Tag Archive for 5 mile

Worst Case Scenario: Join the Voices 5M

The past two weeks I been wrestling with an annoying cough that creeps up at inopportune times and sends me into a fit of hacks and wheezes. Usually, a solid day or two off gives my body a chance to catch up and get better. Unfortunately a particularly crazy work week not only made that impossible, but left me more burnt out on top of everything else. After a careful examination of the nuances of my malady, I decided this isn’t something I should run through as I was already feeling exhausted (and not “long day” exhausted, but sore body, frail exhausted). So I waited. And waited. And waited… No change.

The next thing I know is it is Sunday morning and I am laying in bed knowing that there was a good chance this would happen- that I would have to run one of my qualifying races feeling like, well, shit. It could have been sleep deprivation from work,  it could have been my knee flaring up, or any number of slight injuries. It happened to be this weird cough situation I haven’t been able to shake.

It’s not until I am bib-ed up and sitting on the train next to my Mister that I realize I forgot my watch. I have never forgotten my watch for running, not for short jogs, not for long runs, not for any race.

When I found my corral, I found myself up a closer corral than usual.

So just to summarize the weirdness:

Sick.
Forgot watch for the first time ever.
Closest corral yet. Why not.

This photo just about sums up my feelings:

This photo just about sums up my feelings:

 

My miles broke down like this:

Mile 1: I felt like pretty stilted. Like I was lumbering back and forth. Like a polar bear.

Miles 2, and 3: Felt amazing- in my groove, stoked to be running again. So distracted, I missed the MET (one of my usual mental markers during Central Park runs). Visually, mentally, did not register it at all.

Mile 4Hurting. So much that I saw a random volunteer and my first thought was “Where does this thing end?” Note: I knew exactly where the end was. Perhaps I meant “Make this thing end.”

Mile 5: I can hear the crowds! I can count the blocks (via lampposts) on one hand! This thing is going to end and I am going to be alive when it does!

When I finish I have no idea what time it is and when I do find out my results I’m shocked:

0:41:03

wait, what? No PR of course, but only 20 seconds slower than my race three weeks ago? Awesome time for feeling sick and under-trained, but the obvious questions becomes “What the @*#& was I doing three weeks ago?’

In my head, the day had begun as a perfect storm of Worst Case Scenarios, but sick, healthy, PR, no PR, at least I’m certainly consistent. And I realized it could always be worse. I mean, at least it wasn’t raining.

 

Dash to the Finish!

While most runners in New York this weekend were eating their final bowl of pasta before the BIG race on Sunday, a few (thousand) of us were warming up the roads Saturday morning.

That’s right- the New York Road Runner’s Dash to the Finish!

Staging for the race began just around the corner from the United Nations, on 47th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave. I found my corral early and it looked like they were set up for about 10,000 runners.

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I saw costumes and flags, mostly worn as capes, that represented countries from, well, everywhere. Bavaria (about six people in a lederhosen/milkmaid like costumes) and Japan (traditional samurai-like robe) stand out in my mind as particularly enthusiastic.

47th Street filled up quickly until it was packed curb to curb with runners. We had to wait a short bit here, until we were ushered out onto 1st Avenue, just in front of the United Nations building for the anthem and start.

And then we were off!

Notes on the course:

Stoplights: The first time I saw a yellow light, my thought was “-gotta beat that light-” and then I realized, I don’t gotta beat that light because the streets are closed. Obvious, but still a pretty cool surprise due to my apparent short term memory loss.

Enthusiasm: Off the charts. I can’t even imagine how crazy people must feel marathon morning because this was the day before and I could still feel the excitement about race weekend.

Enthusiasm: Also dangerous. A lot of runners were stopping cold in the middle of the road, running backwards, or not looking where they were going at all in order to take selfies. I get it, this is awesome, we’re all excited to be here, but there are literally thousands of people moving like an ocean wave so maybe we should step to the side to take that picture of the Chrysler building, no?

I love watching people at the finish line because that last stretch is always a mixture of elation of knowing you are almost done, and scraping together your final push.

I was a little bit nervous because I had my heart set on beating my fastest 5K time to date (since high school anyway.) However that was over 2 months ago, and since then about 95% of my runs have focused on distance and endurance, at the cost of at least 1 weekly speed work session. Part of this was because I had been training for a 1/2 marathon and wanted to be comfortable with the distance, and part of this was because I hate speed work. And love long runs. *Sigh*

So I was concerned.

And I managed to mess up my split display last time I used my watch, but didn’t realize until I was running. And I managed to mess up my last split marker- so that last mile was a real mystery.

So when I finished, by the time on my watch I was pretty sure I didn’t make my goal. Which I was okay with. OK, honestly disappointed, but deep down I know it is time to get more serious and set up a more structured training schedule- one that includes regular speed work.

And then I checked my official results: 0:24:00! Which makes it my 5K PR with a pace of 7:45 per mile. And I am stoked. And ready to start some genuine speed training from this point on.

 

Five Down, Four to Go: Poland Spring Marathon Kick-Off!

five down down,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.

bronxgrete 006

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!

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.