Name of the race: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff
Where: Central Park, Manhattan, NYC, NY
Date: Oct 26, 2014
Time: 8:30 am
Distance: 5 miles
Terrain: One smaller loop in Central Park, small rolling hills
Entry fee: $17
Swag: Cotton t shirt
Post-race Food: Apples, bagels, & a bottle of Poland Spring Water
Performance:Overall 1000/5522; Gender 209/2985; Age (35-39) 33/509
Weather: 59 degrees, 40% humidity
We haven’t signed up for many races this year for various reasons. If we weren’t NYRR members, I think we would have done even fewer. We signed up for Poland Spring a while ago and I had completely forgotten about it until Ben mentioned it a few days the race date. I was looking forward to the race because I hadn’t been having the greatest training runs lately, particularly with tempos. I like to do 4-5 mile tempo runs at an 8:00 pace, but I hadn’t been hitting it. I race better than I train, so I was eagerly looking forward to using this race as a good tempo run. Before the race, I told Ben I was targeting for a 40-min race.
Because of the overwhelming number of runners at an NYRR race, NYRR seeds you based on your best pace on one of their races that 3-miles or longer in the past year. My prior pace has expired, so they seeded me based on my Brooklyn Half pace (8:32). This placed me in the green corral, which is somewhere in the middle. Ben’s fast, so he was in the blue corral as usual.
NYRR races are always congested, but I was really packed in for the first mile. I gave up trying to do any sort of good tangents and instead darted around trying to find a hole so I could move up ahead. Thanks to the crowd, my first mile was nice and slow (8:15). The congestion mostly cleared for me past the first mile and at Mile 3, I had plenty of room. Around Mile 2 I tried to get around a couple of older male runners, so I politely said, “Excuse me” before I made my move. They moved over and I leaped into action to fly through the brief opening before other runners tried to move in. As I ran, I overheard say to each other, “There must be something in the Poland Spring water.” I grinned.
The rolling hills of Central Park make for interesting pace. I don’t try to do even pacing, but rather even effort. I try not to lose too much time when I go up and let the decline work for me when I’m running down. The third mile felt the hardest for me. I was pleased to see my paces on my Garmin and knew I was well on my way to getting a sub-40, barring any major meltdowns.
At Mile 4, I was relieved that there was one mile left. I figured I had a bit of a cushion and could slow down to an 8:00 pace and still make my goal. I didn’t want to slow down, so I decided to keep on pushing a sub-8:00 pace. The last mile went well, until the last quarter mile. I started to feel queasy in my stomach and wondered if I shouldn’t have eaten the ENTIRE apple turnover for breakfast before the race. The last .1 was the worst. At that point, I knew I was going to throw up. I didn’t want to vomit before finishing, so I sloooooowwwwwwed down to keep myself from vomiting. At this point, I was doing everything I could to manage the nausea. I heard Ben cheering for me, but I couldn’t acknowledge him. I was on the edge of falling apart. I see the finish line and though it was literally feet away, it felt like it was miles away. The darn strip for recording chip times was tantalizingly teasing me. I stumbled past the finish line. I pulled myself over the side and promptly hurled.
That, my dear readers, was success. I managed to hold it til the finish line.
When I finally composed myself, I checked my time and I was thrilled with my performance. While 39:20 isn’t a PR, it’s 9 seconds off my best time. I managed a sub-8:00 pace (7:52) for 5 miles. I feel good about how well I did.
Despite all the weaving I did in the first mile, Garmin recorded only an extra .03, so I must have ran really good tangents for the other miles.
This Saturday, I’ll be doing NYRR’s Dash to the Finish line, a 5K that goes through NYC and ends at the NYC Marathon’s finish line.