It turns out June was a very good month for running. Social media might lead you to believe it was hot and humid all month, but the fact is, it was far better racing weather than I would ever expect for the month, and that definitely helped me out.
Last Saturday, I toed the line at the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run, a perfectly timed 5 mile race given the Supreme Court decision last week! That race was the culmination of a 6-week short-distance training program that I developed for myself to rediscover my speed after rebuilding my mileage earlier this year after injury.
I went into the race hoping to beat my previous 5-mile PR (35:10, from the same race last year) by about 10 seconds per mile, which would mean a roughly a 6:52 min/mile pace.
When the gun went off, I was very cognizant of my pace. I didn’t want to go out too fast, even though it seemed like everyone from my corral seemed to sprint out at a sub-6 pace. The first mile had a pretty significant downhill…before a pretty significant uphill to cap out the mile. I didn’t want to get into the trap of wearing myself out before the real uphill work even began. I clocked a 6:50 first mile on my watch (7 minutes when I checked as I was passing the mile marker).
I know there is no guarantee that the mile markers are actually accurate in a race, even if the course is certified, but seeing 7:00 for the first mile freaked me out. Holding that pace would make it difficult to hit my goal! When I reached the top of the hill shortly after the 1-mile mark, I made it my goal to make up some time on the downhill. 6:43.
The second mile marker came at the beginning of a series of rolling hills along the west side of Central Park. I was still feeling okay, despite my push (which didn’t really show on my watch), so I kept it going, clocking in the third mile at 6:31 as I rounded a corner at the southern part of the park.
I was much happier with that last split, but kind of worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep it going. That 4th mile contained another of my least favorite hills in the park – Cat Hill, known for the cat (panther?) statue at the top of the hill. I focused on working my way steadily up that hill to make it to the largely flat last mile. 6:43.
As I passed that last mile marker, I also passed a fellow Whippet who I know is typically faster than I am. That helped give me another boost. While I was sure I was only passing her because she was having a bad day, it was motivating (does that make me a terrible person) to know I might be able to catch her. That helped fuel me to my fastest mile yet: 6:22.
Overall, my time was 33:35, a solid 45 seconds better than I hoped and good for 10th in my age group!
I’m very happy with the way June turned out. I feel like I put in a solid month of training and did a great job at regaining my speed. I’m now feeling more determined than ever to stick to my fall marathon training plan to see what my body can do. But before that training begins (July 20), I have another challenge on my plate: the 21-day Fix.
I had exactly three weeks between the Pride run and the beginning of marathon training, and I have 2-3 lbs that I’d love to lose to get down to my goal “racing weight,” so I figured I’d give the 21-day Fix, complete with Shakeology, a try. I’m only two days in, but so far, so good. I’ll come back at you with a full review of week one this weekend!
Until next time,