Thursday, November 24, 2011

Race to Deliver #2: A New 4 Mile PR & Free Broadway Tickets!

Short Version
Distance: 4 Miles
Time: 32:44 (8:11mm) - New PR and NYRR bib time
Overall Place: 1212/4501
Gender Place: 294/2384
Age Place: 96/625

Long Version
This past Sunday was the Race to Deliver, a 4 mile race that takes place in Central Park. It is put on by God's Love We Deliver, an organization that delivers meals to those who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.

This was my very first race last year, and it was an entirely different experience this time around. Last year, I had no previous races with NYRR, so I had to estimate my pace per mile when I signed up. Mom & I estimated about 11mm and we were placed in the last corral. I was excited and terrified at the same time - I had no idea what to expect in a race, and a part of me worried that I wouldn't be able to finish. However, with some good pace setting from my mom, we ended up finishing the course in 42:59 at a 10:44 pace. 

A lot has changed over the last year, even if the race shirt stayed almost exactly the same. Before this race, my best 4 mile time was a 33:33, and my NYRR bib time was 8:23, so because of that I was in the fourth coral, which is a 3xxx green bib. This time, I had a definite time goal, which was finishing in under 33 minutes, or 8:15mm. My reach goal was under 32 minutes but I knew that it was a very long shot. 

Sister Act the musical was a co-sponsor of the race this year, and so the first 500 people to pick up their race packets would receive nun-habits, and if they wore their nun habits at any point of the race (and walked up to a table), they would get two tickets to the show. Since my friend got to pick up early, she picked up my stuff and so I was able to do this. Note: I didn't race in the costume, and I literally just threw on the main part of the costume, walked up to the table, and the person let me sign up. So no costume pictures this time. 

I ran a warm-up mile, and then met up with my friend in the corral. As we were waiting for the race to start, my mother's friend ran by, but she was too far away for me to call out to her. Although I had been looking forward to this race, for some reason, I wasn't in the mood to race. I literally woke up and I thought, "ugh, another Central Park 4 mile race?" (This was a clear sign that I did too many races this year). In addition, the race started over 5 minutes late, and I was getting a little annoyed. It wasn't until I crossed the start line did the adrenaline come back, and I instantly remembered why I was out there. 

The race started out a bit slow since the people in front of me were a bit slower than I thought they would be. It didn't help that some people were barely jogging 100 meters into the race, but it didn't take long for me to get into a rhythm. (The picture on the left is me just passing the first start line. I'm the one in the grey t-shirt)

The first mile included Cat Hill, which is one of the larger hills in Central Park, but since it was at the beginning, it didn't feel that difficult. The mile marker ended up being a little short, but according to my Garmin I finished mile 1 at 8:04

Going into this race, I realized that I always tended to slow down on mile 2 of this course because it was flatter, and mentally, I was giving myself a break, so this time, I focused on trying to gain some time before the very hilly mile 3. Thankfully, it worked, and I finished mile 2 in 7:51 (but as usual, the garmin hit a mile shortly before the actual mile marker showed up).

Although I was on track for a sub-32 minute finish at this point, I knew that the three successive rolling hills on the West Side would make this very difficult to maintain. No matter how many times I do these hills (almost every day), running them easy is a different experience than racing them, especially when the first two miles are done at about an 8 minute pace. I fought as hard as possible not to slow down, and was pleasantly surprised to see a 8:12 on my garmin (the mile marker came after the garmin though so my pace was probably closer to 8:2x).

I wanted to speed up for mile 4, and although my garmin was off, I think I did a little bit. I did the last part at a faster pace, even if it wasn't reflected in mile 4 (you can see my splits here). Most of the last mile is downhill, so slowly but surely, my legs started to move faster. I started to speed up even further as I was turning around the last bend because I looked at my watch and started to worry that I wouldn't get in under 33 minutes. Thankfully, I made my goal - my garmin said 32:47 but my official time was 32:44 (8:11mm) - this is the first time I've reached BQ pace in a race - too bad it's only a 4 miler though. I was very happy with my time - to me, it was a reflection of my training for the Cape Cod Half. I would eventually like a sub-32, but hopefully it will happen next year.

My friend Abbey was within my sights for most of the race, but she finished ahead of me at exactly 32:00. After we reunited, we found her daughter, Kayleigh with the babysitter, and we set off towards the kids races. All of the races had the same finish line, but the start lines were in different spots depending on how old the kids were. The older the kids, the further back the start line. They originally planned on having the 3 & 4 year old girls run together, but they ended up splitting them. I got a picture of the adorable mother-daughter pair after the race (and also immediately decided that when I have kids, I plan on entering them into the kids races too)

How adorable is this?

Overall, it was a fun day, and I look forward to receiving the free tickets to sister act! There are more pictures to see, so if you are interested, feel free to look here. As always, thanks for reading! 

No comments:

Post a Comment