Last night I set my alarm for 6 AM so that I could get up early and go for a nice long run. When my alarm went off, I just kept pressing snooze for the next 43 minutes. I will say that it's much harder to get myself out of bed when I don't have a planned group activity or I'm not meeting someone at a certain time. Even when I was pressing snooze, I was thinking that maybe I really didn't have to go running, even though I knew that was wrong.
Finally, I got myself up and dressed. It was quite sunny out this morning, so I grabbed my sunglasses. When I put them on, I realized that I wasn't wearing my contacts and I wouldn't be able to see anything. I figured that was probably okay. I didn't want to waste the extra time to put them in and my eyes were too tired to deal with it. There isn't too much to see in the park that I haven't seen before. So, the run was a bit of a blur.
I walked over to the park and saw right away that the part of the park drive that was torn up yesterday was newly paved today. Why couldn't the brick have been this morning instead of yesterday? Oh well.
So, right when I started running, another girl started running too. At the exact same pace. I cannot begin to explain how awkward this was for me. We were running right next to each other, but not acknowledging one another. It really felt like I was running with a friend, except she was wearing an iPod and we weren't talking to one another. At some point, I decided that I couldn't take it any more and that maybe I should fall back a little bit, so I ran right behind her. That also felt really weird and when we got to the 102nd Street transverse and turned there, I really felt like I was following her (even though that really was my planned route). I couldn't take it any more. I felt like it was all too weird, so I took a walking break for about a minute to let her go ahead.
When I started running again, I felt like I couldn't get a good breath. I just couldn't inhale all the way. I looked down at the heart rate monitor and saw that my heart rate was 188! That seemed quite high, so I decided to just walk again for a minute to get it back down into some sort of normal range and catch my breath. That definitely helped and I was able to go on with the rest of my run. I'm not really sure what happened, but I do wonder if once I knew that my heart rate was so high that I then got more nervous than I would have been otherwise.
When I reached the bottom of the reservoir, I really thought about just cutting my run short and heading back, but I realized that wasn't going to help me any on race day and that I might as well just keep going. I told myself that I would run from where I was until I got to 72nd Street and then I could take a little walking break. The funny thing is that it seemed like I had so far to run when I made that deal with myself, but I was at 72nd Street before I knew it. I did take a little break and walked for another minute and then I finished my run strong and running the whole rest of the way. I felt really good at the end of the run, like I could have kept running, which I think is a good feeling to have.
I guess now I should mention that I am a mosquito magnet. I don't think regular people would even think that there are mosquitos in New York City, but there are. Regular people just don't know that they're here because they're all biting me! Anyway, I have bites all over my arms, legs, hands ... and one very bad one on the bottom of my right foot. The entire time I was running all I wanted to do was scratch my foot. Or punch someone in the face. It was really uncomfortable running. The bite is pretty much right in the middle of my foot and every step I took, it rubbed against my sock and made me want to scratch. I'm not really sure how to prevent this from happening in the future since I think that they mostly bite me in the middle of the night.
In total today, I ran 4.10 miles in 41:48 (10:11 pace). I'm really happy with that pace since I did take a few walking breaks. I told myself today that it's okay to take those walking breaks sometimes since during the race I'll want to walk through the aid stations on the run so that I can actually drink water instead of spill it down my shirt and this would be a good way to see my race pace. I don't know if that's a good way to think about it or not, but it helped me to run further by taking those breaks today and I think that's the most important thing.
Max HR: 189
Average HR: 174
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