Today I ran (actually ran!) my first race since my injury last May! It was a relatively hot and sunny morning, but Central Park was beautiful as usual and the crowd was energized and inspiring. My goals were to hit 10:15 to 10:30 per mile and to not break any bones. Mission accomplished!
Achilles International is an amazing organization that helps runners with all types of disabilities participate in road races. Years ago, before various injuries kept me sidelined, I volunteered as a runner guide on a couple of training runs with Achilles. It was amazing to run with blind athletes who ran better than I did with sight. If you have any interest, I highly recommend checking them out. I also wanted to return to running with this race, since it helps put my (relatively) small injury in perspective (especially as I get smoked by blade runners!).
This morning I scarfed a nectarine and headed out to the park. According to my training, I was supposed to run a 1 mile warm up and a 1 mile cool down. I actually managed to do a slow 1 mile warm up, which is honestly shocking to me because I never do those sorts of things. Run more before a race? No thanks. If I wanted to run more, I would have signed up for a longer race.
After plodding around “warming up” in the hot sun and stretching like I had accomplished something, I got into my corral and listened to Jon Stewart (yep, that Jon Stewart) joke that he would need to be carried across the finish by his son. I looked around to see who I could get to carry me, and cursed my lack of foresight on this important issue. My starting corral was so far back that multiple waves went off before we even moved, and I wondered if the winners had finished the 4 mile race already.
I ran the first mile in about 10 minutes, which was faster than I thought I’d run and pretty exciting. I guess I got too excited because my next mile was about 9:30, which is much faster than I had intended and I still had 2 more miles to run in the 83 degree heat. I slowed down on the third mile and then picked up the pace again for the last mile, sprinting through the finish chute like a total poser. I beat my time goal and averaged just under 10 minute miles, which at this point in my training I will accept! I collected my medal and an apple, but I did not pick up a bagel because I have the iron willpower of champions. Plus I still felt guilty about the pizza, cheesy polenta, meatballs, and frozen yogurt I had the day before…
All-in-all, I was really happy with the race and my run in general. I’m so happy to be back out there running again, even if it is for only 4 miles (and slower than I was a year ago, let alone a few years ago). I’ve also noticed the runger is back (i.e. the “running hunger”) as I want to consume everything in my kitchen all at once like a fat tornado. So are the blisters on my toes. And the stupid calf tan lines. Welcome back to running!
I’ve also officially started the NYRR 20-week online marathon training program, finishing the first week today. Yes, that means the NYC Marathon is only 19 weeks away! Eeep!
How was your weekend? What are your tips to beat the heat? What do you like to eat when you feel unstoppable hunger? Share in the comments!