Arrived at the race to usual NYRR chaos. Looked around for the baggage area for several minutes to no avail…25 minutes to the start!! Finally asked a volunteer who pointed me in the direction of the stairs by the stage…ah, shoulda known from last year. But man-getting in and out of the baggage area was ridiculously crowded…I’m sure there were quite a few people who missed the boat for the local elite start (since they have to be lined up 15 minutes early) or even the actual start due to not being able to find the baggage and taking forever to get in/out of there. So dropped off my bag, got to the start….lined up between the 7 and 8…all with about 10-15 minutes to spare. And oh yeah-I went iPod free for this race! Did that help? Maybe…
Mile 1-crossed in a little over a minute, did once again have to dodge walkers, but it wasnt as painful as other times…helped having the extra running lane!! I tried to keep Wednesday’s workout in mind-and run this mile hard, but at a pace that would leave something in the legs for the rest of the race…this mile was 7:53…not bad, but a little slower than I would have liked (3 seconds slower than this mile in last month’s 4-miler…)
Mile 2-picked it up on the flatter mile. Saw teammate SD up ahead-she and I are pretty similar at the short distances, so I made her my “rabbit” for the remainder of the race-keep her in my sights, if at all possible. This mile was 7:34-now that’s more like it!! At 15:27 cumulative, definitely on track to better last month’s race as long as I don’t fall apart in the next 2 miles.
Mile 3-a couple of speed workouts that have utilized these hills had helped a bit…as well as seeing people in the distance to catch up to and pick off…the local female 70+ elite wonder, another Flyer teammate who I am usually ahead of…both behind me before the final climb in the rollercoaster. Teammate JM was cheering while running the other way…thanks!! :-) The mile 3 clock was within sight…could I do this mile under 8 minutes-which I’ve only done once before? I picked it up a little to make sure of that, and this mile was 7:57.
Mile 4-I hoped that the surge on the last mile wasn’t gonna hurt me here…this was the time to hammer it home!! I had a feeling I would definitely better last month’s time, but could I make it under 31? Some fuzzy math said somewhere in the 7:30s would allow it…may be close!! I utilized the gradual downhill and closed in on SD again….were neck and neck approaching the transverse and I edged ahead after that final turn!! I could see the clock up ahead, that read somewhere in the low 31s…and since I crossed a minute in, that meant 30:xx for me and I tried to hammer it…SD caught up to me and crossed the finish alongside me but I didn’t care. That last mile was 7:18 (first time doing any mile under 7:20 in a Central Park race…cool!)
Final time-30:42, 7:40 pace…and better off, negative splits!! (15:27/15:15) First time since February ’05 getting under 31 too!! (Still got awhiles to go for an actual PR at the distance…as that one stands at 30:01…) And wore the new DS-Trainer 13’s again today…love them, love them, love them!!
Did the usual mingling thing after the race…seemed like a lot of people had a good day today!! I was chatting with jb24-who has also been running well lately and we seemed to have the same consensus-could it be quality, not quantity that’s helping?? Seems that way!! Will be interesting to see how I can manage that come NYCM training time-but I’ll worry about that in 2 months…time to tackle Broad Street next!!