31F and overcast
Sunday is grey and dreary out, 31F so a few degrees warmer than expected. I head to Central Park and meet-up with a few runners I know. Very nice group of people. Drop our bags off at the baggage trucks, and head down to the start area. At this point, I realize I left my ClifBloks in my backpack which is now on the baggage trucks, so I’m going to be racing w/ no fuel on the run.
I peel off from the group for a stop at the portolets – it’s about 20 minutes before the start and the lines are ENORMOUS. I’m still waiting when the gun goes off, so I cross the start at 7:21 into the race – thank goodness for chip timing.
First mile is flat to downhill, and we get to Lasker Hill (aka the Harlem Hills) a mile and a half into the race. I just go for even effort, reach the top no worries. The west side of the park loop is rolling to mostly downhill so I try to gain some time on the downhills. Keep running, pretty steady pace and I feel really good. Round the lower end of the Park, and we start w/ the rolling to uphill climb, with Cat Hill around mile 5. I again go with even effort, and am trucking along nicely. I’m taking Gatorade at the water stops that have it, to help offset my lack of ClifBlocks.
Ikeep going onto my 2nd loop. I put on my iPod at this point (it’s allowed in NYRR races, and I keep the volume low). Downhill at this point, water/Gatorade at the bottom of the hill, then long uphill Lasker Hill again. I run into one of my best friend’s boyfriends, he’s walking the hill a bit (he’s having PF issues), so I walk a minute or so with him, then start running again. Top the hill, then rolling downhills again on the west side.
By about mile 10, my legs are getting heavy, but I keep going. I’m just reaching the bottom of Cat Hill, and the best running song EVER comes onto my headphones, “I Will Follow” by U2. In my bonehead move of the day, I start charging up the hill, I mean probably the fastest I've run all day. I pass a good 15 people or so in the first half of the hill, and then my legs say to me “Are you out of your freakin’ mind?” I end up dropping the pace, and then dropping to a walk (at which point those same 15 people I just charged by probably end up passing me). Duh Liz.
Now I’m around 11.5 miles and my legs are lead. I just focus on keeping my arms relaxed, keep my form, and move forward. I’m just counting down the streets (conveniently marked on the lamp posts), so I know how much further I have to go. I try to pick up the pace for the last mile but my legs are having none of it. At the 13 mile mark, a woman I’ve been running alongside picks up the pace and passes me, so I try to keep up – we round the corner onto the 102nd street transverse, and cross the finish line.
I’ve made my 2 goals for the day:
1.) PR of any sort (previous PR was a lame 2:39:53)
2.) Sub-2:30Chip time 2:28:53, pace 11:21/mile. (that's an 11:00 PR).