Name of the race: Dash to the Finish Line 5K
Where: Manhattan, NYC, NY
Date: Nov 1, 2014
Time: 8:30 am
Terrain: City streets for 2 miles, inside Central Park for the last 1.1, flat
Entry fee: $40 (March 26 – April 8th); $45 (April 9 – Oct 29th), $50 (Oct 30 – 31)
Swag: Long-sleeved technical tee
Post-race Food: Apples, bag of pretzels, Power bar, and water
Performance:Overall 978/7425; Gender 210/4028; Age (35-39) 25/634
Weather: 45 degrees, 80% humidity
Tomorrow is marathon Sunday! It’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement even if you’re not running in it yourself. My friends are running it. Bloggers I follow are running it. News about the marathon is constantly on. This year I wanted to do NYRR’s Dash to the Finish Line 5K, which is a 5K going through the streets of Manhattan held the day before the marathon. It ends right at the same marathon finish line. Many of the runners in the 5K are also doing the marathon tomorrow, so they’re getting a pre-view of Central Park and the finish line.
Ben and I woke up to a drizzly dark morning. It wasn’t raining hard enough to dissuade me from going, but it was raining enough to make you damp. I asked Ben to come with me and wait for me at the finish line with my jacket. The 5K was a point-to-point course, so the bag drop off was at Central Park, while the start line was by the UN on the east side of Manhattan. Theoretically I could have gone to the bag drop off before the race, but I would have had to have left home much earlier. Ben graciously agreed to wait out in the rain for me. He took Bandit with him to keep him company. Bandit isn’t fond of the cold, nor rain, so I think this would have been one of the rare times where she would have preferred to have been left alone at home.
I gave Ben my jacket before we split ways. I tore a hole through the bottom of a trash bag so that I could wear it as a cheap throwaway rain jacket. I was really happy I had it because it helped to keep me dry and warm during the half hour wait. Once the corrals were collapsed, we walked over to the start line. The horn blared and we stormed down 42nd St.
I loved loved loved running through Manhattan like this. Even though I’ve lived here for several years and walked up and down these streets countless times, Manhattan looks completely new when you’re running down the streets devoid of any cars, taxis, or buses. We ran past Grand Central Terminal. Before I knew it, it was the first mile and we were turning right onto 6th Ave. We were going to run up to 59th St, where we turn to go to Central Park. I used the streets signs to keep track of how far we’ve gone. As the blocks ticked down, I got more and more excited at the thought of running inside Central Park. I had no idea how fast I was going, especially for the second mile. The tall buildings made the GPS go crazy. One second I was running 2 min/mile; the next second I was running a 25 min/mile.
The 2-Mile marker was right outside the turn into Central Park. I was psyched to know that there was just a little more than a mile to go. The course looped around. My side started to hurt when I was about a half mile away. I gritted my teeth and ran on. I heard Ben’s voice right before the finish line. I crossed and it was over.
I looked at my Garmin to see my time. I was hoping to do a sub-24. I knew I wasn’t in shape to PR, but I did think I was in good enough condition to sub-24. Garmin revealed a 24 min+ plus. NYRR later told me that I ran 24:38. I was shocked and puzzled. I ran what I thought was an even effort and it felt like I ran faster. Ben (and Bandit) found me and we quickly made our way home. Because the GPS was out of whack, I don’t know for sure what my splits were. Ben and I figured that I went out WAY TOO FAST for the first mile and then just blew up for the rest of the race.
I’m disappointed with my performance. I know I can do better. I found another 5K in a few weeks that I plan on doing (if the weather is good). If all goes well, that’ll be my redemption race.
But for now, I’m thinking ahead to the Trenton Half Marathon next Saturday.