Where: Central Park, New York City, NY
Time: 10:15 am
Entry fee: $18
Swag: Long-sleeved cotton shirt.
Food: Bagels, apples, and bananas
Performance:Overall 943/2425; Gender 274/1196; Age (35-39) 47/177
Time: 1:20:37 (Pace: 8:39)
Weather: 46 degrees, 44% humidity, wind 7 mph.
I was really happy to have a longer race on the calendar because it would be an excellent prep for the half marathon at the Verrazano Running Festival later this month. Ben and I discussed what would be a good time for me and based on our last long run, Ben thought I should shoot for 1:20. The course was about one and a half loops around Central Park, omitting the Harlem Hills.
We leisurely woke up this morning thanks to the late race start. I had a cup of coffee and a croissant for pre-race fuel. We got to the start line with plenty of time because we mistakenly had thought the race started at 10 am. Better 15 min early than 15 min late. Ben was in the first blue corral and I was in the fourth green corral. Before leaving me, Ben warned me not to start out too fast. He jokes that he needs to stage a pacing intervention where my friends confront me about how my pacing affects them. Ben pretends to weep over my slow miles in the later stages of the race.
I tried. I kinda failed at that. At the start of the race, with all the people surging around me and the adrenaline, it’s hard for me to hold myself back. I’m always afraid that I’m starting too slowly. There was a girl who was running at about a 8:30 pace and in retrospect I wish I stuck with her longer. I ran with her in the first mile and then I lost her. She caught up to me a few miles later and then lost me, when my energy flogged.
I felt really good for the first few miles, but I paid the price for starting too fast. Running started to feel a little hard at Mile 4 and by Mile 6 I was tired. At Mile 8 I was ready for the race to be over. I was really slow the last two miles. I kept focused and did my best to run as hard as I could. Ben was waiting for me at the last .2 mile before the finish line. I heard and saw him cheering for me, but I was so tired that I couldn’t acknowledge that he was there.
Down the stretch I saw the clock ticking toward 1:22. I wanted to cross the finish line before it turned 1:22, so I turned on as much of a kick as I have (it’s pathetic really, I have no kick). I didn’t know what my final time was because I had no idea when I crossed the start line. I thought I missed the 1:20 goal by a bit because I was somewhat sure that I crossed the start line 30 seconds after the start. When we got home, Ben eagerly looked up our times. He yelled in delight that my time was 1:20:37. Just narrowly missed my A goal! If I had been better about pacing, I think I could have made the goal. Still I’m really happy with what I did. I put in a very solid race.