Well as yesterday's post described, the forecast was for another wet race. But in a dramatic twist of events, the rain actually completely stopped around the afternoon - and it actually stayed that way for the evening. I personally find this proof that the weather gods are runners.
I caught an express train to the grand central a bit before 5 pm, so I was in Grand Central by 5:45 or so. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get to the race site, and considering I have a generally awful sense of direction, and I really never hang out in the financial district, I wanted to give myself plenty of time.
My plan was to head to my friend Abbey's apartment, since she said she lived right by the start line, and she was kind enough to grab my bib/shirt for me again. And when she said she lived right by the start...she sure wasn't kidding! Her apartment was literally right across the street from the front of the start. Her doorman held my bag for me, I ran up to use a real bathroom, had a quiet place to put on my bib and d-tag...talk about VIP treatment! Our friend Nicole met us at the apartment as well, so as soon as we were situated, we headed out the race.
|My shirt and number|
Well usually NYRR has corrals for every race regardless of the distance...but this race was the exception. I knew when I signed up for this race it was the considered our version of "running with the bulls" but I still wasn't quite prepared for this madness. We had heard that despite the two separate starts, the walkers often mix in with the runners...so we crept up front to get a good starting slot. I would normally feel guilty being so close to the front (I mean let's be honest...I'm not running 6 minute miles anytime in the foreseeable future) but when I looked around at the crowd, there seemed to be such a mix up there, I didn't feel so bad.
When the gun went off for the start - it was go time, and I mean go! I'm usually in the middle of the pack for NYRR races, so that gives me time to start walking briskly, then a slow jog, until I actually cross the start line. Not this time around! I literally went from a standstill to a run along with the rest of the crowd.
My initial plan for this race was to run it at 9 min/mile pace, to kinda see how that felt in a race setting, and to see if that was a realistic pace for me to hold for 13.1 miles on Saturday. Unfortunately, my bestest trainer partner - my trusty Garmin, decided this race would be the perfect time to spaz out on me. It was basically useless - telling me 3 minutes in I had already run a mile. And on top of that, it kept blinking at me "lost satellite reception" and "foot pod detected" and those messages would cover up the stopwatch part...so it was utterly useless. I was on my own.
The first mile went by pretty quick - I was pretty surprised by the inclines in the road (I had thought it would be as flat as a pancake.) I had no idea where I was or where I was going, but it was obviously easy to follow the crowd. I got pushed onto the sidewalks a bit, but I had kinda expected that. I passed by the first mile marker, and the clock said it was about 8:40 minutes or so into the race.
Mile 2 was just as crazy - twists and turns everywhere. There was a water stop and although I didn't want to take the time to grab it, I was starting to feel the humidity, so I decided to go for it. Almost ran into a few people who thought it would be a great idea to stop short in front of the water station, but I managed to grab a cup. I was really starting to wonder where I was...and then the second mile marker came up. I think I saw the clock say around 17 minutes, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it.
Mile 3 was just a giant cluster...no other way to describe it. Some people were really starting to bonk here, and slow to a walk...which made navigating the narrow streets even more difficult. At one point we had to run over a curb, and I was just relieved that I didn't trip and fall. The final stretch was along a narrow promenade that was lined with trees, so it was hard to see up ahead. Spectators were letting us know the finish line was almost there - but since I had no idea where I was, and had no watch to help pace me...I started to get anxious and my mind starting to play tricks on me, I think I started to slow. But of out nowhere the finish line popped up, and sure enough, I crossed. I had missed the clock, but managed to hit the stop on my Garmin - for a finish time of 26:11. The official results said 26:10, so at least the Garmin got one thing right - the watch said I had just ran 8.33 miles in 26:10 mins @ a 3:09 mile/pace. HA!
|My real results!|
After walking through the finish line area (So excited to see there was bottled water with caps- perfect for the train!) a bit, I found Abbey stretching - she had finished about two minutes before me. We found Nicole pretty soon after, and then headed back. I grabbed my stuff from Abbey's doorman, and said my goodbyes quickly - I was pretty tired after working all day, and just kinda wanted to catch a train and get home.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with my pace considering all the obstacles I have. I did go end up faster than I had planned for...which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Next up is the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Sat! I really would love to be able to hang onto a 9 min/mile pace for this one, break 2 hours, and feel like I have a solid half marathon behind me right before going into marathon training...but we will see. I had hoped this 3-miler would give me a boost of confidence, but now I'm more nervous than ever!