“Winter Hero, Season Zero” (Thanks, Coach!)

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.

Awesome race swag from NYCRUNS
Awesome race swag from NYCRUNS

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!

Honey Stinger
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.

YAY!
YAY!

Next up is the NYCRUNS Half Marathon in Central Park. Then a few shorter races, all leading up to the Long Island Marathon and my first international race, the Banff Marathon. Go go gadget legs!

One thought on ““Winter Hero, Season Zero” (Thanks, Coach!)

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