>Look What I Can Do!>A win + 10 down, 2 to go
Great running weekend for me!
We've had nice cool weather in NYC lately. Saturday I raced the Miles for Midwives 5k. I won this race 2 years ago and forgot to race it last year. I was hoping for another good showing this year.
While on the line, a kid (he looked like he was 18) asked me how fast I was planning to go. I could tell he was sizing me up and it made me smile inside... I used to ask people that when I first started racing. I casually said maybe 18 something but that I'd been training for long stuff this year so I'd probably be a lot slower. He went on to say he won last year and was going to run hard again this year. I smiled and told him good luck and shook his hand. When the gun went off, he barrelled off.
The first half mile is all downhill and I ran back behind him a bit, thinking he was going out way too fast. There were a few others close to me, I could hear heavy breaking and foot strikes. It was fun. Toward the bottom of the hill my watch showed a 4:50 pace so I slowed down. The kid had pulled about 10 or 20 yards ahead as he continued to barrel onward. I decided to slow a bit more. He'd fade.
I caught him just before mile 1. I pulled up and then he sped off, so I slowed and let him run harder for a bit more. Psychological games I guess, ha. I caught him again, surged past and hit mile 1 at 5:20. My mile PR from a few years ago is 5:17, but this was pretty much downhill so I expected to go fast, but I was pleased.
Then we were on the false flats that lead into Mile 2 ending with a good .3 mile uphill, so I just held a steady effort and imagined him fading away.
Up the hill, I didn't hear his or anyone's foot strikes anymore, so I figured he was gone and I was on my own. Mile two was a full minute slower, which I expected given the hill and false flats, but I was a good 20 seconds faster on mile one AND two than the last time I raced this, so I was feeling good. I was feeling the pressure of being in the lead though, which I personally dislike.
I was hoping to drop the pace down again for mile three, to creep under 6 min since I did that last time, but it was getting hard. Mile 3 ended up at 6:06. I was still well ahead of my last race and on toward a 5k PR.
With about a quarter mile to go I could hear people cheering and shouts that the first guy was coming in. I listened for anyone yelling words of encouragement to anyone on my heels, that they could still catch me, but nothing, so I knew there must be a good gap. I finished in 18:17 very pleased and a sub six minute pace overall.
The kid ended up coming in somewhere in the mid 19s, in third place; clearly he went out too hard. I think second place was around 19 flat but they haven't posted results yet.
After the awards, I showered and went off with my wife and some friends for brunch and stiff cocktails, then to a bar for more. Great recovery and a nice afternoon :-)
Saturday night my wife reminded me I was supposed to get up early and run my monthly solo marathon on Sunday, since the next few weekends would be inconvenient and I wanted to have some recovery time before the NYC marathon in November, so it was pretty much get up early and see how I felt. When I went to bed, the last thing I wanted to think about was getting up and running 26+ miles. And, it was supposed to rain.
But, the alarm went off at 7, I woke up well rested, overcast sky but no rain yet. I dressed, ate half an english muffin with peanut butter, glass of water, hit the bathroom and was out the door by 7:30.
I figured I'd run a loop or two of the park (3.4 miles per loop, same park as the 5k race) and I'd see if I wanted to continue or call it a day. Two loops down and I was feelin' good -didn't feel like I raced the day before. So I went for 4 loops, which turned to 6 and around mile 21, I left the park to run into Manhattan to TriBeCa to meet my wife and sister-in-law, so I could meet my new niece and have brunch. My legs felt great as I went up the very steep Manhattan Bridge and down the other side into Chinatown. Then it was about mile to her place, and I cooked it up a bit. My final two miles (which included the bridge) were so comfortable, it was freaky. Mile 25 was 7:33 and 26 was 6:46. I finished a block past her apartment with my second ever negative marathon split (first was 2 weeks ago when I ran my September monthly solo marathon).
I'm starting to think I might have figured this whole marathon thing out. Now we'll see what happens when I actually race the NYCM next month. Just two more marathons this year and I'll hit my goal of one per month in 2012!
HTFU? Why not!
Coach: Empire Tri Club
Speed Coach: Brooklyn Tri Club
Interval Junkie --Nobby
Wow, this was a great read. Congrats on the victory!
Solo marathon per month? Check.
Have a great time in the NYCM. Maybe I'll see you there . . . you know, among the 50,000 other people.
2014 Goals: sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)
Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon