Just got back from the Team Champs races in Central Park. I forgot how FUN race day is! I'm still on the comeback trail, so I didn't race, but I made sure to cheer my teammates on, and damn, it was a beautiful day for it! Nice breeze, wonderful sun, but not too hot, and a fast field of dedicated runners to watch blaze past. I positioned myself at the 4.5 mark of the 5 mile race to cheer my ladies on into their final kick, and I have to give Becky and Paiger a shout out for making it look easy. You say you were tired, but you didn't look it. Nice job, girls!
Have to give it up to Ren, who ran this one 40 seconds faster than his last race. The last race was just a 4 miler (compared to this 5 mile distance), so BIG ups to Ren for turning those legs over and laying down some fast miles!
Also saw Raul fly by at about mile 3. Raul, I don't know what your time was, but even on my fastest days I can't even come close to catching you. Great work!
It was fantastic to see all the teams come out and represent. Every team cheered their runners on (and every other team's runners. its a pretty open and supportive community, which is awesome), and afterward everyone stuck around for team picnics and socializing. It has definitely renewed my interest in joining a team after the Marathon, but now....who do I join? I know people on the Central Park Track Club, the New York Flyers, and the New York Harriers, and they all are great teams! Its probably going to come down to who has happy hour closest to my apartment, because I saw runners from each team tearing it up in the front of the pack, so I know any of them will get me running faster.
I'm still feeling out this injury, so I didn't race. I did take a slow 6 mile run in the opposite direction, so I got to see the men race while I battled it out with my nerve pain. I was planning on 10, but didn't make it that far. A few days ago I would have been devastated, but it was OK because that run gave me some good news. The nerve is FINALLY being released, and I have significantly less pain on my left groin. It still feels a bit tight, but I was able to get my stride open, and I have at last shaken the 'dead leg' feeling behind my right knee, so my leg turnover was also much improved. Now the tightness is mostly in the left side of my lower back, which is where Chris thinks the root of the problem is. I've been working on my core strength at pilates most every day in the past week, and I've started some deeper stretching to open my left hip and keep my hamstrings loose. Have also developed my own glutes/hips massage program involving a tennis ball and my dog's hard red rubber kong ball. I roll my butt around on the tennis ball and then the kong ball until I feel the knots loosen up, and then I go to work with my thumbs and then The Stick (if you don't have one, go get one. it gets your hamstrings and quads loosened up quick smart, and gives you a deeper massage than you could do on your own) in my groin/hip crease and down the inner thigh to loosen up all the muscles and tendons that like to seize up on me. Its all starting to loosen up, and I think the next few weeks are going to be key in finally putting this to bed. Head Coach Frank says I'm doing fine, I'm keeping myself in good shape, and my fitness level is still high, so 'stop worrying so much'. OK, Frank. I'm going to stop worrying, and this time, I mean it.
But I've saved the best for last. As I was walking from the subway station to the team warm up spot, I walked beside a group of 14-16 year old baseball players on their way to play at the 102nd street east side fields. As we passed the line of port-o-sans, I heard one player say to his friend, 'Yo man, don't use those bathrooms. They are setting up for a race, and those runners take some odious shits'. Then they both looked at me and apologized. I was laughing too hard to tell them that was the best use of the word 'odious' I have ever heard.