Have I ever mentioned how much I love turning races into long runs?
I signed up for the NYRR Fitness 4 Miler months ago. Last night, I wasn’t really feeling it. I was relaxing with Brendan and feeling very lazy. I had 12 miles on the schedule and didn’t really feel like trekking all the way into the city to race AND complete a long run.What’s wrong with running 12 miles around my house? Dang you, NYRR 9+1!
Fast-forward to this morning and I was ready to go…I figured I’d be doing the 12 by myself anyway, so I might as well run somewhere other than the normal trail near my house to keep my boredom level in check. Plus, a 4-mile distraction in the middle of a run always does the trick.
I stepped out of the train station into the chilly New York City air and began a 4 mile warmup jaunt to Central Park. It was so quiet that early…love it.
Yeah, yeah. I used my Garmin again. BUT in my defense, I needed to track my mileage because I planned to just run randomly around the city and wanted to make sure I finished 12 full miles. I did NOT obsess over my splits, promise! However…do you think it was a sign that it went crazy on me and kept flashing “Lap Error” right before the race? (That’s why this map ends after 4 miles). Maybe that I still shouldn’t be using it because it makes me CRAZY? Hmm…
It was the PERFECT morning weather-wise. The shade was even a little chilly! Fabulous running weather.
So, I covered the first third of my run for breakfast. Yum.
The Fitness 4-Mile was split into women’s only and men’s only heats (hence the corral), which was a little strange. Girls are kind of mean! And pushy! Sigh. Don’t think I like running with all girls.
After some random guy (he was fairly important I think…just don’t know who he was) led us in some quick stretches, we were off.
I kept having to remind myself that I still had 4 miles after my 4 mile race, and needed to pace myself for that. Not that 12 miles is anything super crazy, but I’m still a little on edge when it comes to adding mileage. I’m overly cautious about overtraining and injury these days…with good reason!
Despite my longer-than-normal “warmup”, my legs still felt fresh and turned over easily, which was welcome. I definitely pushed much harder than I would have if I was simply running 12 straight miles. I think race mile 2 to 3 was the most frustrating. It took forever! It was one of those miles where you swear you passed the next mile marker, only to find out you didn’t. Freakin’ annoying! Which is ironic, because I’ve run this exact loop about 67 times and I know every single landmark. Whatever. Of course, the hills put me to work during mile 3…but overall I felt fine, no crazy news, nothing overly mind-blowing. I crossed the finish line happy and ready to tackle more NYC miles.
I devoured some pretzels and a couple bites of an apple post-run, then headed to the West Side for the last 4 miles right away. I was mildly worried that my stomach would give me problems, but then I remembered I typically have a stomach of steel and that the salt and carbs from the pretzels would help more than anything.
So then I frolicked down the West Side Highway.
It was pretty wonderful to break up the run into three distinguishable parts…although I didn’t take much time in between each leg of the run. The longest break was probably the 5 minutes I spent waiting for the race to start in my corral. Side note: I’m still a little worried that I’m only up to 12 miles and the Philly Marathon is in 2 months. I’ll be good…right? RIGHT?? Opinions welcome. If they are positive, that is. (Kidding. Sorta.)
On the train home I realized there SERIOUSLY IS SUCH A THING AS A RUNNER’S HIGH. Yes, I’ve been running for years. But I’m finally taking note of just how awesome I feel afterwards. And it’s not just the weather! (I’m always in a good mood when the weather is nice!) The further I run and the more I feel as though I’m improving, the more blissfully happy I feel overall. I think about how I have a safe, comfortable home, a loving family, and the most perfectly wonderful boyfriend ever. (Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Brendan!) Even if I start off feeling like things just suck (dramatic), everything is simply wonderful in the hours following a long run. IT. IS. AMAZING. This is how life should be. Always.
For example, today I became overly enthusiastic about my breakfast and the day ahead:
I was also super thrilled about my plan for the afternoon:
I am one happy girl. Although, the farm visit made me miss Iowa even more than I already do. Sadly I’m not sure when I’ll be able to visit next, but I’m so ready to see my family and breathe in the fresh Midwestern air. And go apple picking and be surrounded by equally as crazy of fans of my football team.
Aaaannnd last but certainly not least, I have a giveaway winner!
The lucky winner of a Sprigs Banjees Wrist Wallet is….(insert drumroll)…
Please send me an email at kararunsblog @ gmail . com and I’ll have Sprigs send over the neon Banjees! (Is this the right one?)
Corrie Anne has an awesome blog, by the way. I love reading about her amazing (and tough!) workouts, delicious recipes, and her cute life with her husband and dogs Check it out!
Do you like basing long runs around races? Going to farms? Get a legit runner’s high? Fill me in!