Even though I was super excited to finally race again, I slept well and woke up Saturday morning feelin’ good. I had about two hours before the race started at 8:00 a.m. (read: I am a chronic early riser) and had a small bowl of Cinnamon Puffins, a banana and some almond milk.
I like to keep pre-race breakfasts pretty light, and this was the perfect amount of food to give me energy but not leave me feeling too full. I stretched, got dressed and hydrated with some water and Gatorade before leaving my apartment for the race.
(yes, homegirl needs a tan…)
I ran to the start of the race on the West side of Central Park to warm up
…and managed a quick porto-john trip before lining up in the corrals.
There were SO many people racing, it took a good couple of minutes to get to the start once the gun went off.
Mile 1: 7:54 – For the first mile I was constantly bobbing and weaving between people (and trying to restrain from shouting expletives to the folks that were blocking large stretches of the road that should have lined up in the slower corrals!). The split ended up being right where I had wanted though, and I was feelin’ good
Mile 2: 7:36 – this part of the course is mostly rolling hills, and I just kept repeating my mantra in my head (“steady on the uphill, pump the arms and controlled cruising on the downhill”)
Mile 3: 7:21 – a large downhill on this mile, but I felt great and kept consistently passing people
Mile 4: 7:41 – the evil East side Harlem hill portion of the race. I was prepared for it, and while it sucked, it wasn’t as bad as past races and I didn’t want to keel over on the side of the road after reaching the top. By this time I knew I was going to PR and actually felt great!
Mile 5: 7:31 – At this point I stopped looking at my Garmin so much and just kept trying to keep a strong, consistent pace. I started trying to pick people off as we headed up East Drive, which I’ve never been able to do the second half of a 10K!
Mile 6: 7:37 – I kept waiting for my legs to get heavy, but I was feelin’ good coming up the to the South side of the park and to the finish.
Mile 0.2: 7:19 – As I rounded the Southern point of Central Park, I looked at my Garmin and the pace was 6:38! I honestly didn’t think my legs could move that fast, but I stuck with it as much as I could until the finish.
NYRR official time: 48:08, 7:45/mile. Clearly, I failed at running the tangents and attribute the extra 0.13 to the bobbing and weaving during the first mile. But besides that, I was so happy with my race! It’s almost a 2-minute 10K PR and I really felt great the entire time.
At the finish line, NYRR President Mary Wittenberg was tirelessly congratulating and high-fiving runners as they crossed. Considering a course record was set a good 20 minutes before I finished, I thought this was particularly awesome of her and just goes to show how dedicated Mary and NYRR are to NYC runners.
After grabbing some water, I headed home on the bridle path with a 3.75 mile cooldown.
Total for the day: 12.3 miles. After some stretching, I jumped into an ice bath when I got home and prepared for a long weekend of studying (but more importantly, the LAST weekend of studying!).
But first, post-race refueling: Greek yogurt with strawberries, pineapple, walnuts and Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
And a little downtime with some java and the New York Times
I honestly didn’t know how this race would go after being injured for so long, and it has given me some much-needed confidence for the rest of my racing goals this year. Hopefully this runner’s high will carry over to some high quality studying for my last final exam on Monday night. Well, a girl can hope, eh?
Question: How much do good or bad races affect your confidence? The good ones give me a great boost, but the bad ones get me way down (maybe a happy medium would be best?)