On Sunday, I had another NYC first…my first NYRR race! I’d heard a lot of hype about the Fifth Avenue Mile, and I believe I even watched it on TV at some point in my life, but I didn’t realize how cool it was until people kept telling me to run it! As the name states, the Fifth Avenue Mile is a straight shot mile run down Fifth Avenue, from 80th St to 60th St. How cool is that?? Not to mention the fact that some of the elites grace us with their presence! The race is run in heats, so you’re racing against everyone in your age, and you can watch lots of other people race as well. Since it’s only a mile, it makes for a fun race and finish. Let’s check it out!
My heat was set to go off at 9:30am (how late!), so I woke up around 8am and ate a banana with some peanut butter. I wasn’t totally sure what to eat since my breakfast usually fuels me for a long run of twelve or more miles, but I figured a light breakfast was the way to go, probably for the mental aspect more than anything else.
A little before nine, I started to jog/run over to the start of the race, which is about a mile from where I live. (How convenient is that?) I didn’t really need to take much with me, so I just tied my keys to my shoes. I wish I had someone to snap some pictures, but oh well. When I got to the starting area, they were already lining up my heat even though it was only 9:15-9:10-ish. Being a nervous person, I hopped right in line…so much for strides or anything like that!
Having checked out the results from last year, I knew to line up somewhat close to the front. I wasn’t sure what kind of time I could run, but I hoped to go sub-6. My high school PR for the 1600 was 5:40, and I haven’t run “the mile” since my last track meet! They started trying to line people up by time, announcing that anyone trying to go sub-5 should be on the front line. Only about three girls stepped forward, and the rest of us lined up behind them, so I ended up in the second row. After a little more fidgeting around and some announcements of some of the fast ladies in the group, it was time to start.
The command was something like, “On your mark…go!” I forgot that runs like the mile only have two commands, so that was funny. The girl in front of me false started, but I guess they don’t call you back for that. Anyway, away we went! I had absolutely no idea how to strategize for this run, so I just…ran. Obviously I wasn’t going to hang with the sub-5 group for very long, but I basically went out really fast. It’s really cool to be able to see the truck with the clock on the back because I’m usually nowhere near it! They had markers up every quarter mile along with a clock, and as I approached the quarter mile, I saw that the clock read 1:15. After some quick math in my head, I realized that was 5:00 pace. hahahha, that wasn’t going to last!
The second quarter mile has the slight hill in it, and I knew that the excitement of the beginning of the race would wear off a little bit here. Well, both of these factors led to a bit of a slow down, although I honestly have no idea what my time at the half was, although I know I was still set to be under 6:00. By this point, the leaders had zoomed away and I had tons of space around me as I sprinted down Fifth Avenue.
Life got a little bit better once I crested the hill, as the rest of the mile is pretty much downhill. I felt myself breathing heavier, but I didn’t feel like death or anything that I remember feeling while running the third lap of the 1600 in high school…the third lap was always the hardest! I couldn’t decide whether I wanted speed up or just hold where I was since I was obviously still running fast. That was probably a sign that I should have been running faster! No idea on this split either.
With a quarter mile to go, my legs were getting a little tired, but I was still feeling pretty good. Since my last few years of running have been more concentrated on lasting for hours instead of just a few minutes, I had no idea when to “kick.” As if I ever had a kick…ha. Anyway, my high school PR was 5:40, and as I crossed the 200 meters to go sign, I knew it would be close! I picked it up some (not sure I was sprinting…I’m so bad at this!), and soon enough I was across the finish line. I glanced up at the clock and it read somewhere around 5:40. Mission accomplished?
I later found out that my official time was 5:43…not too shabby for a marathoner. Especially after my toasty 12 miler on Saturday!
1.00 mile in 5:43, avg pace of 5:43 (sorry, had to do it!)
Age Group Place: 16/468
Female Place: 42/1728
First of all…thoughts? I have no idea what to think, but that was one fast race! When all you do is race marathons, a mile race is over before you know it. It was definitely fun and I think I’ll be doing some shorter races once this marathon business is over. I walked around for a little bit, saw some people from the running store I run with (go Run Co!), and then headed off on my own, when I decided that I needed a cardiac workup (EKG! Enzymes!) because I am NOT used to running that hard! No worries, I think I’m fine.
I had some directed wandering as I knew that Lam was going to be somewhere near the finish line, and I immediately spotted his bandana, so I went over to say hi. We finally get to meet! Steph (from Tuesday speedwork!) was there too, so we had a nice little chat while the mens race went on. Speedy people!
Due to the timing of the heats, I had enough time to run back to my apartment and shower before catching the final heats…including the elites! Since I know sooooo many people in NYC (ha…), I figured I’d run into someone that I knew. (I mean, most of the people I know here are runners, so it’s the best shot I have!) I found the lovely New York Running Co group and stood on the sidelines with them to cheer. Yay! We watched the elite men and women FLY by…what speedsters! I’d share those pictures, but they’re not good at all!
Instead, I’ll share some pictures of me wandering by the awards later…much more up close and personal!
This was an awesome race and a great introduction to my racing in NYC! I think everyone should run it next year…it’s a quick race (it’s only a mile…) and lots of people do it! I know I’ll be back next year to PR.