Oops, I did it again. I raced in sneakers that I had never run in before.
Last week I got some hand-me-down Mizuno sneakers from Carla because they aggravated her old Achilles tendon injury, and decided that they were the perfect shoes for the Run as One 4 mile race in Central Park, a race that supports lung cancer research. I’d heard amazing things about Mizunos and had been wanting a pair for a long time so of course I would run in them for this race, right? I mean, I wore them on that long bike ride yesterday and they felt great so I figured I was ready to run in them. Maybe not the best logic, but it worked out today!
Here they are:
(I probably would have gone for a slightly different color scheme, but it’s all good – they were free!)
The temperature was predicted to be in the 60s today, but at 8am it was still pretty chilly so I wore shorts and a long-sleeve shirt with my Mizunos and got to the appropriate corral about 20 minutes before the start of the race, along with over 8,000 other runners. Katharine ran this one with me, so I guess she helped make sure I wasn’t late and rushing to the starting line like my last couple races. We started together, but I decided that since this was “only” 4 miles I would try to beat some kind of personal record. Fastest mile? Fastest 5k even? Something! Olympian Steve Prefontaine once said “The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die.” (He also ran a mile in under 4 minutes. ) Whatever – I planned to run the hell out of this race.
I started off pretty fast with 30 Seconds to Mars blaring in my ears. The race started near 68th Street and went counterclockwise around the inner loop of Central Park, which meant that the Cat Hill was right there. I sprinted up, glaring at the cat statue (as I usually do) and continued on my way. My Nike+ watch had me at an 8:35 pace on the hill, so I started going faster – to a 7:48 pace. It’s no Steve Prefontaine level, but it was all I had in me this morning (and I was digging it)! Before the first mile was over, I had to do something that I’ve never had to do in a race before – pull myself over to tie my shoe. In all my races, my shoelaces have never untied before but apparently my left Mizuno didn’t get the memo.
I slowed down a little bit near mile 2 because we were turning onto the 102nd Street Traverse and there was kind of a bottleneck since the street got a bit more narrow and there was a water station there. I noticed that the Mizunos were heavier than what I was used to – most of my other sneakers are really lightweight and flexible, but these aren’t. But they were still comfortable, so that’s a plus. And they offered much more ankle support, which might actually be better for my foot.
Before I knew it, mile 3 was behind me and I was wondering what kind of food they had at the finish line. Probably the usual bananas, but hopefully they had muffins. I was really in the mood for one a poppy seed one. Maybe a bagel, but those tend to be too heavy for after running. No, definitely a muffin.
And then I realized the laces on my right Mizuno had come untied. Really, Righty? You didn’t learn your lesson when the left one untied? I had only about half a mile left and wondered if I could just run through it but, as I felt the sneaker get looser, I ran to the side of the road for a second time, tied it up, and finished the race. My fastest mile was 8:12 (not a PR, but I was happy with it) and my overall pace was 8:24. No records were shattered, but there’s always next time!
(Katharine crossed the finish line a couple minutes later with her very own personal record!!)
Tomorrow officially starts week 6 of triathlon training, which means one thing: our first of many BRICK sessions (which is running right after biking) begins this week. I guess now is as good of a time as any, so bring it on!