DISTANCE: 15 kilometers (9.3 Miles)
DATE: Sunday, March 28, 2010
PLACE: Central Park, New York
WEATHER: 41F degrees, 65% humidity, Winds at 6 MPH
After taking Karen & the kids to St. Patrick's Cathedral, we went back to the house for me to collect my Mp3 player. Then it was off to the races. I went to pick up my running number (and Tom's since he was unable to run-but wanted his shirt!). I felt a little bit more up to this race than I did last week, but it was colder than the weathermen said it would be. In fact, the gloves I had on, didn't even come off until sometime around the midway point of the race, and my hat stayed on the entire race.
(My cocky pose - how naive we are during the early miles!)
I was very economical in my routes today, only going .07 of a mile over the 9.3 mile course. Slowly but surely, I'm taking the task of mastering the curves in the park to a brand new art form. They had no Gatorade at today's race, and I only had 1 GU gel which I took at 11 this morning, but the energy was largely there for most of the race.
Well, being a quick learner, I tried the same thing at around Mile 6. And I did it perfectly too! Another special effect to add to my repetoire.
Despite getting there early, I procrastinated a little bit, and wound up locked out of my corral. Nothing was going to stop me however from cashing in on my red-colored corral start, so I climbed over and even got a hand from someone to get me down.
The race began and I got off to an immediately quick start. My first mile was done in 7:26.47, a testament that I was in the right corral with the right runners. The second mile I went even faster, posting a 7:17.63. I knew this couldn't last, and sure enough my 3rd mile was done in 7:46.12. Not bad given the fact that there are a lot of hills coming down on the west side after leaving the 102nd street transverse. Oh yeah, about the course. It's the 5 mile loop, plus the 4 mile loop in Central Park. The 5 mile loop eliminates Harlem Hill (thankfully - for it's toughness and steepness) and the 4 miler is across the 102nd & 72nd street transverses.
Mile 5 was a paltry 7:56.79, but Mile 6 was 8:01.03 which included Cat Hill...AGAIN. Clearly, I was losing steam but I somehow managed to appreciate the straightaways between 80th and 102nd, and was able to get back to sub-8 times with a 7:51.78 for Mile 7. Mile 8 brought me down to earth unfortunately, as I crept back over the 8 barrier with an 8:03.40. Yet, I was not done. And I gritted out a 7:53.86 for my full final mile. For the last .37 of a mile, I blazed with a time of 2:40.82. Calculated, it was a pace of 7:15. One of the best weapons is my ability to throw in a kick at the end, regardless of how dead I feel. Last week, with still not being 100%, that kick wasn't there the way I needed it to be. Well, this week I wasn't 100% yet either, but I felt much better.
As I was coming within 100 yards or so of the finish line, some woman runner yelled at me to run faster, so I did. We started sprinting in fact, and I wish I could thank her for it. We crossed the finish line, and she actually thanked me and put her arm around me. I was too tired to do much other than feeling like I was about to puke. It took me nearly 5 minutes to get my stomach back in order. The time that it also took for me to make it all the way to the bagel and apple stations.
I was fairly surprised when I looked at the overall results later on. I came in 441st overall out of over 2400 runners. And 48th in my age group. Interestingly, had I been in the 45-49 group (which I will as of July 9), I would have come in 36th place. Not bad, but as you can see, the good ones don't quit.