After the session with the running coach, i had a couple of unmemorable workouts. But I knew I had a pretty big weekend lined up...the Team Championship on Saturday and a long run on Sunday. The Team Championship is for really fast runners. It is 5 miles around Central Park, and to put it in perspective, I ran this race in 2009 at 7:02 pace -- and finished in the bottom half. So I didn't have any expectations on the run, just a fast tempo workout.
Race day was fine -- 70ish, humid, but no rain during the race (that came later). And i welcomed a new friend -- my new Garmin 410! I bought a refurbished unit, and it arrived the night before. After a charge up, was ready to go -- maybe my old one was defective, but the new one is light years better. the buttons, the battery everything is better. And it seems like it just works. After a suggestion from DC Rainmaker, I used the heart rate strap from my Polar HRM with the Garmin receiver snapped on front. It worked great -- much better and more consistent data than the Garmin strap.
Race was pretty standard -- Mile 1 downhill, two and three rolling but basically up hill and 4 and 5 flat with the exception of cat hill (about 400m long) at end of Mile 3. My goal time was...40 minutes. A strong 8:00 pace on the hilly course, humid morning. I don;t remember much about the race except it seemed like EVERYONE passed me. My race number was in the 7000's, which is highest I can ever recall, so i started way in the back. And it still seemed like everyone passed me. To cut to the chase, I ended up at 39:11, for 7:50 pace, so I was quite pleased, AG of 60% -- and I finished in the 75% percentile. That's right, basically bottom quarter. Running can be humbling.
After the race, I walked back to my car, and stopped to get cash at a little deli. Inside was a Cuban kitchen making homemade, from scratch food. I never eat in places like that, but I thought, eh, why not? A plate of scrambled eggs, with green pepper, onion and ham, smashed green plantains and a slice of bacon. Beyond delicious.
Then Sunday, I need a long run. I thought I would just go around my typical route around home, and then I decided, why not go back to Central Park? My family is gone for the weekend, I had nothing to do, so why not run in a truly great place? I geared up (packed a bag with water and Gatorade to leave in the bushes, found a perfect parking spot) and set off. Goal was 10 miles at 9:00 pace. It was the afternoon though, a quite a bit warmer -- 82 or so, and the day after a pretty good "tempo" run in the race from day before. And the hills of Central park. But I hit my paces pretty well, and heart rate wasn't crazy, so was a good long run -10.25 miles at 1:31. After running though, I was really wiped out. I stiffened up, but really felt pretty good. And another gorgeous day in Central Park.
All in all a pretty gosh darned awesome NYC running weekend. Weekends like that make me love the city and being a runner.