May 18, 2011

Healthy Kidney 10k

The past few days have been epic! Two races, two PRs and I've finally broken the 9 minute mile threshold. You could say I am one happy girl.

On Saturday, I ran the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park. Heading into this race, I had no expectations. I only ran 3 miles last week due to pulling my hamstring in standing split so I figured I'd just head to the park and have some fun for 6.2 miles. I woke up that morning, enjoyed gluten free toast with peanut butter & bananas, some coffee and headed out to meet my friend Melissa for the walk to the park. Once there, we met up with Baker & Abbe, sent Baker on his way to the speedster first corral, and jogged to our corral as a little warm up. The gun went off and we were on our way, splitting up so that we could each focus on our individual goals.

The first mile of the race was packed and I ended up running most of it on the sidewalk or weaving in and out of people. There were an unusual number of walkers in our corral which really surprised me, and many were walking three people across which made it really difficult to run. Despite the crowds and a few painful elbows, I ran the first mile in 9:09.

The crowds continued for pretty much the entire race so when I ran the second mile in 8:41, I was surprised. As I ran this mile, I saw my pace dipping into the low 8's and had to remind myself that I still had plenty of miles to cover. I tried to slow down, really I did. But my legs refused, my lungs felt good so I figured I'd just go for it to see what I could do. At around mile 2.3, heading up towards Harlem Hill, I ran into my friend Maura. It was great to see her running happy & comfortably since she's been dealing with an injury. She told me I looked strong and to keep going for it. It's always awesome to get such great encouragement during a race! Heading into mile 3, I got a pretty bad stomach cramp and focused on breathing into it as much as possible. I focused so much on the cramp that I didn't even realize I was running up the second half of Harlem Hill. The hill actually felt easy and when I reached 103rd street on the east side, I was confused because I didn't realized it had already passed.

The cramp continued well into mile four which explains my 9:00 and 9:15 splits for miles 3 & 4. I was finally able to breathe it away, realized not only would I PR but could possibly run a sub 9 minute pace for the first time ever, and just went for it. I ran mile 5 at an 8:41, mile 6 at 8:53, and the last few meters at an 8:05 pace! And I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, the best part of all!
According to Samson, my Garmin, I completed the 10k with a 8:53 pace, running 6.3 miles due to all the weaving. According to NYRR, I completed it with a 9:02 pace. Either way, I'm happy! Aside from the horrible cramp, the race felt easy. It's an amazing feeling when you can actually see your hard work paying off, don't ya think?

 After the race, I bumped into Robin (who kicked ass and won her age group!) and Erin, chatted for a few minutes and then headed to meet Baker & Abbe for a jaunt to Joyride, the best coffee truck in the city. By the way, Baker ran this race in 37 minutes... I'm still trying to figure out if the guy is actually human. Can you say speedy? Anyway, we grabbed some java, headed to the steps of Lincoln Center, which is quickly becoming a tradition, and chatted for a bit before going our separate ways.
Baker & Abbe
It seriously is Joy in a Cup! Get the Balzac... YUM!
My next PR will be rewarded with a Danny Macaroon (as long as it's gluten free of course)
Me & Abbe chillaxing on the steps of Lincoln Center
And so went the Healthy Kidney 10k, an epic and awesome race indeed! Next up...the American Heart Association 3 mile Wall Street Run. Another incredible race so stay tuned!

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