Category: Where I Run

2010 Queens Half Marathon

Overall Time: 1:35:00
Pace: 7:16
Place: 137 of 3668
AG%: 62.34%

Weather: 86 Degrees, 63% Humidity
Start time: 7:00

Splits: 7:51, 7:26, 7:08, 7:05, 7:04, 7:05, 7:09, 7:05, 7:23, 7:17, 7:07, 7:26, 7:01, 0:46


Feeling good at mile 5.

Yikes, this was an insane race. It was hot and humid — 86 degrees at the start (7am), and it got warmer as the sun rose from above the tree line.  Everybody slowed down a good 8+  minutes from their expected times. Several of my sub-3:00 marathoner friends couldn’t even break 1:32 today because of the heat, and a number of PW (personal worst) were made today.

A lot of us knew it was going to be hot and humid, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad. We readjusted our goal times accordingly, and set off to do our business.

This was the first race that I started a bit late. I didn’t have enough time to get into the first corral, so I had to sneak into one of the middle corrals – behind something like 2000 people.  This meant that the first two miles were fairly slow, as I wove my way through the crowds.  It also meant that I continued to pass people every single mile of the race – I more or less held a pretty consistent pace (except for a couple 7:20 miles – what’s up with that?) the entirety of the race course. And when people started to fade at the end, I seemed to be passing them left and right.

It’s hard to asses my performance except to compare it to the runners that I’m normally competitive against. I placed in the same order within my running club that I normally do, so at least I didn’t completely fail at this race. Yes, it was slow – but so was everyone else’s. Even the elite runners slowed down – only the winning time of 1:13:39 would have been good enough to be in the top 20 of the previous NYRR Half Marathon Series (Brooklyn).


…finally, it’s over!

It’s easy to be disappointed by my time, but that wouldn’t really be constructive.  When we all crossed that finish line we just looked at each other and without speaking, knew what we were all thinking, “WE MADE IT!” It was a test of endurance, and the goal wasn’t to PR – it was to finish in one piece.

A small group of Front Runners and I went to the Mile 13 marker and went to cheer on the remaining finishers, which was pretty amazing.  There were a lot of people really looking miserable, but managed to put in an extra kick when we started cheering them on to finish strong.  It helped to take our mind off of the horrible conditions that we had endured, and made me realize there were still thousands of runners on the course who were still toughing it out. They needed a little (OK, maybe a lot!) of encouragement, but the camaraderie that came out of cheering them on was pretty inspiring. 

Everyone was swearing they wouldn’t be doing the Queens Half Marathon next year, but I’ll be back. Yes, it was tough. Yes, it was slow. But not all of my races are going to have perfect racing conditions, and I can’t let that stop me. I’m learning not to always race for a PR, but to race and run because it’s what I love doing.  And at the end of the day, despite the misery of the race, I loved every second of it.

2010 Brooklyn Half Marathon

Overall Time: 1:28:24
Pace: 6:44
Place: 207 of 7008
AG%: 66.9%

Weather: 58 Degrees, 86% Humidity, Wind, Clear.
Start time: 8:00
Splits: 6:45, 6:53, 6:31, 6:27, 6:50, 6:52, 6:33, 6:41, 6:44, 6:48, 6:43, 6:55, 6:54, 0:41

2010 Brooklyn Half Marathon - Running along the boardwalk of Coney Island

Not the race I wanted, but it was a good learning experience. My legs had not been feeling well at all in the week and a half leading up to the race. This may have been the results of a little too much partying, way too much drinking, not enough sleeping, and a touch of jet lag (all courtesy of a trip to Las Vegas). Regardless, it would prove to be a good test to see what I could do when I’m not at 100%.

My favorite miles were easy to pick out: Mile 1, because I felt OK, and Mile 13 because it signaled that it was finally OVER. Boy how I wanted this race to be over. After the first mile, my legs started to feel tired — not a good sign. They weren’t hurting or sore; they just didn’t have any real life in them. This wouldn’t change much the remainder of the race.

