Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Race Report: The Brrrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k

This was my first 10k and NYCRUNS race of the year. It's also the first time I've raced in Prospect Park in almost 3 years, the last time being the 2009 Brooklyn Half Marathon. As appears to be my MO this season, I began the morning by waking up late and rushing to grab my bib and reach the start line. At the very least, I did end up doing both before the race started, which is something at which I failed miserably for my races this past weekend (reports on those to come soon).

I found myself at the entrance of Prospect Park with about 10 minutes to spare, unaware that the start was nearly a mile away from me. I had the good fortune of running into a fellow racer who was in the middle of calling a friend to ask about the exact location of the start. Once we knew that bibs were at the Oriental Pavilion, we continued walking in the direction her friend had specified. Unfortunately, it became clear to me within a minute or two that we would never make it in time for the start of the race if we didn't run and my companion did not seem to have any intention of running, so I bade her good luck and began half sprinting to the Pavilion, hoping I'd make it to the start at least within a few minutes of the horn. I ran, and ran and then ran some more hoping that any minute the Pavilion would appear! It didn't for what seemed like a long time. I ran for a few minutes before approaching a small cluster of runners which turned out to be the start line. I thought that was a good sign and so kept going, running the opposite direction of the trickle of runners who were also approaching the start.

I was starting to get annoyed (not that I had any good reason, since I'm the one who woke up late) a few minutes after that when I STILL hadn't found the Pavilion. Finally, after rounding one more curve, it was there in front of me. I grabbed my bib, left the souvenir mug to pick up after the race (I didn't have a bag for it and I certainly didn't intend to race while holding it) and started pinning it to myself as I ran back toward the start.

Miraculously, I made it before they blew the horn. Prospect Park is known for being a little bit hilly but I tried not to think about that too much beforehand. My experience with Prospect Park during the Brooklyn Half had not been great and I didn't want to psych myself out. Besides, my best races have always been the ones I go into with no expectations. Is that a good thing? Probably not. It means that I get into my own head too easily. C'est la vie.

The race started on the biggest hill in Prospect Park. It was hard, but not too much. I've discovered that I'm decently prepared when it comes to hills and climbing them is a strength. I was befuddled for pretty much the entire race because, for once, I was passing people. I mean, people were passing me, too, but way fewer than usual.

Many people make a game of selecting someone ahead of them in a race and trying to pass them, picking off as many people as possible until the end. I've never been good at this game, again, because I get into my head and am bothered when I can't seem to catch someone. Not this time. I methodically passed a good number of people and was totally unfazed when I either didn't catch or was passed back by someone.

There was really only one guy I can remember having a long chase with. We passed each other a couple of times and I spent most of the race about 10 feet behind him before he broke away at the very end and probably finished a quarter mile or so ahead of me.

Also a pleasant surprise was my last mile, which I kept at a fast pace nearly the whole way. Take all these estimations with a grain of salt, as I didn't have a watch and therefore have no idea how fast I was actually going. I managed to finish strong and the clock read about 52:30 when I crossed. Sadly, the NYCRUNS timing equipment wasn't working, so the race wasn't scored and I didn't receive an official time. Too bad, because I thought I had a pretty good race and I think my pace would have been a little bit under 8:30mins/mile. 

That aside, it was a good race. Plus, NYCRUNS allowed anyone who ran it to also run the Mmmanhattan Hot Chocolate 10k this past weekend, which I did. Keep up the good work, NYCRUNS!

No comments:

Post a Comment