This race was pretty brutal.
Well, not the race itself. Central Park in the spring is gorgeous and I’m really familiar with the course, so nothing was a surprise. But according to NYRR.com, the humidity on this particular day was 93% . NINETY THREE PERCENT! That is so not okay.
On the bright side, I am now 3 races down for 9+1 for the 2015 NYC Marathon (and already have 3 more on the schedule).
The morning of the race, I needed to drive into the city, park (which is no small feat), pick up my bib, go to bag check, and run a couple miles. I did all this and was STILL waiting around about 30 minutes for the race to start. (Although that’s totally better than the alternative.) I did a 2.5 mile warmup, gave approximately 17 people directions to bib pickup, then waited in the corral and eavesdropped on conversations. I admit it.
I wasn’t feeling that great from the beginning, but was hoping I’d feel better as time went on. How silly of me. My legs were moving okay, but it was so sticky outside and running felt HARD. I trudged along, glancing at my splits every once in awhile and never being very impressed with myself. I was constantly wondering why that pace felt that hard, when I had consistently been running faster in training. Around mile 3 I was totally ready to be done. With about a mile left, I truly felt like I was going to throw up. I slowed way down because vomiting wasn’t necessarily on my to-do list that day. My pace should have felt much easier…so why did I feel nauseas?! It made no sense in the moment, causing my mental state to crumble. As soon as I slowed down I felt better, but I still made it my goal to come in under an hour. (Going into the race, I thought that would be a given based on my recent half marathon time. NOPE.)
The Central Park hills crushed me on this particular day. It’s ironic, because I felt so much stronger in that half (which was the same course, except two loops instead of one) a few weeks ago. And my average pace in the HALF was faster than in this 10K. Just goes to show you that in running, some days aren’t your day. You have to accept it and have faith you’ll bounce back. (Although I admit I did freak out for the first couple hours post-race, wondering if I was screwed for Brooklyn.) Thinking back, I’ve had so many runs and races that didn’t turn out how I wanted AT ALL…but believing you have the power to change – whether a permanent change is needed or just a temporary one – and having the mindset that you are in control and can overcome these challenges is important. I remember one situation in particular: a couple years ago, after a string of terrible runs, Lora recommended I stop wearing my Garmin. I took her advice to heart and trained by feel. I stopped worrying about paces and splits. I ended up PRing the Bronx 10-miler (watch-less!) a few weeks later. In this case, I think it was all mental. That little boost (AKA a break from worrying during every run) helped immensely.
Even though I was bummed when I looked at my splits and realized that I FELT like I was sprinting but certainly was NOT, I know that lots of things come into play and I shouldn’t feel like Brooklyn is ruined for me this Saturday. (THIS SATURDAY! AHHH!) I did walk through a couple water stops soooo…there’s that. #excuses
Nothing a little friend-time and iced coffee can’t fix: Beth and Allison (who PRd! Way to go!) saved the day. We all enjoyed a quick breakfast together before I headed home.
On Sunday night I went to a wedding on Long Island, so I wanted to share another photo of me and Brendan in actual, real-world clothes.
If anyone has a good story about how slower-than-race-pace was super hard one day and then you crushed your race a week later…please, oh please, share. Same with inspirational quotes. My goal this week is to stay positive!