Alternatively titled, the Race for The Hard Core. Mmm hmm. I didn’t get a chance to talk about the race here prior to running in it, but I definetly wanted to take the time to recap my 1st race of 2012. As the title suggests, the race could either be ran as a 10 Miler or as part of a relay team.
The race was held in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. Below is a picture of the course, although even after running it, I still can’t figure out how to read that map.
Kim and I started mulling over the idea of doing this relay when we realized it would coincide with her trip to NYC. I mentioned the idea to my Brother-in-Law, Greg, who jumped right on the idea and boom! – our team was born!
Race day brought really great running weather, which is a small blessing considering it is near the end of February in NYC. Usually this is the time where we have a snow storm or two or three. I ran the first leg, Greg the second, and Kim was our anchor. Slowest to fastest.
As I started on my leg, Kim and Greg cheered me on which gave me a good push coming out of the starting line. It made me smile for a couple of feet until I realized that 1.) I’m running all by myself (my last race I ran side by side with Kim) and 2.) I had to pee. Great. My mind was all over the place during the run, I don’t think I ever quite got into “the zone”. I was slightly freaking out about the hilly course and the impending hill of death.
Greg was familiar with the course and long before the race gave me the heads up on the infamous hill that would await us during our run. The entire week before the race THAT HILL added to my pre-race jitters. Most of my runs have been on the treadmill in my basement and the last time I checked there were no hills. I was able to take some of my runs outdoors, but as far as I am aware, its not that hilly in my section of Queens (or it could be that I am deliberately ignoring anything resembling an incline). Let me tell you a little about this hill via wikipedia:
“Mount Prospect, or Prospect Hill, near the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway, rises 200 feet (61 m) above sea level and is the highest among a string of hills that extends into the park…” (source)
Now, let me tell you about the hill via me. It sucked. The end. It seemed to never end and just as I thought I was almost finished climbing the hill, the road curved a bit and showed me that I was probably only half way up. And that’s exactly where I felt like I started to unravel. I stopped running and walked a bit up the hill until I spotted Steve (The Husband) and Steven (Kim’s husband), aka spectators extraordinaire. I ran up to them and muttered something about the hill being a
bitch female dog. Seeing them cheering me on gave me a push that I really needed. I took a few other walk breaks at the water areas. Side note: If I ever organize a race, there will not be water in those plastic bathroom cups. I’m thinking something a lot stronger. My legs and thighs were burning at this point and I still felt like I was running uphill, even when I was clearly running down hill. The hill (which really should be called a damn mountain) got to Greg, too. He had to walk it for a bit. The hill however, was no match for Kim. Rumor has it that she was doing cartwheels all the way up the hill. Ok, not cartwheels, but the hill didn’t faze her one bit. GO KIM! Interesting side note: as another runner went by Steve and Steven, he asked them if the hill ever ended. The answer is no, my friend. The answer is no.
But let’s not focus entirely on the hill. It was a relay after all, and that meant that I got to slap on a slap braclet, better know as the baton, onto Greg’s wrist. I don’t think it went as smoothly as that, but it was definitely a favorite moment of the race. Here are some other favorite race moments:
- Seeing Kim’s face as she sprinted towards the finish line. She looked amazing and that image of her approaching the finish line will inspire me for a long time to come.
- Greg saying we should run this relay again next year and also inquiring about another race I had mentioned to him in passing about 10 minutes after he completed his leg.
- My spectators. Steve and Steven did a great job at seeing each of us TWICE on the course. The crowd support was light for this race so seeing them helped me tremendously.
- Kim coming over to give me a big hug right after I finished my leg.
- My relay team mates.
When my leg was over, I was acutely aware that I was disappointed with my performance. The hilly course took a lot out of me and I just didn’t feel like I was strong. There was a lot of shoulda, whoulda, coulda’s floating around in my head and it’s taken me a full day to finally cut myself some slack. This race was a PDR and I guess it was a PR since this was my “fastest” 5K race. Not too hard considering that I hobbled through the majority of my first 5K in November of 2011 with a knee injury of sorts.
I am also very excited and pleased to announce that I am signed up to run The Roosevelt Island 5K in May with special guest, The Husband! This will be Steve’s first 5K ever and am excited to see him train and run this race with me. I’m hoping Greg will sign up so that we can make it a family affair.
And you know what, Mount Pain In My Ass. I’ll be back.