It seems race officials are more and more paranoid these days. Ever since this happened, races seem more likely to be canceled or turned into fun runs. I've experienced the non-race phenomenon on several occasions since October 2007. Some were nixed due to dangerous wintry weather concerns; Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Others, like Need for Speed, and now MORE, were due to heat. I'm not about to go spouting off my opinions on whether or not these were good decisions. But I will make two small observations: 1.) this didn't used to happen and 2.) racing has changed.
The MORE marathon was scheduled for Sunday morning. I was slated to pace the second half--a total of 14 miles, since you run a mile with the first half pacers before making the switch. Saturday evening, I was home sipping wine and watching a movie when Flygirl called around 9:30. She wanted to let me know that the marathon had been canceled due to unseasonably warm temperatures forecasted for race morning. In addition, the half-marathon was now a fun run. All of this was very last-minute. I still looked forward to running--helping pace and making sure the runners were safe--but I was a bit worried about the heat. If it was that bad to cancel a race, was it really a good idea to be out there running 14 miles?
Long story short--it was a great time! We started at 8am, when things weren't too bad. The sun was bright and the air a bit humid, but there was a decent breeze and some shade in the park. Since I was relieved of my pacing duties, I was free to run at whatever speed suited me. My pacing buddies were DM (used to be Sister Smile) and JM (who just ran Boston on Monday). We had a great time circling the park a couple times and chatting away. Our splitz are as follows:
Point one and Fourteen. 9:36
This was a great experience for me. I felt pretty good, considering my lack of preparation for this distance, my lingering cold, and the high heat. I noticed that a lot of participants were truly excited to be running in Central Park (there were a lot of out-of-towners), hence my quote, "If we didn't run here every single day, I guess this would be fun. . . " Shortly after I got home, I immersed myself in an ice bath. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
Today I headed out for a short recovery run--3 miles--followed by some stretching and ab work. I find it really hard to stretch properly after a long run when exhaustion is settling in and my stomach is begging for food and/or drink (though probably not the Belgian beer I fed it after yesterday's effort...). I don't know if it's optimal to wait a day, but I feel I get a better stretch when I'm not distracted or rushed.
Last week I snagged three runs in a row. Tuesday was a energy-less fiver with no garmin because it was being temperamental and refused to find a signal. My patience was low and I believe I uttered some choice words to the device before leaving it home by itself to think about what it had done. Wednesday we tried again and it went better. I did the same fiver in 44:30. And Thursday was a full loop in 1hr6.
Since I have no specific focus at the moment, I'm just concentrating on solidifying good running habits -- varying my runs, stretching, strengthening, and keeping things un-inflamed.