It had your typical slides...
Also had a wagon with horses on springs that you could ride.
And of course, your typical aluminum benches for photo ops.
Thankfully, there was no instagram or twitter back then.
(Those Nike's look just like my orthopedic Vomeros!)
But most importantly, it had THE BIG SLIDE:
Obviously, I never rode down it by myself because it was high and fast as shit
and also because it got your backside all dirty.
But, my dad could pretty much convince me to do anything.
I have a lot of good memories of that park. And so when the 4 mile race that they host comes around every year, I always try to sign up. It's always hot as balls and I'm always in terrible shape,but it's a fun distance to race in a park that I have very fond memories of.
This Saturday, I met Melissa Bitch at the park for the race. We ran a little warm-up and my goal was to run a race that had my average pace start with a 7 (I was going to be happy with anything as long as it was a 7:xx). I knew this was going to hurt. I hadn't really raced in awhile and I haven't been doing anything fast lately except for drinking lots of beer. LOTS.
I had no idea what was going to happen. Nothing like lining up to a race and not know whether you're going to run 8:00 splits or 10:00 splits! The first mile felt pretty decent and I came in a little fast at 7:33. I thought to myself, okay: a little fast, but as long as you keep your next 3 splits under 8, you'll be fine. Mile 2 clicked by (7:41) and I was kind of surprised at how I felt. I mean, it felt hard. Really hard. But, I didn't feel like I was going to collapse and die at any moment. I was thinking, well maybe I can even pick it up a little in the last mile. By the time I hit the 3 mile mark (7:56), I was starting to feel like I wasn't going to collapse and die, but that I was going to puke all over myself and pass out. I was slowing, but still pushing. I ran the last mile in 7:58 and finished with a shiny new 4 mile PR (31:11) and an average pace that makes me feel pretty damn good about starting marathon training.
Sure the race looks like a shit-show on paper, but my take-aways are:
1. Eating lots of marshmallows and drinking lots of beer on the weekends has resulted in weight gain, but thankfully hasn't affected my speed TOO much.
2. I schooled all the bitches in my age group. 1st place, bitches!
3. I accomplished my goal of never having a mile go over 8:00, even though I came REALLY close on that last mile. Eek.
4. I ran on feel, I didn't wear my garmin and I just pushed my way through based on what was available to me at the time.
5. I successfully turned a race day into my long run! I always have intentions for that, but usually end up bailing early on the cool down. Thanks to Melissa, I got my full 10 miles for the week.
6. I've got a little bit of confidence now to start my marathon training.
Sadly, I didn't go down the big slide (it's still a little high for me, truth be told) but I still got that warm and fuzzy feeling running around the park that morning.
(Mainly because the humidity was about a zillion percent).