When I signed up for the Haiti Run virtually, I assumed I'd just do my 4 miles as part of a longer run on Saturday with my running group (oh fat cat just layed across my forearm, making this rather difficult to type... get off fatty) but then I got an invite to a lifelong friends baby shower and my plans changed. I also got a call from mom reminding me that my car needed to be inspected asap (it lives at her house in Jersey) so I figured I'd run for Haiti by way of NJ.
I got lucky and my wonderful friend SF lent me her car for the ride down, saving me lots of hassle via the Port Authority so my Friday got much easier! I trekked down to Jersey in the blinding sunshine and was feeling nostalgic for summer rides down to the beach. Despite the crazy piles of snow everywhere, I couldn't stop thinking warm, summery, sandy, salty thoughts. Ahh, I'm a sucker for a good beach day. My bliss bubble burst when I hopped in my car and rode past the 2-3hr line at the inspection station... umm no thanks. I pulled in, checked the schedule and noted that they opened at 7am on Saturday. This was going to suck but I knew what I needed to do. I couldn't expect mom to get it inspected for me, especially since I knew it was doomed to fail. (Blasted "Service Engine Soon" light has been on and off for years despite frequent maintenance). I was bummed because I pictured myself doing a sunrise 4 miler on the boardwalk with the fiery sunrise exploding over the ocean... but then I remembered the snow. I checked the Seaside Boardwalk webcam and noted the knee deep snow, crap. Foiled again.
In the end I sucked it up, dragged myself out of bed at 6am, got coffee and tweeted to keep myself awake while waiting in a (much shorter) line at the inspection station. I waited 45 mins for a 4 min inspection fail. Awesome. Things were icy when I arrived home at 7:30 so I snoozed a bit, the new plan forming in my head- I would run the 4 miler at 9am like the rest of my peeps. I know a perfect 4 mile loop from Mom's house, so I hit the road at 9. I told mom to expect me back in 30 mins or so because there was no way I would get close to my PR (28:42) in a non-race situation. I just didn't think I had the same amount of excitement to push me along. What I didn't anticipate was the complete lack of crowds and obstacles to slow me down! I hit the one and only hill in mile 1, cranking out a 7:33 and I though, okay this feels fine. The running demon voices started to get louder as I crossed into mile 2 and they told me to pick it up for no other reason than because you can! So I did... it hurt, my tibialis anterior began to burn and tighten and I wanted to die and my lungs were burning, but hell, it was only 4 miles! I sucked it up big time and trudged on. Mile 2 was a burning 7:00, followed by mile 3 at 6:58 and then a blistering 6:55 took me home via mile 4. The snow was a factor, I had to run in the street which I normally don't do while I'm in NJ because the drivers are...well, they're Jersey drivers. I encountered a recycling truck in my path, plenty of snow and icy patches, but I came in with a PR of 15 secs at 28:27!! Mom was happy for me and I was more shocked than happy. It hurt, ow. My lungs were burning, I wheezed a little later in the day and coughed a lot. It was like a flashback to last year with the asthma and I wasn't happy about that. I was a little nauseous and blah, but I put on my game face and hit the road. There was a baby shower to attend! It was a lot of fun, there were lots of really cute little gifts and my friend looks fantastic. I got to see a number of friends from a past life which was really fun too.
By the end of the day I was feeling a little sense of pride in my PR, I kicked my own ass for it and I needed to OWN it. Go me. It wasn't until Sunday when I returned home and entered my time into the Haiti run database that I noticed I was on the same results PAGE was Paula Radcliffe and I was only 27 seconds behind Shalane Flanagan!!! Oh crap that was cool. GO ME! :)