So today's Mini 10K marked a full year since that disaster of last year. What a difference too as the weather was a lot more cooperative with temperatures at the start in the upper 50s with cloudy skies....bit windy but that is much more tolerable than heat+humidity. It's funny....today the butterflies in my stomach were in full effect. I don't know if it was due to wanting redemption or having goals in my head on what I wanted....but it took all my might to even be able to eat this morning. You know it's serious when I don't want to eat! So around 7:50 I head out the door and drop the pom poms off to Sempre Libera and Pink Monkey. However, before setting off we had our pre-race rituals...which obviously I do not disclose...it's just that way;-) In any event, I think I was so focused and nervous to really appreciate it all but hey it's like I said, I'm gaining that pit bull mentality.
After a nice 2 mile gallop to the start, I headed over to the elite start meeting place. Now this was cool...anyone running sub 8s for a 10k could start in the special local elite corral...right behind the elite women! I ran into flygirl here and gave her the instructions on where the pom pom crew would be. I think a few people overheard this and commented on how nice the pom poms are! We are gaining quite the reputation;-) In any event, headed over to the corral and there's a strong possibility I may be in some of the pictures from the start...as I could literally touch the elite women....so cool!
My goal for this race: destroy my PR and see just how hard I can push the tempo. I wanted to finish this race and not feel bad about leaving something out there.
Game on. Right off the start someone from behind me about 400 meters in rudely tells me to move out of the way and almost elbows me! I think there may have been a fight right there had she hit me...but fortunately she didn't and I didn't move. It's a shame that it was another team that shall remain nameless but it really pissed me off the lack of sportsmanship that went on. Yes, we are competitive and perhaps you're faster than me, but that doesn't mean you have access to telling me to move aside. Ugh. However, what makes me happy is the fact that rather than allowing that to make or break my race like that 5k a few months ago, I kept going strong. Heading up Central Park West I focused on running fast and hard as the middle of the course would be the bear. Mission accomplished as mile 1 and 2 came to 14:08 (I thought I had hit my watch but I guess not?). In any case, it was a bit fast but hey it fit my motto of run hard, worry about it later.
Entering the park at 90th street there was my support crew of not only the pom poms but my teammates out on the Saturday morning run. They were screaming for me but I was entranced on this race. Definite pit bull going on here as I don't think I even broke a stride. I concentrated on heading into Harlem Hills. In addition, it was tougher since it was only women and no men in the sense that I didn't have more people to help pull me along. Heading into Harlem, things got hard. I hit the 5k split at 22:15 which was just a few seconds shy of my current 5k PR! Knowing that I had this type of time to play with, things were looking very good for a smashed PR.
Mile 4 did it's usual damage as I think it came to around 7:40....slow! However, the one encouraging aspect of a 7:40 is that is faster than my previous 10K PR >pace! It made it especially difficult as I ran this mile mostly alone with no one to help pull me along. I know this is something I'll need to learn as not every race will have thousands of runners but it really would have been nice today:-) As I finally hit 90th street, I got pumped up about hitting 84th street for the next round of cheering. And sure enough I got the star treatment again and I think I shouted something like "time to bring it home." A little more speedy beagle like but more pit bull than smiling...no smiles today, all work!
I hit mile 5 at 7:25 and felt decent. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of cheering from other teams. I know you want to do well and whatever but come on when I'm the only one in the vacinity. Fortunately another wave of my teammates running the loop ran by and gave me support. At mile 5 I tried to run a little harder and just wanted to finish strong. I spotted yet another wave of TRD guys (thanks so much!). Coming around the bottom of the park I could start to sniff that finish line and was determined to hit that line as hard as I could. When I hit mile 6, I knew I had the *treat* of Tavern on the Green hill. From here I wanted to run like hell and knew there would actually be crowd support here. The wall of sound helped push me forward to finish with a time of 45:30 which was yet another PR by 2:23.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my time. It's much more in line with my 4 mile time and my conditioning at this point. I ran hard and left conservative at home. It's funny that just a few months ago I thought of short races as my nemesis but as Coach Sponge mentioned to me, I'm starting to get a feel for them as is evidence by my first 5k. While I slowed a bit on the latter half of the course, I know I ran hard and that for today I ran hard and well. And what the hell...a two+ minute PR is a pretty nice trophy to take home!