A race that I'll probably forget

Like I said in my post on Saturday morning, Grete's Great Gallop kinda came out of nowhere. I wasn't even eyeing it up as a race until a few weeks out and registered the day before the two-week price increase. The course didn't thrill me either: two loops around Central Park, plus 1.1 miles. That made it very hilly and not very different from my usual weekend long runs. Actually, the course was probably the hillest course I've ever been on since there was essentially only one mile total that didn't have some kind of incline or decline.

I woke up and didn't feel like I was going to a race. I slept horribly that night and had been sleeping pretty bad for the previous couple of days, which only compounded the stomach issues I had all week (I'll explain that in my next post). I woke up Wifey and she was none too happy to be going to a race that even I wasn't excited about. But regardless, I ate two PB&J sandwiches, chugged water, and had Wifey pin on my race number--just like any other race.

We left the house perfectly on schedule to get to Central Park by 8:15, for a race start at 9:00. But when we got to the subway station the train pulled out as we were walking up the stairs. That meant we had to wait for the next train and got to Central Park at 8:45. Crappers. I texted my friend that we were running late, because the starting line was no where near the subway stop we got off at.

Once we got to the staging area I heard Mary Wittenberg get on the mic, which meant I only had a couple minutes to get into the corrals. I gave up looking for my friend and scooted into the corrals. Well, turns out I had more than a couple minutes. Mary gave a lovely, but very, very long introduction to race's namesake: Grete Waitz. Then Grete took the mic for a bit--which was encouraging, but once again, we're all just anxious to start the race. Then they sang God Bless America. Then (finally) they sounded the gun...and a Norwegian Horn, since Grete is from Norway and that is what they do in Norway (except in Soviet Norway, horn blows you).

Right before the starting line Grete was giving out hi-fives and I figured it might be good luck to slap hands with one of the greats--and maybe have some greatness rub off on me. I got in the line of jogging (yes, I said the J word) people and planted one right on her hand. She looked at me square in the face for a split second, she smiled and the clouds parted. A chorus of angels descended from the skies and a light brighter than 1,000 suns bathed us. A unicorn appeared from behind a tree and a phoenix perched itself on Grete's shoulder. A fairy flew toward our connected hands and laid upon them a weath of golden lotus flowers, blessing the moment when greatness touched a mere, undeserving mortal. And then the moment passed and all returned to normal.

I knew I was mentally in a bad place when I was looking for the mile markers before the first mile. By mile two I was thinking it was all a bad idea to even be running at all. And then right after mile three the stitich set in. I don't know why I don't anticipate these. I have run 13 races and six of them I've gotten a stitch--that's a 46% likiness. FMR (F' My Running). I was bored, I was fighting back a stitch, I was on a hilly course, and I didn't feel like running: so I pretty much just bitched for next six miles.

By mile 10 the stitch eased up and it started to feel like a race. I picked up the pace a little bit and saw that according to Fenny I wasn't too far from a PR. So I put my head down and pushed through the last three miles in a rather nice fashion. Here's how it breaks down:

(Splits reported as time per mile/pace per mile)

Mile 1: 9:03 / 8:52
Mile 2: 8:38 / 8:43
Mile 3: 8:20 / 8:13
Mile 4: 8:31 / 8:15
Mile 5: 8:22 / 8:19
Mile 6: 8:12 / 8:07
Mile 7 & 8: 17:11 / 8:34
Mile 9: 8:14 / 8:13
Mile 10: 8:24 / 8:17
Mile 11: 8:17 / 8:11
Mile 12: 7:35 / 7:32
Mile 13: 7:43 / 7:39
Mile 13.1: :45 / 6:50

Distance: 13.11 (Fenny: 13.24)
Time: 1:49:23 (Fenny: 1:49:20)
Pace: 8:20 (Fenny: 8:15)
Overall Place: 1209/4332
Gender Place: 901/2249
Age Place: 144/302

Hopefully you notice the rather significant disparity between the official final stats and the stats from Fenny. Fenny measured an extra .13 miles but registered a time just three seconds faster. I don't know if this is consistent across my past races, and frankly I don't feel like checking, but I'm calling BS. BS on the course for being so damned curvy. How the hell are you supposed to run the tangets when the tangets are two feet long and the course is only 20 feet wide?

Afterward we finally met up with my friend who ran the race. We had a smelly, sweaty breakfast at a place called Good Enough to Eat. And believe me it is. I had two waffles with orange butter, Wifey had an omelet, and my friend had pumpkin bread french toast with strawberry butter. Hello delicious!! I'm considering going back post-NYCM.

One last thing: to the girl I kicked in the foot half way through mile 13, I'm sorry. I was trying to PR and kinda zoned out. I might have even closed my eyes and turned up the volume on my iPod. I might not have. We'll never know for sure. But I do know that screwed up your groove in the last half mile of the race and you must have said "who is this f'er kicking me in the foot?". I'm so sorry.


Jess said...

Congrats on completing another kick ass race! And, my Garmin stats are always different from the course stats, but I think I weave a lot.

Adam said...

Blah, the fact that garmins are that off annoys me sometimes.

BUT, sub 150 is a great race no matter how you slice it. Glad you got to the start on time. I always stress before races to make sure that I am there when I need to be.

Irish Cream said...

Hahahaha. Okay, this may be a race you'll probably forget . . . but I will not soon forget this race report. You had me rolling, dude. Great job pushing through! I am SO trying that place out when I get back to NYC, BTW. I'm DROOLING down here . . .