Every year there is one race I really look forward to- the Coogan's Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K in Washington Heights. I love it because its on my home turf which means I get to sleep in a little and the journey home is nice and quick! In the past few years Coogan's has been FREEZING and the quick jog home was appreciated. 2010 was a whole new experience however, with 37 degrees at the start, very little wind and bright, glorious sunshine! There was definitely excitement in the air at the prospect of spring being just around the proverbial corner.
I had a goal time of 21:00 for this year, which would have been a 30 sec PR from last June and the whole goal time got me a bit frazzled and nervous both SAt night and Sun morning. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to race hard, and I was excited but still jittery. I had a few kids from my running team meeting me at the start so I headed down early, warming up with a nice 3/4mi jog which helped calm the nerves. An encouraging morning text from EG helped as well. :) Once the first of my 5 kids arrived, the rest of my jitters melted away and her bubbly chatter made me smile. All of the kids arrived on time, I pinned on their bibs, clipped on the D-tags and wished them all a great race (they run with parents or other coaches, etc).
Once in my corral I hardly had time to get nervous again before the horn went off. In my head I had worked out what I needed my pace to be for each mile in order to hit my goal, but as usual I forgot about the 0.1 and ...well, I've never been that good at math and I goofed.
I had a really strong race, I cruised up those hills like they weren't even there and felt powerful and free. Was it the sunshine, the bands along the way, the knowledge that my hubby was waiting near the top of the first hill and the last hill? It was all of the above.
Here are the numbers:
Mi 1: 7:08 (i held back thinking I'd make it up. This was the weak point in my plan.)
Mi 2: 6:56 (felt awesome)
Mi 3: 6:41 (ran hard!)
0.1: 6:22 pace
3.1 mi, 21:39, 6:59 avg pace. (My bib pace will change now! used to be 7:10)
NYRR says I was 101st female, 40th in my age group and 765 overall out of 5631. Oddly, I just double checked and now it says I was #102 female, 41 in my age group. Weird. Anyway, as bummed as I was for a whole 10 mins that I didn't PR, I felt like I raced smart, strong and felt great.
What came after my race was the truly awesome part of the day... as I stood shivering at the finish line waiting for my kids to cross, I was expecting to see 2 of my 3rd graders come in first until out of nowhere, one of my 2nd graders (7 yrs old!) came FLYING across at 31:53 with a HUGE grin on his face! He clocked a 10:17 pace after doing his last two races at a 14:40 pace!! Wow. I had to catch up to him after the finish because he'd run too fast for his mom to keep up. He was chattering uncontrollably about how awesome that was and how he flew past his mom and his teammates in mile 2! Man, that kid made everything I do so worth it. What a kid. His mom told me he's SO proud of himself and that he can't wait for the next race. He came to practice today with that smile still all over his face and pride beaming off of him like sunrays. I think I hooked one. Awesome. I'm the proudest coach in town today.
After the kids were finished, I headed back uptown to meet my hubby, MJ and SCL for a little brunch in our hood. We had a nice meal (pancakes, yum) and then took a stroll over to see the GWB in all of its glory. What a beautiful day on the Hudson.