Sunday, January 1, 2012

LIRRC 2012 Hangover Run: well done fun


Today's run (LIRRC Hangover Run): 5 miles
47:19 (9:28 pace)

Happy New Year! Last night went later than expected and I didn't get to sleep until after 12:30 AM. I did catch an hour's nap earlier, in an attempt to bank some needed sleep, but I don't think it did much good. Even so, I got up at 6:30 and tried to decide how to dress for this morning's fun run in Eisenhower Park. The NYC news station showed 44 degrees, while our local station showed 32.

I finally settled on a long sleeve base layer topped with a short sleeved jersey, along with my new CS running pants. It was a good choice but I may have been fine with only one layer on top. When Team Emerging Runner joins me on cold days, I can wear more layers to keep warm. I just hand off my jacket before the race begins. Today I was by myself, so the extra layer helped while I stood waiting for the start.

I have to hand it to the Long Island Road Runner's Club who put on today's event at Eisenhower Park. LIRRC does it all with a minimum of frills (no race shirts or pre-registration) but they charge very little to participate and they hold many races throughout the year. Today's Fun Run was a gift because the event was open to all. Post-run refreshments were served and not a penny was charged to participate.

It was friendly crowd who milled around near the start area and soon we were off on our 5 mile run. The LIRRC provides a timing clock but the tracking is up to the participants. No one wins this race but I'm sure the swiftest runners compete for bragging rights. The course is five times around a measured loop within the park. Every time you pass the timing clock at the start, you've finished another mile.

It was interesting to run this "Hangover" run. I didn't see too many sluggish runners nursing hangovers. It felt like a race. Since it wasn't actually a competition, I decided to run it a little faster than a recreational run at that distance, but not as fast as my 8K race pace.

It may have been last night's late bedtime, or the fact that I haven't taken a rest day since last Monday, but I couldn't generate a lot of speed. The first mile seemed to take a while and the clock showed 9:02 when I passed it. Miles 2 through 4 were run slower as I settled into a more comfortable pace. At the last mile I decided to step things up a little and passed a handful of runners before crossing the line at 47:19.

Even though I didn't have a hangover, it was a great head-clearing experience. Just think, I've got a perfect streak going this year, running every day and averaging 5 miles each run! Sadly, the streak will end tomorrow when I take a well needed rest.

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