I’m just going to come right out and say it: I hate racing in the cold. Like, REALLY hate it. I ran the Boston Marathon the year of the nor-easter (our “reward” from the running gods was a rocking tailwind) and then again a few years later when it was 85 degrees at the start (our “reward” this time… umm… bragging rights?). Try and get me to race in the winter and I turn into a total wimp. But, since I want to PR in a spring marathon, I need to run fast in the winter. And there’s no better way to do that than to race! So, I signed up for a bunch of NYCRUNS races, and the first one came up WAY faster than the competitor and type A-athlete in me would have liked: the Hot Chocolate 10 miler in Central Park.
It was a double race weekend in our house, my boyfriend was running the NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10km on Saturday and I was racing on Sunday. Guys, Saturday was COLD. I’m talking warm-your-clothes-on-the-radiator cold. That morning I cheered on the thousands of brave souls running the NYRR race; I watched my boyfriend cross the finish line (way to go Sam!), and followed him through the chute as he drank ice water and gnawed on a frozen bagel, all while hurrying him along so that we could start our 6 mile jog home. All in all, I was only out for about 2 hours, but apparently that was enough to give me a wee bit of frostbite on my right big toe. The lazy girl in me thought this would be a good excuse not to race the next morning. The part of me that wants to run to run a sub 3 hour marathon said to shush. It’s only a toe. And it’s only 10 miles. It was time to put on my big girl pants.
Saturday afternoon we stopped by Tompkins Square Bagels to buy my morning carbo bomb (soapbox: shop local. Please. This place is amaze). I put out my clothes and set my alarm clock for bright and early… rather, dark and pre-sunrise. Sam and I took the subway part of the way up and jogged the remaining 1.5 miles as part of a warm-up/don’t freeze routine. At the start, I did a dance to stay not-cold (with moves curiously similar to those I make when I have to pee). Some quick instructions from race director extraordinaire Steve Lastoe, and we were off. Two 5 mile loops of Central Park. GO!
So, I’ve only been back to training for about 2 weeks and am only up to about 40-50 miles per week. And, as I realized during the race, I haven’t taken an off day in 10 days, so this wasn’t going to be a PR for me. My goal was to run a controlled race with a negative split, and I thought 7 min/mi was reasonable. And that’s pretty much what happened: I negative split by about 2 minutes and came in 5th overall, 1st in my age group, for a time of 1:10:23, a pace of 7:02 min/mile. After the race, I had some delicious hot chocolate (thanks to the awesome volunteers at NYCRUNS!), and Sam and I were on our way, 6 miles back home, for a total of 18 miles on the day. it wasn’t my best race, certainly not my worst, but a solid effort for so early in the training cycle. I’ll take it!
And now for the good stuff: I have a sponsor. Great googly moogly, I have a sponsor! And they make delicious stuff. And it’s healthy. And great before workouts, and during, and after. And sweet. And did I mention delicious? YAY for Honey Stinger!
I’m SO stoked to be a member of the Hive, I already got my first awesome package in the mail, I can’t wait to share these treats and use them to fuel and re-fuel, and everything in between. Also, I’m issuing a very public warning: if you come over for one of our dinner parties, I *might* serve some of these for dessert.