Sunday, April 8, 2012

2012 Scotland Run 10K Review

On the Thursday before the 2012 Scotland Run 10K, I went up to NYRR on 89th street to get my super cool Scottish swag bag (click there for some pics and a description). I know its not a huge deal, but I was a little disappointed at being in the 8000s for my bib number with a record 9:03/mile pace. I think the bibs went up to the 10 or 11000s, but still! Oh well.

I was debating whether or not to run this race because of my recent injury, but I decided that I'd been looking forward to it for so long that I couldn't miss it. I mean, there were bagpipers. How can you beat that?! I'm a sucker for anything Irish/Scottish since both are part of my heritage. Plus, their culture in general is just super awesome, they drink a lot of really good beer, both countries have pretty rolling hills, and they love to party. Sounds good to me.

The morning of, I just couldn't pull myself out of bed when my alarm went off so I decided to hop in a cab to get to the park. $17 cab for 20 minutes extra sleep: worth it. The atmosphere in Central Park was great and there was a Scottish festival going on before the race start (the same festival was going on at the end too). There was a kilt contest, Scottish face painting, they were giving out little Scottish flags, and the band that played after the race was setting up. It was a really nice way to start the morning!

Apparently it was Scotland week, too.

This race was different than the usual CP races because we ran in the clockwise direction rather than the normal counterclockwise flow. I have never run the full loop this way before so it was pretty cool! The hills hit you in different ways. Overall I would say it is less challenging than the counterclockwise direction, but still very hilly. 

 At the start of the race and at each of the mile markers there were bagpipe players, which made the race seem more authentic and exciting since I wasn't expecting it. There were also a significant amount of men in kilts which was certainly a sight to see, let me tell you. Luckily none of the men wore kilts that were too short. Whew! Aside from being distracted by the random sexy man leg I was seeing from the kilt-wearers, I pretty much spent the race concentrating on my form to try to minimize pain in my knee. I also used an IT Band strap which helped alot for this run. Its not a permanent solution AT ALL but my pain was minimal throughout the race. I did have to stop and adjust it a few times but that was a small price to pay, I suppose.

 Bagpipers at the start of the raee

As usual during NYRR races, there was a significant amount of fluid stations throughout the course. I think I may have stopped for a few seconds at 3 of the 5 stations to fix my strap and/or rest my knee for a second. Worked out pretty well and I got to quench my thirst on top of it. For the most part, the major hills were early in the race between miles 1-3, but there was a slight hill at mile 5 that had me thinking, "Damn, another hill...come on!". It wasn't as bad as it looked but I could have definitely done without that one. I was happy to run down the main Harlem hills though rather than up them, what a nice treat.

Towards the end of the race the crowds started to grow. For the last .2 miles of the race (which are always the most challenging in a 10K because you always think you are done when you see mile marker 6), there were a lot of cheering fans. After I passed the 6 mile marker I decided to push myself a little bit to the finish because to my surprise my watch was telling me I was on my way to a PR. I crossed the finish line while listening to some awesome bagpipers and was immediately happy to walk it off. My official finishing time was 56:13 (9:04/mile pace)... a 10K PR!!! I did that completely by accident and honestly think that subconsciously I just wanted to finish sooner to rest my knee. Who knows? Either way, I'm happy.

Woohoo 10K PR! Wonder what I would have run if I wasn't injured...
After the race I got my knee wrapped with ice in the medical tent (thanks medical tent workers!), got my bagel, apple, and oat bar, and went to the festival. What a view of the city...

 The Scottish band with a beautiful city backdrop

 They were still giving out goodies at the festival so I grabbed a Scottish flag on my way out. I also took another swag bag for my sister (who I went to Scotland with) because they had so many extra at the end. I'm sure if anyone would appreciate a blue Scottish beanie, it would be her. I hung the little flag on my wall near my "Run Like a Girl" race medal display (very fitting display based on the name of my blog, eh!?).

 Go Scotland! 
PS. I tested out the Lululemon Pace Setter skirt during this race and its amazing so I ordered another in blue.

This was a really fun race that I definitely want to run every year. Highly recommended! I'll update this post if I get some pictures of myself running with my eyes open for once. I'm not hopeful that will happen since I usually look crazed or pissed off in my photos, but you never know!

UPDATE: photos came in and as usual I ruined them

 Photo 1: evil eye to the camera-man

Photo 2: Eyes closed as usual

I'm just so photogenic when I run, aren't I?! Wish I could look like this guy.
I think the skirt looks cute, at least and thank God I got some good pics at the NYC Half where I look like a human.
Did you run any races this weekend? Tell me about em!


  1. Replies
    1. It was great! It's so much fun when theres a cool race theme like this. Makes it even more enjoyable!

  2. Hey- GREAT Job! Looks like such a fun race and so awesome that you snagged a PR.
    I ran a Half- and managed to PR too, so all around a good weekend for running bloggers everywhere!

    1. Thank you!! :) I was so happy about the PR since I wasn't really going for one. CONGRATS on your PR too!! You must be so happy, especially since it was for a half. Definitely a good race weekend with some nice weather :) I hope all weekends are this good!

  3. I volunteered at your race! I was before mile 4 - at the top of the hill on the East side. Congrats on your PR - rest that leg. Good thing for me - I somehow got sick after my 10 miles in CP on Saturday - I have a light week this week for training :)

    1. Thank you SO much for volunteering, you guys always keep me going along the way with your support and cheers! You had a perfect spot, too, keeping everyone motivated after all those killer hills haha. Oh no you got sick?! Ugh this weather is insane lately, I'm sure it didn't help. Feel better and thanks again!!

  4. Re. your bib #: I'm normally in the 2xxx corral and I was in the 4xxx corral this race. I think big club races like this one, the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, etc. will result in being pushed back two or three corrals.

    1. Well that makes more sense then, I didn't think of that. It was certainly a bigger race than normal, especially with the Men's Olympic team there. Of course the number isn't a huge deal but I was definitely wondering about that. Thanks Shea :)

  5. Cool race! My twin sis just moved to SoHo so I need to send her your blog!

    No races for me this weekend, just coming back from a freak "injury" (not really an injury, more like an allergic reaction to an injection I get in my knee). I'm hoping to get back on track for a marathon I have in May! :-)

    1. Definitely send me her blog and I'll follow her! Always nice to read other NYC-based blogs, too.

      Allergic reaction?! That is definitely a freak injury! Sometimes I don't understand my body either, it is a complete mystery. One day everything's fine, the next its breaking into pieces. Good luck in your marathon training!! Some day I'll pep-talk myself into running one of those haha.

  6. I will need that hat after coming home from Grenada. I forget what winter is! Plus now we can match! Xox

    1. Haha well luckily you are coming home in the summer so you can slowly adjust when it gets color. Just try to remember the weather in Newcastle and Scotland (ironically). That was the last cold weather you were in! And yes, twinsies :)