Sunday, November 16, 2008

Race Report: Race To Deliver

Crazy as this sounds. I am racing this morning.

The club is hosting a benefit run in Central Park at 10am for free healthy meals for those that are living with serious illneses. The service is called God's Love We Deliver (GLWD), and they are there to provide these meals to the many men, women, and children dealing with illness in and around New York City. For a contribution of $25 dollars, I can help touch some families in desperate needs during these desperate times. I am not looking for a PR, whihch would have been an insane pace of 7:20 per mile for me, but I will run to help this worthwhile cause. Afterwards, the club is meeting the West Side Triathlon Club for a brunch in the Upper West Side, and I think I can probably enjoy myself provided I stick to salad (easier said than done)

The race is in Central Park (see course here ---> ) and I'll be updating this blog with my results.

This probably wont be as satisfying as when I used to work on Thanksgiving Day at the Salvation Army and at hoeless shelters in the South Bronx giving out Thanksgiving Dinners to families, but it will be satisfying to know that I am helping them indirectly, nonetheless.

And so....
The race....

So, not only was this race to help feedy the needy, but the part of the donation also helped the Aids Fund as well.

The race started at 10am. I left my house at about 7am, since I still had to register onsite. The roads were empty. The Long Island Expressway seemed like a scene right out of 'I Am Legend'. My parking mojo was dead on. I found a spot right on Central Park West and 68th street, only a few spaces from the last time I was in Central Park for the Blue Line Run.

Pauline (Pre).....Hey Pauline, where is Tom?

Barbara and her sporty LuLuLemon running top with the built in gloves (not shown).

Yep. There I is. And at 161, 7 pounds lighter than from my last race. Bonnie, do you see the FP shirt? Do you? Were you wearing yours today? Huh? Huh?

We (Forest Park Road Runners) fielded quite a team today. 10 runners, 5 guys and 5 gals ran today. It was great to see Sandra run today. She was so bummed (and who wouldn't) when she had to bail on the NYC Marathon. Her husband showed up too.

Also, I wasn't the only one to run the Marathon and lace back up 2 weeks later. Jack also ran. Bonnie took the train in, ran her race, and from the finish line, ran home another 9 miles, as she is training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon next month. Tom and Pauline (Pre) both ran as well. Tom as usual, blew us all away.....But I am closing that

I also had a sore throat this morning and almost bailed. It was odd because I haven't had a cold in years. But I manned up (thanks Scott for your...words).

I did have a crazy theory about how best to get rid of this condition. When someone is sick, the body throws a fever to "burn" off, if you will, whatever infection may be ailing them. Well I did not have a fever, but knowing how I heat up during a race, I figured why not give it a shot and run towards health? So, yes, I was crazy enough to run a 4-mile race, BECAUSE I was somewhat sick. And it worked. At least until now (8:27pm). The sore throat is not entirely gone, but it is a lot better now than when I woke up this morning (Just to play it safe, I stopped by CVS on my way home and loaded up on meds, heh!)

Central Park did not feel as cold as they claimed it would be, but once the wind started wailing away, you could sense the chill. The race had a good turnout however. 6,000 people blowing warm air on their hands, bouncing up and down in their corrals. I was doing as much bouncing too, but just to stay loose. In cold weather, arms, shoulders, back and neck can get tight real quick if not stretched.

Beautiful photos of Central Park as I walked to the starting line:

I have fond memories of Central Park....*sigh*

Above, the Great Lawn. A very popular place for sunbathing in the summer.

Streams of sunshine through the soon-to-be-barren branches. As old leaves die to make way for a winter's rest, and to new lives in the spring.

Before the race began, they held the kids race. Don't know who the girl with the pink pants was, but she was booking!

Before lining up, I met Barbara and Maritza at the bandshell. We were all in different corrals, and left to go line up before the corrals had closed. The baggage line was ridiculously long. They need to fix this for next time.

I was in the "yellow" or 3rd corral, and once the race began, it took nearly 2 minutes to cross the starting line.

