Tuesday, March 2, 2010

NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake Run Race Report

This last Sunday I finally managed to run my first race of the year, thus breaking a three month race drought. I had actually thought the race, which takes place in Prospect Park, was scheduled for the following weekend. I was reminded otherwise by my friend Rachel a couple of days before. I had already planned to go long the weekend of the race with an 18 mile run on Sunday. Not wanting to sacrifice the long run for the race, which was a 4 miler, I decided to do both. My plan was to run to Prospect Park, do a few loops, run the race, do a few more loops, then run home.

Unfortunately I woke up the morning of the race with a very bad stomach and a strong desire to poo a lot. I did poo a lot. I pooed three times before leaving the house. I am not sure whether this was due to the Ethiopian food we had eaten the night before, or the stomach bug which I had heard was making its way around the people of New York. Either way, feeling a little whoozy, I started running to Prospect Park, hoping the whooziness would go way.

After picking up my race number, I ran a loop of the Park, then lined up at the start of the race. I ran into Frank DeLeo, ultra runner extraordinaire and fellow Prospect Park Track Club team member. I decided I would try to stay with Frank during the race. I run with Frank during the Prospect Park Track Club speed training workouts. I often start the workouts running faster than Frank, then he finishes them running faster than me. Frank is better at pacing than me.

After the horn blew, Frank went out quite fast. I had a hard time keeping up with him at first. My legs were a little tired from the 6.5 miles I had already run before the race. Then somehow either he slowed down or I got faster. I overtook him. I kept running, thinking I was making a mistake and should slow down. It is always tempting to start out races too fast, and let the more experienced runners breeze by you later in the race.

I ran the first mile, including the hilly part, at a 7:30 pace. This wasn't too bad, and I was starting to feel good and enjoy myself. I ran the second mile again at a 7:30 pace. After two miles, I started looking out for Frank. I ran the third mile, which was partly downhill, at a 7:10 pace. After three miles my stomach was feeling really bad. I started retching during the last mile. I finished the last mile at around a 7:30 pace, making a time of 29:42 for the race overall. Walking through the finishers area, I stopped to bend over and let exit some stomach contents.

After saying hello to some fellow running club members, I started to feel better and ran another loop of the Park at a very slow pace. At this point my legs started to feel tired, so I decided to run home. Overall, I ran 15 miles, including the 4 mile race. Running a race inside a long run was an interesting experience. I would definitely like to try it again sometime, maybe when I am feeling better.

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