Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

Run as One 4 Mile Race Banner

Hey All,

My NYRR 9+1 quest continued this past weekend when I ran in the “Run as One” 4-mile race in Central Park. (2+1 down, 7 races to go!)

9+1 NYRR progress 050113

The weather was gorgeous and spirits were definitely high when I entered the park around 7:45AM. This is the first running race that my mom has ever attended and it was pretty cool having her there to support me (and hold all of my stuff – much easier than dropping things off at bag check haha).

Couch Stretch

After a short warm-up jog, I did a bit of stretching, including the infamous Couch Stretch we do quite often at CrossFit (see above). I couldn’t find a wall so made do with this oak tree. More than a few dogs were a bit peeved that I was invading their territory. While comical at the time, the more I think about it the more I realize that maybe I shouldn’t use trees to couch stretch in the future…(ick).

Run as One 4 Mile Start

One valuable lesson I learned from the Run as One 4-miler is to get to my pace corral nice and early. I always seem to squeeze into the crowd about 5 minutes before the start and unfortunately this weekend I was too late to get with my correct pace group. Speaking of crowds, there were about 7,000 runners in the race. That’s a lot of people!

Run as One 4 Mile Race Man

My mom was having some fun with my camera while she was trying to pick me out in the crowd running by. The guy above is one of the most legit runners I’ve ever seen. He puts all of us to shame – what a champ.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels

I had bit of a slow start since there were so many people running shoulder-to-shoulder for the first 2 minutes of the race. Thankfully I went into the run with the goal of feeling things out and trying to find my natural pace without stressing over my splits and average pace. So while typically I would have been very frustrated that I was stuck behind some slower runners, I just let it roll of my shoulder and instead focused on finding a comfortable rhythm while enjoying the racing atmosphere.

Run as One 4 Mile Race Kristen Henkels 2

Despite relaxing my competitive spirit a bit on this run, I always make a point to give it my all and sprint through to the finish of the race. There’s always a little bit of gas left to burn in the tank at the end of the race, and I know I’m always happier after tapping that last energy reserve no matter how badly I’m hurting. Plus it’s pretty fun to pass people in the last 10 seconds, not gonna lie.

Run as One 4 Mile Race 2013

Overall, I’d say the race was a success in terms of finding a solid rhythm and gathering a few race day learnings prior to my half marathon on May 18th. I finished with an average pace of 7:51/mile which is historically a bit slower for me, but heck – I’ll take it!

Spring Blossoms in Central Park

The “Run as One” 4-miler was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday morning in Central Park with my mom, especially since everything is green and in bloom. I’m sure I’ll miss this type of weather when the humid summer months roll around. I better start hydrating now….

Forever Wandering,

– Kristen

Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

6 thoughts on “Run as One 4-Miler in Central Park (04.28.13)

  1. Great job! That is not slow at all! And being relaxed and stuck behind thousands of people, job super well done. I love that pic of your end sprint, I can FEEL the power in your stride!!!

    1. Thanks Blackfoot Running! You are always so positive, I appreciate it šŸ™‚ And I’m glad you like that picture of the final sprint – it was my favorite part of the race for sure.
      – Kristen

  2. Yup, the first mile can certainly slow you down as your mind calculates optimal ways to swerve through all the runners; its a part of racing I suppose. But starting out too fast is an issue for me, I’m actually grateful for that mile 1 mob for some races. I was actually in that race with you, and then decided to just run Queensboro bridge and then another 10K home. I typically extend a small race into a “long run” training session. Are you running the UAE Kidney or Japan day this month?

    1. Hey Sephiroth – so cool that you did the run as well. You’re right about starting off the race controlled and not too fast, I didn’t think about it like that! Smart to extend shorter races into longer training sessions too – I’ll have to try that when I start my marathon training eventually (for 2014, so I have a bit of ways until that).

      I’m not signed up for UAE Kidney 10K or Japan Day yet – do you recommend one or the other? It would be nice to get another notch in my 9+1 belt before it starts getting super hot out. Let me know!

      – Kristen

      1. Hmm, which one to recommend. I haven’t raced those before but I believe they are both Central Park loop type races; the UAE is a 10K and the Japan is a 4 miler (like the one we just did). If its not too late, you should sign up for one of these and perhaps use it as practice for the upcoming Brooklyn race. I might do the Japan one instead.

  3. Hey Sephiroth – I signed up for the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K for this Saturday! Going to run it and then follow the race with 4 miles to hit my 10-mile run for the week. Thanks for the reco!

    – Kristen

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