Saturday was the Homecoming Scotland 10K in Central Park.
I've always wanted to run this race, but haven't been in the city for the past couple of years to run it. It's not like anything special happens for this race-- it's just a loop of the Park -- but we've got a few Scots on our team, and I thought it would be fun to borrow a kilt and some of those devastatingly sweet Scottish candies (but no Irn-Bru!!) and celebrate.
Tangent -- if you've never had Irn-Bru, it's a Scottish energy drink that tastes like carbonated bubble gum. Kid you not.
Alas, the weather on Saturday was soggy and cold, and our resident Scots were not about (Lynn, at least -- resting up for Boston!) But I signed up for it, and the race sponsors thoughtfully included a rain poncho in the swag bag. They also included a full-sized Scottish flag. Not quite so useful.
I needed to get a few extra miles in, to prepare for the More Half-Marathon in a few weeks. So an hour early, beponchoed and ready to get wet, off I went.
The thing about the poncho is, the parts that are in the poncho get rather warm, while the rest of the body got cold. It wasn't raining especially hard, but it was steady, and kind of windy. Blech. The conditions reminded me of the Norwegian Run three years ago, where we all got injured because the rain made everyone slip, and my hair (which at the time was halfway down my back) got so waterlogged it pulled my head back and gave me a neckache. Wounds still fresh, I kept it slow, not like there's much speed to be had, and decided definitively to only do 5 beforehand, not 6.
Did a counter-clockwise loop and got to the finish line with a little under ten minutes before the start. Saw John in the first corral, and headed on down to the slowpoke corrals. Actually, I am set to be in a faster corral, because my best mile time was 7:54. This was two years ago, granted, but they still have me there. As an honest person, I usually head a few corrals back from mine, because I like to start slow (unfortunately, I tend to then stay slow and finish slow, but that's another story!) I saw Teammate Ashley in one of the corrals as I was heading back, and ducked in to hang with her. She had just done 16 miles, this was her last long run before the NJ Marathon. She's much faster than I am, even after 16 miles, but we started together.
The race itself -- nothing exciting to report about it. Got passed by Teammates David and Nicole (who I believe were also getting their last long runs in, in prep for the Flying Pig.) David was wearing his Irn-Bru racing shirt. Also, loved seeing men in kilts doing the run. Don't know why, I think kilts are sexy.
The only goal I had for this race was to finish in under an hour. I am slow, slow. slow to begin with, plus the weather, plus I was also wearing a Race Belt with Gatorade in it (because of the 5 beforehand) which slowed me even more. Last year I trained myself out of wearing the Race Belt at races, and it's a little hard to wear now. I hate how slow I've become, but I said to Ashley before the race, when she asked me about the More Half, that my goal was to finish, and I'll worry about speed when the Team starts training. And I think I believe that.
Crossed the finish line in just under 59 minutes, about 3 minutes slower than I'd like.
Hoofed through a mud field to get a soggy bagel. Once I stopped moving, the wind and rain began to take its toll and I got really cold, so I didn't stick around for the raffle and the festivities.
All in all, a good day. The afternoon nap felt well-deserved.
PS: By the next post, I will have my Fred's Team act together and then LET THE FUNDRAISING BEGIN!
PPS: Interesting conversation I overheard by two runners leaving the Park. they were complaining that NYRR has said they're trying to "green up" the races, yet they're giving out plastic ponchos and there were plastic water bottles at the end of the race instead of the customary cups (this is not the norm -- sometimes the sponsors give bottled water. This was a special brand of Scottish bottled water.) Good point. How can NYRR green up the races, and what can we as individual runners do to help that process along?