Friday and Saturday were complete rest days; preparation for today's Tune Up. I've been focusing somewhat on nutrition lately (note: beer, wine, and cake are gently excluded from this focus...), and it occurred to me that what you do eat is equally important as what you do not eat. To properly fuel today's run, we (the Captain and I) cooked a healthy dinner last night with the last of summer's veggies over some whole wheat pasta. And truth be told, it did make a difference.
The alarm went off in the fives. It was still totally dark, but once I'm up, I'm up. I had plenty of time to putz around before heading to Central Park. My mile long commute doubled as the completion of the first of nineteen miles (9:45). It's kind of amusing how many people were jogging around the park in the pre-dawn hours. Most of them were race participants, but others were just out there that early! I joined the herds and ambled over to the corrals, where I easily spotted nyflygirl. She had requested my company for today's run, but what she forgot was how much faster she runs than I! But I appreciated the suggestion ;)
We ran together for the first four miles or so. A funny thing happened to me during mile one. See, the Tune-Up takes participants on a hamster-wheel-like journey around Central Park which includes THREE (count 'em: t-h-r-e-e!) trips up and down Harlem Hill. I was happily running beside (or rather slightly behind) flygirl when all of a sudden I wondered where we were. I mean, I know the CP loop as well as my own apartment. But all of a sudden there was confusion. I asked fly for our whereabouts (she has a Garmin afterall) and she pointed out that we were on the west side (she did not need her Garmin to answer my inquiry). I looked at the lamp post reading, "W107." Uh huh. So what happened to Harlem Hill?!? Apparently, we had completed it without my knowing it. Must've still been asleep!
Around this point, we were joined by Flyer DG, my pacing partner from the LTR. Fly pulled ahead and I spent the rest of the time with DG. At one point, he made the mistake of bringing up vacations, which somehow led to a discussion about sailing, which meant I was dreamily talking his ear off about being anchored in a bay after a long day of sailing, sipping local rum and/or a Carib, and watching the sunset with the boat swinging lazily back and forth in the calm water. Nothing beats it!The miles went on.
6. 9:52 (Loop One Complete!)
7: 9:53 (force-fed myself a gel--ick!)
12. 9:40 (Loop Two Complete!)
13. 9:40 (force-fed myself another gel--ick!)
At this point, the 93% humidity was getting to me. Though I had avoided cramps to date, fatigue was setting in. I also felt my knee pinch a bit. Being the conservative that I am (some might say neurotic..), I pulled over to stretch it out. It seemed okay, so I continued.
I stretched once again, this time giving the hamstrings and calves some attention. I saw no point in rushing to the finish. I knew I'd come in under three hours, my arbitrary goal for this race.
18. 11:05 (Loop Three Complete!)
Total for the 18: 2:58.01 (9:53 pace)
Total for the 19: 3:07.46
Post race, my attire gave the impression that there'd been some sort of rain storm. Drenched from head to foot, my shorts stuck to my legs and my hair was irrepressible. Good thing there were no photogs today ;) At home, I refueled with some homemade soup while icing the knee.
I've iced several times today, rolled twice, and eaten enough chips and guac to land myself a category two stomach ache. Tomorrow, aside from "Running 101," will be a rest day. Tonight, I'll be on the couch watching the Bears battle the Eagles.