powered by blueberries

I’m sure you are wondering about the title, and what it has to do with my race report for the Joe Kleinerman 10K. Would any of you ever predict that 3 pints of Blue Point Blueberry Ale the night before a race-not to mention a crappy night’s sleep…could lead to a PR? Hey, stranger things have happened…

So yeah, to make a long story short about my pre-race prep…fellow blogger BrunetteChicagoGal was in town for the weekend, so a bunch of us met up at the Ginger Man to, uh, carbo-load…yeah that’s it. And that was where I consumed abovementioned pints of beer (and one of them was bought for me from a guy who was chatting me up…but doesn’t even live in NY, just here for the weekend, so that was that. Plus the guy was in his 40s and he thought i was in my 20s!! Man…make it stop!!) It was tough to cut myself off after 3-they were quite tasty-but I did. And I made sure water was consumed, and even got in some real carboloading (pasta) when I got home. But all in all, fun evening, was great to see BCG again.

I tried to sleep, but woke up around 3 am for no reason, and couldn’t fall back to sleep til about 5 am…don’t know why that was!! (It’s not like it was marathon morning or anything.) So of course the alarm going off was not welcome, but I had to promise myself I could nap later…and got up, did the usual pre-race routine, and headed out the door.

all smiles before the start Tried to time it perfectly to warm up for a mile, drop off my stuff at baggage (when I realized I forgot to put on my lucky Livestrong bracelet…doh!), and get to the corrals early enough. There was some good music playing on the loudspeaker, which put me in a good mood. Actually didn’t see too many Flyers around. I knew some of them were in Vegas for the weekend doing the marathon or the half, but still…little surprising. I did see Flyer BC on the sidelines (where he snapped the picture before the start)…he told me where to look for him on the course. So between him and Crazy Bandanahead, I knew to expect some friendly faces. When waiting for the starting horn, I could tell people were thinking “enough with the speeches, it’s cold, we want to get going.” And we did…

no smiles now...game face on, this is business!!  and this was only mile 2...Mile 1 (7:49)-Once we cleared the start line, the logjam opened up nicely. I tried to run hard but conservative…taking full advantage of the downhill east side Harlem hill, but to save something for the uphill on the west side, not to mention all the other hills waiting for me!! I was expecting this mile to be around 8 minutes, so I was pleased with the mile split. Or did I go out too fast? Or was this just a result of less congestion due to the corrals (as opposed to 2004, where I had to do a lot of dodging and weaving in the first mile.)

Mile 2 (7:43)-Through the west side hills I go. BC was on the sidelines, with camera in hand, and got another pic of me. One of our speedy masters women, CB, passed by in this mile and said “good job” to me…not knowing how far behind me she was lined up, I figured if I could keep her in my sights for the time being it may be a good day 🙂 With one more uphill to go, hit the mile 2 marker…not bad, not bad. As long as I don’t fall apart, under 50 minutes may be possible…

Mile 3 (7:31)-The long, sloping downhills were very welcome in this mile, my legs needed a little bit of a break from the climbing. When I hit the mile 3 marker, I saw my cumulative time was 23:03…and a little quick math told me that I was exactly on PR pace at this point, and all I’d need to do for the remainder of the race is to stay under 7:40s. I have negative split this course a couple of times before, could I do it today? I’m gonna go for it…

Mile 4 (7:36)-Down the hill by Tavern and around the bottom of the park. This was the beginning of what I thought were the 2 toughest miles, yes even more so than Harlem Hill…because you are tired by this time. What I tried to do is look for people to pace off of. I noticed a GNY woman and a Hellgate woman who were pretty much running near me the entire way so far. So I tried to-at the very least-keep them in my sights. And it kept me going, was still on target.

Mile 5 (7:39)-Time to prep for Cat Hill. Crazy Bandanahead was on the sidelines taking pictures-he tried to get one of me but some idiot jumped in front of me and blocked the shot. dumbass. (not you, bandanahead!) Finally, the hill. Just get it done. Don’t sprint up it, go nice and steady, focus on form, etc…and I reached the top of the hill before I knew it and the legs were actually still feeling good. But the burning question…Cat Hill always does some type of damage to the mile split, how much damage is it going to be this time? The answer-not much damage at all!!

Mile 6 (7:19)-Well, the advantage of not tiring myself out on Cat Hill was that I was able to pick it up for the last 1.2 miles…and my cumulative time at 5 miles (38:18) was just under PR pace…so I knew I had it, the question now was how far under can I go? So time to pick up the pace and give it all I got. Flyer GW was at Engineer’s Gate ringing a cowbell and shouting words of encouragement. Reached the north end of the reservoir around 96th street…and with the downhill coming up, picked it up even more. BC was taking pictures again, but no smiles for me…was all business today!! And the mile 6 marker was a beautiful sight.

