UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Race Recap: My Brain During a Race

Inside the mind of a neurotic runner who is still not sure, when she wakes up on race morning, if she plans to try and PR or not.

Getting ready

Since I PR’d in a 10K last month and I hope to do so next month, I might as well have some coffee this morning. I’ve had coffee before running but never before racing. Now’s a good a time as any to see how this goes.

Time to film my first webcam video for work, the “Before” of a “Before & After” for our new BB Cream. Have to do this well, I only have time to do it once. Hm, this pink running shirt won’t look good on camera, I’ll change to a blue one.

Damn. I forgot to point out my dark circles and dry skin. Oh well, I think the video came out pretty good.

I wish I didn’t put my watch on until after this video.

Oh! How do I get my iPod Nano off shuffle? Quick Google Bing (hi Matt).


Other 10K runners at the PATH station! It makes sense, since Jersey City is full of runners but for some reason I didn’t expect to see others here.

Playlist! I never made a playlist. How does this on-the-go playlist functionality work? Oh, this is easy. A little short, but good playlist.

Oh look, another runner sitting across from me on the second train. I like that.

Central Park before race

No lines on the Porta Potties!

It’s actually warm for 7:15 am. I can stand in this sunny patch of grass until the race starts.

Wow, this porta potty hasn’t been used yet today! The toilet paper is still wrapped in paper. This is SO COOL. Who else can say they were the first in a porta potty?

I can’t get this brand new toilet paper started! Why do I just keep ripping off small pieces. Where is the end??

I love when porta potties have anti-bacterial.

This corner behind the fence is a perfect place to store my fleece during the race. Maybe it will still be there after. Otherwise, I won’t miss it.

“Hello? Melissa, hi, I’m in the bathroom, I’ll be right out.”


I’m just going to run how I feel comfortable. I’ll decide then if I think I can PR.

I’m in a slightly slower corral than my own but I’m at the front of it, so once they collapse it will all be the same.

This weather is perfect! Sunny, beautiful, warm but not hot.

Mile 1

Time to see how my new Nike+ SportWatch GPS does during this race!

This is crowded.

I can’t move. I can barely walk, let alone run.

WHY are there walkers ahead of me? Were they checking bibs at the corrals?

Argh! If you’re going to just stop, MOVE OVER TO THE SIDE. I’ve had to stop during a race before. I went to the side. If you stop in the middle, I MIGHT RUN OVER YOU.

Omg. Too crowded. This is frustrating. NYRR really needs to cap these races lower. I thought this at the Scotland Run but this is much worse.

Melissa Z is running fast! I wonder if she will PR if we stay together the whole time.

I better follow Z along the outside of the pack, this is just way too crowded and I want to RUN.

Ah, break free. Floor it.

I’m right ahead of Z and oh look! A race photog! ARMS UP HELLOOOOOOOOO!!!

Where’s Z? Oops. Lost her.

Hmm 9:30 pace? OK, I am definitely not PRing today. That’s OK.

Where is Z? I can’t stop looking around for her.

Mile 1 over already! That was quick.

Mile 2

I can’t believe the crowds aren’t getting any better.

WALKER IN FRONT OF ME. Must get out of way now. Where is an opening between all these runners? Why is everyone running so slowly? I AM GOING TO SLAM INTO THIS PERSON I CANNOT SLOW DOWN IN TIME HELP.

Phew. Dodged that person. Why is no one moving over to the side? Why weren’t the corrals checked? The corrals are there for safety!

Running on the outskirts is good, at least I can move over here.

DAMN IT. There’s the water station all the way on the right and I missed it! When I PR’d at the Scotland Run, I stopped at every single water station and now I believe that is the key to race success and I MISSED THIS ONE. GRRRRR.

I forgot to discuss the water stops at the Scotland Run in my recap. I’ll have to mention it when I write this one.

I feel like I am pushing so hard but my pace seems slow for my effort. I guess today is just not my day. That’s OK.

Wow, this uphill is tough. Much tougher than when I ran the Scotland Run. Why does this feel so hard? Slooooow down.

Harlem Hills DOWNHILL time! THIS is where I love to run fast.

Wait, why aren’t the people around me speeding up? Are they . . . slowing DOWN? Why? This is a down hill!

