4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Created my own race

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With races routinely selling out in Central Park now, I’ve resorted to creating my own race!  Well, not really.  I only had time for a short 4 mile run yesterday, so figured, why not make it a speed workout, and treat it as a ‘race’.

The course was my usual 2 mile out and 2 mile back through East River Park.  The weather was OK, not much of a factor.  The temps were cool, around 50, but it was very humid.  Humidity becomes a problem for me when over 65 degrees.  There was a bit of a headwind coming back north on the return trip, but that also wasn’t so bad.  On my mp3 player, I have a short playlist of my favorite running songs.  Those songs help to keep me zipping along.  It is only 10 songs, which neatly fits into a 4 mile run.

On the first half, I did something I had never done before, passing a biker!  Now, the biker was clearly not riding too hard, but I won’t let that get in the way of my accomplishment.  I passed by the biker in the narrow pathway by the Con Ed plant just north of the entrance to East River Park.  I figured once in the park proper, the biker would get going and pass me by eventually, but that was not the case.  When I turned around at the bottom of the park, it was a good .15 – .2 miles before I passed him going the other way.

First half was completed in 16:07.  8 minute per mile pace is about what I’d expect in a race condition, so I was right on track.  The question was whether I could keep the pace up or not.  Last year, in the Fitness Mag 4 mile race, I started out fast, at around 8 min per mile pace, and then died in the last 2 miles.  It was hot and humid that day, though.  Yesterday, I was able to keep the pace up, and finished the second half in 16:10, 3 seconds slower than the first half.

My overall time was 32:17, which would be a PR for me if it was a real race!  Normally, at my training pace, I’d finish that run in 36-37 minutes, showing me the stark difference between a training pace and a race pace.  In a normal training run, I would negative split the course, and in fact, in the last few years, (besides today) the only times I haven’t have been when I needed to stop to walk due to a side stitch or shin split, etc. 

Very excited about the run, and nice to see that I’ve retained some of the speed I picked up in my speed workouts during the winter.  My concern right now is a slightly pulled groin muscle.  I was hoping it would go away on it’s own, but it has not.  Lately it is hurting more.  It rarely bothers me when I run, which is probably a bad thing, since I feel like I can run through it.  Rest would probably be best for it.  I finally looked up some info online, so I feel like I now know the right stretches to do.  I’ll continue icing and stretching over the next few weeks and hope it goes away.


Written by SCL

March 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm

One Response

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  1. So many times I have just felt “kicky” as I set out on a workout and without even trying it turned into a “race.” Inadvertent speed workouts–they usually happen when I am most relaxed, because my form is great and breathing easy and I can just zoom!


    March 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm

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