Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not Just A Prime Number

So, here it is ... my race number for the 3 mile Wall Street Run tonight. And it's a prime number, but apparently it's not just any prime number. It's a primeval number. Not that I knew what that was before Wikipedia told me. But, if you click on that link, Wikipedia can explain it to you too!

That special race number wasn't the only exciting thing about tonight's race. I got to wear my new Terrier technical t-shirt for the race! Here's a picture of the actual shirt. That dog there is Buc, our mascot. And, yes, Buc does exist in real life. He's a Jack Russell Terrier.

After changing clothes at work, I headed downtown for the race. I didn't have any expectations for this race time-wise, I just wanted to run the entire race. When I got off the subway, I was glad to feel the breeze coming off the water. However, that was short lived. As soon as I lined up and waited for the race to start, the breeze was gone and I was standing in direct sunlight. After a while, I was sure that I was going to pass out if we didn't start running soon.

Luckily, a guy came up to me and distracted me! I was wearing my red running hat and he came up to me and said, "You're wearing a red hat. But it's not the right red hat." I explained that I hadn't realized I needed a special one. His had something to do with hearts (it was an American Heart Association fundraiser, this race) and so we got to chatting. He told me that he was 75 and had two stents put in his heart in January and 1/3 of his heart didn't pump. I asked him if he was really supposed to be running today, but he assured me that since January, he'd gotten first place in his age group 4 times!

We then started talking about triathlons. He told me that he had done a sprint triathlon and found it more tiring that doing a marathon. Which I thought was really interesting. But, he definitely looked like a runner, so maybe running just comes more naturally to him. Eventually, he headed towards the back of the pack to look for more of his people in red heart hats. I wished him a good race. It looks like he might have come in first in his age group (if I'm remembering his race number correctly)! I hope I'm doing the same when I'm 75. Although, he told me that it's more about picking the right races. It helps when you're the only person in your age group.

Anyway, on to the race. The start was really crowded and people were walking all the way up to the start line before they started running. The race course takes a quick right turn almost immediately, so after running for maybe 10 seconds after crossing the start line, I had to stop because there was such a large crowd of people trying to make the turn. It was sort-of like getting to the top (or bottom) of an escalator and having there be a lot of people just standing there and you know that more people are coming behind you. Not the best feeling in the world, but luckily after that turn, things thinned out a bit.

Because lower Manhattan is so small, you really have to double back on yourself a few times to make it three miles. Here's the race course:

What I think is really funny is the fact that this is called the Wall Street run and you never actually run on Wall Street. You cross over it three times, but no real running on Wall Street. Right after I had passed Mile 1, I could look over and see what I think was the lead pack. Don't think that I didn't consider just crossing over and skipping most of Mile 2!

The conditions were pretty hot. I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was keep running. It didn't matter how slowly I was going, I just had to keep picking up my feet. I saw the sign for Mile 1, which I passed at 9:53 according to my watch. I was pretty happy with that and knew that if I could just keep that up, I'd be a very happy camper. I never saw the sign for Mile 2, so I don't know what my other mile splits were.

I actually think the course was a little long. Or perhaps I just made it long for myself because I think I was in the vast minority of people who stayed in the street the entire time. It seemed like everyone else was cutting corners and running on the sidewalks when possible, so I think all that corner cutting probably helped those people. Obviously, I'm never going to win anything, so I didn't see any need to break the rules and cut corners.

Despite the heat, it was a pretty fun race. Granted, I was sort-of miserable the entire time. Mental note: probably not best to brick in the morning before a race. My legs were exhausted and there were definitely a couple of times where I had to fight with myself to just keep running. But, I did. It was really this dumb blog that kept me honest. Because I didn't want to have to admit that I took a walking break. I actually even skipped the water station on the run because I didn't want the temptation of stopping to drink something.

All in all, quite pleased with the results. Even though I didn't have any time goals, of course I had a secret goal in mind and I really wanted to finish in less than 30 minutes. I think that given the heat and the congestion on the course (those streets downtown are pretty narrow!), it was a really good time for me.

After the race, I grabbed a bottle of water, a plum and some pretzels and headed home. I ended up picking up dinner before I actually got home, but when I walked in the door, Drew was there! He didn't have to work late! So, I put my take-out dinner in the fridge and we got to go out on a weeknight date! Not the worst way to end the day! I am thinking, however, that tomorrow might be a good day for a rest day. We're both doing a five mile race on Saturday and I think that my legs could use a day of rest. And I'm not even going to feel bad about taking a day off!

Time: 29:55
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 9:59/mile
Calories: 318
Maximum HR: 196 (92%)
Average HR: 181 (85%)

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