Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not The Usual Way

I thought my proverb on today's tea bag was especially fitting for me.  In case you can't read it, it says, "He who would leap high must take a long run".  I'd also like to point out that the thing in the background is my coffee cup, that really only ever sees tea.  Don't ask what those color swatches are.  This is the most ridiculous coffee cup, but it's a really good size, and it was free, which is why I continue to use it! 

I was supposed to get up and go running this morning like usual, but I just didn't feel like it.  Instead, I was thinking about last night when I was walking home from work and how I thought that it just seemed like a great night for running and that maybe I should go tonight instead of this morning.  Which was really just a great way to rationalize sleeping in for a bit longer.

However, I was able to leave work at a decent time and came home, changed clothes and headed out for a run.  Today I was supposed to be doing 7 miles.  I've typically been running from home to the Park around the big loop and back again.  That is a really good plan when it's early in the morning and there is no one on the sidewalk.  That is a bad plan when it's 6:30 and the sidewalk is packed.

So, I decided not to make myself crazy from the get-go and I walked to the Park.  I started running as soon as I got there.  I decided to go against traffic and run north first, up the West Side of the Park.  I always have a mental block about running this way, because somehow I always psych myself out about the backside of Harlem Hill (near Lasker Pool) and it being too steep or something.  I was bound and determined not to let that happen today.

I wasn't in a big rush or anything, so I was just plodding along like usual.  It was totally different to be out there at night instead of the morning and have the sun going down instead of coming up.  When I got to the backside of the Harlem Hill, I kept repeating the same song lyric over and over again, basically telling myself that I couldn't give up.  And you know what?  I never stopped running! 

After that, I just felt invincible.  I ran the rest of the way downtown.  I happened to see Coach Spencer while I was running.  As soon as I saw him, I noticed that I became more conscious of my running form.  After we passed, I kept telling myself to "run like Spencer was watching."  It actually works!

When I passed the 72nd Street transverse, I was glad that I was almost done.  I decided to see what I could do and see if I could pick up the pace a bit.  I started running faster right around the time where the turn is and 6th Avenue sort-of comes into the Park (just above 65th Street).  I hadn't looked at my watch at all, but I decided that I'd look at it then.  I was at 1:00:30 and had gone 5.61 miles (10:47 pace).

I didn't know my mileage at the time, but I started running as fast as I possibly could that I thought was sustainable.  Every time I passed a hash mark on the ground for speed work, I kept telling myself that I had 200 fewer meters to go and could I possibly go any faster?  Turns out that I ran the last .69 miles in 6:11 (or 8:57 pace), which made me feel fantastic!

I finished running with a huge smile on my face and made a bee line to get myself some dinner.  But I had a great run.  I haven't been running at night in a long time and maybe that was the difference today.  I made it up Harlem Hill with no complaints.  I never took one walking/drinking break.  I finished running faster than when I started.  All in all, pretty happy with that! 

Time: 1:06:41
Distance: 6.30 miles
Pace: 10:35/mile


  1. Great run! Way to pick it up at the end.

  2. That hill is tough! When I did the Half Marathon in CP last year I tried to zone out on the hill and not think about it. However, I think the second hill is even worse since you are already so tired. Thankfully, going down the east side feels all downhill from that point.