That Time I Unexpectedly PR’d the Four Mile Distance

I had absolutely no intentions of racing the Race to Deliver. In truth, I still don’t feel like I actually did. Since the New York City Marathon, I’ve been running Garmin-free. I find it really freeing to run without a watch after a goal race. I decided, after the marathon, the rest of 2013 would be solely Garmin-free running. Run whenever, wherever and at whatever pace feels easy and comfortable. I actually love the downtime between goal races to run purely for the love of the run.

Last weekend I ran in shorts and a tank top. This week, on race morning, I woke up to 23 degrees, feels like 8, with 23mph winds. Yikes! I hadn’t raced in temperatures that cold since I ran the NYC RUNS Riverside Park Hot Chocolate 5K back in February. I ran the mile to the start to warm up and met up with Abby before the race. We lined up together, in my new speedier corral (thanks Fifth Avenue Mile for bumping me up like 100 corrals), and my only goals for this race were to have fun and not freeze to death. I signed up for this race when I realized I had already run seven races this year. Why not just volunteer and run two more races and qualify for the 2014 New York City Marathon, right? When I signed up for these last two races (I’m running the Ted Corbitt 15K in December), I had no intentions of running the marathon again next year. After running it this year, and crossing that famous finish line, I may have changed my mind.

I started out at what felt like an easy pace. I had no clue exactly what pace I was actually running until I saw the time clock at mile 1. When I crossed the start line, I noticed the clock said 2:10. When I reached mile 1, the clock said 11:28. What? Could I have just run the first mile at close to a 9 minute/mile pace? I did not feel like I was running anywhere near that pace. I felt good. Freezing. But good. And so I went with it. Since the marathon, I have felt slow. Like my legs literally could not run any faster. Seeing that time at mile 1 was very surprising. Could I have actually been running faster than I thought for the last couple of weeks?

I couldn’t believe how fast the miles flew by during the race. When I ran the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff I felt like it was the longest five miles of my life and today I felt like the race was over in a flash.

This is from the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff. It was obviously too cold to take pictures on Sunday.

This is from the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff. It was obviously too cold to take pictures on Sunday.

Maybe it was the frigid cold temperatures pushing everyone to finish faster and get back in their warm beds. Or maybe it was just me. I kept thinking about how amazing a hot shower and LARGE, hot cup of coffee was going to feel and I just kept running at what was apparently a pretty fast pace for me.

I crossed the 102nd Street Transverse and turned the corner onto to the west side of Central Park. I couldn’t believe I was already half way done. The rolling hills on the west side of the park were a little challenging. I thought I was having trouble taking a deep breath because it felt like we were running on the North Pole yesterday, but I guess I was really pushing it more than I thought. I remember seeing the mile 3 marker and knew I only had one mile, mostly downhill, left to go. This is my absolute favorite part of Central Park. It makes even the slowest person feel speedy and always makes that final mile feel so fast.

I reached the 72nd Street Transverse, turned the corner and could see the finish line. As I approached the finish line, I couldn’t believe the time I saw on the clock; somewhere around 38 minutes. Could I have accidentally PR’d this race? Did I really run that fast? I didn’t feel like I ran that fast. Before this race, my 4 mile PR was 38:15 so I knew I must have PR’d; unofficially, of course. I was shocked, surprised and ridiculously excited when the official race results went up on the New York Road Runners website.

Official Time 36:02. 9:01 average pace. 2 minute and 13 second PR.

How did that happen?

This was also my first 20 mile week since the marathon. I think my legs are feeling almost back to normal. Today was unexpected and awesome and makes me continue to realize that anything is possible.

I’m excited for my last race of the year; the Ted Corbitt 15K. I’ve never run a 15K. I’m looking forward to a new race distance (automatic PR, duh!) and a boozy fun brunch, afterwards, with friends to celebrate our many, many miles and a great year.

This year has been nothing short of incredible. I’m extremely hopeful and excited for what’s possible in 2014!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah Thanksgivukkah to those who are celebrating this week!!!!!

Tell Me.

Did you run in the freezing cold this weekend?

Do you prefer cold weather running or warm weather running?

Any races you’re looking forward to before 2013 comes to an end?


6 thoughts on “That Time I Unexpectedly PR’d the Four Mile Distance

  1. That turkey is hilarious. YAY for unexepected PR’s!!! I’m not sure how you did that without a watch. I have to know a PR is within reach to push myself that hard. SO impressed that it felt like nothing for you!!!

  2. Pingback: The Last Race of the Year: Ted Corbitt 15K Race Recap | Once in a Mile

  3. Pingback: On Replacing Fear With Courage: Race to Deliver Recap | Once in a Mile

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