On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ted Corbitt 15k race report

Yeah, I did it.  I ran another race this weekend.  After swearing them off, I spontaneously registered on Saturday for Sunday's 15k.  For a few reasons: a bunch of people were going out to brunch after, and I wanted to; I was afraid I would sleep in this weekend instead of running; and I wanted to see where my fitness was.  I had no real goals for the race besides some vague notion of "giving it my all," whatever that means.

But first, a midnight freak out.  What to wear to the race?  The weather was predicted to be 30-32, overcast, with little to no wind.  I've been running for more than a decade, but all of a sudden my mind went blank.  I know my cut-off for shorts is ~40 degrees, but what happens below that?  That's freezing!  I should be wearing pants.  And a jacket.  And a long sleeved shirt.  And a buff.  And gloves.  And an ear cover.  And... and... and...  Runner's World's Dress the Runner site wasn't helping at all.  I realized: it was anxiety!  Good old fashioned race anxiety!

There has never, ever been a good picture
of me in running clothes.
As you can see, I decided on: a hat, ear coverings, a buff around my neck, a long sleeved t-shirt, a short sleeved t-shirt, a jacket, and my skapri (skirt over capris).  I lost the gloves, the ear covering, and the buff about a mile in.  Otherwise I was fine - like I knew I would be.

These two women, on the other hand, are lovely.
At the start, I met up with my friends Sara and Lauren.  It was good company at the start.

How did the race itself go?  A few things:

  • I hate Central Park.  Seriously.  I'm bored of it, and the hills are okay in training and sucky in races.  My splits were uneven - go figure, the slower splits corresponded with the miles with the worst hills.
  • A 15k is 9.3m, not 9.6m.  I don't need to tell you this, because you know this.  So do I.  However, at about mile 8, shortly after I'd given up on any time goal, I realized that my addled mind had decided that the race was 9.6m.  This was annoying, because...
  • I came amazingly, painfully, desperately close to a sub-10 minute mile.  My official finish was 1:34:01, for a 10:06 average.  I could easily have taken a minute off my time by not walking Cat Hill th second time around.

OMG was the race actually 9.42m??  Call the USATF!
Just kidding.
I know I should be happy, and ultimately I am.  But so close.  It's one thing if you take a race easy and aren't satisfied with how you did.  But I was trying this time.  Just not hard enough.


  1. That is so awesome!!!! So close so close so close! It's just around the corner, no doubt. You rock :-)

  2. BLAST! So close. Getting sick of courses/routes can be such a mental disadvantage -- don't know about you, but I have a much easier time of pushing on at a certain pace if I DON'T know when the hills are coming. Still sounds like a solid day and continuing in the right direction, especially considering you spontaneously ran it to get a measure of your current fitness... congrats!

  3. Dude, I think you did great! Think about all the extra weight you were carrying since you had to wear pants and a jacket and and and... See?

    On the other hand, I was finally getting faster when my foot decided to take revenge, and now I don't even know if I can run a SLOW 5k, much less a fast 15k :(

  4. I am also sick of CP, ugh. I appreciate how convenient and (mostly) safe it is, but I think I need to take a break from CP races for a little while.

    +1 to Carla's comment about wearing pants and a jacket - if the weather were 60 degrees you would have PR'd for sure!

  5. Nice job there Tracy. I love to run in Central Park, although I've never run a race there.
    Those cats will slow you down every time.