Although Saturday morning was a bit grayer than I’d like, the sun came out to play in the afternoon and fortuitously kept on shining through Sunday morning, when I raced the NYRR Retro 4-Miler in Central Park for #4 in my 9+1 quest. Coming off the past week I felt pretty good going in, and since I wasn’t aiming to PR I just enjoyed myself with four easy miles.
The weekend kicked off Friday evening, when I went to Amber Sushi with my closest friend from law school. I had a toro chives roll with brown rice and some octopus and squid sashimi, and it was all delicious as usual. It was nice to catch up, especially since we are both in the thick of studying for the bar and it’s tough for other people to understand the weirdly consuming nature of this time.
I’m really lucky to have running to keep me balanced. My life is pretty much on run-eat-repeat around the time I spend studying, and breaking it up into chunks makes it a lot more manageable. Since I can’t sit still for more than twenty minutes, being able to run while listening to my lectures has been great! I also did some listening on Saturday while getting a pedicure. I never get manicures and pedicures are a rare treat, because they’re rather pricey in New York City and I won’t go to the cheaper places for reasons that have been in the news a lot lately. So this was a bit of an indulgence – especially the foot massage!
Earlier Saturday morning, when I went to pick up my bib at NYRR headquarters, I ran into two friends from November Project, which was nice. It’s great to feel like I am part of the wider running community here in New York. And it got me more excited for Sunday morning. I really only signed up to get another race in, but people seemed intrigued by the ‘retro’ theme and were talking about dressing crazy 80s-style, helped by the ‘retro’ sweatbands we got with the T-shirts!
Sunday morning was crisp and luckily, since the race began at 8am and it was cooler than last weekend, I had no issues with dehydration. I also remembered to turn the volume up on my alarm, so I made it to the starting line in plenty of time. While I didn’t make it to the pre-race November Project photo, we snapped a few afterwards.
The 4-mile course is the same loop pretty much every time there’s a NYRR race in the park. Start near 72nd street on East Drive, head up the loop and cut over to the west side at 102nd, and head down West Drive to 72nd and round the corner for the finish. I had just done the same course for the Run As One in April, and really I hit the same road every day for my workouts, so running as usual instead of at race pace was very doable. The only minor issue was crowding, of course – no matter what, there are always people who stop right in their tracks without pulling over, and there are so many runners at any NYRR race that it makes for tight quarters on the path. There are also always a lot of people trying to cross the street, which can be tricky on both sides, especially when they are toting strollers and dogs and you’re trying not to run into them!
I ended up finishing in 38:43 with a pace of 9:41/mile, and that was perfectly fine by me. I was smiling as I crossed the finish line, pleasantly surprised that my extremely speedy friend Kaitlin had finished and come back to the corner of 72nd Street to cheer us on as we crossed the finish line.
All in all, it felt like the topper to a pretty good low-key weekend, one where my run-eat-repeat (and study!) mode felt like it was what I needed to be doing. And then I realized, walking home from the race, that it was barely 9:30am and I had an entire Sunday ahead of me – another day to run-eat-repeat.
What were you up to this weekend? Do you ever feel like life falls into a pattern?
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