I must really love Central Park, and doing all my long runs there. Well actually I don’t, but when there is a half scheduled the same weekend as my last scheduled 20-miler, well gotta take advantage and roll with it. So yeah, Grete’s Great Gallop was this past weekend and the 9 am start meant I could sneak in 7 miles beforehand and not have it be an ungodly hour. Plus it’s a club points race, and even though i’m too slow to score for the team, I should be a good captain and run…etc, etc, etc. Only downer was that rain was forecasted…well, it’s not like I’ve never run 20 miles in the rain, but I wanted to to listen to music during the run. And as you all know, my first iPod died at mile 10 of Grete’s in 2006…couldn’t deal with 2 half-marathons in the rain!!
Well as it turned out, though it was a bit on the humid side (93%!), the rain would spare us. I got out the door by 7:30 and headed to the park to start running. And actually-what was great about doing those 7 in the park was that the water/Gatorade tables were already set up, so I could grab a cup and keep running instead of having to stop at a water fountain (hey I had my race number on, I had the right to utilize those tables!) I finished up my 7 miles with the perfect amount of time to spare-just enough time to drop off my bag and find my corral. Ran into Uptown Girl in my corral and we posed for the Brightroom photographer and chitchatted til it was time to run.
And off we went. Everyone around me was passing me and I didn’t care, remember this was just a training run…the plan was to do 8:30-8:45 for the first 7, then try and run MP or close to it for the last 6.1. But the humidity looked like it was gonna have fun with us today. Which made me glad once again that my half-mary race effort was 2 weeks ago!! So actually, I kept a pretty consistent pace for the first 7 miles…or as consistent as you can get with all the ups and downs. BC was out taking pictures with the ObsceneCam™ and I was still able to smile and wave so I obviously was not working too hard 🙂 Other Flyers were out cheering while running, marshalling or standing still which was very much needed!!
So time for the last 6, time to pick up the pace. Did run into a problem on that first mile since 1. too many near-collisions at the gatorade table and 2. just north of 72nd, the marshalls did not stop a huge group of people from crossing in front of the runners, which caused another near-collision and prolly slowed me down a little. But besides that…not bad. Again, I was pretty consistent…and was passing a lot of people in this loop, including those who passed me in the early miles, which made me feel good. But I was definitely having to work for it…this time around, I wasn’t smiling so much for the camera!! Plus I was really feeling affected by the elements…humidity was getting to me, was feeling a little under-hydrated…moreso from lack of sports drink than water. All I could think about right at that moment was the Electric Lemonade I would be downing at the Boat Basin afterwards. Oh yeah, maybe I was still feeling the effects from too much beer Thursday night and not enough sleep…either way, this was almost over. The Gatorade at the bottom of Cat Hill was a sight for sore eyes, even though I didn’t have that much longer to go. I needed it!! Flyer EA was helping hand out the cups, and I gave him a signal that I was gonna take a cup from him…but someone else beat me to it. Thank god Mary Wittenberg was right behind him handing out cups too!! I downed it and then was ready to be done…about another 10 minutes and I was!!
Not much excitement to say about the finish-remember this was just a training run!! Splits are below…
So pretty much, I executed the plan, as I averaged 8:35 for the first 7 and 8:15 for the last 6.1, and this was in crappy conditions too. Miles 5 and 11 are the miles that begin near the top of Harlem hill and end around east 86th street-those splits really put into perspective what a sneaky uphill that mile is. And one other thing, I used this run to rehearse the race day outfit…down to the shoes!! Going with the DS-Trainers…and no naked shorts 😛
So did the usual post-race stuff…chitchatted and socialized with teammates and whoever else…was hoping to get a waffle but they had run out-and this would have been only 2 hours and 15 minutes into the race-there were people still running!! And yeah, this leads to another little rant I have, as the raffle started around the same time…and of course, you had to be present to win-or even put your number in. And again, as the course limit was 3 hours, there were people still out running!! Shouldn’t these things be open to all runners and not just the speedsters?
Well anyway, I mentioned the Boat Basin before…and sure enough I headed over there…where me and a few others proceeded to partake in what Lam referred to as “the BEST POST-RACE PARTY EVER!” I got my much needed Electric Lemonade. And a coupla strawberry margaritas with salt. Yeah, I think all of us were buzzed and happy after a short time…which led to some pretty funny conversations. I’m sure none of you would suspect that talk about pro runners, orgasms and charades would lead to laughing so hard you’re crying…I guess you had to be there 😉
And as for me now…TAPER TIME!!! Oh yeah….