sibling rivalry (party with purpose 5k 2011 report)

OK, so despite the heat wave that hit the tri-state area earlier this week, my 5K race on Tuesday actually went better than expected.  How good?  Well I came within seconds of a PR in non-ideal conditions…and I beat my brother by over a minute!  Oh yeah, there’s a secondary plot line going on there…

So as I mentioned before, my brother was the more athletic one growing up, etc…and then as adults, those roles were reversed.  We did face off at the Corporate Challenge…I think about 7 years ago?  I remember it being ridiculously hot that day and I was relatively new to racing…plus my first mile sucked because I got a crap start (the days before chip times and corrals!)  Anyway, he beat me and gloated about it quite a bit the day after.  (though you could sorta say I beat him on an age/gender graded basis…)  We both toed the same line at a NYRR 10K (can’t remember which one offhand) a year later and I got him there…of course you can use the same argument that always seems to be used with me “i’m stronger in the longer distances.”

So today, game on.  The organizers thankfully didn’t make this a fun run…guess they figure everyone knows how to take care of themselves during a 5K 🙂  Escaped work by 5:30, got to Hoboken in plenty of time to do the pre-race routine…oh and they actually had tech shirts this year!!  Nice touch!  Only downside was by the time I got there, the smallest size they had was a woman’s large…maybe it will shrink in the wash or something?  Warmed up for a coupla miles…yeah I know it was really hot out but the legs needed to warm up!  I ran along the race course for about a mile and back…was still about 90 degrees but being along the water just may help a little bit.  Got back to the start area, met up with the brother and we hung around til it was time to line up…and as usual, no rhyme or reason.  You don’t put out the pace signs AFTER people start lining up!  Anyway, they told us to move back but you know not everyone obliges…but I did move back to the 7 minute pace sign to be fair (which actually wasnt too far back…and there was net timing anyways.)  So it was 7 PM and everyone was dying to get going…waited for the pre-race speeches and the national anthem…finally at 7:10 we were off.

So Mile 1…run it hard but be conservative if need be.  The usual, let the faster runners go, don’t get sucked in…and one of those runners who went by me was my brother, around a half-mile in.  My heart said “Stay with him!”  My head said “Run your own race…maybe you’ll catch him later!”  Make the turn to go along the water…oh wait we’re running along a pier…this is new.  Mile 1 and that’s at 7:16…and maybe I can maintain this…

Again, Mile 2 was a mental battle.  Hit the pace…don’t let things slide.  Oh hi leaders coming back the other way.  Quite a few turns amongst more unfamiliar streets…but they got rid of the hairpin turn on 15th St!!  I was strategically preparing for that one (since it always seems to mess with your speed unless you are on the outside) and thought this was a change for the better 🙂  Mile 2 was 7:23…hmmm still pretty good!!  The thought crept into my mind, that maybe, just maybe, I could actually PR?  Obviously I’d have to burn rubber on the last 1.1 miles, but I wasn’t falling apart just yet, so maybe I had a shot…

So I cranked it up a notch and was passing people who went out too fast…oh and who was one of those peeps that I passed early in this mile?  Yes, everyone, I chicked my baby brother.  I think I did say something encouraging as I passed but there became the new goal-stay ahead of him til I hit the finish!!  I did make the mistake of looking at my watch during this mile…but guesstimated that I had around 5 minutes and change of running left…OK think of running a 1200 on the track…hung in there, kept repeating “fighter, fighter” to myself.  I saw the turn to the finish up ahead and people who already made the turn finishing…as I approached the turn I could hear the announcer cheering for those “to get under 22 minutes”…so maybe by the time I got there it would be low 22’s (chip time)…oh boy this was gonna be CLOSE!

And in the end?  5 seconds short!!  Wound up with 22:30, 7:15 pace…missing a PR by 5 seconds!!  Last 1.1 miles done in 7:52 (7:09 pace)…so it definitely wasn’t due to lack of trying!  But still…to be just off my PR by seconds in 90 degree heat…like whoa!!  And to give you an idea of how competitive this race has gotten…this time got my 12th in my age groups (damn those 10-year groupings!) whereas 2-3 years ago, I would have been top 10, easily.

