This morning was the New York Road Runners Colon Cancer Challenge 4 mile run (there was also a 15K run as well as 1.7 mile walk, but I decided 4 miles sounded best). I didn't have a chance last week to pick up my race number, t-shirt and D-tag, so I had to do that this morning. The weather was about 40 degrees for the race and I wore tights, a long sleeved shirt and a wind breaker.
I decided just to walk to the packet pick-up so that I wouldn't get myself too hot and then be freezing while waiting for the race to start. I was definitely chilly walking to the race. I picked up my number and t-shirt without any problems. I pinned my number to my shirt and went over to wait in the corrals. While I was waiting, the girl next to me started chatting with me. Apparently, I seem to be a magnet recently for talking in the race corral!
We talked about the weather and our running experience. We were both in the 10:00/mile corral and she told me that she had really been working on speed recently and was more of a 9:00 miler. Then we talked about how we never seem to have good times at these New York Road Runner races. I haven't had good luck recently, but I did notice that this morning there seemed to be fewer people out than in the past races.
I definitely wasn't going into this race with any expectations. I know from past experience that's just a bad idea. I figured I would just run my race as best I could given the race conditions. I also knew that I couldn't do much worse than my last attempt at a 4 mile race in Central Park.
Since it was a Colon Cancer fund-raiser run, there were several groups there wearing t-shirts in honor or in memory of someone, but there was one group with funny "Don't be a chump. Check your rump" t-shirts. I thought those were much better than our plain and boring race t-shirts. But, a free t-shirt is a free t-shirt and I won't complain too much.
I started out the race pretty well. I ran the first mile in about 9:30, I think. That seemed like a pretty decent pace and I should just try to keep going. I was thinking while running that it's both good and bad to know the Park so well now. It's frustrating to know every single hill and to anticipate (and slightly dread) all the uphills, but it's good to know that you can just run to X spot (sign, lamp post, tree, etc.) and then it will be downhill from there.
I didn't stop at any of the water stations, I just ran the whole race (also different from last time). As a result of all of this, I ran 0:59 per mile faster than last time! I can't believe I shaved almost 4:00 off my time. It's funny because now that the half-marathon is done and over with, I've actually been liking running more. I think part of that has to do with the fact that the pressure is off a little bit now and I can focus on something other than only running and get back to triathlon training.
No matter what, I'm really proud of myself for today's effort at the run. I can't believe how much better today was than a month ago!
Distance: 4.00 miles
Maximum HR: 192
Average HR: 175
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