It’s my last race recap of 2012!
As usual, I woke up earlier today than I do for work. Typical Saturday, right? It’s RACE DAY!
Honestly, I grumbled a little bit when the alarm went off this morning. (I do every morning, actually. Ask Brendan. It’s sad.) If I wasn’t running my 9th race to qualify for the New York City Marathon next year, I probably wouldn’t have made it to the starting line. (Pretty sure I said the same thing about my 8th race. Not being ready seems to be a trend with me these days!) However, this 15K was a bit of a blessing in disguise. In my mind, it’s easier to race than to go on a longer run by myself. I don’t have to worry about water, I have people to cheer me on, people to chat with, plus much more exciting scenery. Much better than running on the same ol’ trail near my house. (Also, pretty sure I say this every time too. Sorry I’m repetitive. Thanks for sticking around.)
We headed into our respective corrals and began our little 9.3 mile run around Central Park.
It was the perfect morning for running.
I was totally unsure about how this race would go. December has been a month focused on getting stronger and running faster in shorter distances. I’ve added more hills, speedwork, and tempo runs than when I was training for Philly (whoops!) but I also didn’t eat so great this week, and definitely didn’t drink enough water yesterday. I don’t know when I started becoming so lackadaisical about races – maybe because I’ve done so many this year? Or because I’ve been feeling no pressure to perform whatsoever? (Which is sort of wonderful.)
The thing is, it’s an amazing feeling to go into a race relaxed and ready to run whatever race I have in me that day. I put in 100% effort – whatever 100% means on that given day – and that’s all I can ask for, right?
The miles ticked away. The hills didn’t get to me as much as they have in the past – I felt tough. I admit, I was checking my pace WAY too much…but eventually the theme of the day became “Run my own race”. I said that to myself no less than 342 times. When I wanted to keep up with someone for whatever reason or felt myself slowing down in fear I couldn’t keep the paces I was seeing, I told myself to run by feeling. Run my own race, not someone else’s. STOP LOOKING AT THE GARMIN. Enjoy “dog heaven” happening on your left. (Central Park on Saturday morning is the best thing ever. ADORABLE DOGS EVERYWHERE.)
Despite the dog distraction, I have a confession: I texted Beth (while running) around mile 3. I was SO bored.
I was still bored when I saw Jocelyn at mile…actually I have no idea what mile it was…but her cheering gave me a nice jolt of energy. I found a better song from my Philly playlist (Taylor Swift’s song, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, anyone? Bueller?) and pushed on, still feeling strong and happy and extremely thankful I wore shorts. (And feeling a little badass to be one of very few doing so.)
With about a mile left to go, when I was seriously ready to be done, I found one of my coworkers! I was so thankful for the distraction (and the little boost in pace). She’s one of the people who inspired me to sign up for Ironman actually; she finished Ironman NYC this past August!
I crossed the finish line after 9.46 miles. Side note: Either NYRR races are ALWAYS long, or I am the worst tangent runner ever. Not that I really try to run tangents…maybe I should. Anyway…
I’m totally happy with my splits…even though they are a little scattered. For a hot second, I caught myself falling into this negative thought process that started with “I want to be faster like my friends” and ended with me telling myself to shut up and focus on improving – which honestly, I have been doing.
And then I remembered that I’m IN for the NYC Marathon next year. 9 races in 12 months…and that’s just the NYRR events.
I plan to spend the rest of my day on a running high.
Anyone else race today? Play with the puppies in Central Park? On a running high? Share!