United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 5

Planned mileage: 13.2 (+40min tempo)

Completed mileage: ~9mi (+2mi speed)

One, I really need to get back to a normal blogging schedule. After looking at three computer screens all day, I really do not feel like looking at another to update this thing when I get home. However, I need to get over this feeling, because I need to start doing some of this stuff at home. My resolution/intention for 2019 was to get more involved with scientific communications and to start a biomed/higher education blog. Also, starting next semester, I will be eligible to take graduate courses for free so I will have to start getting used to doing work at home. Wait, I have an MS and a Ph.D., do I want/need another MS?

Two, this entry will be a little woe is me.

Ok, let’s get this thing started.

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 4mi

Completed: 4mi

Wednesday:

Planned: 40min tempo

Completed: 60min Zumba class; 2mi speed work

I just was not up to running. You ever have those days where you wake up and just do not care about running? That was my day. I tried to do the run after work, but I decided to attend Zumba class instead. I did ride 3.5 miles to the gym, so that’s something . . . I guess.

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 4mi

I was quite pleased with this one. Hell, I even did an extra mile. I did not manage to do my run in the morning so I did it after work. It was nice running alongside the Hudson River, and the change of scenery was quite nice. I did the first half of the run in easy mode and did the second half at half-marathon pace.

Hudson Running

The George Washington Bridge in the distance.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: Rest

Saturday:

Planned: 10K at race pace

Completed: some bullshit (1.25mi)

This is where I am beginning to reach the end of my rope.

Since this was going to be a 10K race pace run, I decided to do this run in Central Park so I could run uninterrupted. I started the run with a simple 0.5mi warmup from my apt to the north side of Central Park. For those of you who are not in the know, Central Park spans north to south from 110 street to 59th street, and one big loop is about 6 miles.

Ok, I get to Central Park after my warm up then I do my standard stretches. Within the first mile, I started having some lower back pain. I did not even get a chance to make it to race pace!!! It was not excruciating, but I knew that I would not be able to finish 10K. Hell, I did not think that I could even complete 2 miles.

I was quite upset with the situation because almost every night I have been doing my PT back/core exercises before bed while listening to TV. WHY is this getting harder? Maybe I’m slouching too much on the sofa. 

Plus, I just did a really nice 4-mile run two days before this run. It seems like the more I try; the worse it gets. Just as an FYI, I did not have any back pain with any of my other runs or workouts during the week. One thing I can think of that may have affected this run is the hills big hill on the north side of Central Park. Most of my weekday runs are on pretty flat courses; however, my Thursday run had a couple of low-moderate hills. Being aware of the big hills at Central Park North was one of the reasons why I did the warm-up run. I did not want to shock my body with a huge hill (for NYC standards) at the beginning of the run. Again, I did not even get near a race pace.

Also, I was pissed because I did a pretty fast 7.5mi long run the week prior to this run. Basically, in a week’s time, I went from being able to complete a 7.5mi run to being unable to run a mile IN THE SAME SECTION OF THE DAMN PARK.

Another one of my issues. Once I’m over something, I’m over it. By the time I struggled to do the 1 mile, it may have been at 1.25mi at that point. I was like

  • “Ok, the run is not going to happen.
  • I’m close enough to one of the Crunch Fitness (W. 83rd) so I can do another form of cardio.
  • I get to the gym, hop on a stationary bike but after 5 miles, I was over it.
  • Kind of like, if I cannot run then I do not want to do anything at all. I did get a delicious salad from a random deli though.

Sunday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: I went bowling. Does that count?

Conclusion:

Basically, I do not know what do because I cannot depend on my own damn body. In terms of running, I am in a super crabby mood and just do not give any shits about running this half marathon. What’s the point? I mean, I will have a great run one day and a week later have a shitty run. Also, I will set a goal, not meet it, then be pissed off for the following week. I would not be so down on myself if I did not do any prep work during the week. But the fact that I’m doing daily back and core stretching/exercises and my situation has gotten worse is the annoying part. The time wasted doing those exercises could have been allocated for something more productive like drinking or smoking.

