10 days ago I ran the Wall Street 5K, which turned out to be just a 3 mile run, not a 3.1 mile (true 5K) run. It was at 6:45 pm. I wasn't going to run it, in fact that morning I had run 7 miles at the gym and lifted. So when Jason came home early for work and I realized I could actually go, I had no expectations whatsoever. I ran it in 22:33, a 7:31 mile pace. I was so proud of myself, I could have run it even faster but the course crowded. Which leads me to the next race...
Today I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Fresh off the pride of that 5K, I was more excited than nervous, knew I could do it. I told myself to just do it under 2 hours and enjoy it. But my biggest temptation is pressure; I gravitate towards it. In the back of my mind I felt I could really do great, perhaps an 8-minute mile pace (1hour 45mins). I went with a mom friend from McAllister's class, a girl new to running. We parted ways at the start line, and she was all prepared with her energy gels and her sports watch to time her splits. I chewed my granola bar, slurped my yogurt, and drank a few sips of water.
Mile 2 my injured heel started to burn, in an unfamiliar place in my foot. I got some gatorade at the station and kept trucking along. I skipped all the other water stations along the way, I simply wasn't thirsty. I was running along to my iPod and thanking Jason at every step that he'd encouraged me to wear my sunglasses. By mile 10, though, I noticed something had changed and that my pace was slowing. My hip (probably compensating for my heel pain), my energy level. People were passing me and I was starting not to care. I crossed the finish line at 1:52:07, even with the last 1/8 of a mile being a sprint. An 8:32 mile pace. A full minute longer than the other race. That's a big difference. Looking back now I realized I should have been prepared more. When I crossed the line I was disoriented and weak, I had to hold on to some race-helper guy. It took a full 30 minutes to not be dizzy and a tad confused. Long story longer, I learned a lot for next time.
I found Jason at the Finish with the kids and we stayed and ate a Nathan's hot dog (very over-rated) and played at the beach on Coney Island. I laid on a park bench on the Boardwalk and drank a Diet Coke, and took fun pictures. Look at my kids, my sweet kids; Jason. They're all the bragging rights I need.