Yoga, running, fitness and life
Yoga, running, fitness and life
Back on Superbowl Sunday, I ran the Go Hard or Go Home HM in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. It was part of the training plan for my April marathon (Paris). It’s a nice park, similar to Central Park but smaller. The only other time I’d run through this park was during the Brooklyn HM two years ago.
I’d mapped out the best route to get there and gave myself plenty of time. With a 10am start, I was even able to sleep in until 6am. The travel plans couldn’t have been smoother; I arrived at the race area at 8:52am (!!!). What was I going to do for an hour and ten minutes? There was no indoor shelter, no retail/restaurants local to where I was so I couldn’t stay warm indoors.
The race area was next to this wide open field that must have off-leash hours for dogs, because the place was PACKED with people and yes, dogs. I walked laps around the area to keep my toes from freezing (it was “supposed to” go up to 40* so I didn’t think about using the plastic bags for my feet). I used the P.O.P. four times before 10am. I truly had nothing else to do. But… as time got closer, I dropped a bag (I’d at least had the good sense to go in with a heavy hoodie and a raincoat - ! - ). But my hands got so cold, the girl at the bag check had to pin my race tag on the bag. I couldn’t feel my fingertips! Knowing my hands warm up so much when running, I skipped the gloves. I also skipped the long pants, opting instead for capri shorts (and it was fine when I DID warm up!).
Everybody lined up…and it looked like only about 100-200 runners. It was a REALLY small field! As soon as the gun went off, I was instantly by myself :-/ <yikes>
The course was very well marked off, and volunteers held up clearly marked signs directing runners. It was particularly helpful.
At first everything felt sluggish and heavy. I’d resigned myself to taking it easy and running a snail’s pace. No problem, this was training after all. It occurred to me very early on that I couldn’t feel my feet! It only took about 5 minutes for my hands to warm up, but it was somewhere between 3-4 miles in when feeling returned to my toes. Dang.
I noticed too that my shins were slightly unhappy. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and really didn’t slow me down.
By Mile 5 I was maintaining about 10:56 pace. That’s about right for “easy”. But by Mile 8 I’d slowed to an overall 11:03. Not terrible…but why was I slowing down? It wasn't feeling as easy.
Mile 10 was ROUGH. My back condition flared up big-time. It’s never been bad like that – typically running makes it feel better. But not only that, now I’m feeling pain wrap around the hip and creep up towards the lower ribs. I ended up employing run-walk and bargained with myself the whole way; Run to the next lamppost, walk the next…and so on. Mile 10 was 12:27. Ouch.
Mile 11 was a little better at 11:53, but I was still walking some. It must have been the last of the hills, because it seems my time was getting better towards the end (Mile 12 10:58, Mile 13 10:59, Mile 14 – for .11 mile was 9:11).
I don’t remember feeling tired on the last hill – and I checked my Garmin stats – the HM in Central Park 2 weeks ago did in fact have higher elevation climbs. Go figure. Somehow that last hill killed my back and my hip. And no, I hadn’t taken any ibuprofen before the race – or even the day before.
When I saw my PT the following morning, he thought it was all the waiting around outside that contributed to my issues. He thinks the cold, damp weather (it was probably in the low 30’s when I first arrived) made things stiffen up – despite my best efforts to walk around and keep moving. It must have been, because since that day I haven't had any major issues.