to inspire me for tomorrow’s Joe Kleinerman 10k, i figure i’d revisit my race report from last year…
…So here I was, hoping for a PR-no real time goal in mind, at that point I’d take anything, knowing the course was a little tougher than the course at the Mini 10K (the Mini takes the easier clockwise direction and has the pretty flat Central Park West as the first mile.) This was also my first cold-weather race, so it was trial and error with the attire-went with long-sleeved coolmax with my team singlet over it, shorts, fleece headband and gloves-and that ensemble turned out to be absolutely perfect (even took the gloves off halfway.) Saw a few teammates before lining up. I decided to line up near the end of the “7” section-much less aggressively than I did in my last couple of races. DG was lined up near me and he was going for a similar goal so I thought “ok, I’ll run with him and see what happens at the beginning.”
So the gun goes off. And my section just stands there. Took us about a minute to cross the start line…and even after that, the first mile was very crowded. Tried to weave my way in and out while taking advantage of the initial steep downhill but it was tough. But on the flip side-at least I wouldn’t burn myself out before getting to Harlem Hill. The first mile marker was partially up Harlem Hill, and hit that in 8:06-ouch. I didn’t want my first mile to be too fast, but I felt that was a little slow. So I left DG and picked it up a little bit, after climbing the hill we were treated to a downhill, but that was short-lived as we were treated to the West Side roller coaster-a series of hills that always seem to be my nemesis but I got my revenge last month. DR passed me partially through that mile…but I didn’t see the last of her. Anyway, with one more uphill in the roller coaster to go, hit mile 2 in 7:51. Good-under an 8 minute pace, but still behind PR pace. Let’s kick it up a notch!!
I hustled up that last uphill and took advantage of the mostly downhill mile 3-that was 7:29…yeah!!!! *Might* be on PR pace, but no resting on my laurels-still got the second half to contend with. Ran down the downhill past Tavern on the Green, passed JT and said hi to her and offered words of encouragement. Saw another teammate who wasn’t racing but just in the park running, commented that I had a good pace going and cheered me on. Holy sh*t-it’s mile 4 already? 7:33. Caught up to RB during mile 5 and we paced each other up Cat Hill. In the 5-milers where Cat Hill is mile 4, it’s always my undoing-usually over 8 minutes. It was tough, my breathing was pretty heavy going up the hill, but I still felt good, I felt strong, I felt my hill repeats were paying off. We pass the cat statue near the top of the hill and RB is a little bit ahead of me and he encourages “you can do it, you’re almost there!” Done!! Mile 5 is 7:42-still pretty good!!
Now at that point, my watch time is 38:41. It was around the times of a couple of my 5-milers this year, so I basically knew I was on PR pace (7:44 at that point.) I knew all I had to do was hold it and I’d PR, but decided to go for broke and see what I had left in me. Those last 1.2 miles…all mine. I felt great. I felt like I could have run like that forever. I couldn’t believe it when I was already at Engineer’s Gate, then near where the start was…those last 1.2 miles felt like they flew by, so surreal. Had DR back in my sights (and wound up finishing a second behind her in clock time.) I didn’t see a mile 6 marker, but I saw the finish line…as I get closer and closer I look at my watch and was shocked to see it said 47:xx. Kicked and sprinted and crossed the finish in 47:38 chip time-a 7:40 pace, which means I rocked those last 1.2 miles!!! (8:57-so those were around a 7:27 pace, I think?)
Bottom line-PR of 1:21 on a much tougher course. Truly my best race this year. Great pacing, felt much stronger at the end instead of crashing and burning (of course the perfect weather helped a lot), hill work really paying off. And maybe that 8:06 first mile was truly a blessing in disguise. The Flyer women placed 7th, and I was the 6th scoring female on the team (missed 5th by 1 second clock time!! but 6th in a club points race is fabulous!!) And I personally loved the Krispy Kremes they had after the race-sweet reward, indeed!!
But what it really came down to afterwards was I realized how good I really have it here, how much I love racing in Central Park. Granted, there are flatter courses elsewhere, and it’s easier to place, but they don’t have the atmosphere of Central Park, don’t have the courses I know up and down and they don’t have the best teammates ever that I have. This 10K PR truly felt like a “fun run.”
So we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Mark my words-I will not PR. But nonetheless, should be a good run.