Every Weekend a New Race

I am in the thick of 9 + 1 which, for those of your who don't know, is a way to guarantee entry into the 2017 New York City Marathon. You pay NYRR to run 9 races, and you volunteer at one of their races (for free) and then you are granted the privilege of paying them ANOTHER $200+ to register for the New York City Marathon. 

Okay, okay I'm sorry for being a grouch. New York Road Runners is a really fabulous organization and when you pay for an annual membership, you save a ton of money on race registration. Plus, having guaranteed entry into the marathon as opposed to crossing my fingers and praying come lottery time is much better for my mental sanity and life planning. 

So far I've run 5 NYRR races this year and already volunteered at the NYC Half. That means 4 more races and I've all but committed to running a third marathon. Gulp.

Every one of my weekends seems to be running-focused now that the races are in full swing. In 8 week I'll have run 6 races and gone for a 40 mile bike ride. It's a bit overwhelming, but it's also re-focusing me.

Since I last did a race recap I ran the Scotland Run (10K) and the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks (4 Miler) - both in Central Park. 

Race Recap

Scotland Run 10K

The 10K was a welcomed surprise because my shins were virtually pain free! I was able to negative split and felt pretty good about my 48:00 time considering I haven't been doing a whole lot of running. The Scotland Run was my first ever NYRR race and one of the first times I ever stepped foot in Central Park back in 2014. I ran the race with no watch and finished 12th in my age group with a 45:23 (7:19 pace) which remains one of my best 10K times. Crazy looking back on it that it was my first organized race other than a half marathon. First time running Harlem Hill. Nuts. 

Baby runner Lauren had wheelsΒ 

Baby runner Lauren had wheels 

Anyway, I like that the Scotland Run goes in the opposite direction than what I always run the park in because it's a distraction and helps make it seem different. 

The entire time I kept thinking I had to run 6.1 miles so my kick was a little too early. .1 may not seem like a lot but I felt it by 6.2 

City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4 Miler

The City Parks 4 miler my shins were back to not-so-great but not-bad-enough-to-stop. I ran to the start which meant a solid 2 miles under my belt before the start of the race. NYRR implemented a staggered start for this one - which I am a proponent of. There's nothing worse than that first mile dodging in and out of a massive crowd of people who all seem to be going different speeds. 

Despite the annoying pain in my left shin, my legs were turning over quickly even up and down Central Park's many hills and I was able to finish with a 7:24 pace. After a cup of water I finished with another mile at the end for 7 miles total at around a 7:44 pace which made me feel like the Brooklyn Half might not be tooo awful if I can keep increasing the mileage between now and then. 

I wrapped up the morning with free yoga at lululemon but it was pretty miserable and I did a lot of unprompted child's pose.  

Coming Up

This weekend I'll be shipping up to Boston as a marathon spectator and I'm so pumped to go to a November Project workout and experience the marathon for the first time. The goal is to one day qualify to run it and I think this might be just what I need to light that BQ fire once again. 

I'm hoping to get in 8 miles Saturday or Sunday and a mid-week 10 miler is bouncing around my head for sometime next week so that I can focus on racing my 4 miler on Sunday. 

I'm cautiously optimistic that physical therapy has been somewhat successful - I've been going twice a week for a month now and am trying to be diligent with my exercises and stretches during the week. I haven't been 100% successful but the pain in my shin has started to subside a little and it's moved to a new place which we're thinking may be due to the inserts I've been experimenting with. 

Time will tell, but I'm trying to keep it slow and steady. My weekly mileage has been 10, 14, 16 and this week will be 16 again. 

Here's what's next: 

Sunday, April 24: Run As One 4 Miler
Saturday, April 30: North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain Marathon Relay
Sunday, May 1: 5 Borough Bike Tour
Saturday, May 14: UAE Healthy Kidney 10K
Saturday, May 21: Brooklyn Half Marathon

YOUR TURN: 
WHAT ARE YOU TRAINING FOR? 
DO YOU LIKE RACING OR DO YOU PREFER DOING YOUR OWN THING? 
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RACE DISTANCE?