This Saturday I ran my first race in the rain. It was also cold and windy, but I've done cold and wind before. The rain was a new thing! . It was very nice of the race sponsors to give us all ponchos in our race bags. It was certainly handy. We also got to run around the park clockwise instead of counter-clockwise which is my much preferred route of the park. And the water stations were evenly placed - unlike last time. So there was a lot of good going on. One thing that was not so good was that the baggage area turned into a total mud pit by the time I was done with the race. Like INCHES deep in paces. The post-race bagels and fruits were also in the middle of a deep mud bog, but you can be damn sure I waded out there to get my food. I'm HUNGRY after my race, fools! Mud is not gonna stop me in quest for nourishment. Yum yum yum bagels.
So the race itself? Kinda awesome! It's always kind of an absurd feeling to run around Central Park in a big circle with thousands of other people. But doing it while you're getting totally soaked by the rain brings it to a joyfully ludicrous place. It was actually really fun and I wound up running my best 10K ever. Under 8-minute mile pace! Not too shabby. I felt really light and carefree and even though my shoes got heavier from being waterlogged and my ear-buds kept slipping out of my ears due to moisture, I ran better as the race progressed. It was a super good feeling to finish the race feeling better than when I started.
I'm really looking forward to the 2009 NYC Marathon, and I'd like to make a real improvement on my time from last year. Hopefully if I can keep shaving time off of these shorter races, by the time November comes around, I'll really be able to attack the marathon from a much stronger place mentally and physically than last year. Not that last year was bad. I'm just ready to go at it again, with a little experience under my belt. And in case it rains on marathon day, i know that i kinda like those conditions anyway. :)