Okay, peeps, we are only going to talk about running today, and making it brief, because these taxes ain't gonna do themselves.
Woke up this rainy morning to head to Washington Heights for the Coogan's Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K. Coogan's is a community-oriented pub/restaurant in the area that sponsors this race every year. I love this race, even though for some reason, the weather never seems to cooperate. It's either cold or raining or both. Oh, well.
Wore a t-shirt and pants. Though it wasn't raining when I left the house, it was threatening, so on the feet were my VFF Flows, which seem to be the best choice for rainy weather. No socks. I had a rain jacket, but didn't know if I would wear it during the run. As long as the rain isn't in my eyes, I don't care about the rest of me.
Arrived at 8:30am for a 9:00am start. It had started to drizzle. I stood around for a few minutes trying to decide about the rain jacket, and finally decided not to wear it. I figured I'd regret it for the 20 minutes before the run, but not during it; whereas if I wore it, it would be the other way around. Nice use of semi-colon there, by the way.
Corrall time. I usually go two corralls behind mine, as NYRR still thinks I am a 7:53 miler. Those were the days...anyways, I try to start a corrall or two back to hold myself back as well, because I try very hard to stick to the negative split concept, which for the uninitiate, means doing the first half slower than the second. It defninitely helps with the pace and energy towards the end of the race, leaving you with gas in the tank for a strong finish. For a race as short as a 5K, my goal is to run each mile a little faster than the previous one.
And...we're off! Up from 168th & Broadway to Fort Tryon Park, into the park, around the Cloisters (a great addition to the course they made last year) and back. Not deceptively hilly -- obviously hilly, especially the exit out of the park.
One of the things that makes this race great is the music. There is music on nearly every other corner, and it ranges from rock bands to mariachi to drum circle to troubador. There's a marching band right outside the park that for some reason always makes me emotional. Something about those drums, I guess. Runners are crazy and will run in all kinds of weather, but bravo to the musicians who brave the elements to entertain us along the course. Most of them just went under bus shelters. It's kind of funny to run by a bus stop and see a bunch of mariachis crammed in there, playing "La Cucharacha."
The front runners started hitting us before I had even reached Mile 1, and that's just crazy! Either they were REALLY fast (they were) or I was too far back, even for me (I was). You can hear the cheer come through the pack in a big wave as the front runners approached. Is running the only sport where the losers cheer on the winners?
The only thing I would say is sort of sucky about the course is that it is pretty narrow, and because it's an out-and-back, there are sections of the course that you are just stuck behind whoever you're behind, because you can't get around them.
I spent most of the race running near a father and son. The son must have been about 10, and was running about 2 steps behind his dad. Dad kept looking back, checking on his son, and encouraging him. This kid needed no encouraging. He had a huge grin on his face from the second the gun went off, and clearly, the two of them were having a great morning.
The other notable sight I will take away from this race is the shirtless man running in what looked like Crocs. And I mention he was shirtless because he was one of those men who just should not be shirtless without a trip to the waxers. Sorry, gents with hairy backs -- blech. The only thing worse is when a hairy-backed gent wears a t-shirt that's kind of worn through, so you can see all the hair through it. Am I right, ladies? Um, PS, he beat me. Pissed me off.
Not to belabor, but my total time -- 29:20. Miles, approximately, according to my watch, was 10:15, 9:20, and 8:55, plus whatever was left for the .1 mile. I really tried to push the last half mile, but it was a little too crowded until really just before the end. I could tell I had a little too much in the tank, because I kicked for at least a quarter mile. Oh, well. I won't win the damn thing unless I disqualify everyone else. It's all about the doing.
As for pain, no tendon pain, and I think I might have had a little PF pain, but my feet were so cold and soggy it was hard to tell. I can say that I had no pain afterwards. So I think all the treatment paid off! So I think it's time to start increasing distance a little and see what happens next...