I had this on my radar but it was the post half marathon euphoria that sealed the deal for registering.
I spent the week between the half and this race running easy. I did run 4 times Monday through Thursday and took Friday as my rest day per normal. All of my runs were very easy - 10+ mile pace with some added pick ups one of the days just to get some turnover.
I was up super late (for me) Thursday and Friday because, March Madness, and when I woke on Saturday I questioned why on earth I signed up.
My PR was set on the same course in November with a time of 53:52 8:48/mile pace - I knew on a good day yes I could beat that but just wasn't motivated - and had run a half 7 days prior.
I decided this time around to take my medication that helps with my stomach spasms. So I took that then ate a honey stinger waffle before I left. I had a solid 2.5 hours before the race and decided since I didn't know what to expect that it was as good a time as any to test it out!
To tell just how not committed to "race" I was - I wore leggings. I do NOT race in tights, I wear shorts and a tank even when it is 30 out. (I would later regret them as they were falling down part of the race).
I was greeted at Roosevelt Island by some brisk but lovely race weather.
I had about 45 minutes to spare so I got my bib and used the bathrooms without waiting. I then basically sat hanging out until about 10 minutes before when I pinned my bib, dropped my bag, and went to the start line. (again, I love how these are not the NYRR production).
I tried to get in the middle of the pack but people are ridiculous about where they line up. The girl next to me had never run 6 miles before. Really? then MOVE BACK. Ugh. I don't want to be the jackass lining up aggressively but it gets old that slower folks move up when not corralled.
A couple minutes after 9:30 we were off! I had my garmin but when I run/race lately I have gotten extremely good at not paying attention to it. I was dodging people to get in a groove for the first 1.5 miles or so. When I looked down at my Mile 2 split I realized I was below my PR pace and feeling good. I decided to go for it. Worst case, I blow up and slow down but would regret not taking the opportunity.
The course is two loops which I like. I try to get into a steady pace the first 5K and then drop it for the second. I finished the first feeling good and started to try to get more aggressive on the pace. I was passing people and happy as can be. I also had my headphones in but should note I never turned on my music.
I have come to love that race feeling, embracing that comfortably hard run and knowing I am RACING, pushing myself. By mile 4 I was starting to feel the effort. I let myself ease off for several seconds at a time but kept telling myself less than 20 minutes left, keep it up! I also realized if I kept at the pace I was going to PR which motivated me.
Pain train definitely started at mile 5. I was just seriously focused on the end at this point.
The unfortunate part of this course is I always overrun. Last time by .2 and this time turned out by .14 - there are a lot of turns and such which makes it harder so my garmin was beeping well before the mile markers that second loop which didn't really help my wanting to be done.
The final .2 involves a 180 degree turn around a cone then an uphill I was dying to be done!
And then FINISHED. With a 1:20 PR.
Not to sound braggy but I am SO proud of myself and how I have finally gotten back to running well. And faster than ever! On not really recovered legs and dealing with a lot of health issues I am setting new PR's.
Here are my garmin splits: 8:41, 8:16, 8:22, 8:03, 8:11, 8:14, 8:06
The mile 1 pisses me off (because of the slower runners that started up front) but I will just look at it as holding me back from blowing up. My mile 4 was close to being sub 8! I really had no idea how fast I was running. I was just trying to be below an 8:40 pace.
And negative split the crap out of that - a 16 second per mile drop from lap 1 to lap 2. Just how I wanted it.
My training has been so consistent, and I've overcome my fear when racing of playing it safe. I cannot do anything about my stomach issues for the most part; I will deal with Crohn's the rest of my life but my mental game has gotten very strong which makes me happy.
Excited to see what the rest of 2016 brings me!