I wanted to do a nice long, un-interrupt run to prepare for my upcoming race, so I decided to hit Central Park. This is will probably not be my last run in Central Park. I started off with a plan to run 10 miles. I took off. The first mile seemed long. After that the next few went pretty well. It was nice to see more runners than smokers. There were a lot of other people out for a little exercise. Usually I'm running alone. Not many people choice to run the crowded streets of NYC. So running next to and with people was a bit usual for me. It sure does feel good to pass people and it feels pretty darn crappy when some one else zooms past you. I guess I have a bit of a competitive nature. When I was about 5 miles into the run I heard a group of guys quickly approaching. They were moving quickly and looked like pretty serious runners. I wasn't very excited to have them pass me. I decided to let them pass, but then try and keep up with them. So after they passed I picked up the pace and stayed with them. I was impressed with my ability to keep up, but even then some super human ran up and passed all of us. I'm afraid there's always gonna be some one faster than me. I followed the guys for about 3/4 of a mile and then they stopped. I wanted them to keep pushing me. As I continued with out them, I hit a huge wall. I slowed down and wanted to stop, but I fought the feeling and after about a half mile I was feeling good again. Things went smoothly until I hit 8 miles. I started to get tired and my knee started to hurt. It sure would have been easy to stop there, but luckily determination won and I finished the 10 miles.
The next day I was a little sore, but felt comfortable that I would be ok running the race on Saturday!
Central Park is such an important part of NYC. I don't spend a lot of time in Central Park, but the time I have spent there is a valuable part of my NYC experience. Central park consists of 250 acres of lawns, 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams and 130 acres of woodlands, 9,000 benches, 26 ballfields and 21 playgrounds, 36 bridges, 52 fountains, monuments, and sculptures. 38 million people visit the park each year. Here's a few of my favorite pictures I've taken in Central Park.
After my long Central Park run, I was going to take it easy before the race, do a few short jogs, but nothing hard core. A busy week caught up to me, with work, Halloween, hosting a party, race planning, etc and I didn't squeeze in any more before it was race day!
The alarm went off at 5:15 am. If you know me, I'm more likely to see 5 am if I'm still up from the night before, not because I'm getting up. I had all of my running clothes and everything I needed for the race laid out the night before. Had a quick protein shake and cookie for breakfast. (I'm sure any running expect would suggest eating cookies for breakfast the morning of the race.) I headed over to Citi-field in Flushing Queens. It was dark, cold and wet. I got there before the sunrise and hoping it would be a nice one, since I was up to see it anyway. Too bad the storm clouds completely blocked it. I was nervous and excited. But I had a dilemma. It was sprinkling and cold, so I had no idea what to wear for the actually race. I had a long sleeve running shirt, a thermal shirt and a water proof jacket. I needed to figure out which combination of the three I should wear. Right before the race, it started to rain pretty heavily, should I wear the jacket? I wasn't really planning to. I decided to go with the shirt and thermal, ditching the jacket, which ended up being a good choice, despite the rain and freezing temp I was pretty comfortable through out the race.
Before I knew the air gun went off and I was racing. I started at a nice even pace, a comfortable one that I knew I could run at for a long time. Before I got to the first obstacle course I saw some one drop out, limping and in pain. I felt sorry for him, but maliciously thought, "looks like I'm doing better than him." We got to the first obstacle and my first Urbanathlon instantly became my first Tough Mudder too. The rain had the ground a muddy mess and all the people who had already climbed over obstacle one, covered everything else with mud. The obstacles proved to be much easier and shorter than I had expected, I found myself wishing they were harder. I was booking it along, skipping hydration stations, passing a good amount of people, especially on the obstacles. Every now and then some one would pass me and it would drive me crazy.
When I got to the stair climb I knew I was over 2/3 done. At that point I knew I was fine and decided to step it up. I cruised throughout the stair climb and ran harder and faster the rest of the race. Crossing the finish line a happy camper, proud with what I had done.
I completed the 9.5 miles and 8 obstacle courses in 1 hour and 23 minutes. The results were posted today and here's where I ended up. I was 274 of 1,894 runners. I was 41/348 in my age category. I now wish I would have started at a quicker pace. The race was broken down into three legs. Each leg I improved my standing. Leg one I was in 433rd place, leg two I was in 284th place, leg three I was in 176th place. They also had a separate ranking for the stair climb, I was 156th. Not to shabby for a first attempt.
Shortly after the race it started snowing. It's been snowing/raining/sleeting for the past few days and I've been sore, which are both great excuses not to run. Hopefully tomorrow I head out again. I'm worried about being able to run a lot this winter. We'll see what happens.
(Central Park run)
Distance: 10 miles