End rant.

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United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 4

61 Days Until the United NYC Half Marathon!!!

Planned mileage: 18.75 miles

Completed mileage: 16.3

It felt nice getting in a full week of running and getting back on track for the United NYC Half Marathon. I will say that I kind of missed it over the Christmas and New Year break. Oh, I would have completed all of my planned mileage, but all of the treadmills were occupied for my three-mile run on Sunday. I did 30 minutes of elliptical work instead.

This will have to be a quick report because I have to start doing some work. Actually, this will be quick because I cannot remember much of what happened this week. I guess that my mind was still in vacation mode for most of the week.

Monday:

Planned: 40 min X-train

Completed: 3 mi run, 25 min elliptical, and stretching

Basically, I did a morning run and an evening workout that consisted of elliptical work and stretching.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4 mi run

Completed: 32 min on the rowing machine and 30 min stretching

I do not really remember why I did not run on Tuesday. Maybe it was raining in the morning.

Wednesday:

Planned: 1.75 miles (7×400 meter speed intervals)

Completed: 3 mi (7×400 intervals) + warm up and cool down

Ok, now my mind is back. I really enjoyed this workout. I performed the 400-meter speed runs followed by 128-meter cool off. I am quite proud that I managed to run sub 2min for all seven of my intervals. Hopefully, I can extend a similar trend once I start doing Yasso 800m intervals in the upcoming weeks.  Oh shoot, I need to start doing some hill work soon too.

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I really love Marcus Garvey park because it has a path that is very similar to a regular track. Oh, and the park is like one block away from my apartment. One loop is a little more than 500 meters, so it is perfect for running 400m intervals with a track vibe to it.

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Actually, the folks smoking cigaweed first thing in the morning is a little annoying, but what can you do? I guess you could call the police, but snitches get stitches.

Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: Nada

Eh, I overslept and missed my morning run. Then after work, I decided to get much-needed after work cocktails.

Actually, I overslept because I woke up a bunch of times during the night due to the BFs LOUD ass snoring. How do y’all cope sleeping next to a loud snorer? I need some tips.

The meme is 100% correct.

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Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: 3-mile treadmill and strength training

What KOS doing a workout on a Friday night?!!! I guess that one has to do what one has to do.

My local Crunch fitness installed new treadmills that are supposed to closely mimic outdoor running.

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Honestly, I did not really see/feel a difference between this treadmill and the regular treadmills. Maybe I did not play around with all of the “fun” features. It seems as if the person who authorized this purchase for the gym may have gotten scammed. Great, so Crunch fitness will probably raise the membership fees for this waste.

Saturday:

Planned: 7 miles

Completed: 7.23 miles

This run made me feel like such a whiny baby. Well . . . the pre-run made me feel like a whiny baby. Saturday’s temperature was around 31 F, and as most know, I cannot stand running in the cold. I knew that I needed to get this “long” run out of the way. Also, I knew that I needed to do it because I need to start getting used to running in the cold. After bitching and moaning for most of the morning, I decided to get my act together and do the dumb run. And then, the cold weather was not THAT bad. For my upper body, I wore a short-sleeved tech T, a long-sleeved tech T, and very light hoody. Within 200m of the run, I had to take off the hoody.

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I will say that I really enjoyed the run. Aside from the 28 F weather, it was a very lovely day. My run pretty much consisted of running to Central Park and doing loops around the Harlem Meer, which is about 0.8 miles. I really need to decide if I want to report my distance in miles or meters because this back and forth is really annoying me. 

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During my one of my loops, I ran in and around Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. In all of my 16+ years in NYC, I have never visited the Conservatory Garden. The garden is quite nice, but I think the views would have been better in the spring and the summer.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 30 min elliptical and strength training

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Without going into great detail, Sunday was pretty much a leg day.

Although I did not get into it in this update, I have been trying to do daily stretching and core exercises at home before going to bed . . . except on those cocktail nights.

Random: I really want this T-shirt.

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That’s it out of me. I hope y’all are having a great start to your week.

