Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #7 Race Report

Name of the race: Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #7 5K

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Date: August 22, 2018

Time: 7:10 pm

Distance: 3.1 miles

Terrain: Rolling hills of Prospect Park

Entry fee: $7.50/$15 day of

Swag: Free photos

Post-race Food: Ice pops and water

Time: 22:41

Performance: Overall: 142/527; Gender: 24/242; Age (40-44): 1/26

Weather: 81 degrees, 51% humidity

I can’t believe that this is my third 5K of the year (did Red Hook Crit and Fork in the Road 5K earlier this year)! Usually by now I would have done a half a dozen or so. I signed up for this 5K because my running club, PPTC, organizes a summer-long 5K series called the Al Goldstein Speed Series. Seven 5Ks held every other week for the entire summer. You can sign up for all seven for $35, or individually for $7.50 if you sign up ahead of time. On the day of, the race fee is $15. This race series is a BARGAIN and many people use it as a speed or tempo workout.

For the past two years, I usually do three or so of these races, but this year, for whatever reason, I didn’t sign up for any. When I realized that this was going to be the last one, I couldn’t let a summer go by without doing a single one, so I signed up for it.

The morning of the race was cool, gray, and overcast with clouds – absolutely perfect for racing, especially in August in New York. By the time the evening rolled around, the clouds had burned off and it was warm. Thanks to the drop in humidity, the heat was tolerable, but it was still warmer than ideal.

I originally planned on running the 5K as a tempo because 1) it’s hot and 2) the course is a bit hilly. There’s a large hill (Zoo Hill) right at the beginning and the last quarter mile or so of the 5K ends with a slight incline. It’s a slight incline, but when you’re gassed, that incline can feel like a mountain at that point. This course had never been a fast course for me. Last year I barely broke 24 minutes on this course, which is well over a minute slower than my PR at the time. And I was thrilled to break 24 minutes.

The original plan was to start at 7:45 pace for the first mile because of Zoo Hill, pick it up to 7:30 for the second mile, and then push the pace to 7:15 for the last mile and kick, kick, kick for the final .1.

My splits were:

  1. 7:34
  2. 7:15
  3. 7:10
  4. 6:16 for the last .1

Total time: 22:41

This is the second fastest I’ve ever run a 5K. The time was only 10 secs off my PR, which was set last Nov under good conditions (flat course, cool weather). I didn’t even really felt like I was racing. Not to say I wasn’t running hard, I was, but I definitely could have run faster, which I might have done if I wasn’t worried about getting heart burn. I hate evening races because I have to be paranoid about what I eat all day. I have to eat a light lunch and not have anything for 6 hours beforehand because my digestive system moves slowly. I got hungry in the middle of the afternoon, so I had a snack. Then I worried I ate too much for my snack. I kinda did. I could feel that if I ran faster/harder that I was going to have problems, but as long as I kept it at the current pace, I would be okay. I ate a snack because I wasn’t thinking about racing, but in retrospect I kinda wish I didn’t have the snack so I could have run faster for a PR. It would have been a small one, but still, a PR is a PR.

Anyway, I’m still pleased with how I did. Which is good because I had a lousy workout today because of the intolerable heat and humidity.

Ah, Running! You’re such a fickle mistress.

My time was good enough for 1st place in my age group, or as my friend Fuelbelt calls it, “the fastest old person award.” Millennials! Can’t live with them and can’t live without them because I need their salaries for my social security.

15 thoughts on “Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #7 Race Report

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