Race Report: Holiday 4-Miler
Race #1 of the 2 race weekend!! Woo hoo!
My big weekend started off in Prospect Park for the Holiday 4-Miler. I was looking forward to another 4-mile race because it’s always fun to work on speed. Although I finally know what pace I need to move up a pace group for NYRR (7:30), I decided not to push it because of my 15K the next day. I wasn’t going to kill myself with this race; just have fun!
I woke up to sunny skies and really chilly air. Winter is here! I broke out my winter running clothes and bundled up. I couldn’t find my winter fleece running hat, so sucked it up with my baseball cap. The race was in Brooklyn; the last time I had a race there was for the Brooklyn Half last May and it took forever to get there. So, I cushioned a lot of time, desperately wanting to avoid a situation like last weekend, at left my apartment at 7:15 for my 9am start time.
Unfortunately, the subway came incredibly fast and before I knew it, I was in Brooklyn at 7:45.
That’s 1.25 hours before I had to start. Ugh. On any other day I would have been happy and maybe have walked around the neighborhood. However, it was below 20 degrees; not weather to hang around outside. So, I decided to pretend to be homeless and hangout in the subway station.
It was still quite a while before start time though, so I found a sunny spot near the start line and read the New Yorker while standing because the ground was too cold to sit on. Good times.
Eventually, I made my way into my corral (still 3rd from the start…c’mon!) and we got going! I was looking forward to this race because it was in somewhere else than Central Park . First mile was crowded but fun. And, man oh man, it was cold. My face was absolutely freezing. I kept cupping my hands and blowing into them to keep my face warm. I think next time there is such a cold race, I’m going to wear a neck gator. Cold cold cold. Second mile was good. There was a water stop during this mile which you have to be really careful around in below-freezing races. Crazy ice alert! I did well avoiding the ice. I saw someone I went to college with during this mile, so I talked to them a little. I run into people I know everywhere…it’s kinda ridiculous. And then mile three happened, and I thought I was going to throw up. Well, not because if pushing myself ridiculously. So, I had this cold 2 weeks ago, and while I’m basically fine, I still have lots of, ummmmm, mucus, which the really cold air doesn’t help. Lots of spitting (yum!), lots of blowing my nose into my glove (double yum!). Not gonna lie…this is not fun. When it really builds up while running in the cold, breathing becomes difficult and swallowing becomes impossible. Ew. So, I had to deal with this for the rest of the race. Good times. But, eventually, the race finished, and I could breath again. Overall, it was a fine race. Nothing exciting, but I didn’t to drain my legs and body for my other, bigger, race the next day.
Mile 1: 7:59
Mile 2: 7:29
Mile 3: 7:22
Mile 4: Not sure. I messed up my watch. 90% of the time at the end of races I hit SPLIT instead of STOP or something else. And it messes up my watch time.
Total time: 30:48
I think this time, especially on a really cold day with some congestion problems, shows that I should be able to get that 7:30 pace in the right conditions. The biggest problem is that first mile, getting out of the crowd. I think if I get into my corral right away and start at the very front of it and push myself through that first mile, I can do it. I have 2 4-mile races in February, where I’ll try to get that pace. I think that both of them are in Prospect Park, which is an easier course than Central Park, so I’ll try my best. Woo hoo—red bib here I come!
So, race #1 of my 2 race weekend was uneventful. If only I could say the same about #2…