NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 4-Miler

NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 4-Miler

Official race time: 25:02 / 6:15 pace
Overall Place: 64 of 3684
Age Place: 19

This was definitely not the race that I wanted. I’m not sure what went wrong exactly, but I just didn’t race this that well and lost focus. I wasn’t expecting to do a whole lot better than what I did, but at the least I did expect to beat 25:00.

My splits were as follows:

Mile 1: 6:26 (flat / uphill)
Mile 2: 6:12 (flat)
Mile 3: 6:01 (flat / downhill)
Mile 4: 6:23 (flat / uphill)

I can’t change the past, so let’s focus on the future here.  Let’s see if I can pin-point some obvious things I should do differently in future races:

1. I got less than ideal hours of sleep. Did I really need to stay up late to finish off those last two beers?

2. Those last two beers.  Were they really necessary?  Probably not. I should focus on being hydrated the next morning, and not the minimal buzz I might get from a couple of beers.

3. I arrived to Prospect Park *only* 30 minutes before the race start. Normally this might not be a problem, except that (due to the snow, I think?) the baggage check area was moved as far away from the start as possible.  I wasted a good 10 minutes getting to / from the baggage check gates. When you factor in the few minutes it took me to walk from the train station, change shoes, get my bib pinned to my shirt, and find my friends in the corral I had only 5 minutes before the race start before I finally got to my corral.  This means I didn’t have any time to stretch or warm up. Before I knew it, some lady was singing the Star Spangled Banner, and the horn went off… time to run!

3a. Because of the crazy corral / baggage check / porta-potty area, I didn’t get to use the facilities… and I definitely needed to use them… specifically, I had *two* reasons. Argh. Next time I’m getting to the race area a full hour early.

4. I totally lost focus during the run. I had planned on pacing behind my friend Dave Caraway, but he started his first mile slower than I wanted. It took me a half mile to realize this, before I made an effort to pass him. Perhaps worse, during the run I definitely found myself getting lost in thought — typically I’m pretty good about focusing on pace, heart rate, breathing, cadence — but a few times I caught myself literally day dreaming and it caused me to slow down.  Next time : eye on the prize!

Disappointments aside, the day wasn’t a total loss. My running group (Front Runners New York) did very well. We took 3rd for the team awards, which means I get a medal! Yay! I was the 3rd fastest Front Runner which was sort of cool, being able to contribute to my team’s award. The two ahead of me were much faster (5:45, 5:32 paces). Also, I beat my friend Dave C. I knew he’d give me a run for my money and really wanted to stay ahead of him.

The FRNY Women also got 2nd place overall, and there were a number of age / gender awards as well as personal records that individual Front Runners pulled off.  Notable mention goes to Dave Pitches, who turned in an awesome 27:20 (6:50 pace), that gave him 1st place in the 60-64 age group.  I hope I’m runnig that fast when I’m 64! I hope the 65-69 group is ready for Dave next year, because he’s going to give them a run for their money!

Next weekend is the Coogan’s 5K, but I don’t have super high hopes for this race. I hear the hills make it a difficult course to PR on, so I’m just going to try and enjoy the hills and have some fun. It’s time I take a little pressure off myself, anyway.

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