Too much weaving for a down hill. Ugh. What is wrong with EVERYONE today?

Ah, there’s some relief. Yay for fast downhill running!

Mile 2 is over. Maybe the road will clear up now.

Mile 3

OK this is hard.

Keeping a 9:30 pace feels impossible. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to Refine last night. But I went the day before the Scotland Run and that went well. Next time I rest the day before a race.

A water station! Yes!

Ah, much better. But I still can’t seem to maintain an OK pace. Too difficult.

Maybe I’ll still run into Z, she started off so fast. Where is she?

What will I eat for breakfast? Andy brought home a pretzel croissant, we can split that. But that won’t be enough.

Oh! I can put eggs on my half! I never thought to do that before. How will it taste? Will it be good? Or will eggs ruin the amazingness that is the pretzel croissant?

Why am I pushing so hard? I know I’m not PRing today. Maybe I should just slow down now and enjoy the rest of the run.

No. When I run on my own, I can’t tolerate any discomfort so I never push hard. Whenever I have a really fast run with splits in the 8s, it’s because it feels natural. I never push myself to run fast.

The only time I can tolerate any discomfort while running is during a race. This is why I love racing! I’d never know what I am capable of otherwise.

I need to sign up for more races. I need to show up for more races that I’ve signed up for. Races ARE my speed training.

I could slow down now since I’m not going to PR, but then I’ll waste my opportunity to push myself. I commuted all the way here at 6:30 am, I might as well do my best.

Mile 4

OH! My GPS isn’t on!

And this mileage is way behind where I am in the race. So . . . is my pace not what the watch says? This foot pod is not accurate. Why didn’t my GPS kick in? It always kicks in in Jersey City. With all the problems I had with my Garmin, the one place is always got GPS was Central Park. What the hell?

I can’t believe I can run so much faster than I used to without any knee pain. I remember when every single run, even 3 mile runs, caused terrible pain in my knee.

At my first 10K ever, my knee started hurting around this time. It killed me for the rest of the race! What a difference now.

When did my knee get better? Let’s see . . . my last run with pain in my knee was the Divas Half Marathon. That was October, 2010. I started taking Refine in December 2010 and haven’t had knee pain during a run since — not even my marathon or fastest half marathon.

I think Refine is the reason my knees got better. And the reason I got faster.

Brynn always corrects me by pushing my body slightly more forward than I naturally stand. When I remember to make that correction while I’m running, I definitely can speed up because my body weight isn’t holding me back as much.

What would I do without Refine? Thank G-d they opened a downtown location because I don’t know what I would have done otherwise now that I moved.

This is a nice breeze.

This race is too hard. At least the miles are flying by. I remember how it seemed to take forever at the Women’s Mini 10K because I was pushing so hard. I’m glad it doesn’t feel like it’s taking forever today. I’ll be done soon.

I HATE this little uphill that comes before we get to go down Cat Hill. Push through. Why am I slowing down so much on every up hill? I’m usually OK during hills.

I have no idea what my pace is. How fast am I going? I’ll check how much time has elapsed. I love how easy it is to switch through the stats with the Nike watch.

Water station. Yum.

Hey race photographer! Look at me! Why are you fiddling with your camera? HERE I AM!

OW. Sudden stomach spasm. Ugh.

I want to hear Press It Up. Oh wait. That’s the song that just ended. Oops.

Mile 5

One mile left. I can do this!

My body automatically pushes harder and runs faster towards the end of a race. This is not even a conscious decision.

WHOA nausea. Omg. I am going to vomit.

I suspect the coffee + a faster speed than I should be running. I am not having coffee before a race anymore. I think that contributed to this entire race being so hard. Glad I tried but never again.

The choice is between running fast and possibly throwing up, or slowing down and finishing feeling good. I already know I’m not PRing so I might as well slow down.

Ahhh. That’s better. I still feel sick but I don’t think I will vomit before the finish line.

I do like this down hill.

I wish I knew my real pace.

This last mile always takes forever.

Uphill, grr. Push through.

The course narrowed. Why is everyone going so slow? I’m sick of weaving but I need to finish this so I can be done.

