Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Race Recap: 2013 Gridiron Classic 4M

I wasn't sure how to start writing this race recap. Every other race I've run recently I had really strong feelings, both good (and very good!) and very, very bad. This one was fun because it was a race and there was no pain, but I just didn't come out of it feeling amazing or terrible. It was more, "ok, that's done. Cool!"

Part of that is my fault since I wasn't exactly well-prepared for this race. I was treating it as a tempo run and my prep the night before wasn't exactly that of a competitive racer. And by that I mean I had three glasses of wine and stuffed myself on cheese, chips, and this incredible cauliflower buffalo dip made by Abby as she, Beth, and I made our vision boards. I also did not go to sleep until after 1:30 AM and had to wake up at 7:30 AM.

But I regret nothing. Because that was a great night and this race/tempo run ended up fairly well, too.

After drinking a tall glass of nuun (with two aspirin, not going to lie) and downing a banana with peanut butter, I met up with Nicole, Allison, Meg, and Brittany. It was a fun mix of girls! We chatted and hopped up and down to stay warm, complaining about the freezing cold and explaining the Super Bowl to Meg, who's Canadian.

Nicole, Allison, me, Brittany, and Meg
(source: Meg)

I had met Allison and Meg the previous day at Lululemon Run Club, Nicole I knew from the informal Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, and Brittany is in my running book club that's coordinated by Jess. We also saw Ashley as well before heading to our corrals to start the race.

So, first things first. IT WAS COLD. I'm not sure why, but other runners agreed that Sunday was much colder than Saturday despite what the thermostat read. My face felt frozen during the entire run. My breathing didn't feel that labored during the race, but it hurt in my chest like the remnants of a cough for several hours after.

Central Park was gorgeous, though. A fresh coat of snow had fallen overnight but the roads were clear, so there wasn't any issue running and we got to enjoy a winter wonderland as we ran through the park.

I think I'm going to repeat my light breakfast of a banana and peanut butter for future short races. I really liked having so little in my stomach, although I was stuffed from the previous night so the holdover might have made me fuller. It's something I'll be trying again, though.

My splits demonstrated my biggest weakness right now: hills.

Mile 1 - 9:13
Mile 2 - 8:34
Mile 3 - 9:05
Mile 4 - 8:30

Mile 1 had Cat Hill and Mile 3 had the rolling hills on the west side of the park. Sooo.... I guess I better do some hill repeats in preparation for the NYC Half. Because those 8:30's felt really good and not too hard at all, so it sucks to be dragged down by my poor performance on hills. I felt like I could have kept the 8:30 pace up for several more relatively flat miles.

All of this added up to:

Average pace (according to NYRR) - 8:56
Total time - 35:43

A :02 pace PR for me in NYRR races and a PR at the 4 mile distance. My last 4 mile race, in September, I held a 9:17 pace, so this was a PR of 21 seconds. I think I could have done better, but all things considered, I'll take it.

Me being able to run this race despite not feeling in tip top shape might have been helped by my awesome playlist. Seriously, this one's really good, you guys. I highly recommend downloading at least the song "Coming Home" by Diddy (or is he Puff Daddy now? Or Sean Combs? P. Diddy? I can't keep track). It's a great, great song and has a terrific beat.

Anyway, after crossing the finish line, I tried to find people and saw Ashley one more time (who ran a completely kickass race, by the way!). After about 5 minutes, though, I decided I was freezing so I headed home and crawled into bed to warm up.

And after checking Twitter, it looks like that's what everyone did because--stop me if I mentioned this already--it was cold.

Did you run a Super Bowl race? Have you run any races in sub-freezing temperatures?


  1. Hills suck and even more so when it's cold outside! Way to rock it though! I hate running in the cold (as you probably got from my race recap from Saturday lol). Great job!

    1. Thanks, Emily! I like temperatures from, say, 40 (assuming no windchill) up to 70. Anything lower or higher and I become a shivering or sweaty mess haha. But I was so glad I actually got out there, and it seemed like you were, too!

  2. You definitely rocked the race especially considering you weren't the most rested in the world ;-)
    I almost signed up but figured a week after the marathon and the cold temps I would wind up a no show...which 100% would have happened so great job just getting out there! And you'll totally conquer those hills with speed once you focus on it.

    1. Thanks, Gianna! I kept thinking I'd skip it the day before but was honestly really happy I made it out there since it's given me new motivation to work on hills and speed. I just might get speedy yet :)

  3. It was freeezzzinngg. Nice job on a great race!

  4. A running book club?????? I want in. Awesome job on the PR! And I deff dig that play list because it looks seriously similar to mine. Esp Cascada ;)

    1. Yes! We've read several running and yoga related books. It's a lot of fun :)

      And thanks, I definitely contribute any success to the playlist. Cascada is clearly the source of all speed.

  5. First, I need more information on this running book club--I like both of those words. ;) And yes, Sunday felt so, so cold for some reason, which is strange because it's definitely been chillier here this winter. But then again, we probably weren't running. Congrats on your PR!