The people are so nice and I really enjoyed the camaraderie of a common cause. In 2008 I ran the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon. Here is a video of a song I wrote for my fundraising. It was a great experience so I was really happy when one of the coaches, Jasmine Graham of Pace For Success, contacted me about mentoring for the Fast Track Program this year. This was my first time being a mentor and I was really thrilled to watch my mentees cross the finish line. It was a new kind of satisfaction. Now, I want to do it all again and be a mentor for New York 2010! I am psyched!
So, onto the race itself. I had some definite time goals. After doing a few half marathons this spring, summer and fall I had increased my fitness level and felt it was time to take my 10K time up a notch. So far I had been unable to get my New York Road Runner's bib pace below the 9 minute mile despite sub 9 minute performances in local 5 mile races. I ran the the Nike Human Race with the idea that it would be my "before" time and Joe Kleinerman was my "after" time demonstrating the effectiveness of having the training schedule and a support system of TNT. I was really hoping for a 8:50 min/mile at Nike, but alas, my "before time" ended up being: 57:25 with 9:14 min/mile pace.
The first couple miles were rough because the crowd was a lot thicker that I thought it would be and I started too far back in it. I know you are supposed to start conservative but I felt like I was running so slow I was practically going backwards! I managed to do a lot of weaving and zig-zagging in that first couple miles so it didn't hurt me too much. As usual I was completely stupid about time. I didn't bother wearing a watch after the last couple races where I managed to botch up hitting the button every time (I always forget about it at either the start or finish.) This time I was so worried about the crowd I forgot to look at the start time so I never knew how much to deduct. Annoying.
The weather was pretty cold but beautiful! Central Park was lit up in all its glory by the sun's rays. The day before had been so rainy everyone at the race was grateful for the sun. Despite making my nose run like a faucet (which was really attractive) the cold didn't effect me much and that was a good thing. I sped up pretty significantly through the middle miles of the race and managed to hold on through the end. Harlem hill was early so I was still weaving through the slow crowd at that point and it didn't impact me too greatly. However, Cat hill was toward the end, so when I got over that I really felt like I was done. Still, I knew I only had 1 to 2 miles to go at that point and I really wanted that PR. I stayed strong through the end with the purple TNT crowd cheering me on at the finish line (another definite perk of running with TNT.) I also love it when there's a song I like blasting at the finish, it always makes me ridiculously teary. This time it was "Run" by Ben Kweller, a definite favorite that I like to cover sometimes.
So, the time. I knew I had PR'ed but I didn't know by how much. The time on the clock was 56 something. So it was possible I PR'ed with a low 9 minute mile which would have been a bittersweet victory. Again, I was so annoyed that I neglected to look at the start clock. I am going to write it on my hands next time! Look at the start clock dammit! It wasn't until I got home and looked it up on the nyrr results page that I got my time:
Finish Time - 53:12 Pace/Mile - 8:34
HURRAY!! I was walking on clouds the rest of the day.