Central Park, New York, 10 km

This morning I went to do a 10 km in Central Park. It has always been a dream of mine to run in Central Park in the snow, and today was the day. The race could have gone a lot better but the scenery was a dream. It snowed all night a few nights ago and then it snowed for a long time yesterday so there was no shortage of snow, although I was glad it was not actually snowing this morning. It was cold enough, minus six when I left the hotel at 8am.

The start was 9.10am and I thought I knew where to go - well, Central Park around 102nd St. So I rock up to the start line for the other race being held, and starting at 9am, the 4 mile. It started just as I got there, so I chilled and hung out. But I wondered why there was nobody else waiting there for the 10 km race start; turns out the start was several hundred metres away. I jogged over there and I heard the starter yell Go! But I still had to run in the wrong direction to get to the start line (and to the back of the small pack of runners). 

So I started in dead last place. Things could only get better. Things did get better, until they got worse. I felt good running and quite strong, passing several people and not feeling any pain from last weekend. I could not believe that this time last week I had just started my hundred miler.

I wanted to take photos but it was hard to slow down, turn on my IPod camera, select the view and click without masses of runners going by, and the scene was never what I wanted to shoot once I was ready to shoot. I managed this:

and then resorted to carrying my IPod with the camera running. That was not a smart idea. Near the southern end of the park, when you get the iconic view of the Manhattan skyline, I tried to take a picture and the battery was dead. 

Almost simultaneously I pulled my right calf muscle. This was bad news; I was less than three miles in but there was no way I was going to stop, so of course it got real bad real quick. This was far worse than what I’d done in St Pete’s. The pain moved around but didn’t diminish. I’ve never DNF'd a run and I was not going to start now, so I ploughed on but a lot slower.

The miles seemed long but I told myself that today’s job was to finish the race, nothing more. Hopefully running rather than walking. The scenery, a thick layer of snow on everything, continued to be a pleasure, although I have to admit I was very focussed on ignoring the pain I was in. My tight glute wanted to be heard too, and I worried that I would be brought to a halt at any moment.
I suppose I was actually thankful there were no aid stations so I didn’t have to stop (and start up again, which would be the painful part).

I would have got round in an hour if I hadn’t missed the start, so that’s not too bad, considering. After the race I was truly limping. Time to go home and recover!


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