Race to Deliver Recap

On Friday I declared that my goal for today’s 4-mile race was to run sub-8:15 miles the entire time.

So I did that.

And then I PR’d.

Happy, sweaty and PR-y

I didn’t really have many expectations for the Race to Deliver, which was this morning in Central Park. Yesterday I did my last long training run gearing up for the Las Vegas Half Marathon — 12 miles — and I kept my pace conservative. I didn’t want to push it too hard because even though my plan for today’s race wasn’t to go all out and PR, I also didn’t want to feel like crap.

This is yesterday after finishing 12 lovely, leisurely miles. I was happy. Running is fun.

I ran all 12 miles in Central Park while the Knickerbocker 60K was going on. Those people are crazy. I am not crazy. I kept my run fun.

I love analyzing my splits. Numbers are fun. Running is fun.

So that was that. Last long run done.

While my pace was nothing particularly spectacular compared to some of the other long runs I’ve had in the past few weeks, there is one thing I’m beyond pumped about: No bathroom stops!

Yes, that is thrilling to me. As soon as we finished running I was grinning and looked at Brian and said, “I never had to stop!” and he said, “I know! I was going to say something earlier but didn’t want to jinx it.” Thanks for not jinxing it, man. But don’t worry about me. I’ve got the drugs in me. I’m good.

So yeah, that’s cool. The Remicade is working! It was so nice going out for a long run and not freaking out about my stomach being a bitch. The Crohn’s/colitis/dysentery is going away! I’m so, so excited. This makes me want to crush Vegas even more.

That brings us to today’s race: the unexpected PR.

I woke up, felt good, ate some Nutella toast (delicious) and then Brian and I ran a mile warm-up to the corrals.

Happy runners moving toward the start. I always like this part.

I wasn’t nervous — a no pressure race for once! — and didn’t really think much about how I felt. I was a little worried for Brian because he said his knee was bothering him and he actually wasn’t sure if he was going to race. (Dude, please don’t injure yourself before Vegas. That would suck.) So we got into our separate corrals (yellow for me, green for him) and I hung out with some running nuns.

She was great. And pretty speedy, too.

Brian and I waved to each other from afar and then we were off.

The first mile was, as always, crowded. We started in the middle of the 72nd Street Transverse and there was some bottle-necking that went down as we turned north on East Drive. I did my best to be Calm Runner Ali and not Angry Get Out Of My Way Run Faster Damnit Ali. It mostly worked.

I cruised up Cat Hill and settled comfortably into an 8-minute pace.

That wasn’t the plan — when I said “sub-8:15” I figured I’d stick right around 8:10s. But I felt good. So I went with it.

Halfway through the second mile, someone came up on my right and smiled at me. It wasn’t these guys:

They were checking out the leg warmers, not the runner's butt, ladies.

It was Brian! I was glad he had decided to run and that he was running fast. For the rest of the race, we stayed side-by-side but didn’t talk or really acknowledge each other. I think that’s the new plan for Vegas: run fast, run hard, don’t talk, don’t wave to cameras, don’t smile, just run…fast…and hard.

I felt awesome during the second, gloriously-flat mile. The second mile in Central Park is always my fastest and my favorite.

Then mile three happened: the hilly mile. But it really wasn’t so bad. Running next to Brian kept me motivated, though at one point I started thinking, “I should really just slow down, my plan is not to PR today.” The hills were a little tough on my legs, but I used this as an opportunity to crush my nasty mind games. Brain training! I think that skill will come in handy when things start to hurt in Vegas.

So instead of slowing down, I told myself, “Keep going, Ali, you whiny ho. You’re almost done with the third mile anyway, and you know it’s flat after that. Remember all your friends who advised ‘running the mile you’re in?’ Well, do that. Run this mile, and then you get to run the next one. And the next one is the last one. You’re doing great. And your leg warmers are really cute. Nice outfit choice today, by the way. I dig it.”

My third mile was, in fact, my slowest, but it was still sub-8:15 as planned. It was sub-8:00 even!

And then the last mile came and went quickly. I was smiling the whole time. I loved this race! It wasn’t too crowded, I had a nice friend by my side and I felt like I was pushing hard…the day after a long run!

I would like to run a sub-7:00 mile someday. Just throwing that out there.

We blew through the finish line and smiled at each other. I stopped my watch and was happy to see a shiny new PR looking up at me!

I like this very much.

I really love the 4-mile race distance. You get to go all out and try to be fast, and then just as you’re finding your groove, you’re done.

Finished!

I think it’s interesting that I ran a personal record today. I didn’t stress about this race at all. I didn’t go in with a plan. I just woke up and ran. I tried to run fast, and I ended up running faster than I have during an official race before.

Maybe I need to race on-the-fly more often… Plan-less, chilled-out Ali has it in her to run fast. But perhaps planner, must-figure-out-exact-splits-needed-every-time Ali is holding her back.

Just something to think about.

After the race, Brian and I were like, “Hey, it’s fall and it’s 60 degrees. Cool! We should play in the leaves!”

KICKING LEAVES IS FUN AFTER YOU PR!

OK, maybe “Brian and I” didn’t come up with that plan together. But it happened one way or another, and also I did a cartwheel…

Straight legs and pointed toes? Still got it. Sort of. I think I also pulled a few muscles in the process.

…and a handstand.

Kelly? Meggie? A little help? Please.

“Handstand” is a term I use loosely.

And then I did something else weird: I baked muffins.

I MADE THESE. Who am I?

