So this weekend was my first race back in six months. It was an easy 4 miler in Central Park that I have done before. I went into it not knowing how I would do or really what I should push for. We spent Saturday night on the couch printing out pictures and watching TV and on Sunday I got up at 6am to devise my plan. I figured I would do whatever I could in the first mile since I would be probably in a decent herd until the group thinned out a bit. Then push the 2nd mile, taper the 3rd and go for it on the 4th. As Nick and I drove into the city I said, I was going to be conservative about my goals since I hadn't run a race in a while and because I hadn't run outside and that I was going to go for 9:00 min miles.
Nick dropped me off on 89th Street to pick up my number and then I began my walk to 72nd Street to the race start. On my walk I was thinking about how cold it was and basically getting in my own head about the race. I finally resigned to not thinking about anything besides not slipping on the ice and made it to the start. At the start they warned us that there was a lot of black ice on the road and that we should be careful. And there it was, plain and clear, my excuse if I didn't do well. I could blame the ice. Off went the gun and off I went as well.
In the first mile I tried my hardest to not try and kill myself by taking off, but I just couldn't stop myself. I ran the first mile in 8:37, at which point I realized that I could and wanted to really push myself. I took off, it was like a totally different person running from last year. I figured I would push myself to the point of exhaustion and if I crapped out before 4 miles, then now I know my limits, if I didn't though, that meant I need to keep pushing myself until I find them. So that is what I did. I pushed myself harder than I ever have and kicked being conservative to the curb for the morning. I crossed the finish line at 33:07 with a pace of 8:16 min/miles. And that is the fastest I have ever run! Talk about a great first race back.
In the end my laps looked like this:
Mile 1 8:37
Mile 2 8:11
Mile 3 8:18
Mile 4 7:53
And I couldn't be happier. I am looking forward to a different type of season this year. I feel like a different more determined person and I can't wait to see how it all pans out. But for now I am enjoying the two rest days I have and taking some nice hot Epsom salt baths.