Cherry Tree 10 Miler (Relay) Recap

Told you I’d write a recap … eventually.

Sunday proved to be one of the best training days I’ve had this season:  two hours on the CompuTrainer at Tailwind Endurance and two legs (totaling 6.75 miles) at the Prospect Park Track Club’s (PPCT) Cherry Tree 10 Miler.

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So how did this bike-run day come about?  As you know, Sunday CompuTrainer classes have become regular training sessions this year, and one of my friends from work wanted to celebrate his birthday by running a race. (You know you work at a running store when …) And with SoBe quickly approaching, I need to start bricking—or biking and running soon after—on a regular basis.  Plus, I was not going to miss a birthday brunch.

Anyway, “race” day started with a 5 a.m. wake-up call and a 6 a.m. ride.  During these classes, I’m usually notorious for working outside my zones, but I made a deliberate effort to stick to my power numbers.  And even after putting forth a steady effort on a pre-loaded sprint course (rode 14.73 miles in 48 minutes and averaged 190 watts), I felt like I could run off the bike—which was put to the test about two hours later.

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My team originally planned to do the three-person relay; three people, 3.3 miles each, no big deal, right?  Well, long story short, one of our runners forgot her tights, so running in 20-degree weather wasn’t an option.  And since our other runner did 20 miles the day before, I “sacked up” and prepared to run two loops.

At this point, my pace plan went out the window.  My coach gave me target splits and an overall finishing time, but since I would be (1) running twice as far as planned and (2) running on a course that wasn’t completely clear, my strategy changed:  push when I could and back off when necessary.

Needless to say, this resulted in the most unevenly-paced run ever (my Garmin flashed values ranging from 6:50 and 9:00), but I proved to myself hitting and holding a respectable pace off the bike isn’t infeasible (when course conditions allowed).  Because my pace was all over the place, I hesitate to call it a tempo run, but my average pace for the 6.75 miles equated to a tempo effort, which is pretty cool.  This was also my first time running in Prospect Park, and it was a great course—straightaways to hammer and hills to suffer up climb.  Oh, and another neat part of the race included a superfan who worked at a water station.  I wore my running store’s singlet, and he immediately recognized it and cheered like crazy.

So the main takeaways from this freezing relay?  I can piece together a semi-respectable 6.75 miles off the bike.  My work friends are awesome.  And brunch tastes so much better after you’ve earned it.

Have you done a relay race?  Or a race in the freezing cold?

6 responses to “Cherry Tree 10 Miler (Relay) Recap

  1. what a cool way to run a race though. it just seems amazing that you have a team behind you for these.

    • It was so much fun running with friends from work/Bronx Submariners teammates. I feel so lucky to have found “my people” who love this stuff as much as I do. 🙂

  2. I LOVE relays!! We have one coming up in April! I was supposed to do a snowshoe relay a few weeks ago, but because of my injury I couldn’t.

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