two great things happened on Saturday. Three if you include the afternoon which was spent lazily on my friend’s couch watching ‘Glitter’
1- I PR’d the hell out of the 15k distance (20 minute PR)
2- I completed the ninth and final race required to obtain guaranteed entry to the 2017 NY marathon!
i was sort of dreading the race as saturday was approaching. everyone was warning of freezing temperatures (they were right), and central park just isn’t my favorite place to run. my favorite races are big marathons and halfs because i love running down streets and through neighborhoods normally closed to pedestrian traffic. i get super bored (spoiled) passing beautiful tree after scenic pond (super spoiled). and, let’s be honest, central park is hilly af.
i was pumped though because a) my friend and running buddy Jen was running as well, and b) it was my first time racing as part of NBR
Jen and I met at the subway platform at 7am, i’d had my usual pre-race meal of coffee, beet juice, and oatmeal with protein powder. this all felt a bit unnecessary for the distance, but i knew i really wanted to push my pace.
getting to a race start is like getting to the airport, you will inevitably be either too early, or cut it too close. in either scenario you’re frustrated. we were there by 7:35 and the race wouldn’t start til 8:30- did i mention it was FREEZING out? After a few attempts at standing in the sun (the sun was either moving every time we stepped into it, or it didn’t really exist and was a figment of our freezing imagination), we gave up and jogged about a mile to keep from hypothermia. a few frozen stops at the porta potty, and we were lining up in our corral.
The first mile of any NYRR race is a pain, it’s so crowded that you can’t really settle into your pace without fighting past people (and ultimately zig sagging your way into an extra half mile). By mile three I warmed up, and I was feeling great. The course has you climb cat hill twice, which is a moderately challenging hill, but I really felt fine. I knew my paces were in the mid 8’s and that’s where I wanted to be. My goal time was 1:21.
The miles were passing by and apart from a slight pain in my right ankle, I felt good. At miles 3, and then 8 (the course laps itself), I passed the NBR cheer spot. It felt really good to run past the team, even though none of them know me by name, they saw my jersey and cheered. this was exactly the final push i needed for the last 1.3 miles. i had this feeling like i wasn’t totally alone in this and that my place in the race mattered. this was a new feeling for me, and it was awesome.
the finish line was after about 8 unexpected turns, and when i finally crossed it, i was ready to be done: 1:19:44
last year I ran this course in 1:39:11. woof.
Jen finished just after me, and we were both pretty pleased.
i would like to get better at running more even splits. i’m a bit all over the map as i tend to run by feel. which works, but i think there’s something to be said for having more of a race plan? Any advice on that is appreciated!