Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back from Philly and a Wild Weekend

Thanks everybody for cheering me on while I went to Philly to complete my second “marathon”. Let me tell you, this “race” was just as grueling as the first. The weather was lousy; it was raining when I got to town. I didn’t get good sleep the night before, and had crazy butterflies in the tummy as I was heading over to the testing center. Just watching all the other people flipping through books and note cards outside the conference room made me queasy. But then, I remembered back to a few short weeks ago when I had those same last minute jitters before a big race and reminded myself how they were just the preamble to an amazing day. As I walked into the testing room, I muttered under my breath, “Run your own race” as if it were marathon day all over again, sat down and focused my energy on taking a good test.

Four-and-a-half hours later, I come out, triumphant yet again. (Well, not exactly…I don’t find out results until February 28, but at least I’m done for now!) All the mental preparation over the past year led up to this one test, and now it’s all over. I’m exhausted all over but very excited at the same time.

Actually, taking the board exam was only the second amazing thing I did this weekend…because on Sunday morning, before I started my trip down to Philadelphia, I participated in a 4 mile road race in Central Park called Race to Deliver. To be honest, it originally wasn’t even a planned event for me. For most of the year, I had scheduled NYCM to be my last race of the year. But in the week before the marathon, I was sad to see an empty space underneath the Upcoming Races section of my blog, and in reviewing my training log also realized that I only needed ~120 more miles to reach 1000 for the year. So I signed up for a couple of last minute races only to give myself some incentive to continue running, even in frigid weather.

As I got up Sunday morning for my first post-marathon race, I almost regretted my decision because it was cold and wet outside. Besides, I really wanted to rest up for Philly and my exam the next day. But alas, my curiosity got a hold of me, as I really wanted to know how I’d do in a short race after running so well in the marathon. So I reluctantly got dressed and made it to the starting line. Even as I started to stretch and prepare for the short race, I really wasn’t expecting to run a fast time. Last year, I ran the exact same race and finished in 26:30 for a 6:38 min/mi pace. This summer, I ran a similar distance race in 26:54. My goal was simply to run comfortably fast and see how I do. At the start, I snug myself into the second corral behind the elite runners. And after enduring some corny jokes from Joan Rivers and some weather advice from Mr. G, our local weatherman, we were off.

Well, I’ll spare you the play-by-play because it’s really not that important. What is important is that I finished the race with a time of 24:53 (6:13 min/mi)! That translates to not only 83rd place out of 5204 runners, but a distance PR for me by more than 1:30. I was totally flabbergasted by the time and the speed. That blistering pace was faster than my previous 5K PR. Heck, I had never even run 2 miles at that pace before. The crazy thing was because I hadn’t planned to race this run, I didn’t run all-out at all and felt comfortable throughout. It’s crazy that despite my best intentions, I managed to best my pace for any race of any distance by more than 15 sec/mile. I was so overwhelmed by my own performance that I just had to say “Wow!” to myself every ten seconds all the way home that morning. It was such a great feeling to run so fast without really trying that I’ve signed up to do a weekly race all the way until the end of the year. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to duplicate that kind of performance, but I owe it to myself to at least try, right?

Anyway, yeah, it was quite a magnical weekend for the Laminator.Thanks for listening. Hopefully, you all got a chance to do some good trotting (like the turkey?!) this weekend as well.


Jamie said...

Way to go on both races!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Good Lord, did you have Wheelies on? That IS a blistering pace. One I only achieve on a bike :)

Great work making it through the marathon that is boards. It's been a LOOOOng time since I thought about those! I'm sure you rocked.

nwgdc said...

wow, great 4 miler! last night i took about 15 minutes to write down goals for '08, and one was to set 5 PR's at distances shorter than a half marathon. i like those races also--the adrenaline from the beginning never wears off, and suddenly you're left with a killer pace the whole race (like 6:13!!). Way to go!
the only "all nighters" i ever pulled in school was for my national board exams. the knots in my stomach were tremendous, but just like you, i just thought of them as an athletic event. you did great, i'm sure!

Doc26.2 said...

Wow congrats. You're officially in a different league. Keep up the good work!

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