Catch you in the streets.

Race Report: Ted Corbitt 15K

Date: December 8th, 8:30 am

Distance: 15K

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 29 F, 54% humidity

Finishers: 4,971 total (2,553 men / 2,418 women)

Official time / pace:  1:31:02 / 9:46 min/mi

Swag: Long-sleeved tech shirt

 

This 15K race honors the life of Ted Corbitt, who was the first president of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the first African-American to compete in the Olympic marathon. During his life, he ran over 223 marathons and ultramarathons, so many cool achievements!!!

Going into this thing, I was not really feeling the race because the weather report called for mid 20 F temperatures. Y’all know that I don’t mess around with super cold or super hot weather. However, I am glad that it did not rain or snow.

I was not feeling mentally strong going into this race, because of a couple of struggling ass short runs during the week. I did a (near) 5 mile run on Thursday, and it was so much of a struggle to finish. WTF? I just ran a marathon last month, but I was struggling to finish a 5-mile run. Since this race takes runners through two loops in Central Park, the plan was to run the first loop and do 400m and/or 800m walk/run intervals for the remaining distance.

Ted Corbitt

Getting to the start was a little of a struggle because I did not set my alarm the night before. Why do I self-sabotage myself so much? I woke up at 6:30ish in the morning and was like I can sleep for about 15 more minutes. Yeah, I guess that 15 minutes became 60 minutes. Well, why did you do that? The race starts near 102nd St. in Central Park, and I live in Central Harlem in the low 120s. Basically, the distance is about a mile or so from the start. I am so glad that I laid out all of my clothes the night before. At 7:30 am, I started preparing the coffee, took a poop (while smoking a cigarette), threw on my clothes, hopped on a Citibike, and biked to Central Park just as the race was starting. I did not mind starting near the back of the pack (even though I was assigned to the B corral) because I knew that I was going to be a little lot slow for this race. Come to think of it, I did not stretch before starting.

Ok, let’s get to the damn race.

The race started off really slow even for being near the back. I think the cold made folks a little cautious about slipping. Also, I think many folks are still coming off of the marathon and were doing this race to finish up their 9+1 requirements for next year’s NYC Marathon. I think that I had the perfect amount of clothes for this race/weather. I never felt too cold or too hot.

Head: a Baseball cap and a head/ear band

Upper body: A singlet, two long-sleeved technical tees, and a very, very light hoodie

Lower body: A pair of shorts, tights, and over the calf socks

Hands: I only needed my gloves for the bike ride to and from Central Park

The crowd was pretty packed for most of the first loop (~4 miles). I decided that it would be too much work to zig in and out of the pack to pass people, so I figured that I would just “enjoy” the race. Although the weather was below freezing, I’m really glad that it was a sunny morning. Actually, it was a very picturesque run. Too bad that I could not take many pictures . . . dumb iPhone. I remember last year that it snowed a little bit towards the end of the race so this year’s race was leaps and bounds better than last year’s.

Finishing the first loop, we were able to see some of the elite runners finish. Man, they were so freaking fast. Ok, the annoying part of the run where I wasted some time.

I wanted to shoot a quick video of the top three runners, but my phone died. It’s getting that time of the year when my phone does not do well in cold temperatures. Before shooting the video, the phone’s battery was at 60%. After the quick, five-second video, the battery went to 2%, and the phone died. I am so glad

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that I had my iPhone external battery/case. If you are in the market for a case/external battery, I highly recommend this case from Gasopic ( *** ). I completely charged my phone back to 90% and there was still 75% of reserved juice in the case. Although it’s a little bulky, I love this thing.

I think that my second loop went better than the first. Although I have not really investigated my splits, I definitely was passing folks and did intervals between two light posts starting at mile 7.

Interesting randomness:

  • I ran a better marathon this year.
  • I ran a faster Ted Corbit last year.

What’s the point of this info? I figure since I was in better shape this year, based on my marathon finish, I would do a better job for this year’s Ted Corbitt run. I guess that you can never use one metric for predicting your finish for a run.

