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?