I stuck around near the finish to see my brother finish…he was over a minute back…went out too fast (he thinks his first mile was sub-7…really, really glad I didn’t stick with him!) and died in the last mile…ah rookie errors.  Not that I’ve never done anything like that before 😛  Once he could speak full sentences again, we met up with a coupla of my friends and enjoyed some well-earned beers while sitting outside one of the local bars…yep, perfect nite for sitting outside and drinking.  Running?  Not so much 🙂

So I’m actually happy with my time, if anything I really didn’t feel like I gave it my all (well maybe except for the end) as I really don’t feel like I raced at all.  But still, to put up a decent time in the heat (and MUCH better than last year’s fiasco!) and come so close to a PR…of course makes me wonder what could have been if it were 20 degrees (or so) cooler.  Maybe I’ll find that out sooner than I think… 😉

And as for the sibling rivalry of sorts?  No gloating from me.  I’m satisfied just knowing how things played out. 🙂

at least the after-party was fun

Stating the obvious-summer racing is a struggle. Even with the short stuff.  Obviously the Party With Purpose 5K did not go as hoped…as my splits show.

Mile Time Distance Pace
1 7:28 1.03 7:16
2 7:43 0.98 7:52
3.1 8:13 1.11 7:24
Total 23:24 3.12 7:30

If you remember, I set my PR here last year…so was a little disheartening to run about a minute slower this year.  However, looking at the conditions…96-97% humidity this year during the race…as opposed to 43-46% last year.  I’m not trying to use the weather as my excuse, but plain and simple-conditions like that affect me.

Hey, at least the show went on…as there were downpours during the day and knowing (from my brother, a Hoboken resident) that the roads get flooded, there could have been a possibility of a course modification.  But as I warmed up along the 1st/3rd miles (this is an out-and-back of sorts) I saw the roads were fine.  However, I was drenched after 2 warm-up miles and had a feeling I might be in for a tough race.

yeah, i look pissed about my race after finishing.

So one great improvement this year-chip mats at the start…yay for net times!  I saw Flyer ST and lined up near him…he was cracking me up by quoting the announcers before the NYRR races 😛  Oh and even though there were chip mats at the start, lining up was still a free-for-all as I overheard the woman behind me saying that she would run around 30-32 minutes.  We started a little late, as the roads needed to be cleared, but finally we were off…

So I thought I could try to stick with ST but after a quarter-mile knew I’d be asking for trouble doing so (and he’d go on to finish 2 minutes ahead of me.)  Once I saw my first mile split I knew it wasn’t gonna be my day…but kept plugging along anyway, hey maybe I could negative split, right?  Not sure what happened in mile 2…I know thats usually slower in 5ks, but that seemed a little too much…the sharp turnaround was in this mile which didn’t help.  Now I just had to suck it up for the last 1.1 miles.  I was able to pick it up, and did finish stronger than I did in this race 2 years ago, but the overall time still left something to be desired.

rollin' with the (UA) homies

Went for a 2-mile cooldown with a few of the UA guys, and we all agreed that it was a tough night.  Though a lot of them placed in their age groups, I think we all wanted our times to be a little faster.  Original plan was to hit one of the bars but we stopped by the beer garden/after-party instead so the guys could claim their awards…and wound up staying.  And I did have a good time!!  Good to chat and kick one back with these guys outside of the workouts.  Though man, was it crowded…I had to double-fist just so I wouldn’t have to wait on a long line again 😛

Not sure what to make of my race.  I should be in shape to run under 23 in a 5K.  My Brooklyn time predicts 22:10, the 4-miler I did back in April predicts 22:37, even the Mini 10K-which was an off-day-predicted 23:03…and the Mini was on a hilly course whereas this one was flat.  (I will say, this is a great course and I’d love to get a shot at it in cooler conditions.)  But what’s concerning me is that none of my recent races say I am in shape to run a 3:40 marathon, unlike this time last year.  Was last summer really that much better, weather-wise than this year?

Originally I considered doing this Saturday’s 4-mile race in Central Park as redemption of sorts, but I’m not sure I will fare much better and I need to get a long run in.  Wait it out til Club Champs next month and hope things go better then!

i gotta feeling

I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night…

Whether playing on the iPod en route to Hoboken or by the race DJ, that seemed to sum up last nite’s Party With Purpose 5K. To get right to the point-I finally ran a 5K race where I was happy with the pacing and set a PR in the process. But hey, this wouldn’t be a race report without the details and the story, right…?

