Somehow, I'm still not sick of racing. And it's a good thing - because I've still got 4 races left on the schedule of events!
I think the main reason I haven't tired of races is because, quite frankly, they are so damn convenient for me. Sometimes, races are practically in my backyard. Other times, they're the perfect 2 mile warm-up jog to the start line. It doesn't get any better than that.
On Sunday, I ran another 4 miler in Central Park - the Run As One. This course was identical to the Run For the Parks 4 Miler.
I'm trying to be better about my pre-race routine. That meant setting my alarm for an hour before I wanted to be out the door.
I've been fueling for each race with a piece of Ezekiel toast smeared with PB, topped with 1/2 a banana and drizzled with honey while slowly sipping on a cup of coffee.
My new favorite tool is the Runner's World "What Do I Wear?" that lets me plug in the temperature and tells me if it's shorts, pants, singlet or long-sleeve weather. I'm still always filled with panic that I'll be cold though.
On Sunday, I put on my new Asics short-sleeved shirt that my friend sent me. So much for no new clothes on race day. I ended up looooving it though. Sometimes short sleeves bother me so I tend to stick with tanks but I was feelin' this shirt. THANKS EMILY!
Side note: I recently realized that I have SO MUCH PINK when it comes to running shirts. Which is odd, because I'm not the pink type.
I wore shorts and, since I'm always afraid of being cold, my knee-high pink CEP compression socks for a little extra coverage.
I ran with my SPIBelt (did you know that SPI stands for small personal items? Now ya do) since I wanted to have my phone on me.
On my feet were my go-tos - Saucony Rides. Sans inserts.
Alright - here is the big change in my pre-race routine. Motivating myself to activate my glutes before I run.
I gave them a big old HELLO GOOD MORNING with one-legged glute bridges, side planks with a leg lift (works your glutes SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU REALIZE. Really, I cry), and heel raises to remind my body the right way to transfer weight - between my big toe and second toe - NOT the outside of my foot.
I also did some rolling with my new Addaday massage roller because my calf knots have been comin' in hot with the more consistent mileage.
Most importantly, I did my INTERNAL hip rotation stretch for :60 on each side. Who knew - all this time I was cranking out clam shells and fire hydrants to improve my external rotation hip strength when it's really the OTHER way I need to teach my hips to turn.
I ran the two miles to the start line and hopped into my coral when I saw a fellow NP teammate. We chatted while we waited for the race to start - marveling at the PERFECT spring race weather. It was such a gorgeous morning.
I was coming off of 6 days of no running, so I was hoping for fresh legs. Despite the two mile warm-up, they didn't feel all that fresh since the race starts by climbing Cat Hill. Once I got up and over that, I caught up to my teammate and tried to stay with her.
I settled into a rhythm here - I could tell I was going at a fairly speedy pace, but I was also pretty comfortable. The best feeling.
Mile three is by far the most challenging in this course as you have to go up and over the 3 Sisters. In Central Park, these are the three large rolling hills along the West Side.
Hills are kind of my jam. I hate them, don't get me wrong, but I recognize that they're one of my strengths. My pace did slow down a bit for mile 3, but I felt strong and pushed myself to get 'em done as quickly as possible.
I waited until around mile 3.5 to kick things up a notch. I told myself to relax my body, let my leggies do their thing, and to not think about it too much. It was luckily one of those times where my body cooperated and the pace dropped without me feeling like I was going to hurl.
I read a quote after the race that described this feeling perfectly:
You make a turn and then the finish line is in sight! I was able to speed through the line knowing that I had put in a solid effort, and still feeling fairly good.
I finished in 29:24 for a pace of 7:21 - better than the Run for the Parks two weekends ago! I was happy with the result.
I grabbed an apple, caught my breathe, and fairly quickly set off on my cool down run of 2 miles home. My legs still felt pretty good - except when it came to running up Cat Hill for a second time.
I like the 4 mile distance and I love courses that don't involve Harlem Hill. It was a beautiful morning and a fun race.
April 30 - Bear Mountain Marathon Relay
May 1 - 5 Borough Bike Tour (40 Miles)
May 14 - Healthy Kidney 10K
May 21 - Brooklyn Half Marathon
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RACE DISTANCE?
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