the internal debate, I tried (sort of ) to prep appropriately.
What I did Right:
- Carb-Loading: Just in case I decided to run, I knew it was important to carb up with my favorite carb-filled
- Chill-axing: I didn’t leave work until a little later than I expected and rather than sneak in a quick workout, I decided to kick up my feet and save my energy. I also got more than 6 hours of sleep (this is good for me!).
- Sometimes Healthy Meals: In between the handfuls of pretzels, I ate meals like the lunch below that were a good balance of proteins, veggies and fruit. PS – Pretzels make great croutons
Here’s What I Did Wrong:
- Non-Hydrating: I meant to drink a bunch of water yesterday to make up for the fact that, since the marathon, my general fluid intake has consisted of 2-3 giant coffees per day, mixed with some Diet Sprite and a little bit of water. Yesterday’s Coffee Count: 2 large cups; Water Count: 1/4 cup. Mission Fail.
- Zero Preparation: I didn’t even make an effort to pick up my race packet ahead of time, didn’t review the course and didn’t figure out where the starting line was until Saturday morniing. Additionally, I didn’t check the weather (although I saw via Twitter that it might rain) or plan out my outfit the night before.
- No Ice: I try to ice my foot a few times a week and that probably would have been a good idea the night before a race. But I didn’t have any, so the lazy me decided to skip the ice.
Race Recap: Ready to Run
I set the alarm on my phone for 5:45 AM on Saturday morning. The plan was to walk to registration just inside W.68th Street in Central Park. I just got a new phone (the Droid), and didn’t exactly know how to use it, but I figured if the alarm didn’t go off, it meant I shouldn’t run.
Turns out, I didn’t need an alarm. My body woke me up ready to go at 5:30 AM. I was wide awake almost immediately, which doesn’t usually happen when I wake up. Then, I put on Pandora as I hurried to piece together my race outfit. This was the first song of the mix:
Dixie Chick’s Ready to Run? Do you think the universe was trying to tell me something? At that point, I decided I was definitely running in this 10K. Check out this happy pre-race girl.
The walk to the park would be roughly 45 minutes, so I threw some Rascal Flatts Pandora on my shiny new Droid phone and rocked out.
Along the way, I picked up some breakfast.
If you haven’t tried the Chocolate Coconut Luna Bar, I highly suggest it. Although I must admit, I didn’t eat very much of it. My stomach was a little tight and I knew half the bar would be enough to get me through the 10K.
While I walked, I thought about my race plan. It’s always a good idea to go into any race with some sort of strategy. For example, in my most recent marathon, my plan was to start out a bit slower (9 minute miles) and then try to kick it up to 8:30 – 8:15 for the second half. I’m not even sure this was a good strategy, but either way, I didn’t follow it. For this race, I decided that I didn’t need a plan – my only plan was to finish in one piece and have some fun. I knew I was unprepared and I could even feel the dull pain in my foot while walking. I knew that there was no point in setting a time goal, so the “fun plan” seemed like a good route.
Alas, I barely made it to the starting line, as per usual, I managed to get myself lost (yes – I LIVE here). First I walked right past the fairly obvious 68th St. sign.
Then, I started to panic when I didn’t see anyone inside the park where registration was supposed to be. It took me a few minutes, but I finally remembered that I live on the East side and the race started on the West side of the park. Ooooopsies.
Anyway, thankfully, I finally made it to registration with time to spare. Once there, I picked up my number and an adorable pink t-shirt.
I was surprised to see I was placed in the first corral, but I guess it made sense considering my anticipated pace (when I registered) was 7:20 per mile. I hate slowing down other runners, so I considered jumping back a corral or two. Next, I took in the view for a few minutes and jogged a few minutes to the starting line to make sure my legs still worked. Between the atmosphere and all of the other runners, I could feel the excitement building.
