I must admit, the past two weeks I slacked. And I slacked bad.
After my half, I hit a couple of beautiful six mile runs down the west side highway and kaput. Nothing. I was a little burnout after the gauntlet of races stretching from August through October and for that, I don't really regret taking about ten days of break.
And it worked. I feel completely refreshed -physically and mentally. I'm sure it's due in part to being just over halfway through my 9+1
qualifying races, and having a little more wiggle room for what races I choose for the final 3 than I anticipated.
NYRR Poland Spring Marathon Kick-Off
Part of the reason I didn't find myself stressing over this race was the fact that this was my first 5 mile distance race, so I didn't feel pressured to beat a previous time. Between the time off and my first really chilly seasonal run, my first goal was to pay attention to how I was feeling and adjust my cadence and form accordingly. My second goal was to aim for a 8:00 to 8:30 pace per mile (slower than 5k, faster than my 10 mile paces).
The Mister woke up bright and early with me, we hopped into the bug, and headed to the west side.... where we could absolutely not find parking to save our lives. I suggested we bite the bullet and put it in a garage, but as the car is super old and temperamental, the Mister was very worried about whether a valet could even drive it. So we circled. And circled. Before we knew it, it was 8:22 and I had to hop out and dash to the corral to meet the Mister later.
And I made it just in the nick of time. In fact, the green coral was full up and closed, and I had to enter another coral back. Madness, I say, madness!
And we were off.
[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignright" width="302"] I have an apple in one hand, a free bottle of water in the other, 0:40:43 under my belt, and a handsome mister in front of me- life is good![/caption]
Mile 1: was was super crowded and I patiently tried to work my way up to a more comfortable pace.
Mile 2: Some formidable hills, but I felt fast and was following a man dressed almost entirely in neon yellow running gear.
Mile 3: Still feeling good, a little frustrated I'm somehow not moving faster than I actually am. Almost missed the water station.
Mile 4: Again, very distracted by the water station and my impending finish, almost forget completely about setting my split.
Mile 5: Quick finish, felt great. The Macintosh apples at the finish tasted like gold. Juicy, crispy, apple, gold.
My spits were 8:06, 7:48, 8:21, 8:05, and 8:03.... which puts me in for a 0:40:43. And I'll take it!
I really enjoyed the finish area which already had many of the grandstands set up for the marathon.
(Tangent:Yes, I know it's Marathon Fever time in New York City, and yes, I have it bad. Even though I am not running this year, I can not wait to watch the thousands of diverse runners who will tackle the course this Sunday. I happen to live less than five minutes away from the portion of the course that happens to be near a mile marker where people start hitting the wall and digging deep. And if that's not some of the best inspiration, I don't know what is).
But grandstands. I couldn't help but think how so many marathoners would feel this Sunday after so many hours and so many miles where they could see the final mere yards before the finish. Too cool.