Yoga, running, fitness and life
Yoga, running, fitness and life
When I signed up for today’s Bay Ridge HM, I did so as a way to add in a LR while changing up my scenery. It’s at this point in my training that the local parks all get very boring. Despite the fact I had to trek all the way to Brooklyn (What. On. Earth.), I’d never run on the promenade surrounding Bay Ridge. It promised to show off some gorgeous local views (lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and in the distance at the turnaround, Coney Island).
It’s been unseasonably hot. The course was 97% in direct sunlight. It was going to be a tough run for me. I find summer running particularly challenging – especially when it’s summer running in October.
Waking up, the first thing I did was check the weather. Blurgh. Already stupidly warm. Everything was laid out the night before, so I just had some pre-made iced-coffee and freshly made slow-cooked oatmeal. I packed my homemade crumb cake for when I arrived at the Start.
The trip to Brooklyn seemed fairly easy, although it still involved TWO train rides and a subway connection…then a 15 minute walk to the pier. It was scheduled to take just over an hour. In actuality, it took closer to 90 minutes. I gave myself plenty of time so it ended up fine.
I’d used the bathroom 2x before leaving home, 1x on the railroad, 1x at a McDonald’s once I reached Bay Ridge, and a P.O.P. 2x before gun time. I was READY.
This was the first race I’d run with this particular organization. They’re a small group – compared to what I’m used to – but it seemed like a well-run event. Bib pick-up was easy… got my (cotton) race shirt <are you kidding me?!?>, dropped a bag and waited for the start. I’m not sure how many runners there were, but it was definitely a small field. We all fit in the middle of the small intersection before the start. While there were people ahead and behind, I ran pretty much alone.
The course was an out-and-back loop, run 2x. Each leg about 3.25 miles. Water stations every 3 miles.
The only shade was at the Start/Finish…and that’s only because it was obscured by an overpass from the expressway just beside the promenade. We had the sun beating down on us the entire way out and back (not including the brief shade provided when running out/back the 4x under the Verrazano Bridge).
When we started, I reminded myself it was just a training run. And while I wasn’t really running fast, I was running faster than my easy pace… first full loop 10:53. The southward run was into a headwind – but it actually felt good. Running northbound was slightly easier with the tailwind, except you could feel the sun blazing at your back (and yeah, despite the zinc oxide and 100 spf sunblock, I am again sunburned).
At the first full turnaround, I stopped the Garmin and restarted it. I wanted to give myself the option to utilize a new strategy: Slow the F down!
It worked for the second southbound trek…it looked like I was averaging about 11:20-11:25 pace. After the last turnaround headed north, I picked it up gradually and you can see how I continued kicking it up a notch.
That last mile really hurt my feelings, but I got it done (and passed 9 runners to the Finish <but who’s counting?>). Slowing down helped. Overall, I feel good about this as a training run. Though I couldn’t help but thinking I’d been cheated of a possible PB if the temp was 25* cooler as it should have been. Looks like I’ll have to do this one again next year for kicks.
I got my medal, picked up two water bottles and chugged them straightaway. Grabbed 2 bananas, a granola bar and my checked bag. Changed my shoes and headed back to the train. I made a pit-stop back at the McDonald’s to change clothes. Realizing I forgot to bring a towel, I remembered the race shirt they gave me was COTTON. I simply used it to towel off. I felt incredibly better once dry and fresh.
The hassle getting back home was similar to getting there; it just took time…about 90 minutes. Blech.