Last .2 (1:29)-My finishing kick has never been my strength, but it has been something that I have been trying to work on. During the last .2 miles, I thought of Wednesday’s workout and how I floored the last repeat…just go all out for a minute and change, you can rest later!! And so I did-and this was the fastest I have ever done that last point-two in a 10K!!

And goodbye to yet another old (4-year-old) PR! Final time was 47:06, 7:35 pace-a PR of 32 seconds. Oh yeah!! I was ridiculously overdue for a decent 10K time…I have not run under 50 minutes since the 2006 Mini 10K and the 10K split in the Philly Distance Run was my 2nd best 10K time ever!! I just knew I had to run one where it wasn’t an inferno, and I’m actually in shape and not still recovering from something…so guess this one was perfect timing!!

After crossing the finish, the woman from Hellgate congratulated me and thanked me for being her “rabbit” of sorts in the race…and I did the same. 🙂 And turns out she is a reader of my blog!! (If you’re reading now-thanks again!!)

Made a mad dash for baggage, needed my jacket and gloves and headwrap-while I was fine during the race, now that I wasn’t moving it was getting C-O-L-D!! Saw Johnny and asked him if he beat his “zero one” today…and indeed he did!! Runner26 and jb24 were also around, having run this together as a “fun run.” Chatted amongst ourselves and with other teammates until we decided we had enough of the cold and had to get indoors (and for me, to a local Starbucks for a gingersnap latte.) So our separate ways we went…

Well, I’m damn happy to have yet another distance monkey off my back, and very happy with the execution too-especially considering my longest run since the marathon has only been 8 miles. I really prefer the 10K courses that start in the north end of the park and go counterclockwise-you get the toughest hills out of the way in the beginning and the finish isn’t uphill-unlike the ones that go clockwise and start/end at Tavern on the Green…where you get the Harlem hills in the middle of the race wheren you’re tired and the uphill to Tavern robs you of any finishing kick. (For what it’s worth, this course was my previous PR, 4 years ago.)

And-another nice surprise…I scored 5th for the Flyer women!! This is big, I never score in club points races, as they usually bring out the faster runners. I guess some of our speedier women were sitting this one out…but who cares, I’m taking it, cuz I don’t know if it will happen again!! 😀

And the next burning question…Saturday…will the 4-mile PR go down-even if only by 2 seconds? (And will I need to find the beer I drank last night and drink it the night before every race? 🙂 ) Stay tuned…

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8 thoughts on “powered by blueberries

  1. i promise I will help you find the beer you need to drink before the holiday 4 miler! If not beer, then maybe wine?? (remember: powered by grapes!)another congrats!!

  2. grapes, berries, whatever works! for me it was the starting announcer from the Bronx. Made me smile and PR for me, 49:09, huge improvement. Or maybe it was the beans the night before, lotsa carbs.congrats!I put my race report up here: http://www.robertwrightphoto.com/writing/?p=322if your blog can take url’s and not spam them.

  3. Congratulations on your well-deserved PR. You really burned through the kleinerman course and your mile 6 split was awesome. Btw, you need to go to Ginger Man every week from Thursday to Sunday Nite (4X52 = 208..more than enough to taste a different beer…twice!) Once a week to finish tasting all the beers on the list will not cut it! 🙂

  4. Congrats on your great race and PR! I wished I was there to share in the fun.The P.R. train just keeps rolling on for you this year doesn’t it? That’s really awesome. Hope you ride it to another one next weekend.

  5. Congrats on the PR! Clearly the Blueberry Ale was on target for a 10K. I doubt, however, that it would work as well for Saturday’s 4 miler. Clearly, there is an ideal Ale for every distance. I have complete confidence that you will find the perfect 4-mile-beverage, and continue your streak of great races!

  6. Congrats on the PR and here’s to another one in the 4 miler.

  7. Congrats on the PR! Good luck this weekend.

  8. runner26-I think tomorrow’s race will be powered by red grapes ;-)robert-congrats on your PR!!Moz-I’m not that much of a beer conesseur (sp?)!! Now wine would be another story :)Lam-thanks and wish you were here too, but it sounded like you had a great weekend!! As for the PR train, I know it can stop at any time, so just enjoying the ride for now :)Johnny-thanks and back atcha!!Suzanne-thanks, and congrats to you on a great race-and did you check out the local gallery on the NYRR site yet? :)Laura-thanks!!

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