I had two major things on my mind going into this Saturday's race:
1. I had only done one 5 mile race previously, and it was barely two months after I had started running (see pic on left). At the time, my auto PR of 45:38 thrilled me, especially since this was the first race I had done on my own, but after achieving 5K, 4M, 10K and 15K PRs at under 9mm, I knew that I was capable of doing the same for this distance. Although I tried not to have any expectations of myself due to possible weather conditions, I knew that a part of me would be disappointed if I didn't PR.
2. Gay marriage had passed in the NYS senate the previous evening, and this was the perfect way to celebrate. I was very happy for all of my friends in the LGBAC as well as the rest of my LGBT friends, so I figured that having a great race would be the perfect way to celebrate. I didn't have much colorful swag, but I arranged ponytail holders on both wrists to look like a rainbow. Later on, I sadly noted that I would win an age group award before some of the more conservative states allowed gay marriage, but as someone who will probably never win an AG, I hope this isn't true. Hopefully NY will be a turning of the tide, but only time will tell.
I planned on waking up earlier and eating a nice leisurely breakfast before heading over, but instead, I ate a powerbar on the go after I jogged about 1/2 mile before I ran into Amy. I met up with her and Gary before the race, and I met a couple of other RW BF people in person for the first time. Rebecca, and Jennifer, it was great meeting you! Thanks Gary for the picture! We hung out for a bit, then walked towards the race. After using the bathroom and checking our baggage, we walked towards the corrals. Gary pointed to the left and (jokingly) said "hey Dahlia, that's your corral!". Um, no Gary. That's the elite corral. I'm not quite ready to make Gal eat my dust just yet lol.
I hung out in the green corral and waited for the race to start. As I started up my garmin, I saw a Front Runners team member next to me and I told her how I liked the hat we got for the race (which I happened to be wearing). I also expressed my happiness at the good news the previous evening. The corrals then collapsed and we got to hear the national anthem sung by a Broadway star. Finally, some real talent!!!!!
Shortly after that, we started the race, and since the collapse of the corrals got me close to the start, I crossed the start line within the first minute, and I was off! The first mile included Harlem Hill, but I was so full of energy that I got through it without a hitch. All of my splits were off as usual, but my first mile was done in 8:34 according to the watch. I managed to stay close to pace and keep steady for miles 2 and 3 at 8:40 oer mile. Even though mile 2 was hilly and mile 3 was mostly downhill, I think the times were the same because I used mile 3 to recover so that I could make it up the hill to come.
As I turned onto the 72nd street transverse, the sun suddenly came out in full force and I felt the heat. Cat Hill was extremely tough after a speedy 3 miles, and I knew I had slowed down big time. I ignored my Garmin at that point and concentrated on making it up the hill, but when I peeked and saw the pace go above 9mm, I forced myself to remember that even if I kept that slower pace, I would have a PR. Once I made it up the hill and completed mile 4, I forced myself to go all out for mile five. I even made myself run towards the middle of the course so that brightroom could get a good pic of me, but I had forgotten that they wouldn't be there. NYRR didn't catch me - at least I don't think - there is one that I think could have me but it's hard to tell for sure since its the back of my head and it's a small pic.
Mile five ended up being my fastest at 8:29, and according to Garmin, I did an extra 0.04 at 20 seconds. My unofficial time was 43:43, but I was happy to find out that my official time was 43:40. That's 8:44mm, and 1:58 faster than my previous PR!
I got to see Beth at the end of the race, as well as a few others from the beginning, and I hung out with Rebecca during the award ceremony and raffle. All in all, it was a great race, but we were told that there would be a misting station and there wasn't one. Also, my hair has gotten so long that my ponytail kept hitting my arm. Thankfully I'm getting my hair done next month. I did not win the trip to Vienna either. Other than these minor complaints, it was a fun race, and if my schedule allows it, I plan on doing it next year!
The next day, I biked almost 30 miles with my parents. That report will come within the next day or so!