I went out easy the first two miles (6:45, 6:53) but then picked it up a little bit on the downhills of Prospect Park to throw in a 6:31 and a 6:27. I wasn’t afraid to push myself, and knew I’d have nothing but regrets if I started off slow and continued slow while making excuses along the way. Just because I wasn’t feeling 100% didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try and race this.

The course looped inside Prospect Park twice, before heading out to the Coney Island boardwalk. Before the race, I had anticipated being weighed down mentally inside of the park — doing two large loops of the park (that included a slightly nasty hill) didn’t seem appealing. But the reality turned out to be quite the opposite — due to the great support of all the people who came to cheer, the first 7 miles inside the park really flew by. By contrast, once leaving the park I was greeted by few people cheering (except at fluid stations) and just a loooooong stretch of road leading to Coney Island.

2010 Brooklyn Half Marathon - Feeling good inside the park!

I started to fade outside of the park. Despite starting off conservatively and the hills inside Prospect Park, I averaged a slightly faster pace for the first 7 miles (6:41) than I would for the boring final 6 miles (6:47) trying to get to Coney Island. Normally I’d have tried to negative split this race, but my legs weren’t cooperating. I had to really dig deep to throw in that 6:43 at Mile 11, and I threatened some 7:00 miles toward the end.

This was a good learning experience, and I really can’t wait to tackle my next Half Marathon (depending on the weather, it may be the Bronx Half).

Run As One 4-Mile Race Presented by JP Morgan Chase

Overall Time: 24:23
Pace: 6:05
Place: 86 of 6712
AG%: 69.1%

Weather: 52 Degrees, 47% Humidity, Clear.
Start time: 9:00

Splits:
6:03
5:59
6:18
6:02

This was a good race! I have a 4-mile race next week, and I thought I wasn’t going to try to run this one too hard. That changed once I got to the front corral, as it became evident that a lot of the faster Front Runners were doing this race. Sensing that FRNY might be able to take home a team medal, and me wanting to be a part of that, I decided to go for it and I’m happy with how this ended up.

Unfortunately, I ended up the 6th Front Runner to cross the line (only the top 5 get medals) but at least FRNY ended up with a 3rd place Men’s Team medal. I felt good the entire race, which means maybe I didn’t try hard enough – but it was a 37-second PR for me and I’m happy about that.

Next week is the same course, and if the weather holds out I’m going to go for another PR. Wish me luck!

Mile 1: Cat Hill is here, but despite this nasty incline I was too busy weaving around the slower runners to notice. I went by in 6:02.

Mile 2: Cat Hill is out of the way and now it’s nice and flat with a couple downhills. This would be my fastest mile, at 5:59.

Mile 3: Shit, there’s a hill here. At least we’re halfway done!  Everybody slows down here 20+ seconds, and I was not much different. 6:18, and glad that’s over!

Mile 4: I should have pushed harder, but somehow I forgot where the finish line was and didn’t realize it was as close as it was until I saw it after the turn on the 72nd Street transverse. Oh well. 6:02 final mile, and a 37-second PR. Huzzah!

2010 Scotland Run 10K Race

 

Above: a group photo with some of the FRNY participants. A total of 124 Front Runners participated!

 

Overall Time: 39:25
Pace: 6:21
Place: 233 of 7790
AG%: 68.1%

Weather: 52 Degrees, 80% Humidity, Clear.
Start time: 10:00

Splits:
6:17
6:08
6:12
6:36 (yikes!)
6:22
6:29
1:17 (.22 miles at 6:00 pace)

Today was the NYRR Scotland 10K Run in Central Park. The weather was astonishingly beautiful, if a bit too warm. I went out in a singlet and shorts and was totally fine for the day. The sun was high in the sky and made it feel much warmer than it was. Coupled with the humidity, it made the running conditions a little warm for me but not too bad.

Overall, I’m OK with my results. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t crack 39:00, but it seemed like everyone struggled a little bit today. The hills in Central Park never make for an easy race, and my legs really felt tired by the halfway point. I should have been able to finish the race much stronger, but the hills in the first half took most of my energy. Despite this, the day was spectacular and the cherry trees are starting to blossom. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend this Saturday morning any other way.

