I signed up to run the Run as One 4M Presented by JP Morgan Chase back in February. I knew that running a race just eight days before the New Jersey Marathon wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t sign up to get a PR. This race held a more personal meaning for me.
A year ago, I ran my first half marathon: the 2018 Fred Lebow Manhattan Half. Like the non-profit organization Fred’s Team, it is named for Fred Lebow, a man so legendary he is, to the best of my knowledge, the only runner to have a statue in his likeness standing in Central Park.
I was living on Long Island last year. I drove an hour into the city for the race, just as I did for the 2017 Ted Corbitt 15K. I wasn’t sure how fast I could run a half, but I tried to maintain a pace I could hold comfortably while still feeling like a solid effort. I finished that race in 1:53:14 and felt pretty good about being able to hold an 8:39 pace in my first attempt at the distance.
This might be the first time I’ve signed up for a race and, five minutes before I was to head out the door, stopped and said, “Why am I doing this?”
In the moment, it seemed like a dumb idea. And not just because it was raining, and it was dark out, and it was also not warm out which is especially bad when it is also raining and also dark out. But mostly because the race began at midnight, and I – party animal that I am – am usually in bed by 10:30. Then I read in bed for 15 to 20 minutes (my phone is strictly not allowed in my bedroom) before I can no longer keep my eyes open and then turn the light out before 11. I get up early every day of the week. This system has been working very nicely.
Two days in a row of wet road running, but I’m excited that it seems to be getting warmer out. At least I was until I looked at the forecast for the next 48 hours: 3-5 inches of snow expected Saturday night. Chance of snow: 100%. Chance of me doing my long run Sunday morning: ???%.
Saturdays are usually a fast 3 miles. That’s it. I try to keep it light knowing I have a long run on Sunday. I decided to try a slightly different route today, guessing it’d be somewhere between 3 and 4 miles (it was) because I need to switch it up every now and then. I used to be very consistent with runs to the point where I wasn’t running farther or faster often enough, and going the same routes all the time, so I just remained at this dull, static level where I wasn’t improving or challenging myself.
About a mile in, it started raining.