pushing myself to the finish

I had long ago signed up to do the Fitness Mind+Body+Spirit Games, which is an annual 4-mile race in Central Park.  This is what happened on Saturday morning.

4:05AM: Woke up.  I think it was the cat yakking up a fur ball that woke me up.  I got out of bed and in a zombie-like state, cleaned it up.  I swear once I threw the paper towels in the garbage, it was like someone flipped a switch on me and all of a sudden I was wide awake.  It couldn’t just be that I remained in zombie-state and climbed back into bed and passed out until my alarm was set to go off at 7:30AM.

4:30AM: I’ve checked my email, twitter, google reader, Facebook, weather, all from my phone in bed, hoping that I’ll just nod off.  No go.

5:00AM: I’m still wide awake and it’s obvious sleep is not gonna happen.  I  get on the computer, because I’m bored with the stuff on my phone.

5:30AM: Climb into bed and pray, hope, wish for sleep.

5:45AM: Sleep finally!

7:30AM: Alarm goes off.  I quietly bitch to myself and hit snooze.

7:39AM, 7:48, 7:57AM: Alarm goes off three more times from me hitting snooze.

8:03AM: Checking weather and debating the pros and cons of skipping the race and staying in bed.

8:10AM: Finally drag my ass out of bed.  Figure I should do the race.  The temperature is too perfect not to.  60 degrees, sunny.

8:25AM: Leave house for race.

8:50AM: Arrive at start line and am feeling better about myself for forcing myself to do it.

9:00AM: Race starts and I’m feeling good about it.

Now, I’ll measure “time” by miles…

Mile 1: The much hated long uphill up Cat Hill.  At least it’s early in the race and we’re getting it over with.  I decided to skip the first water station and will wait till the one at the second mile marker.

Mile 2: Mostly flat.  Feeling okay, but not great.  But I’m not hating running.  Just trudging along.  Get water.

Mile 3: Winding hills.  Force myself to run up the hills and fast down the hills.  Allow some short walking breaks on the flats.

Mile 4: Long downhill and flat, which is awesome.  Again, force myself to speed up more than usual on the downhills.  Allowed myself to walk a little on the flat.  Was able to finish strong in the last 200 meters, as the race ended on an uphill.

By the time I walked the 1.5 miles home, the race results were posted online.  My average pace per mile was 1:37 minutes faster than the best of my last 5 races over the summer.  It was also 17 seconds faster per mile than the last race I finished that I felt really good doing.  [Don’t get me wrong, I still run the pace of a snail.  It’s just that I usually run slower than a snail.]

I am so glad that I made myself do this race.  It felt good to improve my pace by that much, but I also know that the weather had A LOT to do with it.  I do not fare well in the heat and humidity.  I turn into a little whiny baby on the course and don’t push myself at all.

Next weekend is the 5th Avenue Mile.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to beat my best time from 3 years ago, but I hope to at the very least best my time from last year.  I’m going to try to do some speed work this week in preparation.

How were your weekend runs/workouts?

 

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9 Comments

  1. The worst way for me to wake up is to the sound of my (otherwise loveable) dog hoarking on the bed. Why he can’t do it quietly and downstairs on the tiled kitchen floor at a reasonable hour is beyond me.

    My daily workout presently consists of taking aforementioned dog for walks. I am covered in mosquito bites, the dog is covered in fleas, and sometimes I find a tick or two. Awesome.

    • Pets are the best…at waking us up with horrid sounds! The things we put up with for our furballs, but man, are they worth it.

  2. YOu worked hard. You should be proud. I once wrote (not on this blog because this is only to make people laugh) just do it. Sometimes it sucks and you want to quit but when the task is completed you feel like you can conquer the world.

    • I almost always feel better after I finish (exception being twice when I was super sick and prob shouldn’t have been running in the first place). There’s a quote that says something along the lines of “you’ll never regret going for the run, but you will regret skipping it.” So very true.

  3. Congrats on getting yourself to the race and then doing a fab job! It always feels good to improve on your time/pace. Woohoo!

    I am training for another marathon and did a 10 mile run this weekend. It went terrible. My mantra during the run was, “I got out of bed (after pushing snooze 13 times) and am still doing this…even if it’s slow and painful.” Because, it’s true. I did a race the next day, which went much better.

  4. Wow girl….you’re my hero!!! Congrats!!!! My most recent “work-out” consisted of walking 1/4 a mile around a park and then stopping for a smoke from the sheer exhaustion of it all…hahah (I’m KIDDING!!! ((kinda…)) )
    You’re awesome!!

    • Oh Kay, I don’t know if I could even qualify to be a hero! But thanks.

  5. I’ve definitely had those race day mornings. I somehow mustered up the gusto to go on a run (half marathon) when I was feeling somewhat under-the-weather. Don’t ask me how I pulled that one off.

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