What was your race experience like?
I really liked this race. I don’t actually like racing all that much, especially in NYC. The races are expensive, and with most races taking place in Manhattan, getting to the starting line early on a weekend morning is just too much of a hassle for me. But at only $20 and with a 10 am start time right in my own backyard, the Cherry Tree 10-miler was a good fit. And the race swag was a pair of gloves, which was a nice change from the usual tech t-shirt!
A winter storm blew through the city on Saturday night, so I was worried that the race would be cancelled. But the storm cleared out, and the combination of bright sun and efficient plows meant that the park road was pretty clear for the race. It was a lovely morning for a run: blue skies, warm sun, and all of Prospect Park looking pretty in the snow.
Did you train for this race? If so, how?
Kind of? I’m in the middle of training for the NJ Marathon on April 29, and my plan was to run the 10-miler and then do another loop of the park for the 14-mile long run I was scheduled to do. But see my answer to the next question for how that worked out!
Did you have any goals for this race? If so, what were they?
I’ve been dealing with some injuries recently – IT band problems on my left knee, tendonitis on my right achilles – so I decided to scrap the 14-mile plan and try to run 10 miles pain-free. I focused on form, and trying to stay on the flattest parts of the park road. I think too many counter-clockwise loops around the park on the sloped road are contributing to my IT band problem, so I was trying to minimize my time running on an angle.
I’m happy to report that I succeeded in my goal! My knee and achilles both behaved themselves, and I was able to finish with a pretty decent time. And happily I didn’t have any post-race pain, so I was able to join in the CHRC stamina run the following Tuesday night.
What was your favorite thing about the race?
My favorite things were the late start time, the close proximity to my apartment, and being able to run on my home turf, where I knew exactly what to expect from the course.
From the actual running of the race, a few moments stand out:
- Seeing fellow banana Guillermo snapping photos of CHRC runners as I finished my first loop. He had just finished his own workout, and stuck around while getting cold just to play photographer. I love the CHRC team spirit!
- Getting smoked by a little kid on my second loop of the park. To be fair, he was running the relay so he only had to do one loop. But the sight of him racing ahead of me wounded my pride just a little bit.
- Getting lapped by the lead runners just before mile 6. It was kind of comical watching them try to navigate around all of us mid-to back-of-the-pack runners, not to mention all of the usual park hazards (walkers, strollers, cyclists, dogs, etc).
Would you run it again?
What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?
Make friends with the Grand Army Plaza hill!