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.
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?
[caption id="attachment_232" align="aligncenter" width="480"] 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.[/caption]
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.