“I’m sticking to relays and marathons.” or
“I really just don’t care.”
But let’s backtrack. This morning was the NYRR Mini 10k, an all women 10k which got it’s name from the miniskirt back in the day (Thanks, Fred Lebow). This was the 40th running of the oldest all women running event. It was special today to honor Grete Waitz, a five time Mini winner, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. So that’s your background.
The night before the race, I met up with a friend (Hi Duncan!) who I haven’t seen in a few months, and we grabbed some beers and nachos. (And saw Josh! He’s everywhere!) Probably not the best pre-race food, but I had some good company so I’m not complaining. Plus, it’s not like a 10k is a marathon or anything. Six miles? Come on now. I got home around 1:30…awesome!
6 am wake up call, made half a cup coffee, drank some water, ate an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana. I have literally no idea what pre-10k breakfasts should look like, but that seemed like a safe bet. At 6:45, I met up with Betsy, Megan, and Christine (yay meet-up!) to walk over to the start. It was a bit of a cool yet humid morning (70-ish with 96% humidity?? gah!). We headed over to the start, and once we got to baggage drop in Central Park, I saw pretty much every female runner I know in NYC! Much of the Runner Army was out in full force (with the males around to cheer!), plus a handful of other random people here and there! Love it. After some bathroom stops and such, I headed over to the (blue!) corral with Betsy to line up for some fun.
So many fast fast elite women ran this race, and it was so exciting when they were announcing them. Deena Kastor hopped up on stage before the race and said a few words…only in running do the elite people come talk to the crowd before a big event! Grete’s husband also said a few words as well. I had a few moments of freaking out, and then the gun went off!
miles 1-2: this isn’t so bad
The race started off in Columbus Circle and ran up Central Park West until 90th St where we entered the park. This pretty much sets you up for a fast mile, as the elites are taking off in front of you, and it’s a long flat mile and a half before the rolling hills of the park. Pretty much everyone told me that everyone goes out fast. My “plan” (ha…whatever that was…) was to run 6:45’s. Totally made that one up. The first mile felt easy and I did a little bit of fighting for position before I got to a comfortable spot to hold pace. The first mile passed in a quick 6:37 and soon enough we were turning into the park. Mile 2 was a bit slower, but I held on and tried to settle into a good pace. Came through mile 2 somewhere around 6:50. I’ll take it.
mile 3 (my kidneys hurt) and mile 4 (i really just don’t care)
We hit Harlem Hill during mile 3, which I now remember as being quite obnoxious, although I did suffer from some slight race amnesia and momentarily thought, “That wasn’t so bad.” That trek up the west side wasn’t so fun, although I will admit that it was better than running counterclockwise. Anyway, mile 3 was when my back seemed to not want to cooperate, and all I could think was, “Wow, my kidneys kind of hurt. That’s odd.” That occupied my mind for awhile, as did trying to pick out ladies who, despite their small bums, still had their butt cheeks hanging out of their booty shorts. Not sure how I feel about that one, but I know I’ll double check in the mirror next time I head out in my pair…
My mile 3 split was 7:03, and my 5k split was 21:31…seeing as I haven’t really ran a 5k in a few years, that’s not too bad. When we hit the half mark, I initially thought, “Oh, that wasn’t so bad.” About ten seconds later, it was more like, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M ONLY HALFWAY DONE??!?!?” Hence mile 4 being called the “I really just don’t care” mile. No, really, I didn’t care. I’m not a short distance runner, I haven’t done any speedwork for this, my goodness it’s HUMID OUT HERE. I masterfully grabbed a cup of water, dumped 90% of it on the ground (oops?), and had a sip of the rest. Considering I often do twenty mile runs without water (do as I say, not as I do), I’m not totally sure why I went with that plan. But I didn’t care, so meh. Little bumps of hills on the east side, but apparently I pulled it together for a split of 7:10, which isn’t too miserable.
mile 5 (let’s move!)
Two miles to go? Come on Susan! We got over the mini hills on the east side and eventually had the downhill on our side…going down Cat Hill is much more exciting than going up it, and once you hit 72nd St there’s a nice downhill as well. I told myself to get moving…this isn’t that bad, right? Pulled myself back together and managed a 6:53 split. It also helped that lots of people were out cheering at this point! Thanks to all the guys from the teams who came out to cheer!
mile 6 (what kick?)
Let it be known that I legit have no leg speed. I’m pretty sure I lack any sort of fast twitch muscles. They’re just not there. Needless to say, I never really had much of a kick in high school, and I’m sure that it wasn’t magically going to appear this morning. We hit the 800 meters to go sign, and I thought to myself, “If I’m going to kick, this is where it would start.” To which I immediately replied to myself by thinking, “Nope, that’s just not going to happen.” I looked around and no one around me was picking it up either, so there wasn’t exactly much of a hurry. Hit the 400 meters to go sign…nope, still nothing there. Mile 6 split: 7:04…ha.
Finally we turned up the west side with a mini hill, and the finish was in sight! Lots of people out to cheer, and the announcer actually said my name when I crossed the line…I love when they do that! I crossed the finish line and all I could think was, “Ugh, I’m so glad that’s over…” My Garmin was spot on with my time:
Saturday, June 11
6.2 miles in 43:32, avg pace of 7:01
Overall: 137/4750 (Top 2.8%)
Age Group: 49/1,141 (Top 4.2%)
Well, I was pretty much guaranteed an automatic PR since my only 10k I ever ran was when I was 19, and I think I ran 46-something. Of course, once I saw my pace was 7:01, I started kicking myself since being just slightly faster would have meant I could be sub-seven. Oh well. Considering the fact that I did no real training for this and I have no idea how to race a 10k, I’ll consider it a win. I thought I could run faster, but given the weather conditions (sweatastic at it’s finest…), I’ll take it. Most people seemed to have the same thoughts about the race, so I’m not alone on this one. Maria and I both agree that we should stick to relays and marathons…I’m pretty sure the longer the race, the better I run. It was definitely still a fun race, and I’m looking forward to running it next year!
Edited to add: So apparently my 10k split from the Manhattan Half was something like 42:57. Maybe there is something to that 14 degree weather…ha! Oh well.
After I finished, we got a medal and a carnation…how cool! The medal reminds me of Minnie Mouse…ha. We also got a carnation…aw! I met up with Betsy, Megan, and a fair amount of the Runner Army as we hashed out our war stories. Conclusion: That was kinda miserable! But it was great to see everyone on a Saturday morning…literally knew SO many people out there, reconfirming the fact that 95% of my friends in this city are runners. I’ll take it.
I headed out for a quick brunch on the UWS with Erica, Sam, Melissa, and Vee. We sweated up Viand Cafe and enjoyed some omelets and quality runner conversation. Eventually I headed home with a walk crosstown (the bus was nowhere to be seen…) and had a nice nap since I’m starting a run of four nights at work tonight. (Thanks to the people who started texting me at 3:30…ha!) Four more nights until I’m on day shift for two months!! Woo woo.
I need to run more shorter races…I’m pretty sure I can run faster, I just need a bit more practice, some speedwork, and a better mental game. Fabulous.