Long Run in Central Park

long runSunday was our big long run day. Ben completed the NYRR 18-mile Tune-Up, while I did 12 miles (or two laps around Central Park).

We decided to drive into the city so that way we could use the car afterward to run some errands. We left Hoboken at 6 am, dropped the car off at a parking garage at 6:45, and made the 7 am start just in the nick of time. My goal was to run 8:30 pace miles. I knew if I could do this, then I would be in good shape for a 1:50 HM PR for Wineglass next month.

From the start I immediately noticed a difference in the atmosphere between this run and all the other NYRR races. Usually there are tons of nervous antsy runners and a sense of urgency. Instead everyone was calm and relaxed. No one was pushing to rush to the start line. It was very much a training run. I didn’t bother running the tangents because 1) I didn’t care about the official time and 2) I didn’t want to stress about making my way through the dense crowd of runners. I was locked behind a solid wall of runners for the first mile and half. After that the crowd thinned out a bit, but occasionally I still had to weave my way through runners.

Sunday morning was quite cool at 50 degrees and although I was a bit cold at the start, I was very grateful for the cool temperature while running. At a couple of the water stops I poured a bit of water on my head, but it was nothing like the usual mass dumping that I do in the summer. For the summer races, I always get two cups of water at the stops – one for me to drink and the other to dump on my head.

I was a tad worried at the start of the run because I started to wheeze. I have asthma and although it’s not a problem most of the time, there are moments when it does act up. I had difficulty breathing and Ben very reluctantly left me to go to his corral. I knew if I had a few minutes of quiet, it would get better. I stopped wheezing, but the first mile was probably the hardest mile for me to run. After that my bronchial tubes relaxed and I was able to breathe normally.

I brought some Shot Blocks with me as fuel. I didn’t need any during the run, but I did eat some afterward. As I’m getting to be a better runner, I find that I need less fuel than when I first started. I used to consume almost three packages of Shot Blocks for a half, then it went done to one and half packages, and now I rarely touch it during a half marathon.

I really enjoyed myself during the run. Being surrounded by people makes the run go by faster. When I completed the last mile, I was tired, but not completely exhausted. The pace I ran was a bit faster than my HM PR that I set in the spring. During the Verrazano HM I was really counting down the last few miles. I was exhausted and more than ready to be done. This time I was tired, but still left that I had energy and legs underneath me. I wasn’t distressed. This long run gave me a lot of confidence for Wineglass. I’m really excited to see what I’ll do in early October.

Mile splits

  1. 8:32
  2. 8:38
  3. 8:30
  4. 8:17
  5. 8:23
  6. 8:26
  7. 8:20
  8. 8:32
  9. 8:20
  10. 8:27
  11. 8:34
  12. 8:23

Total time: 1:44

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2 thoughts on “Long Run in Central Park

  1. Wow! Those are some super consistent splits for such a hilly course! Well done! I think you’re really well poised for your 1:50. I can’t wait to hear how your race goes. I was out there yesterday during the tail end of the 18-miler, doing a 9-mile progression run. It got me really excited to race this fall!

    • Thanks! I don’t find the hills in Central Park bad at all (too many years of living in the SF Bay area warped my sense of what is “hilly”). I’m quite excited for fall racing. It’s time to see what summer training has done for me.

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