Last year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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This year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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Eh. Oh well . . . what’s done is done.

With the conclusion of this race, I earned my 9+1 guaranteed entry for next year’s TCS NYC Marathon. 

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Man, there were so many people waiting in a line to take a picture with the 9+1 sign. I swear, NYCers love to wait in lines for the most random shit. I pretty much took a selfie and kept it moving. It was far too cold to be bullshitting around in a line. 

I hopped on a Citibike and rode my ass home, and the BF had breakfast waiting for me!!!!

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  • Anyone else doing NYRR’s 9+1 program for next year’s marathon? If so, which race was your favorite?

Race Report: Grete’s Great Gallop

It’s been so long since I ran a race that I’ve forgotten my general template for the race reports.

Date: October 6, 2018, 8:00 am 

Distance: 10K 

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 63 F, 84% humidity

Finishers: 6, 063 total (2,904 men / 3,12 women)

Official time / pace:  1:04:32 / 10:24 min/mi

Swag: T-shirt

It has been a while . . . my last race was back in August. 

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This race honors the legacy of Grete Waitz, who won the NYC Marathon nine times and was the first woman to complete a marathon in under 2.5 hours. 

Saturday’s race was incorporated into my weekly long run of 15.5 miles. I ran 4 miles before the race, 10K for the race, and 5.5 miles after the race. Although the day was somewhat gloomy, it was the perfect running weather for me – nice and cool with a little bit of mist. 

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0K – 5K

The first half of the race went relatively easy. For this race, I purposely took up the rear of the pack; I started the race in the K corral. I wanted to be in the back so I could a little slower than my marathon pace (4:30 marathon = 10:17 min/mi pace). However, I still found myself passing folks without too much effort within the 1st mile. Once we hit the first hill, I managed to dial it back a bit. During this segment, we climb our first (and toughest) hill in the course. 

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5K – 10K

I have to admit that I walked just a taste around mile 4 to eat a half of a granola bar. Technically, mile 4 of the race was my mile 8. For these long distance runs, I still have not learned the importance of eating during the activity. I’ve been getting better though. Normally, I try to eat something every 5 – 6 miles. On Sunday, I kept pushing back my snack “break”, which is something that I CANNOT do during the marathon. I kept telling myself  “ok, you can eat after running another half of a mile.” I fear that I will be setting myself up for disaster if I keep doing that. Normally, it’s not a problem in my normal long runs (I usually have a Powerade/Gatorade around mile 6), but I guess that I was more in a race mode on Sunday. 

All in all, it was a decent run. I’m glad that I still had plenty of juice left to run another 5 miles after finishing the race. It was really hard not to grab a bagel and go home after the run. However, I did load up my water bottle with post-race Gatorade and kept it moving for the next five miles. 

Race Report: NYRR Retro 4-Miler

Date: July 14th, 2018, 8:00 am

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 71 F, 61% humidity

Finishers: 4, 833 total (2, 287 men / 2, 546)

My time / pace:  39:43 mi / 9:56 min/mi

Marathon

Too bad my running times no longer matches my corral placements. Hopefully, one day I’ll get back to my B and C corral placements.

The Retro Run celebrates NYRR’s 60th anniversary. To help celebrate this anniversary, folks typically dress up in their funkiest outfits from the past 60 years. Basically folks were wearing short shorts, knee-high tube socks, and afro wigs.

I pretty much signed up for this race to begin acquiring my 9+1 credits for guaranteed entry into the 2019 TCS NYC marathon. *I’m really behind, because I only have completed two races and it’s July.*  This was my first time running this race, but I have registered for it at least 3 or 4 times. In the past, I guess that I was either too drunk or hungover to wake up for this Saturday race.

Swag:

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Although the cotton T-shirt was not a technical T-shirt, I liked the “vintage” feel to the shirt. It’s nice to have a non athletic shirt every now and then. The shirt’s design is plain enough that I can wear it out and about.

The Race:

Starting line

Ok, I will put it out there that my pace was a bit slow, because this race was part of my 11-mile training run. As is always the case,   thought that I ran the race a little faster. Oh well . . . Feet smell.