The first mile had us leave from the Bandshell area, and onto Park Drive East and we headed north from there. Thankfully 4 mile runs through Central Park usually mean an almost complete avoidance of Cat Hill. Nonetheless I still saw that ebony feline statue, marking the top of the hill at the very start.

My race strategy was simple. Try not to kill myself. In the past, I would wait 2 months after the Marathon before taking on another race. This time around? 2 weeks. Truth is, I was feeling winded around the first 1/2 mile, so I actually slowed down a little bit to gain composure.

As we passed the Metropolitan Museum of Art on our right, the 1st mile marker came up. I did less zig-zagging than I normally did, and it cost me dearly. 7:55

The wind was at my back. The second mile is fairly flat, so I started to pour it on.
Before long there we started heading west towards Park Drive West, and there was Mile 2 marker. I looked at my watch... 7:23. YES!

Mile 3 is always a bitch though. It's psychologically where I start to hold back to save some for the end. Central Park is not forgiving here anyway. A lot of rolling hills, mostly up. Plus the tail wind the runners had going north was now hitting us at full force. Some guy not realizing of his surroundings jogged slowly past the water table, and blocking me from getting anyway, unless I was willing to stop. Politely I said "Getting water please move aside", and without even looking back he arrogantly said "So what? So am I"

I had to cut around him, to get my cup. If someone is going for a cup, then go straight to the first one that you can get to, don't skim along all of the tables looking for the right one. They are all the same fer cryin' out loud!

He pissed me off, but I got him back. Got in front of him, drank my cup half way, and rather than making sure that the cup was disposed away from runners like as per the unwritten rules of courtesy etiquette of running, I dropped a water cup half right on its ass, and right in front of his footsteps that was directly behind me. I don't like mean people and he had it coming.

All the negotating, the tail wind, and the hills, and my 3rd mile was completed in 7:55 again. Ugh is what I thought. And again, I've turned this into a competition when it was only supposed to be a fun run. I love to break my own records, what can I say?

Mile 4 was either flat or slightly downhill. The wind was even stronger and yet I was too. I knew that I was going to do a sub-8 4 miler, but I really wanted a sub 7:30 if possible. I really dug hard and gave it my all and nearly hit the wonderbar which for me is 6 minute per mile territory. I did my last mile in 7:06

Though not a PR, having finished in the top 16% was a pretty special achievement considering what I had done back on the 2nd. There were 5979 finishers and I came in 993rd place.

After the run, I immediately called our service provider (what was that you said?). I am the oncall person this month for my job. And we had a service issue yesterday. I left a couple of messages last night to see what the issue had been cleared, but no one called me back. I actually called before the race began too, but when I got to baggage there were no missed calls. Blagh.

I met up with Barbara and Maritza who were waiting for Yvonne. From there we walked out passing John Lennon's Strawberry Fields, and headed north to 90th street, where we went to a Mexican restaurant called Gabriella's for lunch.

I had the Huevos Rancheros plus a Sangria. Mmm Mmm Good.

Some tall dude juggling at the park. No, he did not come to eat with us.

Maritza and Barbara

Edwin, Alex (me), and Yvonne

There was a lot of talk about triathlons, and then Maritza's boyfriend Edwin joined us. He works for the New York Road Runners, and I have to admit I was sweatin' his jacket, yo.

With the final results in, I was very pleased with my performance today. 30 minutes 22 seconds for 4 miles. I am taking off tomorrow as a precaution, and then it's the gym on tuesday, and it's a brand new week too.

View of Southern Manhattan (right) as I'm driving Home across the Queensboro Bridge. My 90th race is complete. 10 more races to the Big 100. 100 races. Wow.


DGA said...

I think the best part is throwing water on that asshole who did not have the sense to move ahead for his drink.
Good race, nice pictures of New York. Did anything hurt? Did you pass Scott?

Michael said...


I went to college with Pauline!!! I love racing in New York and Blogging it's like a reunion!!!