Saturday, April 3, 2010

Scotland Run

Before we get to today's run, yesterday was a big day for me at work. Nothing work related. Triathlon related, of course! It started out with a delivery from Amazon where I got these:

I should mention that I was in need of some new goggles. I could only swim 300-400 yards before getting an eye full of water. I think the old ones were just getting old and tired. My old goggles are Speedos, but I read so many good reviews on these Aqua Sphere ones that I figured I just had to give them a shot. I decided to get the "lady" version because I have a freakishly small head and thought that these might be better for me.

So, as soon as I got them, I did what anyone would do. I opened them up and stuck them to my face. And then I IMed Laura and said, "I'm wearing goggles right now. They fit great. I bought them from the internet. They're just suctioned on my face and not popping off!!!" I should mention that I don't have an office at work, I sit where people could walk by, so after realizing that the goggles weren't popping off on their own, I decided I should take them off.

The afternoon got better in the form of another delivery - this one from Xterra:

My wetsuit with sleeves (and a fancy blue inside)! As soon as I saw that this had been delivered to the mail room, I had to go down and get it. I couldn't wait for the mail guy to deliver to my desk. All I really wanted to do was take it to the bathroom and try it on, but I decided that I should wait until I got home. I mean, I was all ready with my new goggles and all! It definitely looked like it should fit, but it's hard to tell. It smelled like new rubber and it was very exciting.

After work, I packed up all my goodies and headed uptown to pick up my number for today's 10K run. This is what I ended up getting:

Normally, we just get numbers and t-shirts for NYRR races. All this extra stuff (the bag, the hat, the flag - there were also temporary tattoos and a pen) was a bonus. Plus, I thought the t-shirt ended up being pretty cool that it looked like a map of NYC and a Scottish tartan. After getting my goodies, I finally headed home.

As soon as I walked in the door, I tried on my wetsuit. No sense in waiting around, right? Seems to fit perfectly. I need to test it in the pool, of course, but I'm really hopeful. I also was really impressed that as soon as I put it on I was hot immediately. Seems like exactly what I'll be needing for San Francisco's chilly bay!

Now, for this morning. It was 56 when I was getting ready to leave for the race. I was wearing shorts and a thin long-sleeved shirt. I actually wondered before leaving if I should wear a tank-top underneath my shirt in case I got hot, but I figured I would be okay. (Turns out you should always listen to that little voice in your head).

I was really excited about today's 10K course. We started at the bottom of the Park on the Westside, near 62nd Street and ran north up the Westside, which meant that we'd be running clockwise in the Park. Most runners and races go counter-clockwise. However, the NYC Triathlon takes basically this same route and the NYC Marathon does as well for the portion in the Park. I was excited to do this route in a race as practice for the Triathlon in July.

While I was waiting for the race to start and was standing in my corral, I was starting to feel a little bit warm. That did not seem like a very good sign. I also can't remember if I've ever felt warm at the start of a race. Most of them seem to be pretty cool and then I warm up while running. I decided at that point to push my sleeves up and just do the best I could.

It's funny because right after you start the race, you see the sign for Mile 6 and then you run through the finish only to have to run all the way around the Loop before getting back to the real finish. I felt great when the race started. I was just running a nice and easy 9:30/mile pace for the first two miles. I don't know where this new ease and love of running is coming from. Maybe part of it is bike riding avoidance? Heading to the Harlem Hill, I felt really confident that I was going to have a good race. I ran up the first part of the hill and then the downhill and felt okay.

At the bottom of the hill, there was a fire hose that was spraying people - I opted not to get soaked and just got a mist from the side. Then came the second part of the Harlem Hill. I felt really great while I was running up the hill. I was proud of myself because I was passing so many walkers and I was thinking how much my running fitness has really increased as a result of all the running I've been doing recently. And then I got to the top of the hill and realized that I was in a bit of trouble. I started feeling really light-headed and felt a headache coming on.

