OK, you’d expect any post that’s a race report for the Gridiron Classic 4-miler to have some football-related title…and this wasn’t very original, but the first one I could think of 🙂

So this was my first race back since the infamous (sh)IT band injury…was just using it as a time trial/fitness check of sorts…see exactly how out of shape I had gotten in the last 3 months.  Wasn’t sure what to expect…thought breaking 32 minutes may be a stretch (based on the last injury where I was out for an extended period of time) and that I was gonna totally be embarassed by my time but who knows what will happen…

Oh yeah.  Didn’t know it was gonna be 17 degrees that morning.  This is gonna be fun!! 😛  (well at least the weathermen were wrong…no snow on Saturday, meaning no race being turned into a fun run, no slippery roads)   Woke up and had my pre-race eats…which was almost entirely courtesy of Trader Joe’s: quick-cook steel-cut oatmeal w/ PB and honey, and gingerbread coffee 🙂  I usually have a bagel before races, but wanted to experiment a little bit.  Put on the race attire…ahh DS-Trainers, how I’ve missed you!  Wanted to try my new Sugoi compression tights but actually was way too cold for that…gonna go with the SubZeros.  And on top…hmmm I’ll go with the red Nike Flyers singlet over a warm black top.  Annndddd can’t forget my “Kara Goucher necklace“!  Headband, gloves, Mr. Garmin-ready to go!!

Thank god I live about a mile from the start, I needed the warmup…and actually despite the cold, it was a nice morning and once I was moving wasn’t that bad.  And I was actually glad to be out…I think I really missed the social interaction more than anything!  Having to do all my runs solo since my mileage isn’t up is no fun!  OK, off the subject…so I get to baggage with enough time to stash my bag and get to the corrals.  Even though this looked to be a crowded race, it definitely was not stacked, as I got a red bib.  So while waiting for the start, I saw Dr. Evil in his infamous Superman blue tights…and a certain crazy bandanahead, camera in hand, came up behind us and surprised us 😛  We were all trying to stay warm waiting for the start and thankfully things went off on time…(even with all the football-related questions!  Who’s a Jets fan?  Giants fan?  Who wants the Saints to win?  Who wants the Colts to win?)

Mile 1 (7:50)-First time facing Cat Hill since before the injury.  This is gonna be…painful?  But I tried the best I could…and actually the legs didn’t feel too bad, but I was definitely out of shape…was breathing harder than I should have been, even with the hill.  Flyer JB ran by and tried to give me a “low hi-five”…ok, at least he didn’t scare me like Dr. Evil did one time 😉  Speaking of, I could still see him…hmmm maybe I’ll try and use him as my rabbit?  Mile 1 marker is coming up…hmmm not bad!!

Mile 2 (7:39)-Instead of pressing the “lap” button, I accidentally hit “stop”…damn gloved hands.  So as quickly as possible, I hit the lap and start buttons and just tried to keep in mind that this mile 2 split will be a couple seconds fast and I’ll have to figure out the real time later.  Just kept going, though my lungs did not like breathing in the icy air and even though I had my gloves on, my hands didn’t warm up til the end of this mile.  Tried to keep Dr. Evil in my sights…he wound up pulling ahead by the end of this mile…which was fine, I didn’t want to hurt myself using someone as a rabbit.

Cast your "vote"! Saints or Colts?

Mile 3 (8:04)-So a fun thing at the beginning of this mile, on the 102nd St Transverse were 2 mats that someone could run over depending on who you wanted to win the Super Bowl-the Saints or the Colts…you can bet I picked the Saints as the Colts beat my beloved Jets 😛  And apparently, 66% of the race participants agreed with me…though Moz may have a point about the results being skewed a little, as the Saints mat was in the inside running lane.  So after the transverse was my favorite west side hills (NOT)…I knew this mile was gonna be weak but just did the best I could.  During this mile, the guy who annoyed me during the first bridges run last fall pulled up and passed me…and believe me, I really wanted to beat him…but today just wasn’t the time for it.  (There will be plenty more chances for that…)  So this mile turned out to be just over 8 minutes…ok, not too too bad.

the finish is in sight...

