Distance: 4 Miles
Previous PR: 32:44 (8:11mm)
Time: 31:31 (7:53mm)
Time: 31:31 (7:53mm)
Overall Place: 1865 / 7303
Gender Place: 323 / 3468
Age Place: 94 / 807 (61.05%)
After the NYC Half last month, I plugged in my new personal best of 1:52:28 into the McMillan calculator and realized that I did not have a single PR at a shorter distance that reflected my potential. Well, I knew that long before last month, but my new PR made my previous ones even more obsolete. Even my previous 4 mile time, 32:44, was about a minute slower than my potential time of 31:49. Last time, I set my 4 mile PR about a month after the Cape Cod half last year, and it turns out that this race would be almost exactly a month after the NYC Half. I realized that if I were able to run this race to my potential, I would be accomplishing two of my goals for 2012: to get a sub-8mm bib pace for NYRR and to obtain over a 60% AG rating for a race.
With that in mind, I set the following goals
A) Finish in less than 32 minutes and get above an 60% AG rating
B) <32:03 and get an 60% AG rating
C) <32:44 and PR
I picked up my bib from NYRR on Thursday and ended up being in the 5th corral with an orange 4xxx bib. I was usually one corral closer to the front, but I figured that maybe there were a lot of faster people running this race.
The day before, I did something that I had never done before a race. I was helping my manager train for his first half marathon coming up in May, so I agreed to do his 8 mile long run with him. While we took it at his easy pace, which was close to a minute slower than my own easy pace, a part of me wondered whether I had just completely sabotaged any chances of a good race the next day.
There had been predictions of monsoon-like rain during the race, but to my relief, it looked like it would hold off. However, I wore a baseball cap to be on the safe side. Since this was my very first race as a member of team HSS, I wore my team shirt and a running skort. I ate a quick breakfast and was out the door.
|Waiting in my corral|
Mile 2 was a slight downhill for most of it and was a nice reprieve between Cat Hill and the West Side Hills that would come in mile 3. My goal was not to slow down during that mile, and happily, I was a few seconds faster at 7:44.
The last time I had raced this course, I had slowed down significantly during the West Side Hills of mile 3. Although I was breathing hard by that point, I did not want to allow myself to go slower than 8mm, so I pushed myself as hard as I could. To my surprise and delight, my Garmin signaled that I finished mile 3 in 7:49.
A few seconds later, when I passed the marker, my watch indicated that I had really finished the first 3 miles in 23:40 or so, meaning that I had to finish mile 4 in 8:20 or faster to get a sub-32 race. Since mile 4 was either downhill or flat other than right at the finish, I pretty much knew that I had my A goal in the bag.
However, I refused to get complacent, so I ran as fast as I possibly could. I felt that mile 4 was faster than mile 3, but afterwards I checked my watch and it was almost the exact same speed at 7:50. However, the extra 0.05 at the end was at a 7:31 pace, so I probably sped up as I saw the finish line up ahead. I started to get nervous after I got past the 31 minute mark, but after I crossed, I looked down and saw that my time was 31:31. Mission Accomplished!
|I know I'm hard to spot, but my arms are up in the air|
|The look on my face says it all. I don't think I left|
anything on the course
My official results came out a few hours later - and I was excited to see that not only did I meet my sub-8mm goal, but I also got my first AG % above 60%!
Although NYRR puts on a well-organized race, there were a couple of things about it that really bothered me. According to the results, there were over 7,000 finishers, and I felt that it was too many people for a Central Park race. I did not remember having to struggle so much to be able to run my pace. I also didn't like the fact that they weren't going to hold the raffle until after the kid's race - I didn't want to wait around an extra hour so I left right after that. I also didn't like the fact that a few people literally crossed right in front of the runners (and then had the nerve to look offended that we didn't get out of their way), or that a few runners almost spit on me, but that's clearly out of NYRR's control.
Despite the few annoyances, I had a great time on Sunday. Perhaps someday I will take on the challenge of smashing my now very obsolete 5K PR of 27:26, but until I find one that fits my schedule, I'll have to accept that the 4 mile distance is my substitute 5k.