I ran my first-ever Turkey Trot race right here in Brooklyn this Thanksgiving! I know Turkey Trots are typically meant to be low-key fun runs, but I’d only ever run a 5-mile race once (last June’s Pride Run), and this was my first race since the Chicago Marathon last month. As a result, I was itching to finally run fast(ish) and beat my 41:31 Pride Run time. Lucky for me, Susan had agreed to venture out to Prospect Park for the race. When we met up at the race start on Thursday morning, Susan said she was going to stick to about 8-minute miles, so I made it my mission to keep up with her, which would pretty much seal the deal for a PR. As we chatted through those 5 miles, I was surprised that 8 (and sometimes sub-8!)-minute pace felt pretty conversational (well, except on the giant Grand Army Plaza hill…). We crossed the finish in 40:51, a 40-second PR at an 8:10 pace. Thanks, Susan! It was kind of odd to get a medal (and a pretty nice one at that) for such a short distance, but it was a good upgrade from the strange neck warmer/hat souvenir that we got at bib pickup. After the race, we walked back up the hill to grab some salted caramel lattes at Tea Lounge before I headed home and Susan caught a train back to the UES.
I spent Friday resting up so I’d be all set for today’s long run with Stephanie. When I usually run with friends, we’ll often do some solo first few miles to get to our meeting point, but Steph and I both happened to have 12 miles on our agenda this weekend, so we decided to run the whole distance together. A short train ride got me to the Lower East Side, where Steph and I met up to run over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, through Williamsburg and Greenpoint to cross the Pulaski Bridge into Queens, and then through Long Island City to conquer the Queensboro Bridge and head back to Manhattan to finish up with Central Park’s 5-mile loop. Two words can sum up this run: HOLY WIND! We ran against it for most of the run, and it definitely felt like we were working the whole time, even though most of our miles weren’t even very fast (I like to think that this means they would have been speedier otherwise!). As we made our descent down the QB, I yelled over to Steph that downhills should never feel that hard. Once we made our way into Central Park, she commented that I sure had picked a hilly route! Oops. Despite the fact that we were both starting to feel tired, we managed to pick up the pace for the last few miles for a 1:56 finish. Success! I can’t wait to see how Steph crushes the Rehoboth Marathon in a couple of weeks.
As for my racing calendar, a few things have changed since my last post, in which I claimed that the last event on my radar for 2012 would be next month’s Jingle Bell Jog. After a lot of sluggish runs post-Chicago, I started to question how realistic my goals for the Houston Half Marathon might be as I began to realize that I might have been a bit overzealous when I made the decision to race a half so quickly after the marathon. My logic was that I trained hard for the Philadelphia Half and Houston Half last year, and since those races were exactly two months apart, and I managed to take 5 minutes off my PR each time, I figured that I’d have extra time to train hard and crush my old half-marathon PR since Chicago was a month earlier than Philly. Needless to say, thanks to my prior hiatus from 26.2, I seriously underestimated how much more a full marathon would take out of me. The majority of my runs, both long and short, have left me feeling like an exhausted snail during the last few weeks.
Before I completely throw my Houston goals out the window, I’m planning to race the Ted Corbitt 15K with Ashley in a few weeks. The main goal of this race is to get a feel for what a realistic time for Houston might be, but, as I told Ashley, I would like to be able to run it faster than my half-marathon PR pace. Half PR pace is 7:58 and 15K PR pace is 8:01, so I’ll admit that this is a little bit type-A of me. But if I manage to achieve that pace in hilly Central Park, I’ll undoubtedly feel a lot more ready for pancake-flat Houston!
I promise, this time that’s really a wrap for 2012 races. There wasn’t much on the horizon yet for 2013 (save for Houston and, eventually, NYCM), but after a lot of wine at her goodbye dinner last week, Katie managed to persuade me and Celia to register for a February half marathon in her hometown of Richmond, meaning I already have some birthday weekend plans! Runner friends, if you’re reading this, sign up right now and join us.