NYRR’s Fitness Games, another 4 miler in the park

This past Saturday I did my 4th four miler of the year. Yes, you’re gonna ask what is up with all those 4 milers, and comment that it is such and odd distance… Not so in NYC! The mid loop of the park is 4 miles, so, there. Why 3.1? Or 6.2? We do so many of those 4 mile loops that we even have a 60K in Central Park made of that same 4 mile loop. Yeah, 9 nine times. Nope. It doesn’t get old. Or at least not yet.

So, back-stats!

PR: Fitness Games, September 11, 2010, 28:09. Pace: 7:02
Same exact race, in 2thousandfreaggingTEN! Yeah, my 4 mile PR is TWO YEARS OLD. Frustrating as @!#_P@#$%(#)!_!! !! and more !!!!!!

This year’s 4 milers:
NFL Back to Football, August 30, 2012, 29:06. Pace: 7:17
Run as One, April 29, 2012, 29:20. Pace: 7:20
Run for the Parks, April 22, 2012, 29:18. Pace: 7:20

not. even. close.

Had a crazy week, Friday went out, got home super late. I kinda gave up on the race, and decided it’d be anoooother speedwork session.
Saturday early, I decided to run the two miles to the start, and the truth is, I was so tired, I walked. I walked the two miles. So soooo depressing.
I started deciding that I had lost WAAAAY too much weight (I kinda did, my scale and pants don’t lie!) to have any energy or muscle left to race. I was zapped of energy and interest. I felt depleted. All the sad and depressing things you can think of.
But I had TWO cups of coffee that morning. Just in case it’d help.

I lined up, too close to the start mat, but really trying to hide, and feeling like a fake there. I just really wasn’t feeling it. I usually go into races knowing what my PR is, and how I paced it last time and what I should do this time… I looked nothing up, no idea what my PR was or anythingI was just gonna wing it. And, I still wanted a good effort out of it.
 

But, I ALWAYS ALWAYS remember Mara Yamauchi’s words from her NYC Half 2009 victory, where Deena Kastor was crushing it. At the post race press conference, she had said: “My race went from bad to good today, I didn’t give up because as soon as you give up in your mind, your body gives up. I told myself that a bad day was better than a really bad day.”

That always stuck with me for some reason. THOSE are some words to race by. She had bad day, thought she would have to DNF and she ended up winning. So you don’t let your head give up.

We get moving. I felt like crap. Empty, tired and like the coffee had been too much. Mile 1: 7:08. Ooooops, or good?? Hum, I just went up the hardest hill pretty fast, but… I know how that goes, my mile 3 will ends up being the slowest and if the 1st one was too fast, mile 3 will be like a 7:40… we shall see. Still, like Mara, we don’t give up in our heads. Mile 2 felt really hard and I did contemplate giving up a bit, it’s the flatest part of the course, like the only half a mile that’s flat in CP, and I felt like hurling the coffee, and a side stitch. Mile 2: 7:01. Ha, maybe it felt hard, because I was running hard?!?!?! And here is where the wheels come off. Always mile 3. Rolling hills, lactic acid, whatever, I pushed myself to stay in and kept focused on the tangents. Only one runner around and ahead was doing tangents as well so we stuck together for a bit. Soon I had to peel off and I hate passing people. I really do. I know it’s stoopid, but I just feel bad for them, and I also hate that they might come back to pass me later just out of competition and might have to drop them again because they pushed too much. I am an idiot, I know. I just like running with people, not against them.. oh well. Mile 3: 7:20. Wow, that’s NOT so bad. Glad I didn’t give up. Obviously I couldn’t do any math at this point. I usually just try to cruise the next half mile and then go like a maniac in the last half mile. Like, a wild wild maniac. So, I wait, I push, I start feeling it. I see a girl up ahead that looks like my friend Tessa. But it’s not her. And I decide to chase her. And she’s wearing a fanny pack. In a four miler. I get up close. And you know I hate passing people. She hears me coming close. Turns around. (I really do breathe like I am going to die any minute when I am running 7s or under). She looks scared. I tell her I am ok, this is just how I breathe, but I am ok. She is relieved, oh goodie. I have to pass fake-Tessa. Mile 4: 6:38, though I had no idea at the time. I still have a bit to finish and it’s up a hill. Yes, the finish is always up some hill. And I put my hand down there, and I found it, it IS there, the extra gear. For 10 seconds, I am running like it’s a sprint, after 4 hard miles. I had it in there. The last bit, 0.04 of a mile, average pace: 5:59. Whaaaat? Yes. It was in there, in the bag with the Ididntsleepany, and Ijustdontwanttorace, Iamtooweaktorace, and Isuckatthese, it was there. Tell me to shut up next time I think I am tired.

Check the crazy numbers

I cross the finish, I bend like I am gonna throw up just once, then I wait for fake Tessa and explain myself, then I found the tangent girl to tell her she was OSOM, and I spot my friend Patricia up ahead. I saw Kettia (Ket’smeow) right then, we catch up, she looked great, and Patricia take off to do a few more miles cheering on people.
 
Finish stats:
Finish time: 28:24. Average Pace: 7:06
Previous PR: 28.09. From: September 2010.
Age Grading: 68.92%
Gender Place: 60 of 2910
Age Place: 10 of  505

It’s funny, my friend Elaine (cheekyrunner) said think of long-non-sleep night as a long warm up. Good point.
Also, got more hardware, my team’s women got 2nd place, and I am top ten in my AG, so more medals, that’s two races in a row!
Still, not a PR, but 7:06 average is not so far from 7:02. It’s been two years, but I am disregarding that! Good. Two weeks to Berlin, and a day. good.
Oh, then I saw Kettia right at the finish (Ket’smeow), and Patricia and I did a few more miles cheering on people.

NYRR’s Fitness Games, another 4 miler in the park

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