Apologizes for being a total slacker at posting over the past week. A manic week at work devoured all free time and any motivation to even look at a computer at night after living in front of one at the office. Promise to inundate y'all with my word vomit at least a few times this week.
So. About that running. Forced myself to take last Monday and Tuesday off after the back-to-back races. My knee has been acting up a bit the past couple weeks so I figured it was best to give it a little rest before throwing myself back into training. 4 weeks till the 15K and given my recent times I think it's totally possible to hit a sub-8:45 pace if I stick with the training plan. Oh and don't blow out my knee. Last thing I need is a case of ITB syndrome. Unfortunately, speaking of injuries, Smithies was taking it easy last week and sat out Sunday's 4 mile race in Prospect Park as it's looking more and more like he's got a bad case of planters fasciitis, which does not bode well for his running mission. Hopefully with a little more R&R he'll be back out on the road! I don't know how he's holding up - literally two days sans running had me going bat shit psycho. More so than usual.
Fast forward to Sunday, which was the NYRR Al Gordon 4 miler in Prospect Park. Great turn-out with over 9,000 runners braving the cold and icy paths. Luckily no falling tree branches (several people were killed in Central Park this week...) but the sidewalk and asphalt were definitely slick with black ice. The race route followed the same loop from last weekend's 10 miler, but rather than starting on a slight downhill, the 4 miler threw us smack onto the steepest incline for the first mile. Didn't mind getting it out of the way early on, but probably started out a bit fast, especially for uphill, clocking ~8:10 for at the first mile marker. Mile two was a series of undulating hills and by that point my right knee was being pretty vocal that I need to start doing freaking FLAT RACES. No more of this hilly crap - Comrades, what? Pretty much straight downhill for the third mile and then climbed a long gradual hill to the finish line. Finished in ~35 minutes at a bit over a 8:45 minute pace. Not too shabby and my best race finish yet for a 4 miler!
After the race, my legs were feeling pretty fresh so I decided to go on a scenic tour through Brooklyn and run home. Not that I exactly knew where I was going or anything as is pretty clear from the meandering route on the map... Only intended to run 7 to 8 miles back, but I got slightly detoured on Vanderbilt Avenue so the long run came out closer to 10 miles. Oops? Had fun exploring Prospect Heights though and discovered some super yummy looking restaurants that need to be tested (Le Gamin anyone?). Of course by this point, everything looked tasty because I was STARVING. Really should have eaten more of the post-race bagel since I was definitely not fueled up enough to run 10 miles. Minor details. It was my first time running across the Manhattan Bridge - lovely view up the river of Manhattan and luckily the bridge wasn't too swarmed with touristas since it was still pretty early in the morning. Once back on the island, just popped over to my standard running path along the East River, waved goodbye to Brooklyn and pushed the last couple of miles up to 10K pace (~9:00mm). All in all, almost 14 miles for the day so more than made up for the missed runs during the week!
Later in the day, I definitely made up for the lack of food with two lunches and then the Taste of 7th Street, where I snagged some arepas, a porchetta sandwich, lobster roll, two cupcakes, and a few beers for just $18. Amazing! If you haven't explored the ethnic culinary greatness of E7th St between Ave A and 1st Ave, do so immediately! It is a foodie's dream. And apparently a great place to get your eat on after long runs.
Up next: no races this weekend! Will do a long run on Saturday or Sunday and a few tempo runs this week to keep whittling away at my times. I have no doubt that work will give me plenty of frustration to pound out on a fast treadmill run...