Posted by: libbith | February 21, 2009

Need For Speed, Pt. 2

After writing (read: whining) about my issue with speed in my last post, I thought that I would, on my next run, really try to push myself harder and see what I could accomplish.  After my internship on Thursday, I went running in the park.  When I go, I do the same loop, more or less, that we did for the 4 mile race.  It starts at 72nd street, goes up the east side behind the Met, up to the Guggenheim and past the reservoir.  Around 102nd street, it cuts across the park and over to the west side.  From there, you follow the path back down, past the Museum of Natural History and back to 72nd street where you cut across the park over the big staircase that leads down to the fountain and you complete the loop.  Central Park 4 Mile LoopI have become fairly comfortable with this run and, while I don’t know it as well as I know my downtown route, I can fairly accurately predict when hills are coming and I need to save some energy and which sections are easier and I know I will be comfortable.  As I rounded the top of the run and hit what I know to be about the 2 mile mark (this image is misleading because the start arrow is at 90th, not 72nd), I was feeling pretty good.  I started thinking about the fact that, after finishing and getting my stuff from work, I would need to go to 89th street and the NYRR headquareters to pick up our numbers and t-shirts for our race on Saturday.  The idea of walking all that way after running was less than appealing.  So, instead, as I neared the end of the loop and realized I had the energy left, I decided to run back up the east side putting me at 90th and right around the corner from where I had to be.  Not only did this tack on an extra mile making it what I believe is my first real 5-miler, but I had to go back up the long hill that leads to the Met.  I prefer to start at 72nd so that I run that hill when my legs are fresh, and doing it twice in one run seemed a little ludicrous.  To a newbie-ish runner like me, at least.

But I did it.  And it really felt great…

…until I entered my time into the running pace calculator. The entire time, I thought that I was “flying” (I hesitate when I use that word because I know that I am still going incredibly geriatrically slow compared to everyone else, but it is a relative term and for me, I felt that way).  Instead, I was really just going about my normal pace of 5.5mph.

I had grand illusions of writing how this blog is so amazing, it is allowing me to take on a challenge and accomplish it, yadda yadda, blah blah blah.  But no.  I was still slow.  That didn’t take away from how proud I was that I pushed myself, both on speed and distance, but I just wish I was a more accurate guage of my own pace.  I am still hopeful that I can do well in the race on Saturday since it is just a 5k and I know I can more than comfortably complete the distance.  My expectations for it are, however, tempered now.*

One additional note: A hello to everyone who is now here reading because of the e-mail my mom sent you.  Welcome! Please do comment and let me know you’re here, I could use all the extra encouragement.  And a very, very big THANK YOU to everyone who, because of that e-mail, has now donated (see button at top left).  I am so appreciative of your willingness to help me reach my fundraising goal and support this worthy cause.

*I wrote this post after the race on Saturday, as you will notice if you look at the date stamp.  I still, I think, was able to explain how I was feeling on Thursday, even though I feel much differently today.  Excited to hear what happened? Stay tuned….

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