Monday, April 12, 2010

PR by Surprise

Let's start this Sunday race story where it really began- on Saturday. After a week of 3x 5milers in a row and a 2.3 mile swim on Friday, I woke up Sat. feeling a little zonked. Sat was a group run with the Inwood Hill Runners followed by brunch with some ladies from the Inwood twitterverse. The group run weaved through the hills and trails of Riverdale and my legs felt tired but still strong. 8.3 miles done. Saturday afternoon I relaxed and cleaned and Sat night we went to a party in Inwood. When we left the party, I felt an all-too-familiar twinge in my left knee (it sidelined me for nearly 6 weeks in 08 after NYCM) and I freaked out a little. I iced when I got home and told myself and some friends that I wouldn't be "racing" on Sunday. No biggie. I could tackle sub 28:00 some other time.

Sunday morning turned out to be a beautiful start to the day, a very funny and cool friend of mine offered a ride to the race and we had a nice ride downtown for the Thomas G. Labrecque Run as One in the bright morning sun. We parted ways when we got to the park because I needed to grab my bib and tshirt and he was running an extra lower loop, so I ran over to the bandshell alone. Wow, that felt pretty good... So I got to thinking about maybe racing after all. (Increase HR beginning:now). As I stood in the red corral contemplating a race, I noticed how few women were nearby. I was beginning to feel like I really needed to prove something at this sausage-fest.

Before the gun went off I told myself "We'll see how mile 1 goes and then decide whether or not to shoot for a PR or just go easy." Mile one flew by and I was happy/surprised to see a 6:58 flash on my garmin. "Oh," I thought. That was right on track, huh? Mile 2 is notoriously flat and easy and I had to seriously reign myself in after seeing that I was at a 6:35 pace...woooah girl. Mile 2 came in at 6:48 (the race was on) and I decided it would sure be fun to "go fishing" and pick off as many women as possible in front of me. There weren't many, but I nabbed the ones that there were. I knew that Elyssa was waiting with her fancy camera at W 86th St and that gave me some much needed motivation for the West side hills. As I ran by, she gave me a surprised look and an incomprehensible "you...oh, whaa?!" I laughed as I galloped by. I was hurting, but as I finished off mi 3 I saw that I had almost exactly 7mins to hit 28:00. I had been worried for a while about dying on mile 4 with nothing left in the tank. My head played games with me the entire race. My confidence faltered once about every half mile but I had another voice in my head telling me otherwise. The conversation went something like this:

"you CAN do this, don't you remember VA beach?"
Yes, but that was flat. Soo flat.
"So what? You train on HILLS."
Yes, but the west side hills are hard and there are a bunch of them and i want to puke and its hot and....
"Shut up and run"

The last mile went by in a flash, I cruised down to 72nd next to a guy who looked like my allergist, he kept surging ahead and then I'd find myself next to him again. I think I beat him in the end. 6:42 4th mile. I looked at my Garmin as I crossed the line, 27:48. I smiled big, gasped for air and accepted a congratulatory pat on the back from Mary Wittenberg. I congratulated the allergist look-a-like and he told me he wanted to say something during the race but.. "Well you know, I couldn't" :) Cute.

<--- looking goofy but happy.

I frolicked back uptown after the race, yelling excitedly at Michelle and detouring to say hi to Bridges Runner before walking all the way to 110th before forcing myself to leave the sunny street and go underground. I was floating... Could that really have been me out there??! I checked garmin a few times to make sure it was real. I was milking a huge runner's high for the next few hours. When I checked the race results later that day I was thrilled with what I saw. It was my first and last race at a 6:59 bib pace. I truly cannot believe that I am in the 6:00's, even if it is just barely.

The numbers:
4.03 mi in 27:48
7:09 (holy inconsistency batman)

Overall place: 542 (out of 6717)
Gender place: 42 (out of 3434)
Age place: 15 out of 1458 (WOW!!! Cool!)
69.1% AG

Now that is a ponytail flying. I'm pretty sure I'm cracking up at a verklempt Elyssa.

I'm still stupidly giddy about it, even today when I'm wicked sore and tired. I am more sore today than after the half.

Pictures are all courtesy of @nycbklyngirl aka Elyssa.


  1. I am just as giddy as you are reading this race report. So freaking awesome my soul sister!!! Big big congrats to you on your PR!!! Outstanding!!!!!

  2. I know that perma-smile! Awesome job!!!!

  3. accidental or not - you killed it!

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  5. Congratulations!!!! It is those surprises that make it all worthwhile :-) So was this a 4 mile race?

  6. Hey Julian! Thanks :) It was a 4miler.