I came to consciousness Saturday morning and immediately resolved to skip this one. The weather was awful. It had snowed and sleeted the whole day before and though it wasn't precipitating at the moment, I knew it was going to be a cold and grey morning.
Problem is, I needed to complete that last qualifier. I'd paid for this and I intended to do it. Besides, knowing nothing else about Ted Corbitt, the namesake of this run, I did know that he had enjoyed a reputation for running in any weather. So, I got my ass out of bed at 5:45 and got ready to go.
It was easier last weekend, the Hot Chocolate 4 miler. Used to be this weekend, the 15K, was the Hot Chocolate run. But ol' Teddy needed props, so things got changed up, I guess. Frankly, I don't care what they call it. A rose by any other name...
Last weekend, I didn't worry about hydration and fueling during the run. This time, though, I mixed up a gelbot full of powersnot and S.E. and brought that along with me. I dressed exactly as needed for a 22-degree morning: polypropylene socks, runner's long underwear, pants, cotton long-sleeve T, high-necked winter running shirt over that, a throwaway layer, and my wind- and water-resistant marathon jacket. (I love that jacket - it is really just the perfect piece of running gear.)
I got to NYRR headquarters to pick up my bib and t-shirt and discovered the race had been converted to a fun run. Had I checked the web before leaving home, I'd have known that. What this means is that if you had registered for the race at all, you'd get your qualifer credit. You didn't even have to show up.
Well. I considered just going home immediately. I still wasn't looking forward to actually running in this cold, grey, slushy shit. But...well, I was already in Central Park after all, maybe I'd see who all showed up. I didn't see anybody I know in the 40-minutes before the race, but all these other strangers and I had a great time questioning each others' sanity.
I had no intention of running 15 kilometers if I didn't have to. I figured, though, I'd at least put in the two and a half miles down to Columbus Circle and that would at least be exercise. But...that water bottle with me was mighty heavy for some reason. And cold. And my shoulders were getting tense carrying it. So right after the first portajohns, I propped the bottle in the snow near a lamppost and determined that if I felt okay at Columbus Circle, I'd finish the 5-mile loop and come back for the bottle, then go home.
I did pretty good in that first five miles. Stopped to shed the disposable layer, and had to walk just a little (most notably part of Cat Hill), and felt intolerably SLOW, but I was making progress.
Somehow, I finished the five miles...and picked up the gelbot...and since I had just been lapped by the winners finishing their second loop, I decided to go ahead and finish the last 4.3 miles.
And it sucked. I should have kept the Sustained Energy with me in the first five miles - and would have had I followed a 15k game plan from the start! But I didn't, so I started running out of energy after the seventh mile. Had to walk more and more. In fact, I ended up playing tag with this older African American guy who looked like an ex-boxer. He and his...girlfriend?...were out struggling through it all, too. Turns out, they'd both done the marathon and, like me, were finding this run to be a harder challenge.
Well, he beat me to the finish line, but not by much. I was happy to finish, and feel I earned my qualifier. But my time is woefully SLOW. I am really going to have to get back to some serious stretching and some speedwork, or these times I'm posting lately will never improve.