Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Race Recap: New York Mini 10K

Last Saturday was NYRR's New York Mini 10k, my 3rd qualifying race for the 2012 marathon. Although I am a tad bit behind in blogger land (sorry guys!), the race was more than your typical single loop around Central Park. For starters, this race was the first women's only road race, and this year marked it's 40th anniversary.  It's hard to believe that only 40 years ago women were not as welcome in the racing world as they are today....craziness. The race was also dedicated to an amazing female runner, Grete Waitz. Not only she win the New York Marahion *nine* times, she also had run this one a stunning five times. She had passed earlier in the year to cancer.

The race had a 8 am start (it being almost summer and all), so I opted to crash at my friend Dahlia's place the night before...a 5:30 am train didn't sound like too much fun.  We woke up at 6ish so we had time to eat, get dressed, have a hair braiding session (Grete was famous for running in pigtails...so Dahlia wanted to run in pigtail braids, and I was her official hair-braider), and take our time to head to the park. We got there in plenty of time to check our bags, warm up, and head over to the corrals.
Me and Dahlia pre-race. Love those low bib numbers...thanks boys for staying home!
Besides all the history behind the race, the other thing neat thing was the first mile and a half or so was run down Central Park West, outside of the park.  While I'm sure the residents of the surrounding apartment complexes were less-than-thrilled at the early am festivities, I personally loved taking over the streets.

Getting settled into the corrals

Dahlia was in a corral ahead of me, so we had to split up.  I was running on tired legs, so I didn't really have any big plans to PR. Plus it was super humid out, and I never do well in the humidity. But weather.com had called for thunderstorms, so I was just happy we were able to get the race in!

I settled in my corral and found my friend Amy. We chatted a bit, listened to the opening speeches (including talks from Mary Wittenberg, Katherine Switzer and Deena Kastor), and before we knew, it was time to go!

Of course my Garmin decided to NOT work about 2 seconds before I crossed the start (shocking, really), so I decided to say screw it, and run without it.  Many friends had warned me about going out too fast on Central Park West, so I tried to take it conservatively.  Everyone had said it was flat...but to be honest, I felt a slight uphill incline.  But regardless, I tried to not stress about pace and just enjoy running up Central Park West.

Taking over the streets!
 Before I knew it, we hit 90th street, and it was time to turn into the park.  Gee thanks NYRR, I thought,  just in time to hit the Harlem Hills. I was warned that miles 2-3 were the hardest miles of the race, so I tried to just keep my pace, and not worry about the hills.

Well I guess all the hill running I do in the burbs of CT has made me stronger than I realize. Sure I felt the hills, but they weren't nearly as brutal as I remembered from last year.  I felt strong tackling both sets, and never once did I think "I can't do this."  When I passed mile 3 I realized I was definitely under a 10 minute mile - which felt great, because I didn't feel like I was running much harder than my usual training pace.  A bunch of the running clubs had set up cheering zones along the way, and it was a great mental boost to hear the cheers. I felt like I was flying!

Once I got through the infamous hills, I knew it was downhill from there. Sure there were small rolling hills, or "coasters" as I call them, but there was nothing I couldn't contend with.  I started to feel the humidity, so I made sure to grab water at each stop.

Mile 4, and then mile past 5, and before I knew I only had one more mile left.  The last time I ran a 10k was the Healthy Kidney 10k last year, and it was right after I took a hiatus from running...so it was not my best race.  Even though I'm a much stronger runner now than I was back then (and a marathoner to boot!), it still felt really good to think about how strong I was feeling compared to how I was back then.   I spotted the 800, then 200 meters signs...and then I saw the hot pink finish line in the distance, and I knew had it.

I ended up coming in at 57 mins and change, which was a PR by default.  My goal was just to break an hour, so I was content  But was more important to me was how great I was feeling the entire race -   maybe breaking 2 hours in a half marathon (on a flat course in good conditions) isn't so far out of reach after all.


And the best part? We got medals, yay! Even if it was only a 10k....I do love my medals.

After the race, I met up with Dahlia and a few other friends. We waited for others to come in, hung out, and took our chances on the raffle.  Sadly, no one won the $500 Amex gift certificate or weekend trip to Shelter Island. Sigh.

But on the bright side - three races down, six to go!

PS - Have you entered my big giveaway yet? Only a few more days left :)

16 comments:

  1. Nice job, that race sounds amazing and the medal is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rachel White IannuzziJune 15, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Your beautiful writing and race details make me sorry I missed it! I will plan on doing this one next year for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  3. nice job! And totally cute medal...I love polkadots :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job on your PR! I have my first 10k this weekend, so that will be a PR for me too :)
    Love the medals.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice racing! I loved being a part of that race, despite the humidity. And love that we all got medals :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. awesome job girl! that race looks like a lot of fun!

    I absolutely hate it when my garmin decides to be stubborn with me, especially during races. It seems to always be "searching for a signal"...boo!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congrats! That is awesome everyone else commented on how hard those hills were but you just rocked them. i need to take a page from your book. ugh and i hate when the garmin goes :(, what would life be without our garmins haah

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice race! That looks like a great event!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aw, great race recap! Congrats on an awesome race! You are definitely going to get that sub 2 hr 13.1!

    Speaking of race medals, I'm having a race medal display giveaway. If you don't have one you should enter!:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome job - that looked like such a fun race!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congrats on a FAB race!!
    I heard that course was super heard, go great job!!
    And PS I love the medal they gave out. I'm going to have to do that race next year.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! Don't say it was "only" a 10K! That's awesome! I about died running my first 10K race. The medal is so pretty! Also, you look so cute running! I always wind up looking like a nasty mess!

    ReplyDelete
  13. congrats on your race! 10k is one of my fave distances, right after half. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cute blog! I am new to running, biking and blogging...well pretty much the whole fitness thing :) I think I'll keep reading your bog to get all the help I can!! Congrats on all your accomplishments.

    ReplyDelete
  15. you guys are so sweet...thanks so much for all the positive vibes :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well done! I think a sub-2 half is totally in reach for you.

    ReplyDelete