Saturday, September 24, 2011

The 5th Avenue Mile: mile long races are actually fun! (RR)

Background: I somehow managed to avoid doing any timed miles in PE class over the years, so I went into this race with no idea of what to expect. The fastest I had done a mile was at 7:43 during speed training. Based on my HM time, McMillan told me I would finish a mile in 7:37 or so. I didn't know how accurate predicting a mile time based on a HM time was, but I figured that I would be happy with anything below 7:45

Race Day: I had 11 miles on tap for today, so I figured that I would complete 3-4 before the race, and do the remainding mileage afterwards. It was very humid out, so after 3 miles I headed over to the race. I missed heat #1 (media people) but I got there in time to see the lone person in the wheelchair/handicycle division take off. Heat #3 lined up (8-14 year olds of both genders) and my heat got ready to go right behind them (15-29 year old females). As soon as the kids took off, we lined off in the starting area. It was one big corral, so I wasn't quite sure where to line up, so I got towards the back so that I wouldn't be trampled on.

Race: And we're off! The first few seconds were a bit cramped, but I quickly settled into a groove. But then disaster strikes - my left shoelace decided to come undone 100 meters into the race. . Since stopping wasn't an option, I kept going and hoped that I wouldn't trip. Since the field was spread out, no one was close enough to me to be tripped.

Running down 5th avenue was such a treat, and it was something that few New Yorkers ever get to do (without risking being run over)! I started off very strongly - about 1/4 of a mile in I was on course for a sub-7 minute mile. Then we hit a hill that lasted almost until the halfway point - the avenue never seemed this hilly before! I recovered quickly but I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep a sub-7 pace for the whole mile. Still, I gave it my all, and pushed as hard as I could to the finish. I crossed the line before the gun time said 7:15

Result: Official time was 7:04! Much better than I could have hoped for. My AG percentage was a 59.4% - my highest yet!

After my race was over, I ran a few miles and then came back to watch my friend compete. Overall, it was an amazing experience. I learned a few valuable lessons along the way:

1. A mile race can be at least as difficult as an HM to do correctly (if not more so!)
2. Retie the shoelaces before starting just in case
3. Warm-Up miles are crucial, but they become less effective when you have to stand in your heat for a long time

Unfortuantely I have no pictures of the actual race - I didn't take my phone with me. I just took one of me afterwards before I changed. If I get any brightroom pictures I will update. Thanks for reading!

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