Brian and I spent the rest of the day visiting Coach Cane and Mrs. Coach Cane and baby Simon, who is the cutest 7-pounder ever. Brian didn’t share him, though, which is rude.

Simon is giving you a hug, Brian, with his tiny little arms.

Coach Cane and Nicole, good job with that little guy. He’s awesome.

And that is my recap of the New York Road Runners Race to Deliver. It might be my new favorite race.

Congratulations to all the racers today. You’re a bunch of beasts.

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Ali

Ali

0 Responses

  1. Congrats on the PR, wooo!! And just like that you are on fiyah. I predict great things in your running future.

    Ahh, so many great things in this post! The leaves! Those muffins (how did you get them to rise so high and professional-like?)! The photo of Brian + baby! I like it.

  2. Congrats on the PR! So nice to see you so happy. And no lie, I had to google what a 60K was out of curiousity… 37.28 miles!!! ;-o yup, they are crazy!

  3. Congratulations Speedy!! You did amazing! It must have been those hot pink leg warmers. Obviously those have PR-powers.

    I think racing without a goal can sometimes lead to the best races. My half marathon PR is from a race that I ran during marathon training, while sick, with no goal but to finish in mind. Still don’t know how that happened. I’m glad you were able to take the pressure off yourself and really enjoy the race. I hope this gives you a burst of confidence for Vegas. Congrats on the PR!

  4. AMAZING congrats!!!! This is the race where I got my most amazing PR as well, my avg mile was 8:28! Insane for me. Everyone loves this race! You are so fast.

  5. “keep going Ali, you whiny ho” hahaha. I say these things to myself too and it works! Congrats on an awesome race, friend! And a great weekend of running overall (I haz a jealous…)! You are totally ready for Vegas, and I expect you to Ninja it. We should get you black legwarmers/compression socks to complete the outfit.

  6. wow! awesome job!!! you killed that race and didn’t think about it whatsoever. THAT is how you should race (and how I should too…come to think of it), without thinking so hard!! You rocked it!!

  7. Name the time and we’ll handstand. Carthweel. Flip. Always down for being upsidedown.

    Also, WAY TO GO! You are awesome. My best races sometimes have happened when I don’t have any expectations. Sometimes, I think I should just stop making running goals. But, then, they’re so fun to set!

    Also, one day, it’d be cool to run a sub-7 mile. I think we have it in us, right? Let’s do that, then do handstands, and then celebrate with 16 Handles. Can we bring Brian along to photograph the experience?

    FYI – my full on convo with you during the marathon was one of the highlights. I’m not sure if what I said made sense, but in my mile 17 brain it did.

    Just think you did a long run and then PR’ed the day after…who does that? No one. You have reached an upper echelon of greatness. Take it with you to VEGAS. Celine is waiting.

  8. First of all, congrats- that is awesome! Second, how the heck do you run so fast?? I am literally cheering with 9:30s. I can only hope to one day run a sub 9 but 7 minute miles!?!?! Any tips are greatly appreciated. Go you!

    1. Hey, don’t knock sub-9:00 or even 9:30 miles! That’s fantastic and you SHOULD be cheering! And we all start somewhere. My first-ever 4-mile race was a 10:11 pace. That was three years ago. It has taken me a long time to build up my speed and while some of it came naturally from just running more, some of it came from doing speedwork during marathon training. Run fast to run fast!

  9. A PR the day after a long run is a definite victory!! Remember those days when you said you couldn’t pace yourself and had no idea how to run well? You’ve come a long way since then…you are becoming quite the runner, Ali! Looks like an awesome weekend — how fun that Brian is getting addicted to races too 🙂

  10. Congrats on the PR, and also on a stop-free long run! I ran by you guys in the park Saturday near Columbus Circle. I probably would have been totally oblivious, except Brian caught my eye because he looked very similar to an ex. Then I had mini freakout, thinking that said ex might see me in all my end of run, pushing to the finish, red-faced glory. And then I realized that there was a different reason that guy looked vaguely familiar: I’d seen him on the blog. And then I kinda felt like a stalker. But then my run was done, and all I could think about at that point was chocolate milk. 🙂

    I was rocking some pink legwarmers. I LOVE them for running, and thank you so much for the recommendation.

    1. That is hilarious. Next time say hi and I’ll introduce you to Brian and then you don’t have to worry about him being your ex. Hehe.

      Unless of course, Brian IS your ex?

      Glad you’re loving the leg warmers!!

  11. Congrats Ali so happy for you! Such a great PR! I;ve never done a 4 mile race, I wonder if I’d like it!. PS- Brian looks good with a a baby. Oh and it’s Lizzy. I’m already signed in on my wordpress acct. Can’t wait to see how awesome you do at Vegas!

  12. wahoo! Congrats on a speedy race, a PR, and feeling awesome the entire time. I’ve found most of my PRs lie in the races I don’t feel like I need to freak out about. Maybe the no pressure thing helps you be like, “oh hey, I really AM awesome and speedy, let me prove it”. I think you definitely are more than ready to take vegas by storm!

  13. Congrats on the new PR! I think today was the day of accidental PRs…I went in with zero expectations, and broke mine by over two minutes, including my first race ever at a sub-9:00 pace 🙂 I’m ignoring the part where NYRR decided I’m apparently four years older than I am, and I freak out until I can call them tomorrow to make sure it links properly to my 9+1…

  14. Congrats on the PR!!!
    Did you know that there is a song by Snoop Dogg and David Guetta called Sweat? And the lyrics are “I just want to make you sweat.” Totally made me think of you and your I <3 Sweat shirts.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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