Overall Time: 24:20
Place: 158 of 5056
Weather: 85 Degrees, 53% Humidity
Start time: 9:00
Splits: 6:05 5:57, 6:20, 5:57, 6:12
I knew the heat was going to be punishing everyone at this race, but I was hoping that I’d be able to tough it out and not let it affect me. I’ve been acclimating to racing and running in the heat, and I think today it actually paid off. I matched my 4-mile time from a few months ago, and managed two miles that were sub-6:00. I really believe that if the weather had been more cooperative, I would have gone sub-6.
Regardless, I’m happy with my performance. There were a few people who helped me out along the way, and I’ll always be grateful to my friends who help me every step of the way. The first bit of support came from Mike O. and Mike S. who cheered on all the Front Runners, and who made sure to keep me going through the somewhat difficult 3rd mile of the race.
Another big thanks goes to my Front Runner friend (and nemesis) Chris S., who ran with me during the last mile to make sure that I didn’t ease up on the throttle. He kept right behind me and wouldn’t let me slow down, or even show bad form! He yelled at me for a good quarter mile : “Relax those shoulders! …Pump your arms! …Only a half mile to go, so don’t even *think* about slowing down!”
There were also other FRNYers cheering the team on (thanks Rob, Koach Kelsey, Josh!), and the constant cheers and support during the race can really make the difference between a good race and bad race. Thankfully, I had a good race.
The race went something like this:
Mile 1 : It had been a while since I started a race uphill, but I know my pace fairly well. It’s hot – really hot. Still, I want to see if I can push myself and run through the heat. I was happy to get my first mile right on target despite Cat Hill, and pushed a first mile of 6:05.
Mile 2 : I’m not over-heating; this is good. I’m relaxing and pushing on the downhills. I know this 4-mile route like the back of my hand. Others do too, which didn’t help when a guy next to me says, “The westside is going to be brutal!” Everyone in the race knows this – it’s a hot and humid day, so no one is looking forward to the uphill in Mile 3. It wa annoying that this guy said this, because it was just sort of a mental / psychological drain. I run a 5:57, which was a good feeling.
Mile 3 : Yup, the westside is indeed brutal. We all knew it was going to be. We’re heating up and the uphills are getting tough. I see Mike O. and Mike S. who keep me going. I manage a semi-ok 6:20 mile.
Mile 4 : This has a net downhill, despite starting uphill. My running buddy Chris shows up and runs behind me to make sure I give that last mile all I have. I’m tired, dehydrated, and hot at this point – but still manage to sneak in a 5:57 time. I cross the finish at 24:20: a respectable 6:05 pace in the heat. I’ll take it.