The Central Park Conservancy Run for Central Park was my sixth qualifying race for the NYC 2012 Marathon, and one that I'd been deliberating over for most of the preceding week. This was my third 4 mile race of the year, and the second time I'd run this course. Last time had been at the NYRR 4 mile back in April, where I'd knocked 4 minutes off my previous time and exceeded all my expectations. It was a brilliant race for me, not least as it was absolutely pouring with rain, which to my complete and utter surprise made for great running conditions: cool, refreshing and just plain joyful (picture me leaping over puddles and whooping with excitement and you get the idea).
The recent weather in New York City, however, has been far from ideal for running. We've been experiencing extremely hot days, with temperatures consistently hitting 30 - 34°C. The double whammy of heat along with high levels of humidity has made running a sticky, dead legged, energy sapping challenge. Thankfully, in the week leading up to the race the humidity eased its grip on the city. This made things slightly more bearable, but the heat remained. Even leaving the house before 7am to run, I contended with temperatures between 23 and 25°C.