4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Central Park loop

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Went for a great run around Central Park last night.  I very rarely have the opportunity to go on a regular training run in Central Park, so when I do, it always feels wonderful.  Especially now when I’m not training for anything in particular and can slow down and enjoy the park, the hills and the general surroundings.  Too often in the park, I’m doing a hard speed workout, or running hard in a race, when I don’t really fully enjoy the surroundings.

The park was in full use last night.  I started out right around 7pm, and there were still cars driving around.  With an over abundance of bikers, it actually felt dangerous.  Bikers don’t stop at lights, cars do, and edge into the runners lanes on the left.  Runners need to stay way off to the left to avoid both cars and bikers.  It was much better as it got later and the road closed to car traffic.  This would be a good argument to always close the park to car traffic, especially from April to October.

Since it is the beginning of bike riding season for me, I couldn’t help but compare my experiences of running around the park vs biking around the park.  Biking seems so much easier because it is much faster – get a lot more satisfaction in being about to circuit the park in 20 minutes on the bike, vs the 55 minutes it takes me to run.  On the other hand, the hills don’t phase me at all when running, but on the bike, they can still be quite tough.

Finished in 54:50, just under 9:10 per mile.  This is just over 2 hour half marathon pace.  I think if it was a half marathon, I would have been able to step up the pace and finish under 2 hours, which is my goal for the Brooklyn Half Marathon.  The only problem I had was with some shin splints.  It started acting up on the long downhill stretches on the west side.  I was able to run through it, and the muscle loosened up once I started on the uphills on the East side again.  The shin issue is worrisome – I’ll need to keep my eye on that and do some stretches before running.  In the past, it would be a problem for me if the weather was cold or if my shoes were old, neither of which is happening right now!

I’m off on vacation as of 5pm today!  Renting a minivan and taking a family road trip down to Asheville, NC.  I’ll bring my running stuff but, based on where my hotel is located, don’t know if I’ll actually be able to get any running in.  I think I might be able to do a (easy) hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Tuesday with my 13 year old, which would be fun.

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Written by SCL

April 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Posted in running

Tagged with ,

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