Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wall Street....Jog?

So, Sunday afternoon I checked the schedule my coach gave me, and I saw he had me cross training on Tuesday...hmmm...this wasn't right. I sent him an email reminder that I was running the AHA Wall Street Run! Monday morning he sent me a message saying, "You mean the Wall Street JOG.....right??" BUSTED. Of course, I said! Especially with the threatening rain/thunderstorms...I would run it easy. Peasy. Right?

This is only my second year running the Wall Street Run, but it has quickly become my favorite race. Not only is it the only time you get to run on those streets (and pass by the construction of the World Trade Center) but it's also the only race that NYRR hosts on a Tuesday evening. Last year I ran the three mile race in an extremely shocking 28:02. It was the fastest race I had ever run. The crowd of runners are just amazing, and everyone is totally gunning it. It must have really helped push me along.

This year I was a bit rushed to the start. I'm not sure why, but I forgot that the 6 train left me really far from baggage. And I forgot that getting from baggage to the start is kind of a pain. However, I was pleasantly surprised to actually see the sun shining, and it seemed to have warmed up a bit. Unlike last years ridiculous heat, this time race conditions seemed near perfect.

I was in the runner "corral" by 6:26, and I quickly tried to search for a familiar face while moving my way up to the front. After a minute or two I saw Elyssa, and we caught up for a bit. Then, a woman tapped me on my shoulder. I was wearing my Superhero Half t-shirt from Sunday, and she told me she had run the race as well! And she even mentioned how hilly the course was! It made me feel a bit better about the race I had.

Finally, we listened to the anthem, and we were off! Well, we walked a bit and by the time we crossed the starting mat we were sort of shuffling. And then the first turn was a little hairy, but I was able to get into a decent groove. While running to and from the baggage area I realized my legs felt so fresh, and so ready to go. As we were running that first mile I told myself to take it not race.....but my legs and my heart just wouldn't listen. Mile 1 flew by, and by mile 2 I was started to notice I was breathing hard...but according to my Garmin, my average was way below my pace from last year. I knew I couldn't let this slip away. I thought to myself many times, "Man, coach is gonna be pisssseeedddd!" Was definitely feeling tired at 2.5 but I knew there was no other option at this point in the race. I started counting. One to ten. Ten to one. Four of each number ascending and descending. I was really just trying to do something to confuse my mind. And it must have worked, because I ran my third mile in 8:47.

The last quarter of a mile I wanted to push it as fast as I could, but with the narrow crowd of people there was only so fast I could go. I saw Robin cheering at the very end and I called out to her and waved. I got my legs to go as fast as they could, and crossed the finish line 27:34. In that second all of my past disappointments faded away. I wished I had gotten another shiny new medal to celebrate my achievement, but I realized that I didn't need a medal. My Garmin said 3.06 miles, with an average pace of 8:59. It was the fastest I had ever raced, and that joy was all I needed. That PR was my reward. I felt like the running gods finally validated me and all my hard work.

Walking back to the train station I had the biggest grin on my face. I wondered if the other runners could sense why I was so happy, or they thought I was just weird. I wasn't supposed to race this race, but somehow, I think my coach will understand.


  1. Awesome race and congrats on your PR. Knowing who your coach is, somehow--I think you are right.

  2. Well...he hasn't yelled at me yet!!

  3. AWESOME - so psyched for you! It's a sign of things to come (this weekend)! My only disappointment is that you didn't reference whether or not you were wearing short shorts. I assume the answer is yes, given the PR. Short shorts have magical powers.

  4. I am embarrassed to say, I was not wearing short shorts (way too cold) Last year I ran Wall St in 9:20, and then that weekend I ran a 9:00 this weekend I should be on FIRE.

  5. Congrats on the great race!! So nice that the weather was good for the race too!

  6. Congrats on a great race, it is so hard to just jog a race. Sounds like a cool run, I have never been to New York so it is cool to read about runs there. I am a new follower!