Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scotland Run 10K

I only figured out we were going to be in town for this event the week before our trip. I had been really looking forward to running at least 6 miles in Central Park. I sort of hummed and hawed over whether or not to sign up for this event.

On the "Don't Do It!" list were the following: 1) The race was $$$. I used to be a New York Road Runners (NYRR) member. Back in the day the races were only $11. This puppy was going to set me back $37. For a training run 10K. Not too palatable! 2) The race runs the Central Park loop in the clockwise direction. My usual direction of running the loop is counterclockwise. I sort of envisioned a leisurely, calming 6 mile run where I could reflect on all the wonderful running memories I've had there. The loop always felt amazingly different to me depending on the direction. I really wanted to run it in "my" direction.

On the "Sign Up Now!" list were: 1) We would definitely be back to NYC down the road. There will be lots of Central Park runs in my future. Who knows when we'd be back for a NYRR race again? 2) NYRR events were what made me a "runner" and it would be fun to take part in one again. 3) If there was a NYRR race going on, I'd have to wake up really early to run if I wanted any type of zen 6 mile run in the park. Otherwise I'd be running against the flow of traffic which would be anything but peaceful and reflective.

So in the end, we signed up.

I was just coming off of back-to-back marathon weeks. Boyfriend hasn't been doing any type of regular running lately. Every now and then he'll join me for 3-6 miles, but it had been weeks since the last time he ran at all. So this wasn't any type of PR racing experience.

I wore my red plaid running skirt to get into the Scottish mood!

So I guess the NYRR running scene has exploded since I left NYC. The last 10K I did in Central Park was in 2005 and had 4,146 runners. The Scotland Run this year had 7,794 runners! Wowza! I can't recall any NYRR event (aside from the marathon and maybe the NYC Half) ever having this many runners! Incidentally, I believe that 2005 10K was the last 10K I participated in -- told you I don't like 5K or 10K's!

I carried my camera and was on a quest to document my run through the park.

Lots of guys in kilts!

We missed the peak bloomage but still pretty!


So many runners!

Cleopatra's Needle

More kilt action

This incline is affectionately known as "Cat Hill" by runners. My usual loop direction has me running up this sucker, but at the race we got to down down! No kitty angst!

Bagpipe serenade at mile 5

I miss the clippity-clop of the carriage horses when I run.

A view I miss

Did I mention there were lots of runners?

An old "friend!" This guy used to run with tons of bells attached to him (of the jingle-bell variety). I used to see him at tons of NYRR races. I spied him at the Scotland run sans bells!

The run report is as follows: I was thinking of trying to do 2 miles at the end of the race at about a 9:00 pace to try to get some tempo work done. Boyfriend started lagging behind a little the first few miles and I felt bad for him since he hasn't run a lick in almost a month. I could tell my legs were still tired from the marathons so this wasn't a big deal. We decided to try to kick it only the last mile. I think we were down to about a 9:20ish pace the last mile (told you the legs were tired, I also blame this partly on how crowded the field was) but did manage a 8:something the last 0.2mi kick. Finish time: 1:04:05

Overall I did feel as if the hills in Central Park were much more manageable than when I left NYC. I think I am a much better hill runner now so hopefully this is a good sign.

The real icing on the cake was getting to meet up with some old running club friends for a post-race brunch. Cliff posts here sometimes (and leaves cryptic messages involving rubber bands), so hello! It was great to see you! The running scene is definitely one of the top things I miss about NYC.


the dawn said...

Love the skirt! My favorite part of racing is being surrounded by so many people all running together.

There were bagpipes at one marathon that I ran and the haunting music was so awesome! I loved running by with that full, crazy sound filling the air. Bagpipes and running definitely go together!

bunnygirl said...

Love your plaid running skirt. How cool is that?

Anonymous said...

I love your pics! Makes me miss NYC :( Looks like it was a fun race with lots of peeps! Very cute outfit as well! :)

Rabbits' Guy said...

What a place! Frederick Olmsted would not believe it! If you like some history about people the book "A Clearing in the Distance" is more or less about him.

Mica said...

Was this a fun trot down memory lane? I love how you did it with Scottish flair! (What a cultural mix--Asian girl in plaid!)

Of course you're good on hills now. You live in freaking' hilly Cali!

d. moll, said...

LOL I thought you'd gone to Scotland at first. Got to agree with BG about the skirt.......

cliff said...

rubber bands? who? me?

EndorphinBuzz said...

Reminds me of my run in central park when I visited NYC. Seeing all those kilts is making me more confident that they are comfortable for running. I have to run in one in June as part of the world record kilt run. TX for the pics & report.

audgepodge said...

That looks like a super fun race!!! I love races with lots of people (usually)... and OMG, I cannot believe you even have a plaid running skirt??? I know I shouldn't be surprised, but still!