I’d been stalking weather for this year’s Stockadeathon for a while and finally signed up on Tuesday. With another very stressful week on the family front, I was definitely feeling run down by race day and kind of questioning why I thought this was a good idea?
Packet pickup is always easy, and this year was no different. I signed up the same day I did as last year, but this year no race shirt at pickup (option to maybe get one after the race). No biggie … I have plenty of race shirts.
The weather & dressing
I say the same thing about this race every year: I thought I was overdressed in the beginning. I was definitely warm. When I took off my coat at the end, it was drenched in sweat. I also get cold towards the end of the race, and I’m unzipping and zipping my coat the entire race. I probably could have worn a lighter jacket, but this outfit was okay. Same starting temp as last year too: 36.
I wore my an old New Balance jacket, my Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt. Newton Distance on the feet. I also wore a buff around my neck; unlike last year I never found it annoying. I didn’t wear gloves at all, although I’d taken a couple of pairs, and that was the right call for me.
My Race Plan
No race plan. Decided to try to run by feel. I did peak at where I was in mileage more than once, but I was never, ever aware of pace.
I parked at a hotel, as I’ve been doing the last few years. It’s about a 10 minute walk over to the Y, which hosts the runners before and after the race. Even though the Y has real bathrooms, the line for them is long. So I use the bathrooms in the hotel, and if there is a line, it’s usually short.
I got over to the Y to drop off my bag, and realized on the way that I’d forgotten my water bottles. I debated it, but knew I had enough time to go get them — so that was my warm up, partially running to and from my car. I’m actually really glad I got them. I used the bathroom one more time, since I was there, and headed back to the start — unfortunately it meant I never met up with any of my friends before the race. I even did a bit of dynamic stretching before the start.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:10. You start on a downhill. I always love a downhill. Quite a bit faster than last year (due to not looking at pace), but I actually think — which makes me a broken record lately — that it was fine.
- Mile 2: 10:57. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. Again a bit faster than last year. I did run/walk by feel up the hill.
- Mile 3: 12:15. You’re still going up. This mile was slower than last year.
- Mile 4: 10:55. Another mile quite a bit faster than last year.
- Mile 5: 11:37. Relatively flat. Slower than last year. Still running by feel . . . a course marshal was telling all the runners that it was downhill from here — and it isn’t. I told him to stop saying that!
- Mile 6: 11:08. Running around the lake in Central Park (see the photo above). Still relatively flat. Unfortunately this is where my foot started to be painful. Another mile significantly faster than last year.
- Mile 7: 11:49. A decent hill at mile 7.5. I ran/walked up again, and it was basically about the same pace as last year. Foot still painful (right foot on the bottom, over a bit towards the right). Painful enough that stress fracture thoughts flitted through my mind. It didn’t hurt much when I walked, but really hurt while I ran. What to do?
- Mile 8: 12:22. Despite the downhill, my pace slowed down significantly and you know how I love a downhill. My foot was really painful. Bad enough that a course marshal actually asked if I was okay.
- Mile 9: 11:26. The last mile is really downhill. By this point it seemed like I should just get it over with. Slower than last year, but not by too much.
- Last .47: 10:34. Still going downhill to the finish line. One of my sole sisters was handing out water at the finish, and I told her how much my foot was bothering me as she handed me a bottle of water. It was still really painful as I walked to get some food & my jacket, at which point I ran into Darlene and a few other running friends. One of those friends is also a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and we were partially twinning in our outfits, but photo fail. My foot felt much better when I got back up after sitting for a while.
2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
2018: 1:46:49, 11:28 average pace, 1170 our of 1308, 43 out of ?? F55-59
2019: 1:47:31, 11:33 average pace, 1259 our of 1409, 41 our of ?? F55-59
In 2017 they added the splits for each 5k (probably because you can now run this as part of a relay team), and I had beautiful negative splits:
1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)
Last year I was just consistent, apparently:
1st 5k: 35:25
2nd 5k: 35:42
3rd 5k: 35:43
And this year positive splits:
1st 5k: 35:11
2nd 5k: 35:50
3rd 5k: 36:31
Like last year, I chose to run this race totally by feel. I do think I did a great job considering the foot pain, but it also pains me (see what I did there?) knowing I would have pushed the pace more had my foot not been hurting — I think I *might* have been able to PR.
It’s annoying, but it’s life, and I’m definitely glad that in the end my foot seems okay.
Was the race well run?
Not enough water stops! I say this every year. I bring my own water. Otherwise this race is a well oiled machine with plenty of direction, course marshals, and lots of food and water for everyone post race. Even foam rollers! I really think having the post race stuff going on in the same building we use before the race is very helpful.
What I learned
I left later than last year, and it would have worked out beautifully — if I’d remembered the darn water bottles. While I missed chatting with my friends prior to the race, I know that having that water with me was the right decision for me.
I’m really proud that I ran by feel and still had a good race (aside from the foot pain). Pretty sure if it hadn’t been hurting I could have pushed a lot harder.
- Extremely well organized race.
- Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
- Real bathrooms at the Y and where I park.
- Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
- A nice downhill finish.
- Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.
Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:
- The course runs a little long.
- Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
- Not enough water stops.
- Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
- I actually had chafing underneath the bra line (which I never do). I didn’t see/feel it til post race, and I put on anti chafe before showering so it never bothered me. I wore one of my wool bras, which I still love — this is the longest distance I’ve ever worn one for. Oddly I’ve been wearing them a lot this summer, too, including a lot of hot trail races. It wasn’t a big deal though.
Final Thoughts on My Foot
I don’t know what caused the pain, but my suspicion is that shoe was laced too tight coupled with the pounding on the uphills. It was slightly tender if I had to raise up on the ball of my foot later on race day, but otherwise fine, and fine now.
Should I have walked the end of the race? Really, I probably should have. It didn’t hurt as much when I walked. What if it had been the beginning of a stress fracture (or reaction) and by walking I averted that danger?
It really was stupid to keep running but I’m glad it wasn’t something serious. I hope it never happens again! Pain isn’t always temporary, my friends.