Like a lot of my running buddies I am a big fan of a Thanksgiving morning race. I have run the 5 miler in Prospect Park a couple times but this year way too much of a trek from Queens (I had to go to NJ after). I started scouring the internets early on and luckily found one pretty close to me in Port Washington. I will not really trek for a 5K but this was also a 5 miler so win!
I didn’t really set myself up too well for it. The night before maybe indulged in more than a couple glasses of wine. And ate the frosting off of 1 ½ cupcakes (love buttercream could care less about the cake part) and then had a later than normal night (basically anything past 9pm is late for me).
Morning of, the struggle was real to wake up and get out of bed. But I did. Very unmotivated but I did it. I had a lot of time pre-race. The train got me to Port Wash a little after 7 with the race at 8:30. I had planned to run the 1.8 miles or so to the start but laziness was set and I did more walking than running.
I picked up my stuff and had the half hour to chill. I wound up hiding my bag behind a tractor and hoping for the best (no bag drop so was just praying my sweats were there after).
My 5 miles PR was 43:07 so my goal was an 8:30 pace to try and PR, but was very meh about the whole effort thing.
I lined up around 8:15 a little behind the 8 marker, because I am honest about my pace. The announcers every minute would state to “line up by pace, walkers in the back and unless you are running a 6 minute mile get away from the front” lol.
Gun goes off right at 8:30 and I knew I was in trouble as we were shuffling to the start. Off the bat people are walking, running VERY slow and just clogging the start up. I decided not to weave too much and attempt to settle in.
Mile 1: 8:48
I will say I was really disheartened to see how slow that first mile clicked off – it was unavoidable as it took at least a half mile to get into pace.
I also quickly note that we are running some rolling hills. I had just assumed that the course was flat but learned otherwise, luckily for the ups there was plenty of downs as well.
Mile 2: 8:16
I was in a groove now I honestly wasn’t looking much at my watch but running more by feel. I was trying to push but stay in control
Mile 3: 8:17
Kind of surprised that I was running this pace and not feeling like I was ready to fade yet but figure “at least I have banked time” (all the lol’s bc that is always a good plan, right?)
Mile 4: 8:07
The beginning of this mile met us with a hill that basically looked like Harlem Hill. I said good bye to all PR efforts as I tried to keep the pace up it. When the mile time clicked off I was kind of amazed.
Mile 5: 8:11
The course FINALLY leveled off and I knew it was flat to the finish I was holding on for dear life now.
Official time: 41:43, 8:20 pace
Splits: 8:48, 8:16, 8:17, 8:07, 8:11
Thoughts – I knew a PR was doable based on recent race times. I really had to work for this on the rolling hills and was very smart about the tangents – my Garmin mileage was 5.01 miles. Effort wise I am learning how to pace myself in shorter races much better if my negative splits say anything. Also happy how I handled the hills considering I rarely run them. Kept effort even on the up and really let my stride open on the down.
I will say I still shock myself with my race times these days. The majority of my miles are run slow but I race frequently these days and have PR’d the 5K, 10K and now 5 Mile in the past month or so.
I know in theory it is probably good that mile 1 was so congested because it lit that competitive fire inside of me being held back. Lately I have gotten to the race start and raced even when I wanted to phone it in.
But a serious PSA: people that line up purposely out of place – you ruin it for people like myself gunning for a PR. If you start at the 7 min mile marker and are running 10 – 12 minute miles or worse, WALKING, you are an asshole. Sorry, not sorry.
And with that I have one last 10K left this coming weekend then might be done racing for 2015. I had planned a half marathon this Sunday but it reached capacity so settled on the 10K another time.
Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!!