This morning I had a 4M run that I needed to do in order to keep going on my marathon qualification for 2011. This was race number 7 (out of 9) so I'm definitely in the home stretch. The only catch? Until I hear from the doctor, I'm not supposed to be doing anything. Which meant that I went with a big goal of walking the 4 mile race.
I was really curious to see if I could do the race in under an hour (15:00/mile pace). I was fairly confident that all my New York City walking could pay off and that an hour or less was a pretty realistic goal. I walked to the Park, used the port-a-potties (I forgot to go before leaving home - what was I thinking?), and then lined up for the race.
Now, I'd just like to mention that since I knew I was walking, I lined up at the back of the corrals. Not in my assigned corral. Could everyone else who is a walker in these races please take note? I don't understand why if you know you're walking, you find it necessary to be more towards the front and getting in the way of those who are running?
As soon as I crossed the finish line, I started walking as quickly as I could. My only goal was to get to the first mile marker by 15:00. It was quite windy here in NYC today, so the mile markers were on the ground today instead of up in the air because they didn't want them to blow over. I know approximately where they should be, but I felt like today more than ever it was really critical to see them to know how I was doing time-wise.
You can imagine my shock when I got to the first mile marker at 13:13! Holy cow, I was doing really well. At that point, I figured that I could have a couple bad miles and still come in under an hour, but since I had done the first mile so quickly, I was curious to know if I could hold that pace for the rest of the race.
I got to mile number 2 at a total time of 26:05 (mile time of 12:52) and I was sure I could hold on to the end. My arm was actually feeling okay at this point too. I basically just had my elbow at a 90 degree angle and swung it slightly back and forth while I really swung my right arm back and forth. Amazing how much easier that was to get some momentum than having my arm solidly against my body like at Alcatraz.
I got to mile 3 at 39:10 (mile time of 13:05) and I knew I was still on pace to finish this thing in about 52 minutes, which I couldn't believe. I wasn't surprised that this mile took a little bit longer, there are a couple rolling hills here that always make this a slower mile (even when running).
At this point, I really had to fight with myself to keep from running. Part of me really wanted to know how fast I could do it just walking, but the other part of me is going completely stir crazy from not exercising and I just wanted to run! Finally, as I was rounding the corner on 72nd Street to the finish line, I gave in. I only ran about 0.10 miles, but it felt great. Of course, I didn't pay any attention to how my arm was feeling, I just wanted to stretch out my legs for the last little bit. I ended up doing the last mile in 12:30, so the running didn't really affect my total time, I don't think. I probably could have come in just over 52 minutes if I hadn't run, which would have still been amazing, I think.
The funny thing is that even though this was my slowest running race ever, I felt awesome when I left because I had shattered my goal of finishing in an hour! My arm actually felt okay at the end, just really tired. That definitely continued as the day went on as well. The good news is that it doesn't feel any worse, but still no real improvement.
Distance: 4.00 miles
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