I just realized I should make a Race Recap/Race List section on my blog. Oh yeah and actually put content in my other sections. And also, you know, post more.
I ran my 5th race this past weekend! In May, I was not a runner. In June, I thought I failed in my attempts to be a runner. In November, I run my 5th race. At a pretty good clip if I do say so myself.
After I got home from the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5 Mile Race, I went right to my computer (after inhaling breakfast, of course) and signed up for my next race — the 4 Mile Race to Deliver. This was a charity race with God’s Love We Deliver to raise money for food for people with AIDS, cancer and other life threatening diseases who might otherwise suffer malnourishment.
I was especially excited for this race because the boy signed up to run it with me! And by with me, I mean way, way ahead of me.
My “training” consisted of a some 4 mile runs and a couple 6 mile runs thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t too worried. I did 5 miles in October, so what’s 4 miles to me? Right?
I woke up on Sunday morning, race day, before my alarm. I was very excited! I went to get the boy up and he informed me that he would rather sleep and would not be going with me. I was sad, but still so excited for my own race. And I didn’t feel at all bad for using my very loud juicer, which I usually avoid doing when the boy is sleeping.
I made a pre-race green juice with apple, broccoli, celery and cucumber. Perfect fuel. I did my stretches, pinned on my number, and was out the door. I walked to Central Park; the start and finish line were at the 72nd street transverse.
The boy usually takes photographs of me before a race, but given as he was fast asleep I attempted to do it myself. I didn’t bother with the self timer. Probably because I don’t know how to use it.
I tried not to be as insanely early as I was for the last race. I wasn’t, but I still had a good half hour to wait before the start. I was very concerned about being cold. I wore a tank top, jacket, pants, hat and gloves. I had tried to buy a thin long sleeve for under the jacket but had to return the one I bought and then when I got my heart set on another type I couldn’t find it anywhere. All was fine — the weather was totally bearable! I actually felt warmer than I did before my race in October! I felt comfortable and not at all freezing. Just slightly chilled. And my hat was so comfortable and very cute! $10 at City Sports. Found out after that I could have saved 10% with my NYSC membership. Next time!
And then the race began.
Behold, my playlist:
I started with Miami 2017 because the song starts slooooowly. Given my natural inclination to sprint at the start line, I wanted a song to hold me back — but only for a minute! Miami 2017 is perfect because about a minute in, it speeds up into what I believe is the perfect running song. Upbeat, catchy, easy to mouth/sing along to. AND it is Billy Joel. Perfect!
Hey World (the remote control version — the other one is weird) was next and it made me smile. This song has a great beat and certain phrases are memorable so it is fun if you like to shout random phrases during your run, such as “and with the Patriot Act they took all your rights.” It is also an ideal running song for the chorus, because it is fun to sing (to yourself or out loud) HEY WORLD over and over while running. It is.
*Note: I wrote this entire post out. I thought it was one of my funnier ones. Then Firefox, the worst browser ever for a Mac yet I keep using it, once again stopped working. I had to restart it. I failed to press Save I guess, but in the past WordPress would auto save. Not this time. Tear.
*Second note: I am on the boy’s computer so I can use Windows Live Writer. This is my first time in this program. I am using this because I have a Mac. I insist on using Firefox for my Mac browser because I don’t think Camino is any better and Safari gives me this popup that constantly asks me to type in some sort of feed password that I don’t know and I can’t get it to go away. Any browser recommendations for Mac that are not the ones I just mentioned?
*Third note: Why won’t this let me edit my work in “edit using theme”? Is it supposed to let me?
Okay, time to rewrite the rest and hope I remember all the great things I typed yesterday. Sorry. I bitter.
So the next song up was Jamie Lidell’s Multiply. This is one of my favorite songs because it is catchy, has a great tune and makes me want to dance around my room in a shirt and underwear. During this song I realized the first mile mark was approaching because of the water station. I also realized that Caitlin’s advice on running along the inside curves of the course (where they determine the distance) might not be the best thing when the water stations are along the inside as well as walkers and very slow runners. I shifted to the right a bit and went along on my way. By this point, I was running up some pretty challenging hills. I had to slow down but I wasn’t too concerned since what goes up must come down, right?
And then the first Girl Talk song of the race came on. I. Love. Girl Talk. Thanks again to Melissa for introducing me to the greatest workout aid since TVs on machines. I always feel happy when my first Girl Talk song comes on during a race. The song brought with it an extra boost of motivation. While the race was going fine, I wasn’t smiling or feeling particularly great. This song definitely helped. For those of you who are not familiar with Girl Talk, please do yourself a favor and download all their albums. They mix songs – rap, R&B, classic rock, hits from years ago through now, into songs of brilliance and perfection. They all have great beats and really, it’s just genius.
Around this time I took off my gloves but then my hands were too cold so I put them back on. Then I took off my jacket but kept my gloves and hat on for the remainder of the race, so I was wearing a t ank top, gloves and a hat. I must have been quite the sight.
This is How We Do was next and it was a fun, upbeat running song. It is explicit. I believe I attempted dancing while running during this one, but unfortunately I lack the proper coordination so I quickly resumed regular running. Next was MORE GIRL TALK! Here’s The Thing is my favorite of their songs. It incorporates so many great songs. There is one part of this song that always perks me up during my run and makes me sing – okay, let’s be real, mouth – the words. It always puts a smile on my face. Should you choose to listen to this song, the part I refer to comes on during the “Jesse’s Girl” section. This song makes me happy.
