It was a bit surreal to realize a year had gone by like the snap of your fingers. Tempus fugit I suppose. But oh what a difference one year makes! This year's NYRR Team Championships brought a bunch of new things....my first race at my new age (like it's hard to figure out!), new women's uniforms for my team and my first 5 mile race since last year's race to name a few. One common theme for this year that did come from this race: a new PR by a lot. This race brings out everyone and anyone belonging to club teams around the city.....as well as perhaps those that don't belong but for the day. The course was favorable for a new 5 mile PR as we avoided going around Harlem Hills...instead heading south around the bottom of the park.
The men did their racing thing before the women. My timing was off a bit. I heard the horn just as I arrived at our picnic area. I saw most of our men come around and finish before heading off to prepare for battle. While stretching with Sempre Libera, I met fellow blogger 'chelle [congrats on your pr!]. After a short warmup, we headed to the start and saw nyflygirl there. After the usual blah blahs, the horn went and we were off. Game face was completely on as the pom poms waved and the guys cheered as I whirled around the 102nd transverse. I took a much more aggressive stance to the start which led to a fast mile 1. I did a bit more running around people than usual but it helped ring in a 6:57 mile 1.
With the small field, it made it difficult to find a group to hang with. I spent most of the race pacing myself. I know...what a surprise. Before mile 3, ST pulled up beside me. I was a bit surprised to see her then expecting her to be a lot further ahead at this point. She managed to still run sub 35...amazing! Cat Hill was a miserable experience. My slowest mile by far but still faster than my PR pace last year:-p The final portion of the race brought about another incident with a club that I am beginning to really dislike [yes that is probably an understatement]. Around 90th street I was running in a group of three runners. We traded spots back and forth with one of us putting a little spurt ahead before the next did the same. However, each of us stuck to our lane for the most part. That is until the one runner from said club decided she'd pull ahead and move horizontally to block me! This isn't the Olympics, Nationals and you probably aren't even close to scoring for your team. Argh.
However, I did have a good experience. The other runner was next to me and we were pretty much neck and neck. With about a 1/2 mile to go, I said "come on let's go." At that point we paced eachother to the finish with each of us picking up the pace. As I approached the finish, the wall of sound from the men was incredible. It made me almost feel like I was flying through to the finishing chute. The announcer called out "...and here comes a member from the Reservoir Dogs" as I crossed the finish line in 36:05 (gun)...for a chip time of 35:57 [67.3% AG/117th female/45th age group]. After crossing the finish line, the other girl that ran the last 1/2 mile with me shook my hand and congratulated me. Very cool and the way things should be! I believe AB and SL also set new PRs....a good day indeed!
So a year ago my PR for 5 miles was 38:18...which means I took 2:21 off that time. Amazing. I also plugged my 5 mile time into Macmillian's calculator...and what do you know..,y 5k time has a magic number;)
And now the pom poms have made the big time on the NYRR website. During the men's race, a reporter came around and was talking to us about the club champs race. I managed to get quoted in this story. In addition, later during the picnic I got photographed with the pom poms! Mary Wittenberg came over later and thought the pom poms were awesome. She suggested that they should be handed out during the races:-p All of this publicity for something that SL and I picked up at 8pm the night before the NYCM last year. It should be known that the pom poms are also made possible by several members of the TRD club. The photographer had taken several photos with the team but they chose this one of me.
So what's next? I'm heading west....waaaaaaaay west Wednesday morning for that little race...yeah you know...H2C....