December 14, 2008
Hot Chocolate 4-miler
Part of me can't believe its been six weeks since the marathon. In that short amount of time, I've become a lazy, bad runner all over again. I'm sure there's still a marathon lurking somewhere inside of me (or why else would I be doing these end-of-year qualifiers?), but I'm in the same December slump I've been in the last two years.
I was supposed to have run the Kleinerman 10K last weekend, but due to several and various circumstances, I ended up showing up too late. The winners were already reaching the finish line and the start line was long gone. Goddamitsomuch.
Mid-week, I ran twice, though not for long distances, only a mile and 2 miles. I feel like I'm still trying to break in these damn orthotics and my body is having a hard time adjusting.
But yesterday's run wasn't too bad. It was cold and windy, but sunny. I dressed just enough not to have to check a bag, which meant I was fairly chilly waiting for the race to start, but comfortable once we got going.
I showed up in plenty of time and probably should have run some warm-up mileage, but wound up instead standing in the wrong corral for 20 minutes. I lined up two colors ahead of where I should have been. Doesn't matter - they removed the corral barriers early and everybody pressed forward. Once we were packed in more, I felt much warmer!
I didn't try to race this one. I'm still concentrating on even, continuous pacing; less walking; and bringing my per-mile time down. On the first two counts, I did OK. As you can see in the chart, I managed to keep going the entire time except for walking the two water stops and part of Cat Hill. I began to finally feel warmed up toward the end of the race and was able to pick up the pace in the last half mile, which you can also see.
The result is that I did a 43:something; about 10:50 per mile. Not quite the 10:30 per mile I was shooting for, but a slight improvement over Staten Island in October.
My biggest mistake was in not fueling properly. I didn't eat enough breakfast and I didn't take any HEED or Sustained Energy with me; either of which would have helped. So I felt pretty drained by the end of these four miles and that worries me.
Next weekend, for the 15K race, I will take Sustained Energy and some gel and try to keep my energy up. If I can keep the first four miles in the sub-11-min/mile range and then the last five in the 10:00 min/mile range, I'll be happy - but I make no promises. It is more important to run the mile I'm in, reach the next water station, try to tackle the hills better, etc etc.
I'm looking at the end of January - the Manhattan half - and I'm worried. This is not going to be easy.