Ok, the number of posts are not weekly as they should be, I’ll work on that from now on.
95+ degree day in the city, and the TFK meeting spot was in Cadman Plaza Brooklyn at 7:30am sharp. Coming from Queens, this was an hour train ride, guess who woke up at 5:30am. Waking up before 8am on Mon-Fri is challenging enough, I must really be a running freak now. So I get there 5 minutes late, almost missed the warmup stretches, then decide to run with the intermediate group. The groups are assigned by pace, so it would be a nice 9:30-10:00 min/mile pace for 9 miles with the intermediate group; the advanced guys were running a 8:30-7:45 (not for me). The route: Epicness, cross Brooklyn bridge, make a left through Chinatown, cross Manhattan bridge, then back to Cadman Plaza, 2x. The first 4.5 mile loop was great, no leg pain, no fatigue, great views, and the sun was not blazing yet. I ran right beside the coach leader throughout the second loop and started to chit chat with some joggers, which helped take the mind off things for a while. The sun started to blaze, but no problem, got to the end, and TFK had a barrel of gatorade for everyone! Someone calls out, who wants to do 3 more! My hand goes up and my mind still did not agree, but whatever. Off we go to yet another scenic route; Brooklyn Bridge park. All the runners are feeling it by now; the heat. Everyone is chatting until we reach this mega hill which knocked out 75% of the pack. I made it to the top but had to rest for 10 seconds, whew. Then back to Cadman for some stretches and planking (doing reps of these for a minute each is killer after a run).
After a 2-day break, it was time to get back out there and “build the machine”. Just another Forest Park 10k. I’m feeling strong and aim for less than a 9:00 min/mile pace. After running strong and pushing it for the last 2 miles, 9:34, crap. Well, it could’ve been worse.
After the previous night’s kung-fu workout, my muscles were quite tired but there are no excuses, must run. I take the Corona/Flushing 10k route (not as hilly) and start feeling the leg pain immediately at mile 1, so this was my “recovery” run for the week.
72nd street Riverside park (West-side) at 7:30 AM. The route: to George Washington bridge and back. I got there 10 minutes late, so I missed the group assigments. It turns out that I just signed up for 13 miles with the elite group, all the other groups already left and ran ahead. I’m in trouble now, there is no choice but to run with these guys (half of which have done a marathon already, and the coach leader is an ultra-marathoner). The pace was to be 9:00 min/mile and getting faster every few miles. Whoa, I never train this way, I always get slower as the miles go on, lol. Off we go into morning sun with the wonderful Hudson river to our left. We pass the beginner group, then the intermediate group, I can’t believe I’m keeping up thus far. We touch the GW bridge and stop at the water fountain for a quick break. Back to the start point now. Crap, are we going faster, why is it so hard to run, why am I getting tired? The coach asks, what’s our pace? Someone says 8:20. Then its 8 flat by mile 10. I’m too winded to chit-chat with anyone, damn, I’m falling behind, falling, falling, noooooooo. The pack is 10 seconds in front of me now, 20 seconds, 30… Just when I thought I had it in me, that I was elite, too good to be true at this point. There was a mini-loop toward the end so the elite pack ran past me and waved to motivate me. I felt like a loser, but that only awakens the rage, and the new challenge is on. Next week, I’m running with the elite group again for sure! I can do this. Its time to step my game up.