Yesterday was my third 10K race ever. It was my second NYRR race of the year — the first in-person — as I work towards completing the "9+1" that'll qualify me for the 2025 NYC Marathon. It was my third race in Central Park; my second time with this particular course. The first was in August, shortly after moving here. The weather was hot and humid and it poured rain as I jogged over to the starting line. It was by far my worst race ever, and since then I've been quite anxious about running, let alone racing, in the park. The 10K course covers the entire loop, which is surprisingly hilly along the top half — Cat Hill, then the Harlem Hills, then the Three Sisters. These hills, particularly those last ones, come at a really inopportune time for a 10K because you start slow — traffic bottleneck at the beginning, despite folks supposedly being in corrals depending on their pace — then have to make up some time on a downhill knowing that the hills that come at miles 2 through 4 are going to make it tough to stay on pace. I still don't have a good grasp on how best to tackle the course, but I did much much better than I anticipated. It was my fastest 10K, but more importantly than the speed with which I ran it, I now have a lot more confidence about running my "A" race there in April — the Women's Half Marathon that is two (ugh) laps of the park. I do run in the park for my long runs on Sunday, but I think I'm going to incorporate more time there into my training, just so that I can handle the hills better — mentally and physically.
This past week, other than the race, I did 80 minutes on the west side highway on Tuesday, 70 minutes on Thursday, and 60 minutes on Saturday — I'm trying to keep my weekly distance at around 30 miles per week. I picked up the race bib for the Gridiron 4 Miler this coming weekend (along with the ugliest race t-shirt I have ever seen), and I registered for a fall NYRR race (the Bronx Ten Mile) and for volunteer spots to finish up my volunteer-leader training.
On Thursday, I traveled up to the J-School, the first time I'd been on the Columbia campus since 2018, and I had lunch with this year's Spencer Fellows. It was really, really excellent, and while I'm trying very hard not to be drawn back into education journalism, hearing about everyone's projects (along with everyone's very kind words about my work) made it seem a tad appealing. But I'm still focused on Second Breakfast stuff — this past week, I released a great podcast episode with Sherri, and I'm recording one this week with Amy.
Kin's brother Michael and his wife Carly stayed overnight on Saturday, en route to Jo'berg, by way of London. We ate at the Carnegie Diner on 57th. I had pancakes. Kin and I ate out at Chez Ma Tante on Sunday after my race. Pancakes again. Then, as it's such a trek to get to Brooklyn, we stopped into Peter Pan Donuts. Carbs — one of the joys of being an athlete. In case you're curious:
The Best Pancakes:
- Golden Diner
- Chez Ma Tante
The Best Donuts:
- Peter Pan Donuts
- The Doughnut Project
I cooked hot honey walnut tofu (with broccoli and rice) — a recipe from Kristina Cho; I made burritos (with homemade refried beans and Mexican rice); I made maple ricotta ice cream with leftover candied walnuts from the tofu meal and leftover ricotta from a dish a couple of weeks ago; I baked an orange spice breakfast loaf; I made Julia Turshen's kale and mushroom pie; and I made a creamy lentil parmesan pasta. Pretty pleased with our shift towards almost all vegetarian meals.
I watched Withnail and I (while on the Peloton on Monday, pretending that it was research for Second Breakfast. The movie, not the Peloton. Or maybe the Peloton is too). We watched the latest episode of Death and Other Details; we binge-watched several episodes of Slow Horses Season 2. I watched the Olympics Marathon Trials, which I'll write about in Friday's Second Breakfast newsletter. I finished reading a bunch of books: Every Man for Himself and God Against All; Filterworld; Be Useful. I could say I started You Are the Placebo and He Who Drowned the World, but really I only downloaded the audio version of the former and the kindle version of the latter.