Mile 4 (7:35)-Barring any disaster in the last mile, looked like I would get under 32 minutes easily…could I get under 31?  This mile does have a big downhill…and I tried to do some math, but keeping in mind the cumulative time was a few seconds fast…hmmm under 7:30 for this mile?  Could I do it?  I was trying to pick up the pace, but by the latter half of the mile, my out-of-shape-ness came into play and I couldn’t kick it up another gear.  BC passed by me in this mile (taking a break from the ObsceneCam™ for a race!) but I couldn’t stick with him.  I was happy to see the 72nd Street Transverse, almost home…just a little further south on the West Drive…ohhh I forgot about that uphill!!  Good to see the announcers reminding us of it as well!!  I crossed the finish line just as I heard…I think Mary Wittenberg?…congratulating those of us who got in under 32 minutes and saying what a great thing it is.

bandanahead and me 🙂

Final time was 31:08, 7:47 pace.  Not as even as I would have liked (damn West Side Hills!)  but no horribly positive splits.  I’ll tell ya, I was glad to breathe normally again and grab some water.  Saw Bandana-brain and Flyer ST around the finish area…she snapped this nice piccy of us 🙂  After that, just went to get my bag as soon as possible and get inside and get warm!!  Meaning brunch with a coupla other Flyers…mmmm chocolate chip pancakes and lotsa coffee.  OK, maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to order considering I’d be eating lots later in the day while watching the big game…but what’s done is done 🙂  And yes I did watch the big game later…as well as the commercials 🙂

So…this was definitely a lot better than I thought I would do, given the minimal mileage the last 3 months.  The important thing was that the (sh)IT band stayed quiet for the 4 miles, which was the important thing.  I was a little concerned about it being tight given the really cold temps but it seemed fine.  The cardio system really needs work though, as my lungs seemed to be working harder than my legs…and I really didn’t feel this was an all-out effort, I really didn’t have the extra “kick” I did last year.  It will take time I guess… (though if this ridiculous winter can end sooner rather than later, I’d be everso happy.)

Next up?  xoxo, Gossip Girl.


10 thoughts on “touchdown!

  1. Wholehearted congrats on your first post injury race back!
    First races back are tough,how much have I lost?will the injury hold up?will I be slower than I would like?but it sounds like you came through it w/ flying{Flyers}colours!!!!!
    How are the stitches?along those lines I was thinking it’s been a while since you had a poll on the blog so here’s an idea for the first one of the year:
    Should I be wrapped in cotton wool to keep me safe and injury free b4 Chicago?
    My vote would be a resounding YES!!!!

  2. Nice race, nyflygirl…It’s nice to see you back on the roads, doing what you do best! First race of the year is always intimidating! I’m staring at my first next weekend and I’m already freaked out…and I wasn’t even injured! You’re good to go now.

    Hope you FEASTED well after the race! The leftover mini-cupcakes were yummy!

    • thanks lam…not sure about “good to go”…taking it one race at a time!! and yes, i feasted very well after the race… 😉 glad you liked those cupcakes…i knew having the leftovers in my apartment would be deadly 🙂

  3. Great race report for a cold day!

  4. Nice job, 31 sounds pretty fast for a winter race, the 1st race of the season and a come back from an injury.
    Sounds like a pretty fun Super Sunday, Race, Pancakes and the Big Game with all the fix’ns, plus that wonderful pick 6.

    Even though it cold, keep training!

    • thanks!! Was still a ways off my 4-mile PR (29:43) but as I said, considering running has been minimal I was happy…this was probably better than my 1st races after my previous injuries. Yep, I’ll keep training as long as Mother Nature doesn’t keep dumping snow on us!! 🙂

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