clarity, or something like that

what a difference a year made for the Joe Kleinerman 10K…last year, i was under so much stress that I couldn’t think, see or breathe straight…meaning many walk breaks. this year, thanks to a nice Flyers holiday party, a couple of tough things taken care of, a fun Toys for Tots run with the Flyers the day before, I definitely was able to think more clearly.

As I had mentioned before, I was really not expecting much here, considering the projected crowds between the next-to-last marathon qualifier and last club points race of the year. The weather was nice and it looked like a good day for running. I jogged a mile to the baggage area to warm up and saw Runner26 and Flyer JT, so we headed over to the start area together…and were joined by Crazy Bandana-head-and he actually lined up with the 3 of us instead of the local elite area where he belonged 🙂 I saw camera in hand though, so guess this was just a fun run for him :-p So we were off…and the 4 of us actually started out together…that woulda made a cute picture. The mile-by-mile lowdown…

mile 3 by the rez-thanks for the pic, crazy bandana-head!8:38-this split did not surprise me, due to Harlem Hill, but moreso how crowded it was…it didn’t really start opening up til mile 3. After this mile, I made it my goal-make sure this is my slowest split of the day.
8:12-west side hills…little better, but still crowded. Saw Flyer BC taking pictures just past 102nd street, and spotted Flyers DG and LG on running on the bridle path and cheering.
7:58-downhill mile! Uptown Girl was cheering near the reservoir…but not sure if she saw me, as who was right by me? Crazy Bandana!! Boy he really must have been taking this one the last mile!easy…
8:13-around the bottom of the park…kinda uneventful. Saw a couple of Flyers running in the opposite direction
8:21-Cat Hill. Tried to take shorter strides, to not tire myself out on this hill…I was keeping position and even passing people, so I guess it worked. Dr. Evil passed me and tried to scare me but his evil tactics didn’t work this time. :-p
7:43-My plan was to try and run steady, then pick it up for the last 1.2…I guess it worked!! Saw Uptown Girl and JS cheering near the reservoir again, and BC taking more pictures (including this action shot) But dammit, a sidestich snuck up on me again…tried to breathe deep and ignore it…
1:35-sidestich still there, but figured I’d gut it out. The chute was narrow and crowded, but tried to push as hard as I could. Flyers JB and JA were cheering right before the last turn to the finish, which gave me a nice boost to kick it in!

Final time-50:40, 8:10 pace. Can’t really tell since there was not an official 5K split, but looks like I may have run negative splits. And actually, I was a little surprised to see a time still in the 50s, I actually thought it was going to take 10 minutes to do the last 1.2 miles…guess no one is good at math 5 miles into a race. :-p

Hung around for a bit after the finish, chatted with other Flyers…but dammit, no Krispy Kremes!! I thought this was tradition for this race 😦 Did an easy coupla cooldown miles up/down CPW to give me 10 miles for the day (leaving me less than a mile shy of 30 miles for the week)

So, this was a good workout…yep, workout, not race. I have honestly come to the conclusion that when you are not in the 74% AG group-you really can’t expect to run your best in these ridiculously crowded races. So, I think the plan for next year will be as follows…use the NYRR races to get my 9 qualifiers in/support the team for points races/do long runs-but if I am chasing a time goal-look outside NYRR (with the exception of races like the Mini 10K and Club Champs, where I can get a clean start.) Again-any suggestions for good (local) non-NYRR races are welcome!!

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