So I almost thought I would get stuck late at work, but thankfully I was able to change into my racing attire and escape the office by 5:30…hopped on the PATH train and made it to the Hobe with plenty of time to spare. Got my race stuff, and thankfully there was baggage check this year, so I didn’t have to waste time trekking to/from NYSC to lock up my bag (not before seeing an encouraging good luck text message on the Crackberry :)) Not much exciting pre-race stories…but when I started my 2-mile warmup…well to quote the lyrics above (and just happened that the DJ was playing the song at the time)…I had a feeling this just may be my night. Did my warmup, still a little time to kill…saw Flyers ES, NS, YP and AH while desperately trying to find water…was hotter than I thought it would be! Why can’t those fountains be on…oh wait, there are bottles by the post-race goodies…desperate times call for desperate measures 🙂

With around 15 minutes to go, was time to line up…and of course it was a total free-for-all. Me and ES, who were both out to really race, lined up a few rows back from the front. It seemed like we were a little back from where the start was yesterday, and I wondered out loud if that possibly meant that last year’s short mile 1…well…wouldn’t be this year. Of course the woman behind me heard it and started asking questions “was the course short? was the course long? will it be long this year? was the course corrected?” uh lady…I don’t know. it’s almost 7, can we race already? We started moving up…to where the real starting line was, which was the same as last year. By that time it was after 7 and we were all antsy to get going. Finally, finally, the starting horn sounded…

a little small...but still thats me in mile 1OK Mile 1…gonna run it hard, but not go-out-too-hard-and-die-at-end hard. Again, faster runners passed me and I just let them go…didn’t want to get sucked in. This mile was tight at the beginning, but opened up nicely…heard another DJ playing music, then time to go along the water. Ah, there’s that mile 1 marker. And I am at…7:09! Looks like they may have fixed that mile this year…and you know what, I just may be able to keep this up for at least another mile…

So Mile 2 was the mentally tough mile. That is where I always lose my cool in 5Ks and fall dramatically off the pace. I really did not want that to happen today…just kept running hard, and when I started feeling hot and uncomfortable and about to lose my nerve, I said to myself “It may be hot out, but you’re hotter.” I kid you not…and I don’t even know how that popped into my mind!! There’s the leaders coming back the other direction…the turnaround must be soon. Turnarounds kinda suck because they cause you to slow down and lose momentum (so glad they got rid of those in Central Park races!) And the mile 2 marker showed up in about another half-mile…and this mile-7:18! I was pleased, I really didn’t fall apart here, even with slowing for the turnaround. Things are looking good…

So I can run hard for 2 miles…could I keep it up for the last 1.1 miles? Only one way to find out…just go for it. I kept some of my recent speed workouts in mind…particularly those 1K repeats…tried to channel the energy I had those nights to right now. And I could see the pier in the distance…now all I needed to do was just get there. Finally, we were directed off the street and onto the running path…and I knew it wasn’t that much longer. Oh look, there’s Flyer FR cheering. There’s the final turn…and once again, no mile 3 marker. I can see the finish…come on now, finish strong, who cares if it hurts, you can rest in a minute…not even!! Gave it all I had…and finished in 22:23 according to my watch…official time 22:25, 7:13 pace-and a PR by 12 seconds!! And that last 1.1 miles was done in 7:56…if my math is right, that was a 7:10 pace? Wow, I did finish really strong, even if I may not have felt it.

So afterwards, just waited around for everyone else to finish…me and NS checked out the “beer garden” and thought it was kinda lame, so met up with YP and AH and headed to a bar near the PATH station. I enjoyed a coupla pints of Honey Moon while sitting outside on such a nice night…yeah, I think we all made the right choice to pass on the “beer garden” 🙂

As for the race-very pleased. Not just with the final time, but even moreso, the execution-I just might have this pacing thing down for 5Ks 🙂 And yeah, breaking an almost 5-year-old PR isn’t too shabby either. Maybe, if I actually taper and have cooler conditions…could sub-22 be possible? Also I do suspect last year’s course was short…this year I have no doubt it was a full 5K, so that makes it a little sweeter if that is the case. Funny thing-this year I was 23rd female and 7th in my age group…last year, 24th female and 7th in my age group with a race time about 20 seconds slower!! There were a lot more people running this year though (this year supposedly over 1,000 as opposed to around 600 last year…)…but damn-every year, the field just gets more and more competitive…

And speaking of “competitive”, my next race just defines competitive, the Club Team Champs 5-Miler. Now 5 miles is the last “common” distance where my lifetime PR (37:51) is still from 2004…will that change on August 8th? Stay tuned… 🙂

so close!!

Damn!! To miss a 5K PR by a matter of seconds!! But considering I haven’t even come close in about 4 years…I am sure taking it!!

