Where: Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ
Time: 10:00 am
Entry fee: $18+$2.89 (processing fee)
Swag: Long-sleeved cotton shirt.
Post-race Food: Bagels, apples, bananas, tangerines, donuts, mini bagels, and orange juice
Performance:Overall 46/205; Gender 11/110; Age (30-39) 6/40
Time: 24:58 (Pace: 8:02)
Weather: 50 degrees, very windy
We shivered even though we were inside a tent mostly sheltered from the strong cold breeze. We were the fortunate ones. Most of the runners were outside, jumping up and down or sprinting in a vain effort to get warm. Ben and I briefly wondered about our sanity in running in the wind. I am not a fan of wind. But we were there, so we shivered inside the tent until we heard the announcer that the race was about to start.
The starting line this year was in the parking lot. Usually the 5Ks in Liberty State Park start on the waterfront right by the old abandoned railroad terminal. Some of the wood and railing on the usual route are still damaged from Hurricane Sandy last October. So a new route was devised to have us running inside the park.
As usual Ben warned me not to start too fast. This time I actually heeded him and managed to run fairly even splits. A pack of runners surged past me and normally I would be tempted to speed up in order to keep them. But I stayed behind. We were running into a really strong wind, which made it easier to run slower. I saw a girl with a long bushy ponytail running ahead of me. I could tell that she was running at a pace that I wanted to be at, so I decided to stay behind her and run at her pace. Just before the 1 mile marker, the route made a bend so we were then running with the wind. I was relieved because simply it became warmer. The wind was biting cold at times.
For the first mile I ran about 20 feet behind the bushy-tailed girl. After the first mile I realized that she was slowing down and that I could catch up and pass her. At around 1.5 I did that. She tried to keep up, but I dropped her. I continued to run looking at a runner right in front of me and decide whether I could catch up and pass him or her. This helped distract me from the pain. I passed a couple of people and a few people passed me. The course winded around, so at various points we were running into the wind.
The last part of the course was back on the intact portion of the waterfront. For the last mile I ran as hard as I could. I told myself that I could do anything for a mile. When Runtastic told me that I ran 2.5 miles, I ran just a bit harder. I really wanted a PR of around 24:30, but at this point I wasn’t sure if I could get it. At the last bend, I could see the finish line and the timing clock. I hoped that I had an outside chance of beating my PR of 24:52, but as I crossed the finish line I could tell that I just missed it.
Final time was 24:58. Six seconds off my PR, but I’m satisfied with my performance because it was a solid effort in very windy conditions. It was a good run. I have another 5K planned for early June, so I’m going to plan on doing some more speed work.
Ben had a good race too. His time was 19:56. He came in 3rdfor his age group and 6th overall!
Next week we have a half marathon at the Verrazano Running Festival.