Sunday, February 19, 2006

4K race mini report

My car thermometer said 26 degress, but the official race statistics had the temperature at 18 degrees. (Cold, but not like Cleveland!) One good thing about these winter races is the hot chocolate. Usually it's only afterwards, and in some other location. I think because there were other races before this one, today there was hot chocolate available beforehand. Which was nice, considering I got there an hour before the race.

This was my first cross country race, and I really had no idea what to expect. First of all, there's a mass start. Usually, I'm way in the back and I'm forced to start races slowly. I'm often still walking or jogging slowly at the start. In this case, the start line was spread very wide. Since there were only about 500 runners, I found myself inadvertantly lined up at the front.

That turned out to be a bad idea. When the horn went, I started way too fast. Everyone else was going faster, so I didn't realize it at the time. However, I began to tire and breathe heavy very early into the race. There were two really tough hills at about the 1 kilometer mark, and I had a lot of trouble going up them. I almost couldn't make it while still running. I slowed significantly, and felt that I continued to slow as the race went on. Since I didn't have my Garmin on, and the miles weren't marked with clocks, I had no idea how I was doing. In my mind I was doing horribly, and was surprised at how much trouble I was having in this short race.

As I got over the hills there was a sign saying 800m to go. I knew I hadn't done 3K so I started to suspect that this was a 2K course that we were going to do twice. That was in fact the case, which meant we had to go up those hills again! Ugh!

As I finally headed in towards the finish I told myself if I was close to 23 minutes I'd try to push myself and finish strong. I was surprised to see the clock still saying 20:something! (I also thought 4K was 2.5 miles and not 2.4 miles, but whatever.) In any case, I didn't have much left for a final push, and I finished in 20:45. Turns out I ran an 8:38 pace, which is much faster than I had expected. Considering that I felt that I slowed significantly as the race went on, and I'm pretty sure I was going really slow at the end, I must have been going ridiculously fast at the beginning. I guess that's why I felt like crap for the rest of the race.

All in all, not bad. And another race down. I had been focusing on every little twinge in my shins before the race, but they were fine during the race. After the race, my legs felt tired, but nothing in particular seemed out of order. So I'm happy about that.

My nose seems to be runny now, and I've been sneezing all day since the race. I know to my mother it's obvious that this is because I ran in the cold. But as a doctor, I have to believe in that whole "virus theory" behind colds. So I'm not sure why I seem to have gotten sick immediately after the race, but it's annoying. (Sticking with that whole "mom" thing, I had hot soup both for lunch and dinner!)

I signed up for the next two races, both in early March. The first is a street one in Washington Heights which should be interesting. The second is back in Central Park, and is a fundraiser for colon cancer prevention. I've run this event the last two years and raised some money while doing so. I haven't completely set up my donation page, but I'll probably post something about this in the next little while.

As for the rest of my workouts, I didn't really get anything else in today. (Does watching sports count?) Tomorrow is also a problem, since the gym is closed.

Is it just me, or all those exclamation points really annoying? (I'm sure the receptionist who made this sign is happy to take the day off. But can't she show some sympathy for those of us who don't want to spent the entire day on our butts watching TV?)


Blogger Rae said...

I think the whole world is off today except for us!!!

Great job on the race!! You look cold! Sometimes I wonder why races are such strange distances?? How did F do? It sounds like all your speed is really starting to come back.

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger Curly Su said...

nice race! yeah, those '!' are annoying as all hell...i would have ripped the sign off.. .(okay, i wouldn't really...but i would have wanted to... :) )

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger Susan said...

Great job Danny! That is an awesome pace! I think watching sports counts as a workout!

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger jeanne said...

Great race!! Great pace!!! And that is cold! And yes! those !!!! are extremely annoying!!!! :)

definitely watching sports counts. V. funny about your mom thinking you got your cold from running in the cold. I have a friend who insists you get colds from being outside with wet hair. I'm always saying "a cold is a virus, a cold is a virus..." I guess I need to take mom lessons.

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Anonymous Audrey said...

Heya. Nice race Danny. I've never done a cross-country race. I think it would be pretty cool. Thanks for the details. Yeah, isn't it weird how injuries seem to stop during races? We're all so busy being excited and concentrating on the race. Congrats!

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Anonymous Mom said...

I hope it was chicken soup!!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger Uptown Girl said...

Nice job. Cross country races are TOUGH!!! :) You deserve the day off to watch sports;-)

I've signed up for the Coogan's 5K as well...I've heard very good things about music along the course and free food/beer (guinness) afterwards!

Monday, February 20, 2006  
Blogger Darrell said...

Great racing. Where are your gloves?

Cold weather and hot soup just seem to go together, having a cold or not. Sure looks like you'll be busy next month.

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006  
Blogger E-Speed said...

great race! I concur the explantion points on the sign were a bit much (!) ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006  

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