Just 7 days into 2012 and I was toeing the line for my first race of the year. With my 10th marathon just a mere 11 weeks away, I wanted to gauge my fitness level. After today’s performance, I’d say things are looking pretty good right now! Skip the suspense, I took my previous PR tossed it around, stomped on it and threw it into the East River. How’s that for a visual:)
You know those days where you just know it is going to be a good day? That was today. I woke up an it was already 42 degrees at 6am! Shorts on January 7th and it was comfortable! I probably could have gone short sleeves but let’s not go too crazy. That and with my inability to deal with cold, I stuck with long sleeves. Plus, it matched – orange shirt, white and orange shoes – hello!
This was my first co-ed race in the blue bib corral. I took this as another cue to race, not run this. This race was all about me. I didn’t know anyone else running it which made it easy to not think too much about it. Yesterday I had several people ask what my strategy would be for the race. Honestly, my thoughts were go out, run hard, and see what happens. Sometimes it’s about not overthinking it.
To me, the 10K is the toughest distance. It’s short enough to run hard but long enough that you can’t go all out or you’ll burn (ie 5k). As I lined up in the first corral, I watched as Mary gave her spiel then Peter Chacha gave his mundane directions and then it was time to roll. My plan was to take on the Harlem Hills in a conservative fashion to boost my confidence for the rest of the race. As soon as we started, the rabbits went off and I settled in. I broke the race down into small sections: Harlem Hills, then the west side hills, 4 mile race to go, mile repeats on the lower loop, Cat Hill (salute the cat!), 800 repeats to 90th street, then the sprint to the finish. This actually worked! I didn’t think of it as a 6.2 mile race, just ok get through this. Then that. And all of a sudden, I was at 100th street with NYRR saying “isn’t that the hardest 42 mins of your life.” And yes, that’s what she said!
What also was a huge help were the 2 girls that I ended up running with almost the entire race! One was from North Brooklyn Runners. I am pretty sure she’s been my pace rabbit before but this time I passed her around mile 4! There also was another girl with blond hair that ended up working with me for the last half of the race. It really helped to keep me going and not let up on the gas! So thank you:) We finished within seconds of each other with my official time: 43:44 (almost 2 min PR!).
Now for the cheesy factor. I’ve raced with music lately so I could tune out the heavy breathers. I hate that. It is distracting and throws me off. Anyway, the song playing crossing the finish line was Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Yep, go ahead and make fun:-)
Splits (6.3 miles as per garmin but yes it’s a 6.2 mile race):
708, 701, 650, 700, 703, 645, last .3 @630 pace.
Looking ahead to March 25, Sub 330 is not so crazy anymore! It’s still like I want to shake myself to realize these are my legs. It just feels good to continue to prove to myself those times in the fall were no fluke. Up next? Manhattan Half Marathon in 2 weeks!