Once again, the NEW York Road Runners Mini10k did not disappoint. I will start by saying that unlike last year, I wore the right bra and avoided the dreaded uniboob. And just like last year, I was running late that morning, saw Desi Davila, and ended up rocking a huge PR!
I did wake up on time and I did catch the right train. My body was kind of worn out from the week (Field Day: So Much Fun For Kids, So Much Exhaustion For Adults) and from last weekend’s triathlon. And, you could say I slept well, if by “slept well” you mean tossing and turning from teacher stress and/or a puking cat. You could also say I ate well, if by “ate well” you mean “stuffed myself full of pastries all week.” So you could say I was ready. Could.
Actually, despite the less-than stellar week of essential body requirements, I was primed and pumped to give this race my all. I had PR’d my 5k time within the triathlon race itself, and I was sure that if the planets were aligned, I could maybe, just maybe, PR this race.
I was supposed to meet up with friends from different ends of the friend spectrum. I was hoping to meet up with Shannon, whom I worked with in a past life and haven’t seen in like 5 years and 2 kids ago. I was also trying to find Alison and Lisa, whom I sit next to in camp chairs three times as week every spring as we are Little League Moms. (Alison was the Distraction Angel that helped me through my long training run for last year’s marathon.)
With NYRR’s new baggage policy, the lines for the baggage check (and in an unusual twist for the NYRR, the porta potties) were pretty long.
Getting through those long lines made me a little rushed, and I decided I would jog the 1/2 mile to the start as a good warm up, and to get my butt there on time. I ended up missing Shannon before the race, and only just ran into Alison and Lisa near the start.
I got there just as the National Anthem was being sung. I heard Desi Davila get introduced along with some of the other elites. Then, I heard the starting horn. I wasn’t able to get into the packed corrals, so I had to wait for it to lighten up a bit so that I could jump in.
At the same time, I was trying to start my epic “10k WOOT WOOT” running mix with my cranky ipod, getting it all clipped and earbudded and the volume at the right level. Last year I ran the race without music, but this year I wanted it. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
What I didn’t have time for was to sync my Garmin. I tried to, but it’s extra slow on the south side of Central Park, with the skyscrapers in the way. I waited and waited for it sync up, but by the time I crossed the start mats, it was still syncing. When it did finally sync somewhere in mile 1 it was really goofed up and saying I was running 4 minute miles. So cruel, Mr. Garmin, so cruel.
I re-started it at mile 2, and it seemed to work ok, but I wasn’t sure I could completely trust it.
So I just ignored my Garmin most of the time. I was able to figure out my 5k time using the race clocks, give or take 15 seconds, and I knew I would have to push it in the 2nd half to make a PR. But that’s my new THING, you see. I call it the Clutch Run. Save energy for the surge at the end. It’s what I did by necessity at the NYC Half back in March, and it gave me my first negative split. It was a huge a-ha moment. I’ve come to realize that I like that strategy, and it totally works for me. I don’t mind people passing me in the beginning if I get to pass them at the end.
Here were my goals for this race:
C Goal: Finish the race (and get there on time, with the correct bra).
B Goal: Finish close to my time from last year, which was also a PR at 57:03.
A Goal: Smash a PR without smashing my feet.
Extra Credit: Run into Desi again, she’ll greet me like an old friend, and we’ll swap running tips like BFF’s.
So I hung back for the first couple of miles and there were a lot of people passing me. I’ll get you my pretties!
At the 5k mark, based on the NYRR clocks I figured I was around my old 5k PR split, and I knew I needed to crank it up in order to even be close to a PR this day. Mile 4 had some uphills, so took a GU and some water and just tried to maintain pace.
Between miles 4-5 all of my Clutch Run songs started to come on. Those are the songs that either make my cry happy tears or make me want to put on a cape or both. I stepped on the gas. The sun was starting to come out and I could feel the air warming a bit. Passing people. Lungs, legs, and feet are burning. Drop shoulders. Relax arms. Keep going.
Miles 5-to-6 I kicked on more gas and put it into 5th gear. I was flying, in my mind. I’m sure my arms were pumping like the good little linebacker arms they are, but I just kept saying don’t stop, don’t stop in my head over and over. I like my fancy-nancy mantras, but simple and to-the-point will work in these situations. Don’t stop…don’t stop…
There is a hill at the finish, slight enough to be cruel.
I just keep going, running as hard as I’ve run in a long, long time. I’m not one to empty the [energy] tank in a race, as I don’t like to beat myself up that much. But as I crossed the finish line, I largely ignored the clock because for the first time ever in a race I thought I might hurl. Don’t stop, don’t stop quickly became don’t puke, don’t puke.
Luckily, I did not puke. I did not want to be That Girl That Vomits At the Finish Line. The wave of nausea passed somewhat, I got my medal, my carnation, my water and my french toast bagel and wandered around a bit, trying to get my sea-legs back. I had managed to stop my Garmin, and I knew I ran a good race, but I still wasn’t completely sure it was a PR and I wouldn’t know until later when the official results were posted online. It turns out, the last mile was my fastest mile ever run in a race, at 8:06. Eight-Freaking-Zero-Six.
Ultimately, after the race, we reclaimed our bags (with our phones) and my friends and I were able to hook up. Hello, Shannon!
Congrats to Alison and Lisa on their first (or first-in-a-long-time) 10k’s!!
And, while I didn’t meet Desi in person this year, I was able to catch her onstage accepting her 3rd place American finish award:
It turns out I must’ve been channelling her, because after I got home, I checked the results and had a new PR! 56:01! Almost one minute faster than last year, and an average 9:02/mile pace. Wooty-woot woot! Totally worth the almost puking!
So I hit my “A” goal, and while I didn’t get the extra credit, giving it my all and not ralphing at the finish should count for something, right? Best. Race. Ever…Again.