April seems to be a turnaround month for me. As you may recall, back on April 1 (seems like ages ago!) I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and still was in the final stages of healing from calf hell. This week was a bit nutty as I was on work travel the entire week and that kept me from running or doing a darn thing! This made for my decision to, out on a limb, race a 5K. I figured now was as good of a time as any to see where my conditioning is and have a basis on where to go from here. Well, if this race is any indication, I'm back...and in a big, bad way!
Today I took part in the JFK Runway 5K along with 5 other members from my team. I awoke at the wrongful hour of 6:15am on a Sunday and met up with my teammates at 7am to head over to JFK. I considered it a test run since three days later I'd be heading back to JFK to fly to Vienna!!! Anyway, upon arrival, we got our numbers and chip, which resembled something used for tracking a prisoner. It was one of those chips you tie around your ankle. Yuck!
So the race. This was a small race with about 300 people total. My gameplan? I figured I'd just run, try to figure out what it felt like to have that fast pain and get to the finish line. Considering I had about 3 glasses of sangria the night before I definitely was not in a serious mindset. The race started and off we went. It was an up and back course with no mile markers. Some may see this as a bad thing but for me I actually saw it as a plus. I tend to a) psych myself out and b) pace! This time I spent the first half of the course running hard but I never hit that point where it hurt. The midway point for the turnaround had a jet in front of us as we went around the cones set up. That was pretty cool! Other than that, no real scenery other than it was flat as a pancake.
The way back to the finish line I turned on my "jets." I had no idea what my pace was but I could see Sempre Libera ahead of me by what looked like to be around a minute or so. A definite good sign for me since I figured there was no way she was having a lackluster race:-) As I continued running I had a couple of people that seemed to be pacing off of me but I just kept right on going. I definitely was passing a lot more people on the way back and as I got closer to the finish line I took a quick peak at my watch. I had a hunch I just might be on track for that elusive sub 7. Yeah, that sub 7 I've been chasing down for quite a while now and here I was about to break down the barrier out of nowhere! As I crossed the finish line, I pumped my fist in the air knowing I didn't just hit sub 7 but I demolished it. My final time: 21:25 (about 3 seconds off my watch since I was behind the line). This is good for a 6:53 pace!!!! WOOHOO! After I finished, 3 or 4 other runners came up to me to congratulate and thank me for pacing them:-p
So, as you can see from the photo, all 6 of us won an award. Sempre Libera brought home second female overall with a blistering 20:15 and Coach Sponge ran a sub 6 pace!!! It was a great day for TRD overall complete with snowcones after the race and of course - brunch once we got back to Manhattan!
And that's that. I need to pack and I'm off to Austria for a week:0) Have a great rest of April and see you in May!