Amazing what a year can bring. Last year this marked my version of the race from hell. This year it's another step on my way to getting my legs back! I may have wanted redemption but I think it came in another way than I originally intended pre-injury. AB had run 19 miles yesterday so she decided to join me since she wasn't racing either. It was a bit odd to be hanging out and not really warm up to race. I really just wanted to stay indoors as long as possible to keep the leg warm. About 15 minutes before the race we came out, threw our bags in the baggage claim and joined the fray. I ran into Danny at the start too! Without any clue, we heard the horn and with that the race started.
The first mile was just a giant cluster-you-know-what. That was OK though as I didn't want to fall trap to the rabbit and go out too fast. I'm being overly cautious and mile 1 clocked in at 8:51 as it just was entirely too crowded! On the way to mile 2 I was able to see everyone on their way back. This included MadLou, Sempre Libera (she was greeted with the usual bark!), LD, EV. I had a great time cheering for everyone:-) The race was uneventful for me which I draw as a success. I had no leg issues and it turned into a progression run of sorts as mile 3 I passed people left and right. By my watch, miles 2 and 3 came in at 16:23 with mile 2 around 8:45 which probably means my mile 3 was around 7:40-45. The .1 I cruised in at a cool :41. I felt great! Funny to cruise in at 25:56 (8:21 pace) and feel absolutely estatic. It just feels rewarding to see the patience is paying off. I can feel the legs coming back each and every run. Now, it's a matter of continuing the patience and having it all come together again. I also now have a good luck charm necklace my mom gave me that she wore for all her marathons and training runs. Not that I'm superstitious at all. Nope;0)
Anyway, the fun part occurred at Coogans after the race. Beer was consumed in mass quantity (and food for some). NYflygirl joined us after a while as TRD stayed to keep the party going well past noon. This photo sums it up pretty well. It felt like being back in college but hey - it's all in good fun:-)
After Coogans, a few of us ventured back down to the UWS for some food at Cafe Con Leche. It's now almost 6pm and I have accomplished essentially nothing (well run 3.1 miles, drink and eat) today. Fun!