The 2 mile mark came and went. Halfway done. Still hilly. Also, my good knee started hurting. My knee sleeves are both stretched out and have tears along the seams. It is already time to buy a new set! Can you believe I wore out my knee sleeves in 6 months?! I really can’t! I still don’t consider myself a real runner! Luckily the pain wasn’t constant. It came and went throughout but not enough to really slow me down.
I was still struggling with the uphills. I had always been warned by everyone about the challenging hills of Central Park. After my 5K and 5 mile race, which took place in the park and wasn’t very hilly at all, I deemed everyone exaggerators.
I just happened to be running in the opposite direction of the insane hills. For this race, on the other hand, I was running in the hilly direction.
The Beatles I Want to Hold Your Hand always pumps me up. It starts out with cheering fans, which I really needed! GO ME! The song is fast and very short (this version in particular). This was the version from Love (my best And the best part, during this race, was that the line “I can’t hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide” played as I was struggling with a particular challenging hill. The song was right. I couldn’t hide. That phrase pushed me through that section of the race.
Gotta Get Through This is an amazing race song. I first fell in love with this song my freshman year of college in the bathroom. There was a radio in the communal bathroom that always played the hits station. It just so happened to be the year this song was popular, and I always loved the beat. It is so unique and catchy. And the lyrics are crucial for racing – especially up the STEEPEST hill of the race, which is where I was. I did have to get through this. How did they know???
I approached the 3 mile mark and debated taking water at this one. Normally when I run at my comfortable pace I don’t have any trouble breathing. That is a phenomenon that occurs only when I am pushing myself, like in my 1 mile race. But my breathing was labored; these were taking their toll on me. They were slowing me down and wearing me out! I decided that a sip of water might be just what I need to push me through so I could finish strong. I took a quick sip and went on my way. I tend to take a quick sip standing in my spot as opposed to walking while sipping for a few seconds. Either method quicker in your opinion?
I was back on my way and my all time favorite running song Say Hey (I Love You) came on. Normally this song makes me smile and puts me in a great mood. Normally it gives me a little energy boost. On this day, I barely noticed it was even on. I was struggling so much and just couldn’t pay attention to music. I wish I had this song earlier on in the race! Oh, well. This is probably the last hill, the park can’t get any higher than this, right? I figured I would take the rest of the final mile to speed up without the hills pulling at me. Around this time a woman on the side called out to me to try and cheer me up. “Only two hills left!” she exclaimed.
That was supposed to make me feel better, I guess. But it made me feel worse. Two more?! I wanted there to be no more!
The first of the hills . The second of the hills. The third of the hills – wait, what?! I thought there were only two more. The woman was wrong. Damn.
By this time, Girl Talk was on again and the song was Play Your Part (Pt. 2). Um, AMAZING. What a perfect song at this point. For two reasons. First, it has George Harrison mixed in. George Harrison is without a doubt my favorite Beatle and I love everything he did with them and solo after. They took from the song “What is Life” from his solo career. But, while that cheered me up in the race, that is something I always appreciate about this song. What really PUSHED me at this time, however, was the mixin of Journey’s “Faithfully”. The whooaa – oooo- oooo –oooo was forceful and powerful and for the first time since the start of the race, I smiled. This part of the song literally pushed me up the final hill. I felt strong and I knew I was going to finish the race in the best way I can.
See how amazing Girl Talk is? What other group would put both George Harrison and Journey into one song? And can you imagine googling “whooaa – oooo- oooo –oooo”?
FYI: You can find the components to every Girl Talk song on Wikipedia.
I saw the 1/2 mile sign. The final song filled my ears. One last Girl Talk song, Shut the Club Down. This song causes me to make mouth dance faces. Do you know what I mean? When people dance and their mouth curls in a certain “I’m dancing and this is my mouth” sort of way. So there I was, making my dancing face and speeding up the pace. The hills were over. I conquered them! I saw the final curve before the finish line. I wanted so much to speed up, but everyone else around me slowed down for the curve, so I had no choice but to do the same. After that the finish line was in sight. I wanted so much to sprint, but there were so many people so I settled for the next best thing – running a little faster. Which in retrospect was probably better because I was able to feel great after. I sped up and ran and crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face, hoping to make it into a professional photograph, not realizing that this race was not in fact being photographed. I wonder who the man with the big camera was who I smiled and waved at midway through?
And then I was done.
I felt great! The hills seemed like no big deal now that they were in my past. I walked home and went to the computer for my official chip time.
Here I am post-race at home. The boy was awake:
And my chip time . . .
I ran 4 miles in 40:00 exactly!
Aaaahh! I was very frustrated throughout the race when I looked down at my Polar because I knew I could be faster. The hills slowed me down. But I must have redeemed it all in that last half mile. And I really love that my time was 40:00, not a second more or less. My average pace was obviously 10:00/mile. Not bad! Pretty great considering all the hills and the fact that I am still a new runner and that my knee was hurting.
And then I signed up for my next race.
See a pattern here?
I come home from one race and sign right up for another. Not a bad summer habit, but it is getting cold! The next one will be my real last one of the year (I said that about my October 25 race and this November 22 race!).
I signed up for the Joe Kleinerman 10K. My first 10K! I ran 6 miles on two occasions, but not with these hills. This race will be a challenge. And I can’t wait! The boy registered for this one as well. He will make it to this one. The start is far from the apartment and I don’t want to cake a cab all the way there so early in the morning without him. So, he will be sure to wake up.