Last night, I completed my typical pre-race routine: affixed my number to my shirt (new Lululemon hoodie, which I’m absolutely loving right now), attached my D-tag to my Saucony and ate my Trader Joe’s mac and cheese (bulked up with some veggies for nutrients). I watched some “Melrose Place” (judge away) courtesy of Netflix and dozed off around 11.
Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up until 7:35. My iPhone alarm has been wonky since New Years, and I was not amused this morning. Toady’s Fred Lebow Classic 5-miler had an 8 a.m. start, so I threw my clothes and shoes on, stuck my contacts in my eyes and was out the door in four minutes, hailing a cab on 6th Avenue.
Luckily, I got to the start as the corrals were collapsing so I had a few minutes to stretch and de-stress. And I’m kind of glad I didn’t end up having to wait for 20 minutes or so before the race, because it was cold. According to weather.com, it was 25 and “felt like” 14. Awesome.
I started out kind of quickly (for me) and was worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain. Luckily, I’m pretty familiar with the course by now (a quick 5-mile loop in Central Park, where all of my outdoor training runs take place) and knew the first half would be full of downhills and my feared Cat Hill would hit sometime during mile four. So I planned to only stop to walk at the water stations and, if necessary, Cat Hill. I hadn’t had time to eat or drink before high-tailing it up to the starting line, so I was pretty thirsty throughout the entire race.
Somehow, I maintained a fairly steady sub-10-min/mile pace and only lost a minute or so when I walked up the majority of Cat Hill. I probably could have powered through but I think my fear of that hill is all mental at this point. I reallllly picked up the pace right at the end and flew through the finish line in 48:24, which comes out to a 9:40/mile pace. Definitely beats the 50:04 from the Poland Springs Marathon Kick-off 5-miler!
Despite the frigid temperature, I couldn’t be happier with my first NYRR race of 2011. Not gonna lie, though, I’m a little afraid of the upcoming Manhattan Half Marathon on Jan. 22. Pretty sure I’m going to end up walking more than I’d like, but I’ve never run that distance before and it’s probably smart to not have a goal time in mind. I’ll save that for the National Half Marathon in March…