This race took us north from the east side of Central Park, across the Park on 102nd St, and down the west side of the Park.

#NYRR, #NYRRetro

As I mentioned above, this race was incorporated into an 11-mile run, but the race’s course is outlined in white. The course was was not too aggressive, aside from the few rolling hills on the west side. One thing about running this race at a slower pace, compared to my normal race pace, I had the change to ‘enjoy’ the race. Since this is a “retro” race, a lot of folks were dressed in 70’s and 80’s wear.

Are the 90’s consider “retro” yet?

Next Race:

July 21, 2018: TCS New York City Marathon Training Series 12M

NYC Marathon Training Update II

Total Distance Ran/Planned: 14.6 mi/14.0 mi

Reflections from the week

-This is not really a reflection, but more of a eureka moment. As most know, I use my

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Image from PCmag.com

Apple Watch as a sports watch. It was really annoying me that I could not use the watch to do interval/segment runs. As I recently learned, it’s really simple to use this feature. While the workout app is open, you just double tap on the watch and it will generate a new segment. Folks probably knew this, but I did not.

-Something is going on with my iPhone or a combination of my iPhone and Apple watch. The phone seems to be burning through it’s battery. I think it has something to do with the double logging of workouts.

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During my 6mi run, the phone used about 51% of battery juice.

Monday:

3 mile run (easy)

This three mile easy run was done on a treadmill, because my shorts did not have pockets. Although this was an easy run, I did 400m intervals at marathon pace at the end of each mile.

Zumba

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Actually, I cannot complain too much about this Zumba class, because my annoyance level was pretty low.

Wednesday:

Yasso 800m intervals.

This time around, I really want to incorporate more interval training for NYC 2018 marathon. I think this is really important, because I have not done much running during my off months. Well . . . I have not done much of anything during my off months. I really need to get up to speed  . . . no pun.

For this workout I did 6X 800 m intervals withthe goal of completing each interval in 4 minutes. Each interval was followed by a 400 m cool down. This is when knowing how to segment my runs with the Apple Watch would have come in handy. Anyway, I think that I pretty much either did better than or met the goal for five out of the six intervals. Since I did this run in Central Park, I had the opportunity (whether I wanted to or not) to incorporate some small hills in for this workout.

Zumba (impromptu):

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After my run, I returned to the Crunch fitness to stretch. While I stretching, a woman from my Monday Zumba class was hanging out in the studio. She asked me if I had planned to attend this Zumba class. I really had no intention of doing this, because I really wanted to go home after stretching. But, I guess that my body still was pumping endorphins, so I was like F*ck let’s do another Zumba class this week. Hell, I’m going to Cancun in less than a week, so any extra workout may make me look less like a beached whale. Actually, that workout probably was negated by the activities from the  following day.

I have to say that I may skip my normal Monday Zumba class, and become a regular for Wednesday’s class. A couple of reasons for this:

  • The class is smaller. So, there is none of that saving spots for five of your friends bullshit.
  • Since the class is smaller, one can Zumba “bigger”, because there are not 85 million MF’s in your face.
  • The instructor’s playlist was pretty on point. He actually had some “old” Latin songs from the 90’s that I enjoyed. I get kind of annoyed when a Zumba instructor only plays reggaeton for the entire class. I mean there are other types of latin music . . . just saying.
  • The instructor playlist was continuous, meaning that there were not too many gaps in between songs.

Thursday:

Rest . . . it was supposed to be 3 miles easy.

I read my training calendar wrong and thought that I had a rest day. I met a couple of friends downtown at Rise Bar ( *** ) and had SEVERAL glasses of wine.. Hey it’s pride month in NYC. Actually, I had several glasses of wine, a couple of froses, a couple of frozen cosmos (they tasted gross), and a couple of gin & sodas (my start) at Rise Bar.  I must have been insane, because I was drinking white wine, which I never do . . . unless there is no red wine available, with the exception of malbec.

