I came back from recovery with the crazy goal of PRing in every distance from 1 mile to the marathon by the end of the year. After this weekend, I can proudly say I’m one step closer.
Sunday dawned with clear skies, a welcome contrast from the forecast for the day at the start of the weekend. I got up, had some toast with peanut butter and half of a sliced up banana and headed out.
Unfortunately, the train gods were not on my side that morning, so my ride to the start took longer than anticipated, which meant I would have to curtail my warm up.
I jogged from the train station to the start area, dropped my bag (containing my CamelBak for my long run after the race, more details in my training summary), and ran a little more, wrapping up with a couple of fast strides to get my legs moving. All in, my warm up was only about 0.9 mile when I was hoping it would be more like 1.5-2 miles.
When I finished, I saw some teammates hanging out, but noticed the corral was open, so I jetted off to get in there and well positioned.
One of the great things about this race is that you are running directly against your age group. My heat was women 15-29.
The bad thing about that is that there aren’t any corrals to break people up by predicted pace, which means you end up with a lot of people jamming the front of the corral who probably shouldn’t really be there.
Since I ended up getting into the corrals later than I intended too, I was about six rows from the front, which was less than ideal.
When the gun went off, I was focused on getting around the people in front of me at the start efficiently without too much wasted effort. The first quarter mile was 1:22 on my watch, a little faster than my 1:25 goal pace.
By the half way point, the people who had seeded themselves too far up had fallen back and the road was pretty open.
Unfortunately, it was about that point that I first choked on some phlegm, so that was less than ideal. I was trying to convince my sinuses to hold it together for just three more minutes so I could get my muscles the steady flow of oxygen they needed for a fast, short race.
The half went by in 2:47. It was slower than the first quarter, but it was also the one uphill segment of the race, so I was happy with that.
By the three-quarter mile mark, I was reeling in some more girls and feeling strong. That part was a slight downhill, and I don’t remember what the time on the clock was at this point, but I remember thinking to myself that if I could just hold on I’d blow away my goal.
For the final quarter mile, that was my focus. Unfortunately, I again choked on some bodily fluids, so I was also focused on not tripping as I struggled to breathe.
I crossed the finish line strong with 5:36.2 on my Garmin (official time 5:36).
I came in 21st for my heat, and this was my best ever age-graded performance percentage at 75.06%.
Interestingly, I was 12 spots worse in my age group compared to the same race and same age group as last year, despite running 10 seconds faster. Clearly the competition has gotten much hotter!
All in, it was a great race and I’m happy with my performance, despite not feeling my best in the lead up to the event.
And now, my next race, the Staten Island Half Marathon, is less than a month away! Coincidently, the McMillian race predictor calculator projects my goal half marathon time…to the second!…from my mile time. Let’s hope McMillian is on to something!
PS – Big news today: I just submitted my Boston Marathon registration 😀 Here’s to staying healthy for the next 7 months to make it to the starting line this time around!
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