I decided that I would just keep on running and from then on I would stop and walk through all the remaining aid stations and drink water in order to try to stay hydrated enough. I have to say that after wishing and hoping for warmer weather, I sort-of forgot how to deal with it. I just wasn't ready for the warmer temperatures today. However, my plan of running until I got to an aid station and then walking through and sipping water seemed to work pretty well for me for the remainder of the race. I even stopped at the aid station in the last mile, which seemed ridiculous, but was definitely the right thing to do.

When I could see the sign for Mile 6, I started picking up my pace a little bit. The last bit of the race is uphill and I really pushed through and passed as many people as I could. I also managed to get a sub 10-minute-per-mile finish! I'm really happy with that. I think that if I had been more prepared for the heat, I could have probably finished with a 60 minute 10K time, but as it is, I knocked 1:01 off my last 10K time, so I'm still proud of the improvement. And the truth is that I think I actually walked more during this race than I did in the last one!

After the race, I grabbed another cup of water and the typical bagel and apple that they hand out after NYRR races. They were also handing out these Stoats bars (please note my short fingernails are for the wetsuit wearing):

I have to say that I didn't think it looked that great. I was pretty dense looking, but I looked at the ingredients and thought that they looked pretty good without any scary chemicals, so I decided to give it a try. YUM!

And then I looked at that ingredient list again and saw that the third ingredient was butter. No wonder it was so tasty! I ate about 1/3 of the bar on my way home from the race along with the apple. I carried my bagel home with me. At some corner when I was stopped for the light, a woman came up to me and said, "You've just run all that way and now you're going to eat a bagel?" I told her that my plan was to take my bagel home with me and put some fried eggs on top. She told me that she was glad I was going to be getting some protein with "all those carbs". I'm not sure why it made any difference to her, but then she made a comment something along the lines of, "well, I guess you did just run all that way so you can eat whatever you want, huh?"

Um, no. That is not how these things work. Maybe if I didn't care about my weight or general fitness then I would think that it was okay to eat whatever I wanted after working out, but my response to her question was, "No, I can't. That's how Americans get fat with that sort of mentality." Sorry, but it's true. And, actually, I'm going to steal an excerpt from Julia's Huffington Post article to show what I mean:

Let this be a lesson to you: working out daily does not cancel out eating crap. It's simple math, really. A typical workout will burn 300-500 calories. Calories in a piece of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake? 700-1,100. In a restaurant hamburger (let's say Chili's)? 800-1,100. These numbers mean little until you combine them with the, "I worked out so I can eat what I want" mentality. Basically, saying you worked out so you can allow yourself a piece of cheesecake, or splurge on a burger instead of a turkey sandwich (which has about 300 calories), is fallacious. One piece of cheesecake equals two hard workouts, and who's gonna work out twice in a day just because they want a slice of cheesecake? Certainly not me.

Normally I don't get so high-and-mighty on the blog, but sometimes people just say something that gets me so frustrated. I'm doing triathlons because I really like this sport. I'm also doing them to keep myself motivated to workout on a daily basis. Unlike a lot of people out there, I've never really struggled with my weight, but I know that I would probably like to turn some of my body fat into muscle if at all possible. But, I work out and I watch what I eat 90% of the time. And sometimes, yeah, because I ran all that way, I do splurge a little bit. But mostly I just want to eat good foods after working out. Funny how our bodies take care of those cravings for us.

And just to be accountable, I ate my bagel with two eggs, which were fried in a little bit of butter for a total of about 500 calories. And I ate a small Macintosh apple plus a small amount of that bar. I'd guess that brought my total up to about 650? Considering I burned over 750 while running, I think I did okay. And now I'll stop talking about food on my fitness blog (although I do think they're related).

Time: 1:01:11 (first time my watch matched exactly with the official results!)
Distance: 6.20 miles (10K)
Pace: 9:52/mile
Calories: 759
Maximum HR: 194
Average HR: 178

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