Being tired of the Central Park races and climbing Cat Hill for the umpteenth time…I was looking for a fun race to do, figuring the early part of marathon training would be the best time to indulge in a 5K or another short race. I remembered a teammate of mine talking about the Party With Purpose 5K in Hoboken and thought…flat, certified course, no crazy crowds? Bring it on!! And a night race too, which is always fun.

So the pre-race routine went as follows…escape work, hop on the PATH train at Christopher Street, arrive in Hoboken, pick up my bib and chip, go to the nearby NYSC to change and lock up my bag, stretch a little bit, warm up for a coupla miles…easy peasy!! Only thing that unsettled me a little bit was not knowing where the start was…wasn’t clear…had to sorta follow where everyone else was lined up and sneak in there 🙂 Anyway, Flyer YP and JS from the Rez Dogs were lined up with me…the last pre-race bit of advice JS gave me was “don’t go out too fast.” Guess he knows how I pace short races 🙂 Anyway, the gun sounds and we start…

…and we’re off and running. I really, really tried to not let the faster people suck me in, not get intimidated if people were passing me…just concentrate on running hard but not all-out. The first mile went along the water and I wasn’t delirious yet, so I actually enjoyed that 🙂 Anyway…the first mile came up sooner than I thought…in 6:46. Holy.shit. That’s my fastest mile split ever in a race. At that point…3 thoughts went through my head:

1. OMG-I really did go out too fast.
2. But it didn’t *feel* too fast!! This could be interesting if I kept up the effort.
3. I don’t feel like looking at the distance on Mr. Garmin right now, but maybe this mile was short.

Whatever, I just kept plugging along for mile 2, if anything it gave me a little boost of confidence…as my preliminary goal was to run around 23 minutes…preferably under 🙂 Had a turnaround at around the 1.5 mile point…probably the only “slow” part of the course (turnarounds always seem to do that!!) Mile 2 came up in a more realistic 7:29…ok, maybe I slowed but I was at 14:15 cumulative…hmmm, could I really be on PR pace???

Mile 3 was pretty much the same as mile 1, just going in the opposite direction, but at that point, I wasn’t really taking in any sights, I was just concentrating on running hard. I passed a water station and someone cheered and called me by name but I didn’t even see or know who the heck it was 🙂 I tried to keep things like the OT 5K in mind to inspire me to stay strong and pick it up just a little bit more (I wanted to run a “smokin’ hot” last mile…hehe.) Finally, in the distance I could see where the turnoff was to the pier and the finish…all I had to do was GET there!! No mile 3 marker, but as I got to the turnoff, I looked at my watch quickly and saw the time was 21:xx, and not knowing how long I had left to go…holy shit, this is gonna be CLOSE!!! I decided to not look at my watch again til the end and just run, who cares if it hurts, it’ll all be over soon. I thought of Amy Begley trying to make the “A” standard in the 10K by seconds. I heard both JS and YP cheering for me. I heard the announcer encouraging those of us approaching to get in under 23 minutes!!! I pulled out one last finishing kick…crossed the chip mat, stopped my watch, breathed a sigh of relief it was over.

And did I do it? Not quite…according to my watch, wound up with 22:42, 7:19 pace (22:44 according to the official results)…missing my 22:37 PR by a matter of seconds!! 8:27 for that last 1.1 miles (which I think was long and mile 1 was short…I know I slowed, but not that drastically!) But I know I gave it my all…as I hit a new HR max (188…I was previously claiming 185) and I was just delirious afterwards…when I got my clip clipped, I couldn’t even speak full sentences.

So, afterwards, I caught up with YP (who had a huge PR) and JS (who ran just over 19 minutes and was very happy with his race!)…checked out the results to see if I possibly could have placed…dammit, 7th in 30-39!! The times really got more competitive this year…but oh well, still damn good!! JS and I then celebrated our races with a coupla Blue Moons at the post-race party (gotta love drink specials for race participants!) and my baby bro even joined us to catch a coupla innings of the All-Star game at the bar. Fun nite-definitely worth skipping the Philharmonic picnic with the Flyers for 🙂

And as for missing a PR? Seriously, when you consider that said PR was set in 50 degree weather (it was around 80 last nite), no tired marathon training legs (I had done a long run Saturday and the 10K at training pace on Sunday-so not exactly tapered!) and that I have not even come close to that time since the PR was set…I was very happy!! Yay…back in the game!!