September 11, 2010

Strong 5-miler for cut down week

Looking at my training, I thought perhaps I should run 9 or 10 this week, but was having a hard time getting motivated. After going to a work-related event this morning (watched a whole dance audition - never done that before), I headed to Central Park. One of the dancers had asked me when the Staten Island Half is and I had to look it up. I realized at that moment that it is four weeks away, not three. How convenient!

So I took a cut-down this week to save my aching knees. I decided to do the northern 5-mile loop of the park and if I felt like it, tack on another couple of miles.

I took a couple Tylenol leaving NYU and sucked down a Red Bull. I hated to do it, but my morning caffeine had had no effect after my asshole tenant kept me awake all night with his drunken carousing. Turns out Red Bull does give you wings, slightly. I also sucked on my inhaler three times, as my lungs are not doing well. (The oral antibiotics haven't done much and now I'm supposed to get a PICC line this week and start IVs.)

The run started out hard, as usual, but I told myself to enjoy the park, take my time, there was no rush. I'd begun during the hottest part of the day and didn't want to overdo it. I was generally pleased, though, at how well things seemed to be going by the end of the first mile.

Mile two was harder, with the Harlem Hills to tackle, and I lost a full minute waiting for people at a water fountain. (I had Sustained Energy with me, but real water is also very good on a warm day!) But after that little break, I found I had enough energy to actually go UP some of the hills! I wasn't fast at all, but it happened and I'm still amazed.

At this point, I was getting bold. Things were going relatively well and I hoped it would last for the rest of the run. I skimmed along down through mile 3, which was mostly downhill - I always enjoy that section of the park. Mile 4 got tougher, with more walk breaks, as it included the 72nd street crossover (heavy pedestrian traffic) and Cat Hill. But after Cat Hill was easy cruising through the remaining .9 miles to the end of the loop. I really should have tacked on that extra tenth of a mile, or even gone for another repeat of Cat Hill and make it a full 7 miles for the day, but no matter: I ended feeling good in both lungs and legs and that's so rare these days, I'll take it as a gift.

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