Last week I ran the NFL Back to Football Run. It was a 4 mile race in Central Park and my first adventure in racing since June. It was also my first adventure racing at night. The race didn’t start until 7:30pm. So, how did it go? Well, let’s just say it was NOT my best performance and definitely NOT a PR, but a fun night overall. I suppose attempting to “race” a 4 mile run, or any distance for that matter, after standing at work for 10 hours may not be setting myself up for a huge success. Besides my aching legs and feet, I know that I am, absolutely, a morning runner. My sensitive stomach prefers a banana and peanut butter over a days worth of meals any day. The race started out great. GREAT. I was feeling strong and my pace was one I was very happy with during the first half of this race. I’m sure you know where this is going, but I POSITIVE split the heck out of this race.
Mile 1: 9:40
Mile 2: 9:39
Mile 3: 11:06 (hello rolling hills, major calf cramping and shooting pains)
Mile 4: 10:18 (enter body tingling and what I could only imagine was dehydration)
I apparently ran 4.09 miles.
Last .09: 8:43
Overall: 41:15 (10:19 pace/mile)
At least I finished strong, gave it my all, and sprinted through the finish line. Finished strong OR just really needed to be done running. Either way, a strong finish, right?
I met up with Annie, Kristin, Stephanie and Kim before the race. Kristin was DECKED out in Packers garb and couldn’t have looked better. Kim also showed up fabulously dressed in support of the NY Giants.
Since I don’t actually own any serious Miami Dolphins gear, like these lovely ladies, I chose a Dolphins’ orange tank to don my race bib.
It was great running into Kara, who I don’t see nearly enough, and finally meet Lora as well. Do you feel like you “know” people from Twitter and reading their blogs? I find it great to finally meet these people in real life since, thanks to the internet, I feel like I already know them.
We lined up in our corrals and I started getting that excited feeling I haven’t felt since June. I have a race almost every weekend from now until the Newport Half on October 14th. The National Anthem, the race crowds raring to go, the whole thing, I love it and didn’t realize how much I missed it until this race.
I loved seeing Abby and Ashley cheering in the final stretch of the race. I don’t think they know HOW much they kept me going for that last mile, when I really just wanted to jump out of the race and lay in the grass. THANK YOU FRIENDS. I haven’t had a cheering section since the NYC Half Marathon and it really helps. Knowing you are going to see friendly faces, jumping around, and screaming your name, REALLY helps you push through.
Finally, a BIG THANK YOU to Kristin for shouting for me at the finish!
Do you prefer morning or night races?
What do you eat during the day when racing at night?
Do you ever start out thinking you’re going to run a race for fun but get competitive with yourself once the gun goes off?
How do you handle a disappointing race?