A FIRST – Firecracker 4 miler race report

Oh, well, NJ is good for me… Hot weather, not so much. Not a big shocker there.
On Thursday I signed up for a Firecracker 4 miler in the Garden State, and two seconds later I lost all excitement when I saw how hot it was going to be… Last weekend’s nightmare all over again. Still, the field is always smaller over the Hudson (the race was just a bit over a thousand runners) so I figured I could place 2nd or 3rd in my Age Group, and off we went.
The last 4 miler I did was last September, a 29:34 PR, 7:23 avg pace. Last week I did the 5 miler, in also very hot weather, in an average 7:07 pace, so I figured I could try for an average pace of 7:02…? It was hot but I felt like I could do it. Once again, I had no clue!
By the 9:30 am start time, it was 86 degrees, or BURNING HELL in Celsius. Gun goes off and, I am not kidding, ten seconds later I am already thinking of dropping out. I was really hating it. HATING IT! I had lined up close to the front and wanted to keep count of the women ahead of me, but after a few minutes I felt like a hundred of them had gone by so I turned into “it’s my own race” mode. Mile 1: 6:54. I had decided not to drop out and I was loving every single person with a hose out there! Mile 2: 7:09. It was rough holding on to the pace, I could barely breath, and my Garmin freaked out and stopped working; great! There was a WHOLE mile that was a straightaway, no turns, no hills, nothing. As I am used to training and racing in the undulating Central Park, I was dying of boredom here, slowly, in the burning sun, like I was melted nutella. And then, like a desert mirage, Shakira’sWaka Waka* popped up to rescue me… Just what I needed: Shakira always knows better! Always!
You’re a good soldier / Choosing your battles / Pick yourself up / And dust yourself off / And back in the saddle
The pressure is on / You feel it / But you’ve got it all / Believe it
Your time to shine / Don’t wait in line / Y vamos por Todo
She was talking to ME!!! She believed in me! Though I might have been hallucinating out of exhaustion or dehydration. I was really hurting, I really thought I was going to explode into tiny pieces. Blocked it all out and went for it, while still hating it. And then, soon, it was over. I wasn’t very happy for a bit. Finish time: 28:45. Average pace of 7:11mm. A PR, but I thought I could had done better. I wasn’t thinking right. With 86 degrees that is just phenomenal, but it took me a bit to adjust my mind to that. Then I realized it was a WIN to have just finished when I wanted to DNF right from the start. Just like last week. Why don’t I ever learn???
G was sure I had placed. I thought he was delusional and he’d be really disappointed. I really didn’t care if I did or didn’t. Finishing it was enough! Then he said I placed First in my Age GroupWHAT???I had to see it to believe it. It was true. It was my FIRST ever. EVER.
Getting my hardware and stuff. Apparently I have a “balance” problem, look at how I stand…???
Firecraker 4 Miler in a REALLY HOT day in NJ. Getting my 1st medal and shirt. Apparently I stand like I have a balance problem.

Firecraker 4 Miler in a REALLY HOT day in NJ. Getting my 1st medal and shirt. Apparently I stand like I have a balance problem.

Hello Medal. So exciting!

Hello Medal. So exciting!

Happier. Who isn’t happier with a hat on?

cranford jaycess firecracker 2010 (1)
Anyway… there is no way I could place 1st in my Age Group in a race in NYC, so I might be going over to NJ once in a while… IN THE WINTER!!!!!!!!!!
cranford jaycess firecracker 2010 (5)
Of course now I am thinking that in two weeks there’s a 4 Miler I do every year in the park… can anyone teach me to do a “not so warm weather” dance for it??
*Now, if you haven’t heard Shakira’s song, one of the best things of this World Cup, you have to. Right now. HERE. You can’t not love her! 
Waka Waka, on a horse!
Oh, and.. how do people watch Fireworks with their mouths closed? I can’t do it!!!!!!!!!!!


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