Day 6- Gridiron 4 miler

After the race 6/365

Two weeks ago I ran the NYRR Manhattan half marathon in Central Park. Two weeks before the race I admitted to myself for the first time that, because I seemed to be so much faster and stronger, I might actually get my under two hour goal (the second time around). Up until race morning I wasn’t sure if this was possible. Race morning came with perfect conditions, despite having had a headache the day before I slept well and woke up feeling great. As I ran my first mile about 20sec. below goal pace (a necessity for me on the flats because of how much I’d slow on the Great Hill), I knew that not only did I have it in the bag, but that this was going to be a fantastic race. I got my goal time (1.59.26) and I enjoyed almost every second of the race.
None of this happened today.
This morning it was beautiful outside, sunny and clear, but a brutal 15 degrees with a few strong gusts of wind. I did not sleep well and woke up feeling under the weather, with a sore throat that is definitely worse now. According to the McMillan Calculator I should have been able to do this race in 8.27, so I was conservatively aiming for sub 8.30 pace, or under 34min. As I ran the first mile, at about 8.30, I knew immediately that this was going to hurt. I was breathing heavily and my legs did not seem to have their usual power. I would run along, feeling like I must be going at least 8.20 and see that I was creeping towards 8.40 or even, heaven’s forbid, 9min miles. But I pushed, and I huffed, and I puffed, and I sweated, despite the sub-freezing temperatures, and I cut off way too many people in my exhaustion, and eventually I saw the 72nd transverse and just beyond it, the finish line. I crossed it at 34.20, an 8.35 pace.
The good news: This is still a significant PR. My fastest time for any distance was 8.43 on a 4 miler last September, two weeks before my first half marathon, and with an injury that was pushed over the edge sometime during those miles. This time I had run a much faster half, and a much faster 4 miler, also two weeks apart, and without giving myself a hip tear that would side-line me for two months. This is progress.
I also know that I gave this race everything I had- today. Maybe on another day I’d have had more to give, but what I did have, I laid out there on that cold horseshoe. It seemed to be a tough day for a lot of people- probably due to the cold. In the last half mile I saw two people stop short and run to the side, obviously in pain, and several fast-looking runners had switched to walking.
I am also pleased with myself for having perfected my cold weather running routine. I didn’t get particularly chilled at any point in the day, mostly because I’ve been raiding my goodwill clothing pile for disposable clothing to wear while waiting in the start corral. Today it was a fleece hoodie, that I sincerely hope finds a good home.
What with feeling crappy for most of the morning, and not wanting to take my gloves off for fear of losing my fingers, I forgot to take a picture till I was walking out of the park. It’s a snap on my iPhone of two of my friends, having completed the race and heading home- which I was quite happy to be doing myself.


3 responses to “Day 6- Gridiron 4 miler

  1. Congrats on a great race!!

  2. Never run…..hate it….never wanted to….need to…more power to ya……love the photo. I can’t wait to get to New York and use my iPhone for street photograhpy like Sion Fullana does. 🙂

  3. Congratulations. Great post and beautiful image. Your black and white photos of NY are really lovely.

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