Saturday, January 5, 2013

A happy quasi-50th :)

It has come to my attention that today I ran my 50th NYRR race since becoming a runner. Not counting the 2 marathons, or a handful of non-NYRR races. So really, it's no great shakes and I should've celebrated a few events ago, but seeing the number 50 on my current member history somehow seems significant. (It also seems kind of low. Shouldn't I be up to 200 by now?)

Because I spent so much time in 2012 nursing my stupid shinjury—and because it's decided to grace me with its presence yet again—this year I'm just running one race at a time. I'll have guaranteed entry for the 2013 NYC Marathon (provided there are no huge changes after this past cancellation) and I plan on running it, but I'm making no huge promises to myself and trying to set smaller goals along the way. 

First up: "10 Mile Run to the Brewery," a race on Long Island (1/19) that starts and ends at the Blue Point Brewing Co. Because if there's anything I like as much as running, it's beer. 

The flat course and sweet Saucony tech shirt are obvious perks as well. Also that I got my running mates Kate and Jaimie to sign up too. I'm really looking forward to it, which makes me realize my goals should also be about things that just seem fun, instead of monotonous NYRR races that I do just to get the miles done. Yes, I want to improve my time and yes, I want to improve my fitness, but I also don't want to be so damn bored while doing it. 

Anyway, the race is two weeks away and I've been slowly but surely upping my mileage. I did an 8mi run on Sunday which was pretty terrible because it took me forever to warm up and when I finally did my toes started cramping. I was in new shoes, but it's a pair of the same exact kind/size I'd been running in. Maybe they were good for my fat swollen summer feet, but my winter feet need a smaller toe box? Just another thing to add to the list of "WTF?s" I can throw at my orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.

This morning was what, in theory rather than practice, is one of my favorite races: The Joe Kleinerman 10k. Really it was just a favorite because I like saying "Joe 10k" and his face was on the t-shirt and it started on 102nd Street.

Now the shirt is lame and it starts further downtown so, really, I don't know what I was excited about. 

Super lame

PLUS if I was running 6.2 I was NOT gonna do a long run tomorrow, which meant I had to tack on mileage either before or after the race. Last night I decided to tack it on before and run to the start. 

This morning, after a crappy night's sleep, I decided to forego the post-race bagel and just jog my way home afterward. 

I left my iPod off for the first 3 miles, which was kind of nice. I often forget that I don't need music and that everyone's footfalls are a pleasant way to get into the run. But after the Harlem hills I said screw it, because that first west side hill—even though it's the least steep—is my arch enemy. No matter how many miles I leave in Central Park that hill will always, ALWAYS be the worst part of that loop for me. My toes were really hurting so I told myself if I only ran the race and not the extra miles that was okay and I'd make it up next weekend, blah blah blah.

I wasn't running that fast because I knew I wouldn't be done after the finish line, and I stopped at 4/5 of the water stations, but miraculously I finished faster than my 2 previous 10ks and it was my 3rd fastest 10k of all. I grabbed some gatorade, stretched my toes, and took a walk break from the finish line out of the park, and then ran home from 72nd to 112th on Central Park West. (I never run post-race. Ever. I don't even like to jog to the start line because why on earth am I going to run one millimeter farther than I have to?) So I got in my 8 miles and I finally feel a little bit like a runner again. 

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