With the exception of 2006, sounds like the NYCM 18-Mile Tuneup and white singlets do not mix (at least when I run it!) Last year, the excuse being “with 93% humidity, you can bet the white one would not be a smart choice today!” This year? Rain, rain and more rain. With a little bit more rain on top of that. Whatever, I can deal, I’m tough, I ran my first 20 in the rain, remember!! Plus it’s just a long run, not a race. (Boy, oh boy am I glad that I changed my initial plans to do a half marathon this weekend instead of the previous one!)
So I awoke way too damn early with a “let’s just get this over with” mindset. And waited til the last possible minute to leave…as I wasn’t frontloading and didn’t want to stand around more than I needed to. I didn’t even bring a bag…whats the point? It would just get wet anyway, and I planned on leaving ASAP when I was done. So on my way over…and I realized that I did have to get to the start before the corrals closed…forgot about that!! Let’s hustle a little. I made it there and even though I had a red bib, I went to the green corral and met up with Runner26, as we were gonna try and run at least a little bit together. So of course, before we could start, there was another Queen Mary speech about what a great day it is for running, what a great event this is, yadda yadda yadda. (Personally I wish they’d ditch this and replace it with a 3rd LTR, but I know it’s a numbers thang, $$ wise…) And we are off and running.
So I guess the first few miles were pretty uneventful…Runner26 and I kept a consistent pace of 9:20s (I even said after the 2nd mile “we are nothing if not consistent!” and Harlem Hill didn’t sneak up on us like it did last year 😉 However, the two of us got separated after the water station at mile 3…oh boy was that water station a disaster, i swear there needs to be some etiquette lessons. I’m one who prefers to drink “on the fly” and not walk through the water stops, yet it never fails, there are always collisions or near-collisions with those walking who will not get out of the way…anyway, as I was saying, me and Runner26 got separated after here, but she wound up running a great race anyways-very consistant pacing and a sweet PR-and she did it on her own! 🙂 (v. proud of you, girl!)
So I just settled into nines, give or take a few seconds…I feel the next 6 miles or so were pretty uneventful. Well for the exception of Crazy bandanahead taking pictures (what else? 🙂 ) near Cat Hill…thank you bandanabrain 😛 Oh, and so after that same water stop, this time around mile 9, there was a way-too-enthusiastic volunteer…while I give her credit for trying, was just not in the mood to hear it…i actually said out loud “I want some of whatever she is on” and a coupla other runners by me laughed 🙂 And on that lower loop, I saw my friend BC volunteering as a course marshall and he called out to me…was good to see him. And of course bandana-brain by Cat Hill again, and he even said “i’m gonna get you every time” or something like that!
But around this time, I was wondering what was going on…I should have been lapped by now…either the field wasn’t as loaded today or the rain either kept the racers away or slowed the leaders down? Well i guess I didn’t need to fret, sure enough the leader passed by during mile 11 🙂 And I was only lapped by 4 people total (actually just barely 4-the 4th place finisher made the turn onto 102nd right as I passed by. hmmm so maybe that one doesnt count?) So yeah, this was prolly like a record for me. And since we passed near the finish, I heard music playing and “Celebration” by Madonna was on…and hmmmm guess I sped up a little for mile 12.
One more loop to go…I didn’t want to race this last loop but I was so ready for this to be over. I had picked up the pace slightly, but I was still well within my comfort zone, which was good. Saw BC again on the lower loop and was hoping to see bandanahead again…guess he left-smart guy 🙂 Going up Cat Hill, I pulled up alongside Flyer JW and we worked together to get up the hill (though surprisingly, Cat Hill was not a problem for me at all each time…in fact, I passed people there on each lap) before he took off once we got to the top. Only 1 1/2 miles left, all downhill from here. Thank god. Flyer EA was cheering by Engineer’s Gate…crazy, but much appreciated 🙂 Finally, the finish was in sight…was great to see the “finishing lane” right before 102nd. (Now does anyone else think this is sorta a recipe for disaster? We’re told to stay to the right when lapping runners, yet the finishing lane is on the left and the passing lane is on the right…makes no sense, I tell ya!)
By the numbers…
And the Flyer women came in 2nd and I was the 5th scoring female for the Flyers. Obviously a lot of the fast ladies slept in today because under normal circumstances, I would not be in the top 5 🙂
So as I said before, I didn’t want to stay around too long, but posed for posterity for the NYRR site with Bandanabrain (ah that’s where you went!) and Flyers AW and LZ. By then I was freezing, so I got out of there…and yes I was lazy and took the subway one stop. Oh and on the way to the subway, a couple of people recognized me from leading their pace group at one of the NYRR Long Training Runs (and apparently one of them was using me as a rabbit for the last 2 loops!)…and on the subway was someone who was in my group at the Bridges Run! Kinda cool getting recognized like that 🙂 Anyway-home, hot shower, Snuggie, nap…in that order 😛
So even though the conditions were sucky, still a solid run in the books. And based on my heart rate data, it is encouraging that an 8:30 pace for the last loop still fell in the easy zone, even after having done 12 miles before. One more tough week to go…boy oh boy I can’t wait to taper!! And I think my body agrees with that, I will be handling it with kid gloves this week…