Today was as good as a comeback race as they come. Better than my previous ones, in fact…
Even though the Colon Cancer 15K was a “club points” race, I decided to do the 4-miler instead…the main reason being that I wasn’t even up to running 9.3 miles, not even as a training run. And I felt I needed a short race to tell me “where I was at”-and had a feeling this one would be less crowded…that the 15K would take the brunt of the crowds due to the points race designation and the later start time. So I could just do my thing, then cheer on my teammates in the later race.
When lining up for the race, it looked like my suspicions would be true…was much less crowded than I thought!! And I didn’t even see any other Flyers at first. Finally, Flyer JD came by and we chatted and tried to forget the fact that it was really cold and windy (was glad I decided to wear tights, but dammit, shoulda brought handwarmers for the start.) We got the warning from the race officials that there was “debris on the course due to the windstorm.” Great…debris, black ice and crazy wind-this is gonna be fun!! 🙂 Well…didn’t turn out as bad as I thought!!
Mile 1 (7:50)-thankfully, not a bad start-it definitely helped that the running lane was wider than it had been in the past. Up Cat Hill…which honestly wasn’t as bad as I remembered on the legs, but man…my lungs hated breathing in this icy air. Was pleased when I saw the mile split, so far so good…
Mile 2 (7:46)-this was Engineer’s Gate to the 102nd St Transverse…saw Crazy Bandana-head taking pictures at Engineers Gate. Tried to pick it up, but didn’t want to too much…since my least favorite mile would be next. Was happy with this split too…and praying that I would not fall apart on Mile 3 as I have in the past.
Mile 3 (8:10)-The wind had really picked up here by this point. Headwind + West Side Hills=bad combination. At least this mile wasn’t as dramatically slower than it has been in the past, and I’ll blame it on the wind 🙂
Mile 4 (7:38)-I could have just run an 8 minute mile and still gotten in under 32, but at this point, wanted better. Was all downhill from here…and they had already put up the mile 9 marker for the 15K which actually was good for me, as I knew I only had .3 miles to go!! Before I knew it, was making the last turn onto 72nd St and had finished!!
Final time-31:24, 7:51 pace (and the first time since February 2005 that I have run a 4-miler faster than 31:5x!) And to top it off, the Flyer women got 2nd place in the 4-miler and I was the first Flyer woman…so a silver team medal for me!! Yeah, a little bittersweet-considering I only got anything because all the faster women were doing the 15K instead…but I will definitely take it!! 🙂
Afterwards, got my bag with my jacket because it was COLD!!, chatted with Runner26 for a few minutes before her race, then went to 72nd to watch the 15K start…which looked like it was delayed a few minutes because a friggin truck was blocking the road. Then went over to the west side to keep Crazy bandana-head company while he was taking pics…and got to see the lead runners come in!! Boy, I can’t blame NYRR for needing more race marshalls-the traffic control was horrible at that final corner-I’m surprised there were not any collisions with the lead runners and pedestrians. Finally, when it got too cold for me to bear, I ran home and changed quickly before heading to the east side to a Flyers captains meeting (and picking up a venti skinny vanilla latte on the way!! boy I needed it…)
So, today’s race was a step in the right direction…considering I haven’t run more than 17 mpw since the injury and have not done any speedwork or hill training…not too bad!! (And I’m convinced it would have been better if it were not as cold or windy…my breathing was still hurting for a couple of hours afterwards!!) Maybe I am better off with less mileage and more cross-training? Most importantly-the calf felt just fine!! At any rate-good to know where I’m at now, can only build from here…