Want to know what the best part of doing a new distance race is? YOU AUTOMATICALLY PR! So spoiler alert, I PR’d today.
Anywho. So today’s race was part of the bigger picture: 18 miles.
I never had any intention of “racing” it. My plan was to just keep steady and chug along and get the mileage in.
First things first, the weather on Saturday was perfection in Central Park. What a lovely day overall. Nice and crisp but was actually pretty warm – and had to take off my gloves about half way through. I am totally fine if mother nature decides that winter doesn’t actually have to make an appearance. No snow, no problem in my book!
I was for some reason NERVOUS for these miles all week long. I don’t know why but I just had a feeling that they were going to be rough. This turned out to not be the case at all, in fact the total opposite! So I woke up having to really get myself out of bed. I didn’t have that extra pep in my step looking forward to it. I waited til the last possible second to get up and then was scrambling of course to make sure I had everything.
On my way in I ate a pack of shot blocks which is becoming my long run breakfast. I am trying to fuel for running as much as possible with the gels and blocks so my stomach is really used to them. And I am absolutely responding better now. Thank god! I also brought three gels to use during the run.
I arrived at central park around 7:45 and the race wasn’t until 8:30 so figured I would get in as many miles as possible before it started. I press my Garmin to start and DEAD. Or would be within a mile. Rookie mistake not making sure it was charged. I had a minor melt down. Almost convinced myself to go home and do the run on Sunday. Without the watch working it meant I would have to stream mapmyrun on my phone to accurately get my mileage. This in turn meant that I would not be able to have music or there would be no way the phone would last. So that was it. No music get to running.
I was able to run 3 miles prior to the race start and I was feeling good. It was a nice little warm up. I met up with my friend Tara at our coral with a few minutes til the gun. She was going to run 16 and we were in it together. I told her I planned to try and keep at a 9:30 pace which she was good with. The race started and we settled into a groove. The miles just started to fly on by. I took a good when I hit about 6.5 miles or so and had some water. We tried to stop at most water stations. Again prepping for the marathon. There was no rushing no urgency. I even stopped about half way through the race for a quick bathroom break (that is how NOT serious we were about our time).
The course itself was nice. It skipped harlem hill for two loops. But got our cat hill in! I wound up doing cat hill 4 times on Saturday when all was said and done!
As the miles ticked away all I could think of was how GREAT I was feeling. I felt like I was holding back so much which was a good feeling considering I hadn’t had a rest day in over a week and a half.
We picked up the pace for the last 200 and finished the race holding hands, I loved it. We had identical times, definitely a first! I hope they got a good picture.
I have to say – I really LOVE the 15K distance. I kind of wish there were more of them around. As usual very organized by NYRR and everyone looked really happy and like they were enjoying themselves. I had heard good feedback about this one and it lived up to the hype. I will definitely be doing it again.
We took a couple of minutes at the end and ate half a bagel, got some Gatorade and water and stretched before starting out again. We only had about 6 miles left so decided to run up to the reservoir and do a couple laps then run down the east side again to finish it up until we hit the 18.
The reservoir was a nice change of impact. I really wanted to take off but she was not quite where I was so we kept at it with the 9:30 pace. I would have liked to tempo in some goal pace but no biggie. I know I should be more concerned with finishing the first marathon I do but I really have a time goal. And I think if I can do those 18 at that pace on super tired legs then I can totally do it. What’s 8 more miles right?!?
Not to mention, I did that entire run WITH NO MUSIC. I really had a holy shit moment when I realized how much I was in the moment, in tune with my body and just having FUN. Yes, 18 miles of total unadulterated bliss. I was sky high when I finished up. Give me the race and crowds and music and I feel like I will be on cloud 9 running the marathon. Not to mention rested coming off a taper. I never had a time when I wanted to be done or was hurting at all. I am so so so ready. I want to run this right now!
I got home, showered, covered my legs in icy hot and proceeded to eat my face off and take in some TV and then got in a beautiful nap.
But seriously, just glorious. I am still so stoked by how well it went.