Hi there!! Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July and holiday weekend (if you were lucky enough to have a four day weekend!). And if you are in an area that has been in the middle of this long heat wave, hope you had someplace cool to spend your time. We have split our time between our air conditioned home and the pool/slide in the backyard. It’s WAY too hot to try to do anything else with the little ones.
We celebrated the 4th of July at my sister’s home (just a mile up the road). BBQ, pool, and family time. Perfect. My in-laws are in town visiting – they live in Alaska so they try to come stay with us at least once or twice a year. It’s SO fun for my boys to have BOTH sets of grandparents together! =)
After going back and forth about the 4th of July race, I decided that I would attend the race while my husband, the boys, and his mom and dad stayed home. It would have been an early morning for everyone and it just made sense for me to head there on my own, run the race, and return home.
I arrived at the race early because I wasn’t sure what parking and road closures would be like. Everything was easy. I parked and slowly jogged to the finish area to meet with Jenn who had registered and picked up bib for me (she’s the best!).
At 8:30, I started my warmup. My legs felt heavy and tired after a short and slow 1.5 miles (I was barely running a 9 min mile). I was really tempted to not race and just have a fun run, but I knew I’d regret it.
I think I was just looking for an out. The realization that I was getting ready to race had set in…the I know I’m going to push myself to the point of pain and discomfort feeling. It’s a mix of emotions in the minutes, hours leading up to a race. I love racing and pushing hard. But, in the moments before a race, especially a short one, there’s a part of me that has to come to terms with what is about to happen…what I’m about to put my body through.
My goal was 35 minutes. I wanted to use this race as a hard speed workout (my training plan called for one that day). Up until the warmup that morning, I thought I was completely recovered from the half ironman. But the slow 1.5 miles proved otherwise. 7 min miles would be hard on a flat course. And I knew it was going to really hurt on this one. It doesn’t have a ton of elevation gain (just over 220 ft) for the 5 miles, but those 200 ft are from 3 hills – 1 of which is a kicker at mile 2.2 or so.
The race started and everyone took off. And I mean TOOK OFF. People were flying by me and I was running a 6:45 pace. I knew that after the quick initial downhill, we’d level out and then begin a slow, gradual incline through mile 3, so although I really wanted to hang with everyone around me (hello, 10 year olds…), I kept my pace. Mile 1: 6:55
By mile 2, I was completely soaked and already feeling the effects of the hot day (it was 85 degrees + humid by 9am). Mile 3 was much the same as #2 – couple of smaller hills + a large one. I was tired, but had begun passing people, so my mind stay focused on the next person ahead of me rather than the pain that was starting to set in. Miles 2-3: 7:18, 7:16.
After I hit mile 3, I knew it would be a gradual downhill for the last 2 miles (with a headwind – ugh). Spectators along the course were telling me I was the 5th place female…but I also knew the 6th place female was right behind me. I gave it all I had the last mile but got passed 200-300m before the finish line. Yeah, it stung (a lot) to get passed that close to the finish line. Miles 4-5: 6:52, 6:41.
It felt great to run hard. Most of my running for Ironman Training is focused on bricks and running on tired legs to simulate race day that I haven’t had a chance to go all out in a run in a LONG time. I know I’m a stronger runner than I was 2 months ago, but I wasn’t sure if I had lost a lot of speed (because I haven’t been focused on speed work). I walked away from the race happy with how I felt and pushed, especially the last few miles.
- 5 miles: 34:52 (6:58 average)
- 6th female
- 1st AG (W 30-34)
As much as I enjoy larger races for some of the perks, I am really beginning to love smaller, local races. No traffic concerns, low cost (my “late” entry still only cost $25), chance to place overall and in my age group, and having some familiar faces pre/post race makes the local races appealing. If this had been a NYRR race, I would have probably been the 50th or so female to cross the finish line!
And I’m happy that I’m making time to do shorter races. For too long I was too focused on one big race each year and wasn’t utilizing shorter races that could help (not hinder) my training. Staten Island has some really well-organized races with great competition (the male winner of the race on the 4th was Mike Cassidy, 2012 Olympic Trials marathoner) that could supplement my training.
Did you race on the 4th?
Small + local or large races?
For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:
- Instagram: NYCRunningMama
- Twitter: NYCRunningMama
- Facebook: NYCRunningMama
- Pinterest: NYCRunningMama