Race Report: Run for Central Park 4 Miler


So hot.

It was hot.

I was hot.

It’s a good thing I went watchless today because I would have been discouraged indeed by my splits. Although I have to say I’m getting better at guesstimating my capabilities in hot weather. I figured I’d be lucky to run 7:30s today and that’s about what I ran, coming in at 30:05.

I barely did a warmup today. What was the point? Some dynamic stretches, three minutes of jogging and there you go. I was in Corral 2 today (red bib), which was disappointing, but it was a big race so I wasn’t surprised. I decided to run mile 1 like a hard tempo and see how I felt by mile 2. I picked it up a little, but, wary of the effect that mile 3 typically has on me, not too much.

Mile 3 would kill me anyway. I know this because I spent most of the mile trying to catch up with Harriers teammate Addy (whom I would meet, along with my other Harriers AG cohort, Susan, at a post-race Harriers shindig about an hour later). I caught her at mile 3, passing her at the water stop. And then promptly cratered at the crest of the hill heading into mile 4. She passed me and went on to open up a 1 minute gap. Either she was picking things up to a furious pace or I died in that mile. I suspect it was the latter.

Nevertheless, I scored again (third) for the 40+ women’s team category, helping to place us in 8th today. I don’t think the under-45s came out today or we would have placed higher (although I wouldn’t have placed at all). Again I’ll say that running for team points is a motivator that I like having. And now I regret the fact that I’ll probably be doing a lot less racing as I start marathon training. Oh, well. Can’t have everything.

I was good for 9th in my AG, which out of 145 is not terrible, especially considering how bad I am at racing in hot weather.

I met about 30 or so of my teammates afterward, all of them pleasant individuals. 47 glasses of water later I still feel dehydrated. So I’ve moved on to beer. I expect to pass out soon.

Tomorrow is the first day in a long while in which I have no responsibilities. Anything I do tomorrow is optional. This includes getting out of bed. But I’ll probably do at least that. Moreover, on Monday morning at 9 AM I don’t have to join my IBM team status call. Because I don’t work there anymore. Not that the call itself was so terrible. It’s the fact that on that call every week, the coming five days of Sisyphean to do’s would be writ large, filling me with dread, resentment, despair — and a shitload of tension would further compound in my shoulders, neck and back.

My freelance writing schedule is very light next week, something I have deliberately arranged so that I at last have time to get back to my running-specific writing projects. These have been the neglected middle child of my work life lately and it’s bothered me to feel that I’ve lost the momentum I had about a month ago. But there are only so many hours in the day and I frequently ran out of them over the past few weeks.

Next week I have maybe 10-15 hours of freelance work to worry about — the workload the past month has averaged 50-60. Hallefuckinglujah.  I’ve got a massage scheduled for Thursday morning. A Houston Hopefuls update and work on a Running Times piece, plus finally getting to the Mini 10K gems. I may go see the new Predator movie…in the middle of a weekday! And running all week.

Oh, I’ll be busy. But it’s going to be fun busy. I don’t remember the last time I felt this happy about the arrival of Monday.

11 Responses

  1. I know you don’t follow baseball, but Tim Lincecum’s inability to pitch at half his “normal” ability in temps over 80 degrees have made me wonder if there’s something biological that happens to people who grow up in cool temps – something that cannot be overcome (Lincecum is a SF Giants pitching phenom who grew up in the Bay Area). This guy has professional trainers working with him like crazy to get him adjusted to heat, and has at least 5 years trying to make it work (not sure about his college career), and he still wilts in the summer everywhere but Seattle and SF.

    Reason Number 76 I’ve decided to stay where I am.

    So glad about the happy dance you’re dancing. It’s great to read about.

  2. That’s kind of what club racing is all about. You run your heart out, hope you helped, and hang.

    Looking forward to the other stuff. Running Times?

  3. I like your perspective on the race and think that showing up when the conditions were that hot is a huge deal. I’m sure your team appreciated your race.

    Looking forward to perusing the fruits of your running-specific writing labor!

  4. That sounded like a good first no-watch race, even if affected by the heat. I like that you were racing, not time-trialing. Good to score points for the team.

    You mention “a lot less racing” as you start marathon training. I’m just curious if that’s Sandra’s method? I know many of the Aussie marathoners race fairly regularly during marathon build-ups.

    • Ewen, it was actually very liberating to not worry about the watch. I’d thought I’d started it, so I could at least look at the time at the end. But I’d neglected to switch to “Chrono” mode before hitting “Start.” So at the end of the race I could only estimate by the finish line clock and how long I remembered it taking me to get over the start mats. This was truly a watchless race, despite my efforts to keep a record. I didn’t know my finish time until later in the day.

      I should qualify “a lot less racing.” For one thing, while the plan is flexible, the priority is doing the workouts. Racing requires recovery and that takes away time from doing these crazy speed and fartlek sessions (which I actually think are harder than racing — my need for naps after doing them lend weight to this theory).

      If I am going to race, I’d like to be able to help out the Harriers by earning points for them. In the summer the races are short ones (4 or 5 milers) — I’m doing those because they don’t take a lot out of me and we’re just getting started with training. In the fall you’ve got one half marathon points race (which I’ll miss because I’ll be out of town), which is too long a race, and then the rest of the fall is dominated by the NYC marathon, with very little points racing going on. There’s one club points 10K in early December that I’ll try to wheedle Sandra into letting me do, at least as a tempo run, since I like racing 10Ks in the park and early December is usually ideal racing weather for me.

      I’ll need to do one or two 10K races during training, but they should ideally be on a flat course), since I’m training for a flat full marathon. But the NYRR club points races are almost all run in Central Park, which is anything but flat. I’ve got one half as a tuneup three weeks before the goal marathon in late January. Finding a half marathon in New England in early January in which the weather will be reliable is a fool’s errand. So guess what? I’m going to Mobile, AL for the weekend!

  5. Thanks Julie. That’s all logical. Long races do take extra recovery time out of the schedule. Good that you can run some of the short races for club points. Mobile sounds like the perfect escape from New England in January. You should stay longer!

  6. Maybe you’ll have time to upload those GMR picts

    • * slapping forehead *

      Matt, I forgot. I’ll send them your way this week. Hey, it’s only been a month…

      • Don’t worry, Sarah still hasn’t done shit, including posting to her blog abt the race. I’m not sending her her 2nd place medal until she blogs about us.

  7. […] Race Report: Run for Central Park 4 Miler […]

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