For those from not around these parts, Central Park is relatively hilly. While there are parts that are flat, sometimes it seems those parts are few and far between. I had to alter my pacing schedule since I didn't want to spend the running time uphill and the walking time downhill so I introduced more flexibility to the mix. The day was humid (the race site says 93% at the start) but that seems to be the norm these days. The experiment wound up being successful by cutting a few minutes off of last week's time even with the hills. I finished this half in 2:56:32.
It is hard to get excited about this time. Yes, I know that I'm slow but I'm not that slow. Yes, I know I'm gimpy (and I'm sure be feeling this tomorrow) but can't be that gimpy. The biggest issue was my pre-race ritual got messed up, specifically my pre-race constitutional that, in addition to dropping a pound or two it sets up my abdomen for racing. Not that I didn't try, but nothing was happening. Of course a few miles into the race it felt like a turtle was poking his head of his shell. This wasn't good.
Another thing that contributed to this negativity was getting lapped. Each loop in Central Park is about 6 miles. The wheel chair competitors (who fly down the hills) left a few minutes before the "elites." I started in the back but with almost 5000 runners in the half, it took a while to get to the starting line. The wheelchair guys passed me at about the 3 mile mark and the elites a short time later. Each time someone passed me, especially when I was walking, I cursed under my breath. People near me may have thought I had Tourette's or something but I podded along.
At the end of the race while I was getting my stuff from the bag check, my body tried to make up for missing it's ritual. I had to go EXACTLY then. After a short sprint to the porta-potties (probably the fastest I ran all day), I took care of business. Or so I thought.
But nooooo, I had to spend most of Saturday afternoon sprinting for bathrooms. Each time it smelt like something crawled up inside me and died. Flaming asshole disease started just in time for my ride Sunday morning.
I had 95 miles scheduled on the bike. I started late since it was raining.It stopped raining so I figured I'd give it a shot. The more I was on the bike the more it hurt. I took some breaks along the way. Then it started to rain. I finished up with just under 82 miles and called it a day. Short of my goal but I'll take it.
I'm blaming my gastro issues on a sauce I had with pasta on Friday night. For the next few weeks I will be practicing both race day nutrition and pre-race nutrition almost religiously. I don't think I need to practice post race nutrition and celebration though. That is a ritual that will hopefully take care of itself.