Friday, September 27, 2013

Birthday Weekend - Part 2 (Fifth Avenue Mile Race Report, News from Newport)

When we last left off, I'd thoroughly enjoyed some non-triathlon birthday festivities. I got home late-ish and was tired from the century ride, two hours of singing and two drinks. And lots of food. And cronuts. I fell asleep answering a text but fortunately woke up and was able to set my alarm for the 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday morning.

My heat started at 8:55, which is decently late for a race. I calculated that I needed to leave my apartment by 7:55 to get to the race with a little time to warmup and not be rushed. I'm sure it all seems very well planned out, the only problem is that I wasn't able to wake up until 7:47, 8 minutes prior to my predetermined departure time.

I'm sure it surprises no one to discover that changing into running clothes and walking Phoebe required more than 8 minutes. I, unfortunately, didn't leave home until 8:20. I sensed I would probably not arrive in time for my heat, but also remembered that there's some flexibility with which heats runners can join.

I arrived at 77th and Lexington at about 8:50 which is pretty shocking. I didn't expect for there to be any chance at all that I'd make it in time. If I'd been so motivated, I definitely could have jumped in just as the gun was going off and run with my proper heat. I was not inclined to do that and decided instead to run at 9:25 with the 30-39 women. In the meantime, I found Michelle and we cheered on the next heat.

At around 9:10, I walked over to the start and lined up. Even though I've run this race a number of times and had made peace with the fact that I (as usual) hadn't really trained for it, I started to get nervous. Although I had some awareness that I've improved (even if marginally) as a runner since last year, my only goal was to break 7 minutes. I therefore planned to run each quarter mile in 1:45.

After some introductory words, the gun finally went off. It took about 20 seconds to reach the start and at that point, I started weaving around slower runners. Finally, I settled into the far right side of 5th Avenue, where I knew Michelle was cheering. Once I passed her, I put on my dead face (no emotion, just staring straight ahead) and focused on the race and how I was feeling.

I finished the first quarter around 1:35. My arms had begun to hurt, but they usually do. It's probably a form thing I should work on. I finished the second, uphill quarter a couple seconds before 3:20, still putting me ahead of pace. Once I was there, I knew I could finish strong because I still felt really good.

Finished the third quarter a little after 5 minutes and tried to push the rest of the way. When I crossed the finish line, my watch read 6:50. By the time I finally fumbled around enough to properly press the Stop button on my watch, it had gotten to 6:52. It was a decent time, but I felt I could have done better.

Me and Michelle in our respective heats. Love that flying look. 
Upon looking at the results, I saw that I'd run a 6:47 and Michelle had run an 8:42, which is fantastic for her first time!

After the race, I texted Amortya to see how he'd fared at the Newport Half Marathon. Get this, he ran a 1:33. For those of you keeping track at home, that works out to a 7:09min/mile pace. This guy is a talented runner and I'm really looking forward to seeing how well he does in the rest of this season. I'm convinced that if he ever starts running outside of the NY/NJ area, he's going to start taking age group awards every time.

In other great news, my friend Allison also ran the Newport Half. It was her first half marathon and she did it in 2:12 and change! Amazing job, Allison!

Nice job, guys!

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