Thursday, June 9, 2011

Return To Racing

Saturday is the NYRR Mini 10k. This is a pretty big race in the city with a rich tradition. 

It all began in 1972, this is the 40th running, as the 6mile CrazyLegs Mini Marathon. It was also the first women's only road running race; in the early 70's it was still fairly unusual for women to be runners, especially distance runners. Kathrine Switzer (aka Marathon Woman) was instrumental in the creation of this race, helping to establish the sponsor, CrazyLegs, creating a promotional event like none ever known before. Year after year, the race is popular with pro-runners, including Deena Kastor, Buzunesh Deba, Kim Smith, Yuri Kano, Edna Kiplagat, and many more, this year alone!

This year, there's something extra special about the race. This year, the race is being dedicated to the amazing Grete Waitz who passed away in April after a long battle with cancer. Grete was a pioneer in women's running, winning 5 Mini's, 9 New York City Marathons, winning the silver medal in the first women's Olympic Marathon, and showing women around the world that they too, can be a runner. 

I've only run this race once, but it is one of my very favorite races. There's something about the incredible amount of camaraderie between the all-female field that is empowering and uplifting. The route is different from any other race in Central Park as it begins on Central Park West just north of Columbus Circle and heads north and turns into the park at 90th (all other CP races are entirely within the park). I imagine that for the average bystander, it's quite an amazing sight to see thousands of women running along CPW! 

As excited as I am about this race on Sunday, I'm also quite nervous. A lot of things are running through my mind as this is my first race post-injury and it's not just a short 5k.
weather: the forecast for Saturday is a 50% chance of rain, today the high will be 99' and Saturday will be in the 70's, my longest run in the past two and a half months is about 4.5miles, I am slow, I'm not used to being on my feet for so long after months of short cardio sessions, the Harlem Hills are brutal even on the best day, is it too soon to run this far.
I can't let my nerves get the most of me, even though I think I'm almost as nervous about this 10k as I was for the marathon. I know I don't have to run every step and my goal is to have fun and finish, not to set a PR. I have to come up with a killer mantra to get me over the hills and focus on the moment and the goal.

After this race, I'll be taking it easy for a bit focusing on the See Jane Run 5k in Seattle in July. Then, it's all about taking a lot of time to build up for the Detroit Half Marathon in October. But, I don't want to get ahead of myself. I will have fun Saturday morning and take in everything around me!
  • Are you running the Mini 10k?
  • What is your favorite mantra?
  • How do you calm your nerves before a race?
today's workout -
35min elliptical
125 crunches
1x35sec plank
2x15 leg curls
2x13 leg extension
2x18 seated row
2x15 back extension
foam roller


Erica Sara said...

Saturday is going to be a great race & you are going to rock it! Just have fun with it and remember you can do it :) Hope to see you out there!

Susan said...

I'm running the mini....and I'm definitely worried about the heat!

Christy said...

I'm running it too! I organized a Blog Meet-Up for brunch after the race! Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in coming!

Carrie A. said...

Running it as well. Really worried about the heat and hydrating enough.

Christine said...

Good luck! I actually never get nervous before a race- not because I'm great (I'm not, quite slow, actually), but because I'm just proud that I'm there and will finish. I guess I'm easy to please (and will never become faster because I'm complacent).

Anonymous said...

Found your blog from NYY linking to it on Facebook; and like you this is my first race since coming back from injury! (stress fracture in my foot)

Have a great race; I love the mini 10k!

Kristy said...

My first race longer than a 5K since my IT injury after the Austin Half in Feb... so I too am nervous. Thanks for your honest post. I think we have to shout down that noise in our heads and just enjoy. It will be a gorgeous day and the soul of Grete will carry us ladies over those damn hills!

Anonymous said...

I am running the Mini 10K this weekend as well! I am nervous but excited about the fun element of this race. I hope it won't be too humid- that's my biggest worry!

To calm my nerves before I race I try to remind myself that I run because it's fun and I enjoy it- I try to remember it's not life or death, and it'll be over in no time!

Anonymous said...

This will be my 15th Mini. It's my hands-down favorite race. It's just so uplifting to run through the Park with thousands of like-minded women. You can set a PR another day, when the weather is cool and the course is flat. But you won't have more fun anywhere else!