Today was the long run with NYRR in Central Park. Bleary-eyed we woke up at 5 am to get ready and head out to Central Park for the group run at 7 am. We joined hundreds of runners in the subway traveling north to Central Park.
I went on my first long training run with NYRR last year. Last year was my first experience with a massive group run and I found it overwhelming. I didn’t like being in a crowd and I spent most of it running ahead of my pace group so I could be alone. As a consequence, I broke some at the end of the run.
Now that I have more experience with doing group runs, I’m able to get more of a benefit from participating. Psychologically it’s much easier to keep a harder pace longer with a pacer. I don’t have to think about whether I’m on track or not, I just run.
While Ben was off with his 7:30 pace group, I waited for the 8:30 pace group. I planned to run 11 miles, which consisted of one 6-mile loop and then one 5-mile loop. I was in the third 8:30 pace group. I started off in the very back and very slowly made my way into the pack. I was with my group the entire time. Instead of taking a full break when my group finished our 6-mile loop, I decided to do a walking break to drink some more water and then join the second 8:30 pace group, which was taking off just as I finished my water.
I would have been fine, except all of a sudden my stomach felt quite ill. I didn’t feel completely well when we were in the subway, but I felt much better when we arrived in Central Park. I was forced to stop and wait until the feeling passed. I don’t know how much time it took. By the time I felt better, the 8:30 pace groups had long left me. I was on my own with the stragglers. I ran along and tried to keep to the 8:30 pace as best as I could. I’m not entirely sure of my pace because I didn’t stop Runtastic from recording when I was forced to stop and Runtastic was running really long (it thought I ran 11.7 miles, when I ran 11 miles). According to my best estimate I think my pace averaged around 8:45.
I’m quite pleased with how this run went. I feel like I’m in a good place for my half marathon training. Ben was also really happy with his training run. I took a well-deserved nap this afternoon and tomorrow will be a rest day.