Let's start with the race in Miami. It started early. We were supposed to be in the corrals by 5:30, and since I wanted parking I had to be there before 5. Which meant leaving at 4. Ouch. It didn't stop me from going to the hockey game the night before, but still, it was pretty early.
On the drive there it was drizzling. The race started at the American Airlines Arena, and fortunately they had opened a portion of it for people to use the bathrooms. By the time 5:30 came around it was pouring. Most people stayed inside until the last second. I got out 5 minutes before the start, but it was enough to get absolutely soaked.
Twenty minutes into the race, the rain had stopped. Of course we were all soaked by then. Unfortunately, it stayed hot and humid. It was already in the low 70's at the start, and as the sun came out it didn't get better.
In the beginning I felt ok, and picked up the pace. I knew it wasn't a PR day, but I started to think about having a good race time. By mile 5 or 6, those thoughts were history. Normally when I run my races I start slow, and gradually speed up. I'm not sure if I started too fast, or if it was the weather, but in this race I gradually slowed down. At some point I decided I was going to finish under a 9 min pace, and so I was paying attention to each split. As the splits went above 9 minutes, I felt like I was just trying to hang on until the finish. It was tough.
(pretty sweet course, eh?)
8:59 (I missed the 5 mile marker.)
9:15 (for the final 1.1 miles.)
Not my best run race. I managed to meet my "goal" and finish in 1:56:57 (I've gained 2 seconds on the official time), for an 8:55 pace.
For those of you who've inquired about my knee, thanks. It basically held up. I started feeling it at mile 11 or 12 but it really wasn't bad. Maybe it's just time, but I think the quad stretches have really helped. I'm still doing them. (Incidentally, my quads themselves were really sore the next two days, and I had significant soreness walking around in Florida.)
So after the marathon being too warm, the rest of my time in Florida was too cold. Of course it wasn't really cold, but the mornings were in the 40s to 50s, and the highs were in the 60s. I didn't have to wear a jacket, but I couldn't go to the beach either. It was disappointing, but I had a nice relaxing time anyway.
I ran another 4 miles on Tuesday before I left Florida, and then another 6 on Friday, back in the Bronx. I felt my knee a touch on Friday, and I really think it has to with the cold. I just feel stiffer in the cold weather.
This morning was another NY Road Runner race. I wasn't really in the mood to race, but I'm always trying to get 9 qualifying races in the year, so that I can get guaranteed entrance to the NYC marathon. This race counts towards the 2008 marathon, which is 21 months away, and who knows what I'll be up to then. Since I don't run the Saturday races, and I'm occasionally working during the Sunday races, I try to do most of the races I'm available for.
Anyway, the weather this morning was cold. And I mean cold.
I figured that meant the race would be relatively empty. Nope. Not even close. 4,474 finishers. I wish I had a camera this morning; there were runners coming from every direction. I knew why I was doing it, but I'm not sure what everyone else was thinking. They're nuts! Just to prove that, there were more than a few runners wearing shorts. Shorts! One guy ran by me with short running shorts, a short sleeve tech shirt, and a hat with a pom-pom on it. I think that when you run a race where the water stations freeze over (the first time I've seen that), you shouldn't wear shorts.
Anyway, I was just taking it easy out there. Had I been trying to race, I probably would have been annoyed. They tried out this "wave" starting system today. It totally sucked. First of all, I had to wait 15 minutes just standing around to start. In 16 degree weather that's not fun. Second, the race was more crowded than ever. Usually the races are crowded in the beginning, and then people settle into similar paces as the people around them. In other words you pass the slower people, the faster people pass you, and by the middle of the race most people around you are about the same speed. Today's race was a mess. I was passing the slower people from the wave ahead, and the faster people from the wave behind were passing me. This went on throughout the entire race. So instead of just weaving at the beginning, I had to do it even as I approached the finish line. Very annoying.
9:48 wave start my butt. it was still crowded.
9:06 taking it easy
9:17 deliberately taking it easy
8:15 last mile, and I'm feeling ok, so why not?
Final time, 36:27. Not great, but I didn't care. As I put this race into my race history, I noticed that I ran it last year as well. Last year it was my first race after the marathon, and my time was 39:58.
I know the post is getting long, but I have one more thing to show you. When I was down at the expo in Miami, there was this chiropractic clinic there that had a booth. They were doing free foot scans so I had one done.
On the left are my scans, and on the right are what they said were "balanced". What they tried to tell me was that on a balanced scan the pressure should be on the heel and on the ball, and long story short, I need orthotics. Which they could sell me.
I think it's a crock. Nobody should be standing on just their heel and ball of their foot. I've looked into this before, and there's a way to test what kind of arches you have. If you wet your foot, and then stand on a piece of paper, by looking at the imprint you should be able to tell what kind of arches you have. Here are diagrams from 3 different web sites.
Nobody should look like the picture they have labeled as "balanced". And in fact, I think my feet look pretty normal. Needless to say I didn't buy the orthotics.