Hey! My fleece isn’t in the spot where I left it. I wonder if NYRR volunteers threw it away. If you see something, say something.

800 meters to go. OK.

Mile 6 – 6.2

Why does the last .2 always feel so long?

400 meters to go. The finish line is so far away. And up a hill.

I don’t have enough in me for a final push. Just keep moving.

I can’t even smile for this race photog. I have nothing left.

200 meters to go.

Ooh La La is playing. I normally love running to this. I wish I could appreciate it. I just can’t.

Look at watch. The mileage is all wrong, but the time says 55:00 and something. What?

The finish line is close. Still too far. Still up hill.

Half-assed attempt at a smile for this finish line photog.



Look at watch. I didn’t PR but what does this my time mean? I will deal with this when I get home and see my official time.

Cover hand with mouth to try and hold back vomit.

Make my way to the water.

Take a cinnamon raisin bagel.

Need to get out of park. Sneak out of the race under a barrier. Get yelled at by NYRR volunteer.

Nibble small piece of bagel. Feel much better.

I am so glad that is over. That was so hard.


Alone in the subway car.

Guy second train who also ran race chats with me about my watch.

Crazy guy on second train calls out from across the train to ask if I ran a marathon.

Crazy guy does not stop talking. Smile politely and keep reading.

I’m a little cold with the AC on but I’m fine without my fleece.

Back home

First thing’s first – record “After” of my “Before & After” video for work. Took three takes but I’m happy with the end result. Still forgot to mention my dry skin and dark circles. At least I mentioned my age this time.

Make scrambled eggs on pretzel croissant. Yes, delicious.

Check NYRR website for official time.

Official NYRR time: 55:41
Average pace: 8:58/mi 

WHAT! Wow. Not a PR, but faster than my previous PR before last month’s. My second fastest 10K race ever!

The first time I ran the Healthy Kidney 10K in 2010, I PRd with 1:00:37, although that PR only lasted a month.

I wish my GPS worked so I had accurate splits. I want to analyze the hell out of this! At least I can see which miles were quicker relatively. Although they all seemed to be around the same pace.

Let me check my watch. OH! The GPS was switched to “Off.” How did that happen? I didn’t touch the settings.

F*cking lemons.

I wonder if I’ll have any race pictures. I wonder if I’ll look like I’m dying.

When can I run a 10K race at an average pace of 8:58 and call it a bad run, that is a very good sign.

9 comments on UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Race Recap: My Brain During a Race

  1. Amber
    May 15, 2012 at 10:54 am (5 years ago)

    You have got to be kidding me with the pretzel croissants!!! Want so bad!

  2. Ruth
    May 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm (5 years ago)

    Dori! this recap is really funny! and I loved your videos! your skin looks intact! congrats on the race!
    Ruth´s last blog post ..London

  3. Fiona
    May 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm (5 years ago)

    Did you have a voice recorder during this race. How the hell did you manage to remember any of your thoughts, never mind most of them?! The only thought I have during races though is “this is hard, how long until I’m done?”. Yours are much more interesting and funny.
    Fiona´s last blog post ..Taper Time in Israel

  4. Ali
    May 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm (5 years ago)

    Haha this is amazing. Loved it. And congratulations on a race-gone-better-than-expected! You’re getting so strong and it’s fun to witness!
    Ali´s last blog post ..This Is Love

  5. Grace @ Balancing Me
    May 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm (5 years ago)

    Okay, I’m glad someone else has noticed that the corrals are noticeably different recently. I was in the middle of the correct corral during my last race (an NYRR 4-miler) but there were several walkers (some even linked arms, argh) and I was weaving well into the second mile. I’m totally okay with people wanting to walk a race, but shouldn’t there be clear signage (or process) to make sure people are separated accordingly? Very frustrating.

    On another note, I’m super happy for your pace/race/strength! You are definitely getting stronger, and that, too, is noticeable. :)
    Grace @ Balancing Me´s last blog post rest til brooklyn


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Race Recap: My Brain During a Race

  1. […] I had a PR in mind. I actually registered for three 10K races: the Scotland Run 10K, the Healthy Kidney 10K and the Women’s Mini 10K. My plan was to run the first two to get practice and for fun, train […]

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