Sweet Weather for PPTC Cherry Tree 10-Miler

Name of the racePPTC Cherry Tree 10-Miler

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Date: Feb 19, 2017

Time: 10:00 am

Distance: 10 Miles

Terrain: Rolling hills

Entry fee: $35 (15% off discount if PPTC member)

Swag: Buff/Neckwarmer

Post-race Food: Bagels, cream cheese, hot chocolate, and water (there might have been other food, like fruit, but I didn’t actually go to the food line and sent Ben instead)

Time: 1:24:55

Performance: Overall 277/711; Gender 78/344; Age (35-39)  18/61

Weather: 57 degrees, 44% humidity

What a difference a year makes! Last year Ben and I skipped this race altogether because it fell on the coldest weekend of 2016. This year, the weather was positively balmy in comparison! I actually worried slightly about overheating because I was used to the warmer temps.

Having a 10 am start was really nice because it meant a relaxed easy morning of getting up at my usual time, having some coffee, reading the paper and then getting dressed, instead the typical race morning of groaning at the too-early alarm and wondering why I subject myself to this insanity.

Ben chose not to run, so we were able to take Bandit out with us. She was happy to go out to the park with us until she saw all the runners and realized that there was a race going on. Then she went nuts because Bandit is very competitive. She trash talked/barked at the other runners (I do think she’s trash talking and telling them that she’s faster). When the race started and I left, I heard Bandit’s howls of protest that she was being left behind all the way up Zoo Hill.

A 10-mile race in Prospect Park means 3 loops and 3 loops means 3 times going up Zoo Hill, which is the big main hill in the park. Normally I wouldn’t be excited about running 10 miles in the park, but being that this was PPTC’s race, it meant that the race was filled with my peeps. Every mile, every step, I was surrounded by fellow PPTCers either running the race with me, volunteering, or standing and cheering. Every mile I had someone cheering for me, yelling my name, or even better, once I got, “Go, Bandit’s mom!” It was amazing and made the miles fly! Of course, I tried to return the favor whenever I could by acknowledging the support or offering my own cheer when I passed a teammate or was passed by a teammate.

The key to running Prospect Park well is knowing when the hills and gentle turns are. Despite what Runner’s World says about Prospect Park, it’s not a flat park (unless you come from a very hilly area like San Francisco or Vermont). As with any hilly course, even pacing is out the window and it’s about even effort. I was super pleased when I got my splits from NYC Runs that I ran each of the three loops with the same average split of 8:30.

One maddening thing that happened to me during the race was when a runner gave me (bad) unsolicited advice. As we were charging up Zoo Hill for the second time, she turned to me and said, “You shouldn’t breathe with an open mouth.” WHAT! Had she continued running, I might have said something snarky back at her, but she stopped to walk up the hill and I was still running. And who the hell ever races with a closed mouth!?!?! I don’t know anyone who gets enough oxygen breathing solely through the nose while racing.

There is no shame in walking up hills. I’ve done it myself many times. BUT YOU DO NOT EVER GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE!!!!!!!!! (Caveats: the person is about to seriously injure or kill themselves or someone else, so yelling, “Look out!” is perfectly fine.)

I was absolutely fuming and zoomed up Zoo Hill. I run best when I run angry (just hope I have no underlying heart condition). So, thanks, I guess, to the girl who had no business saying anything to me?

After the race, we had brunch with Jake (Ben’s old running buddy from Jersey City who now lives upstate) and his friends. I was hoping to run into Paddy at the race, but didn’t spot him. Another time, old friend!

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16 thoughts on “Sweet Weather for PPTC Cherry Tree 10-Miler

  1. hehehehe!!! the unsolicited advice part is so funny. I have given unsolicited (bad) advice before. When I was a kid visiting relatives in Pakistan, at a party I saw a bunch of kids gathering around a computer trying to set it up. I suggested control alt delete and it supposedly messed up everything they had configured up to that point. NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE. (btw i am terrified of doing this to my running buddies please forgive me if i do it this)

  2. I’m sorry we missed each other! I was keeping an eye out. Who says something like that? She shouldn’t TALK with an open mouth if that’s the kind of thing that’s going to come out of it. I really enjoyed myself, too. You PPTC folks put on a great race! See you at the next one, I hope!

  3. I’m guessing Ben ignored the fruit in the food line 🙂
    Sounds like a great race with all that support!
    And, my retort to unsolicited advice girl would have been: clearly it’s working, since who’s walking now?

  4. That is the most bizarre advice I have ever heard. I think I would have looked around for her afterwards and asked her how her race went 😉 Just kidding but I would have fantasized that during my race a few times. Now I’m laughing picturing you lapping her and reminding her that she should never breathe through her nose. I’ve never done a 10 miler but it sounds so fun. I might have to reach out you for some fun spring races.

    • Yes, yes, yes! Let’s do a spring race. I love doing 10-mile races as a tune-up before a big goal half, but they’re a little difficult to find. Broad St Run and Cherry Blossom are lottery races and you have to plan everything out months in advance. Someone in my club who had been running for several decades said that 5 and 10-mile races were more common before the running community decided to move to the metric system in the 90s.

  5. Unsolicited advice is always the best! I have offered advice to friends but never strangers. That’s funny you could hear Bandit howling for you! She’s a cool dog!

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