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Why so many drinks?!!! Rise bar has 2-4-1 happy hour from 4 PM to 9 PM. And plus, . . .

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Sunday:

5 mile run (long)/ did 6 miles

I don’t know but I was really feeling it, so I added an extra mile to this “long” run. Might as well do this while I’m at the lower distances. According to my training plans, I’m supposed to be doing these long runs 30-60 seconds slower than my marathon pace, 9:09 min/mi. I actually had to fight myself to run slower that what I was doing. Hell, I ran the second half faster than the first. Then, again the first three miles was very hilly.

During the last mile, I even threw in a few fartleks. I guess this will not be too much of an issue once I hit the double digits for my long runs.

This song is perfect for a cool down to any exercise.

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After completing my run, I treated myself to breakfast, because I get to eat breakfast only once or twice week, since I’ve been intermittent fasting.

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Ok I was annoyed with my breakfast for a couple of reasons.

  • The dish was too damn expensive 13 bucks. I was going to get an omelette, but a simple ham omelette was like 20 bucks!!!!
  • Also, when I order eggs over easy, I want to be the one who breaks the yolk. Stop flipping the eggs so damn hard.

I guess that is it for me.

Goal(s) for the week. 

  • Have enough dedication to run while vacationing in Cancun.

 

NYRR Midnight Run Race Recap

Date: Dec. 31st

Distance: 4 miles

Location: Central Park, NY

Weather: 10F; 50% Humidity

Finishers: 3, 988 (1, 798 men; 2, 190 women)

Mypace: 10:41 min/mi 😦

The saying “a stitch in time saves nine” really rang true for this race. This was my last opportunity to complete my 9+1 for guaranteed entry into 2018’s NYC Marathon. I’ve had to run this race before but not in 10F degree weather.

Aside from a quick run earlier in the week, I have never run in sub freezing weather. Boy was I upset with myself for having to run this race, but it was my own fault. Had I not stayed out late a few Saturday nights during the summer, I would have completed my 9+1 in November.

Getting to the start.

Basically bundling up was the name of the game – 3 layers on my top with a hoodie. I am super lucky that I now live very close to Central Park so I did not have to be outside too long for commuting to the race.

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Also, I was super lucky that I found my running gloves. Against my better judgement, I decided to bring a bag because I had tentative plans to meet up with a friend after the race and I wanted to change into warmer clothes after the race.

Since I was having my back issues, I knew that I was not going to have a good race – this was more of a “just finish” type of run. The whole corral system went out of the window, but I did not care too much because I knew that I was going to be a struggle.

Miles 1&2

The first mile was amazing because the start was synchronized with a firework show in the Park.

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There was a lot of stop and go because people were taking photos and videos (including yours truly) of the firework show. The first two miles were not too bad, because I did not feel the cold (too much) once I got moving.

I do not know why the organizers thought the cider toast at the 2 mile mark was going to be a good idea. Water freezes at 32F and the temperature was 12F.

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I guess its the thought that counts.

Miles 3 & 4

This is where the struggle came in because I had to walk a couple of times. In addition to my lower back issue, I had a bit of pain in the upper left region of my back, in the form of a pulled muscle. Since I have been lounging around the apt for the past few days, I probably laid on my back in a weird position. Plus, I think upper back is overcompensating for my lower back issues. It was painfully annoying that I had to walk a little bit during a 4-mile run. I just ran a marathon last month for Christ sake!!! But I eventually made it to the end of the race and completed my 9th race of the year.

Afterthoughts

I did not really care for this race. I think NYRR dropped the ball (no pun) for this one for a couple of reasons.

  • The Race central was in some closed off area and getting to the baggage area was a bit of a hassle from the west side. Remember, when I said that I should not have brought my bag?
  • It sucked that Central Park was closed to everyone except for the runners and their one guest. However, this issue probably was more of an NYPD thing.
  • Since NYRR cancelled all of its open runs around then city earlier in the day, it should have given folks an option not to run and still receive their 9+1 credit. I guess it was not cold enough for this option.

Hopefully, I never have to run this race again, unless I want to.