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!)
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).
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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….