I had to take a pee before the race, so that means my corral got crowded and I was at the very rear or the corral. When the race got moving, there had to have been at least 600 people in front of me that I had to weave through during the first mile. I could be heard saying rather loudly somewhere in the first mile, "Well, there goes the PR!" I really bothers me that people crowd the fast corral, only to set out much slower than they should be running. For the fast people really racing the race, it’s very difficult to weave through so much traffic when people are running shoulder to shoulder and you’re trying to not trip or get tripped.

Mile 1: The traffic aside, I was right on target for my first mile, at 6:17. It was pretty flat and I knew that the next two miles would be a little tough because that’s where the hills are. So far, so good.

Mile 2: I had room to run finally and the weaving continued through the second mile, a 6:08 mile that came and went pretty quickly and saw me pass a lot of Front Runners. My legs started to feel good, and my heart rate was within what I considered a good range for me. Only 4 miles to go!

Mile 3: This is where it started to get hard. The reverse of Harlem Hill is still easier than the normal counter-clockwise route, but it was tough still — a lot of guys got punished here; no one had an easy time, that’s for sure. I kept the pace strong, but maybe kept it a little too fast. 6:12 pace.

Mile 4: Honest to god, I wanted to quit through the last and current hill. All I could think about was how nice a DNF sounded at this point, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I could ease up the pace and still finish, but there was no way I could realistically let myself quit. It was my slowest mile, at 6:36

Mile 5: Somehow I talked myself back into the race, and while I wasn’t running super fast I did manage a 6:22 after a horrible 4th mile. Throughout the entire race, another Front Runner named Matt was ahead of me. He was far ahead in the corral, so when we started he got a good 30-second head start on me. I could see his bright orange shorts from far away on the downhill portions, and it gave me motivation to keep running. I wanted to see if I could catch up with him, and it wasn’t until Mile 5 that I knew I was within striking distance to pass him. He didn’t know it but he helped pull me through the last two miles.

Mile 6: The home stretch! While a 6:29 pace isn’t what I wanted, I was sure glad that the race was coming to an end. I had caught up to Matt (the Front Runner I was chasing down all race) and we were running together. I think it was good for the both of us, because it seemed like we fed off each other’s energy.

Mile 6.21: OMG Finally we’re done. Matt and I had a super big kick the last 200 meters, and we must have passed a dozen people. Felt great!

Mile 6.22: WHERE’S MY GATORADE?!

2010 Prospect Park Cherry Tree 10-Mile Relay

This morning was the 10-mile, 3-man relay called the Cherry Tree Relay, put on by the Prospect Park Track Club. Considering I was working on little sleep and had 5 drinks last night, I think this went alright.

Overall, my team (Two Speeders and a Breeder) placed 15th out of 97 teams. Our final time was 1:03:33, for a 6:22 pace.

I ran the third and last leg, which was a little odd. I found that most of the people at the point where on their second leg of the race, and I was flying by them which gave me concerns that I may have started off a little fast. Thankfully, though, this wasn’t the case. I started off right about the pace that I wanted to.

This is only my second race, and my first without someone to pace me so I’m still learning how to start off properly. I’d say overall this is about the race that I wanted. Since this was more of a social race and not a NYRR race, I didn’t want to go all-out — but at the same time, I definitely wanted to do well.

I think I did just that, and pulled an overall pace of 6:10. Splits were : 6:15, 6:23, 6:08, 2:00 (5:24 pace for the last .37 mi).

Where I Run

I ran across this last night at the Front Runners run in Central Park. It was dark and I was trying to maintain a decent pace, so I didn’t bother to stop and look. I did make it a point to check it out on my lunch hour this afternoon; now if only I had remembered to put the battery in my real digital camera so I wouldn’t have to rely on my stupid Blackberry to take a photo.  Ugh! 

Either way, it’s very cool.  I guess it’s just a frozen little waterfall.  There were bricks of ice last night around it, broken off from it. The cool thing about those bricks were that they were crystal clear!