So after my worries about the start situation at the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, it actually turned out not so bad…well partially thanks to a little advance planning on my part. 🙂
So as the coworkers were planning on leaving the office at 5:30, and knowing their track record of actually leaving on time…my plan was to leave a little after 5, drop my stuff off at the nearby NYSC, stretch a little, warm up for about a mile, and then go to the start. (and just meet everyone else afterwards.) Oh and I have to add-we really had really cool t-shirts this year (picture is of the design on the back, then the front had the name of our company in what looks like the same font as the NYC Half logo!) It’s almost a shame that I had to “alter” it with the scissors. But first off, it was a little long on me with the shorts I’d be wearing…I’d look like I had no pants on!! Plus it was definitely sleeveless weather for me. 🙂
So I got to the start area a little after 6…and was able to line up right behind the barriers separating the “open” start from the “elite” start corrals. And I saw that they were definitely policing the corrals-no one who didn’t have a red or yellow sticker on their bib was allowed past. However, I wonder how many of those were really honest when it came to predicted times. Yeah, I was looking on with envy at those in the red and yellow starts who had the freedom to move around, warm up a little more, where I couldn’t go anywhere in fear of losing my spot. And for what its worth-that corral was more than half empty…they would have had room for me, I shoulda been there! Finally around 6:45, they took down the barriers and even though they told people to “walk slowly” forward (this was after several of the marshalls had to tell us to stay put for a minute)…you think anyone listened? Of course I ran…hey I still had to warm up! And actually wound up with a decent starting spot. I ran into one of the other girls who does speed with me at Urban and we chatted a little waiting for the start…even moved up a little bit more. After all the pre-race “aerobics” and the National Anthem…we were off!! And yay for a chip mat at the start line! (For the first time ever, this race used chip/net time…this time with the chip readers on the back of the bib, first time I’ve ever had one of those!)
And thankfully, the first mile wasn’t horrible. I did still have to pass people, but it could have been a lot worse. Ansd weather-wise…little humid, kinda breezy, but not too bad, heat wise…prolly as good as it gets for a mid-June evening! Tried not to go out too fast….first mile was 7:28 and I figured that was around what I expected (7:30-ish pace). The turn onto the 102nd St transverse was in the second mile and actually, making the turn slowed me down a little. I felt like I almost had to slow to a jog. Maybe I should have been on the outside rather than the inside? The Urban crew were on the right side of the transverse (as they did their workout in the northern hills to avoid the race) and they cheered for me-was glad they were able to spot me (it’s hard to spot people in the crowd, especially when they’re not wearing their team colors!) 2nd mile was 7:35…not surprising that I slowed a few seconds given the crowding on 102nd.
3rd mile was from East 98th to around Cleopatra’s needle, sneaky uphill…I was feeling tired, my legs were still really feeling Tuesday’s workout and I guess it showed in my mile 3 split-7:40. But I think all things considered, I still kept it together. I heard Dr. Evil & DD cheering for me in that mile, was good to see them! A half mile to go, and a good chunk of it was Cat Hill downhill. Obviously I saved something for this mile because I was passing people…got to the Boathouse and knew the end was near…just a right turn onto 72nd! But as per usual in Central Park, the finish was uphill…did the best I could for a strong finish-last half-mile was 3:38. Final time 26:21, 7:31 pace, PR of about 1:20 from my 2006 time.
After crossing the finish, just followed the cattle…er, masses to get water…I skipped over the coconut water, as I had a sample once at a previous race and that stuff is the nastiest shit I’ve ever tasted. Got my shirt (ok design, yay for womens sizes though.) I wanted to add on a little bit of mileage afterwards, so I first ran to the east side of the 72nd street transverse and was actually able to spot a coupla of my co-workers turning for the finish and I cheered them on. And ran/cooled down for about 1.5 miles, so 6 miles total for me that day. I then headed back to the NYSC to get changed and cleaned up and headed over to the east side to meet up with the work crew for some well-deserved beers! 🙂 (oh come on…like you’d expect anything less? lol!)
As for my race, i was glad I beat my old time…I think I could have gone faster, but like I said, my legs were still tired from Tuesday so I think I did give it all I had both yesterday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, I did not defend my title of being first in my company, as one of our guys beat me by about 30 seconds! 😦 Oh well, at least I was still 1st female in my company (with 2nd being about 8 minutes behind.) Guess I’ll have to try and take back my title next year!! 😛