Then, while waiting for the race to start, I met someone pretty special…
Yep, I couldn’t believe I was standing right next to Tina from Carrots n’ Cake! I have been reading her blog for quite some time, and her career path is an inspiration to me. So, I couldn’t imagine my luck to be standing right next to the girl! Just from speaking to her for 30 seconds, I could tell that she’s exactly the same as the fun-loving person I read about every day. Thanks for chatting, Tina
Something about seeing Tina lit a bit of a fire inside me! I decided to move up to my assigned corral and at least give myself a shot to run a fast race. From there, it was relatively smooth sailing. Here’s how it all went down:
Pleasantly surprised that the whole first mile was outside of Central Park. This meant one less mile without the dreaded Central Park hills. The excitement of the race and the flatness of the mile definitely gave me a huge boost. I ran the first mile at about 7:30 (I don’t have a Garmin – just use the clocks).
Song Choices: Adele “Rolling in the Deep” and Aersomith “Crying”
It was time to slow it down a little bit. I could feel the humidity kicking in, and I knew several hills awaited me as we entered Central Park. Luckily none of the hills on mile 2 were too scary, and I still felt pretty strong. In most races, I’m very cognizant of people around me, but in this race, I felt like it was just me and my music. I was even writing my race recap post in my head, while running! I slowed it down a bit for mile 2, running about a 7:45 pace.
Song Choices: Bush “Come Back Down from this Cloud” and Bush “Machinehead”
The hills are alive! At this point, and yes it took me one full mile, I figured out that we were running the race the opposite direction that I normally run Central Park. Therefore, by doing a little reverse thinking, I could anticipate the next big hill. And the first one was at mile 3. Luckily, I was still feeling pretty strong and didn’t have to slow my pace too much. The dehydration was starting to kick in, though. I grabbed a cup of water, tried to drink it while running, accidentally poured some up my nose and poured the rest over my head. Nicely done. Pace was about 8:00.
Song Choices: Ceelo “Forget You” and Coldplay “Fix You”
Ohhh man, this one was a struggle. It was a hilly part of the park, and I definitely started to feel some fatigue. The pain in the foot started to become a little stronger, and I was thirsty. Perhaps drinking coffee, rather than water is not the best way to hydrate before a race? However, the great thing about a 10K is that it’s short. I came out strong, and I knew I could squeeze out two more relatively strong miles. Pace slowed to 9:00 at mile 4. Darn hills. I also happened to see Ali during this mile, and she was looking great!
Song Choices: Coldplay “Swallowed in the Sea” and Diddy “Coming Home”
Mile 5 was what is usually the last mile of my normal morning run/the most torturous part of my morning run. Thus, I knew I could expect some downhill action, and I ran those downhill parts as fast as I could. There were a few hills mixed in, and I was definitely starting to feel happy that this was only a 10K. At this point, I made the loose goal of trying to finish under 50 minutes. Pace was about 8:45.
Song Choices: Diddy “Last Night” and Eminem “I Need a Doctor”
Mile 6 -Finish
I decided to just run this part as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have that much left in my Sometimes Healthy body. Still, knowing the finish line was around the corner helped me to pick it up a little bit. I like how the race had signs indicating when there were 800, 400 and 200 meters left. At mile 6, the clock read 49:40, which meant that I would not finish under 50, but I didn’t care. I was thrilled when I crossed the finish line because it felt so good to be out there running for fun.
Song Choice: Eminem “Lose Yourself”
This was my final time:
After the race, I stuck around to cheer on the other runner and soak up the
Overall, I’m so glad I ran in this race. It reminded me of how much I love to run, something I feel like I’ve forgotten these past couple months. For a few miles there, I felt like I was back in the running zone. It was just me, my ipod and my quirky thoughts. I loved every second of the race, even the moments when I was dehydrated and exhausted from the hills. Did I run a “smart” race? Probably not. I definitely ran the first half faster, which isn’t technically the right way to do it. But ya know what, I don’t care! I’m not a professional runner. I’m a girl that runs for the endorphins, the confidence-boost and the fun. I got a very good time, all things considered, and I’m certainly not going to beat myself up about whether or not I ran smart.
Most importantly, this race motivated me to put going to the doctor at the top of my to-do list. I want to get more good runs under my belt, and the only way to do that is to figure out what’s wrong. So first thing Monday morning, I’m going to make that appointment!
You know what goes well with running? BBQ! So I’m off to Madison Square Park enjoy the Big Apple BBQ. mmmmm – this could get interesting. More later