Been slacking a bit on my counter eats, mainly due to a strained hamstring which I’m trying to nurse back to perfect health. Well, if you consider running 9.3 miles on a strained hamstring nursing it back to health, then yes. I never claimed I was brilliant. 🙂
Sunday morning arrived, and after a bottle of wine fun the night before and my hamstring ‘speaking’ to me every step I took, I was cursing myself for not signing up for the lovely 4 mile run which was an option. And a qualifier. Despite this fury annoyance, I decided to make the best of it. I had to be in Brooklyn RIGHT after the race to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday, so I had to prep a bag with a change of clothes etc. etc. Puppy was walked, apartment tidied up, peanut butter and toast was consumed (a little extra PB smear for good measure, of course) and I finally hopped on the train to 63rd and lex and made my way to the park. A family friend (who is like my ‘other’ mother) met me to pick up my bag and put it in her car since she was kind enough to offer me a ride to Brooklyn right after the race. I definitely didn’t want to give up my coat since I was FREEZING.
Finally made my way to the start, looking around hoping to spot a friendly face I knew, maybe someone to run with. No such luck. I felt like some running god was saying “You’re going this one alone, sweet cheeks”. Perfect. Bang, and I was off. I decided my ‘race strategy’ (which I have never employed before) would be to take this race mile by mile. And then percentage by percentage. So at mile two, I congratulated myself on being more than 1/5th of the way done. Hahhaa. True story. The race felt pretty lonely. I love running with people, and I lamented not planning better for a 9.3 mile run. I would have made my bf meet me at the end, but alas he is across the country. So this race truly was a test of my mental endurance more than physical. Well, physically too. I haven’t run more than 6 miles outdoors since the Staten Island half marathon in OCTOBER. Gulp. I was definitely nervous….with a strained hamstring and a lack of distance running racked up…. I feared that I would be unable to complete the run.
But then mile after mile began to go by, and I realized I could do it. I wasn’t running fast, I was running comfortably and I knew I could easily maintain the pace during the entire race. My hamstring was inhibiting me, literally, from running fast. It was so tight I definitely couldn’t get going at much more of a clip.
When I finished in a respectable 1:23:25 (after a dramatic sprint across the finish as if I was PR-ing…) I was frustrated I hadn’t been able to run faster, but proud I had made it through.
NYC Marathon 2011 Quest Update:
3 qualifying races down….6 + 1 volunteer race to go.
(PLEASE NOTE: When I lament about my times, I recognize there are MANY out there who run significantly slower AND faster than I! Everything is relative. When I began my running journey, I could barely mantain a 10 min/mile pace for a half marathon. My last half was run at 8:41 min miles on a very hilly and difficult course. My goal is to one day see a 1:45 half marathon. Welcome to the jungle my journey….)
WHAT IS YOUR RACE STRATEGY?????