A Running Weekend

This past weekend was FILLED with running greatness!  On Saturday, I ran in the Rock’n’Roll NY 10K held in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  Sunday I made my second appearance at the United Health Care Half Marathon in Newport, RI which is run in conjunction with the Amica Marathon.  It was a great weekend of running so let’s get into it!

Friday — I’ll start with Friday.  I had a regular day of work and left right after the last bell to head into Brooklyn to pick up my packet for the 10K.  I was unable to pick it up Thursday night in the city, so I needed to make the journey into Brooklyn to pick up all of my race stuff.  I had planned to meet Amy at Prospect Park as she was also running this race.  She left work in the Bronx and I left my house at roughly the same time.  We both sat in traffic, but an accident in the city caught Amy in a lot more traffic.  She made it with just minutes to spare to pick up her packet.  After the pick up, we went to our favorite Friday Night Italian restaurant and had our standard pre race meal of penne a la vodka.  Delicious!

Saturday — The alarm was set for 5:30, but somehow my phone got turned off.  I’m sure Amy didn’t purposely turn it off, but I know I didn’t, and it couldnt have turned itself off so she must have done it.  My parents had agreed to drive us into Brooklyn so that we wouldn’t have to worry about parking.  I had hoped they would be able to find a spot so they could watch the race, but no such luck so they went to a coffee shop instead.  Saturday morning was one of the coldest day’s we’ve had this year so far, but I have a huge arsenal of cold weather running gear, so I was able to throw something together quickly.  I wore shorts and an under armour cold gear turtleneck and had no problems wit being cold.

Amy and I followed our usual prerace routine…find a bathroom, wait on line, do some stretching, and get into the starting corrals.  I was slotted in corral 2 with a predicted finish time of 50:00.  Coming into the race, I wasn’t sure if I would come in under 50 minutes.  I knew that if I had a great race, I would be close…but I hadn’t been able to do as much training as I would have liked because of work and other obligations.  The gun went off, and off I was.  I absolutely loved the course running this race last year, and this year was no different.  There were some minor changes to the course, but they only improved it in my opinion.

I started the race, and quickly glanced at my watch and saw a pace with a 7 at the front.  I dont think I have ever run miles at a sub 8 minute pace except during speed workouts.  I got through the first mile and saw the same during the second mile.  I was running sub 8 minute miles like it was my job, and felt great doing it.  Seeing those numbers gave me hope that I would be able to break that 50 minute goal I had set for myself.  Ultimately, I crossed the finish line at 47:40, a time for me which was better than I ever thought I would have been able to run.

After the race, Amy and I were able to pick up our Rock Star Heavy medals right at the race site…another awesome feeling!

Saturday Afternoon — was the homecoming game at my school.  I had really wanted to put in a lot of work with the football team this season and before I had been offered the job teaching I was working with the team a lot.  Unfortunately, coaching football isn’t going to pay the bills, so I have to put all of my time and effort into the job as a teacher.  It is absolutely worth it, and I am loving every minute of it.  Even thought I can’t go to practice every day during the week, I still go to the games to help out in any way that I can.  Saturday we played Clarke HS in our homecoming game.  We won decidedly 26-0, and move on to face Seaford HS this weekend.

Immediately following the game, Amy and I left for Newport.  It was certainly not ideal, but I had a lot of fun and was really happy to attend the homecoming game.  We finally arrived in Newport around 8:45 which was too late to attend the Saturday packet pick up…checked into our hotel…and went to sleep.  We had to be up extra early Sunday to pick up the race packets before the race on Sunday.

Sunday — Sunday morning was quite a bit warmer than it had been Saturday morning, but there was a very light on and off drizzle falling.  The forecast did not call for rain until later in the day, so I was not too worried about the rain but then again when was the last time a forecast was right?  It was a little chilly when we woke up and headed to the race so I had worn an under armor turtleneck again as I had for the 10K.  Amy and I again repeated our pre race ritual of finding a bathroom doing a little stretching and then starting the race.  The line for the bathrooms in Newport was by far the LONGEST I have ever seen at a race.  But, we made it to the start line just as the gun had gone off, so overall no harm done there.

The race course started out with its biggest hill, which I was prepared for mentally.  As I ascended this hill, I had to weave my way in and out of the crowd.  Ultimately I made it to the top of the hill and felt completely overheated.  I definitely over dressed for the race.  I had to take off the turtleneck I had.  Before the end of the first mile, I had taken it off and it was now tied around my waist.  This was my last half marathon of the year, so I knew I wanted to give it my all and do my best here.  The goal I had set for myself was just to go sub 2.  There was a ton of wind, and more hills than I remembered there being, but I pushed through and finished at 1:54:22 six seconds shy of my half marathon PR.  I knew coming to the final mile that I had a shot at breaking my PR and really tried to push.  Unfortunately at this part of the course it begins to bottleneck and I felt I had to weave in and out of traffic to keep my pace up.  I am not sure if that kept me from hitting a new PR or not, but I still had a 50+ minute course PR so I’ll take it.

Sunday afternoon was spend in the car driving home, but Amy and I decided to go to Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant in Flushing which has some amazing dumplings to celebrate the end of our race season!

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