I awoke Saturday morning, around 6:45am, to the sound of raindrops. Thats how quickly my hopes were dashed that the weather people were wrong about rain that day. I proceeded to get ready for the race, somewhere in the back of my mind hoping that the rain would stop by 9am. But just in case it didnt, I decided I would run in my Bar Harbor wind breaker and left the house. I drove out to the race this time, rather than take the train, and it was a pretty good decision, otherwise, I would have been hanging out in Central Park for over an hour in the rain. I arrived at the start line around 8:30am and the rain was coming down pretty steadily. My shoes were doing pretty well given the conditions, until of course, I decided to step in a pretty deep puddle.
The race starts and as customary, being in one of the last few corrals, it takes some time to actually get to the start line. This one, though less crowded than the Scotland Run, seemed to take longer than normal. So much so that I forgot to glance up at the clock as I crossed the start line (it ended up being about 5-6 minutes only). So the race is under way and the rain actually was not feeling too bad. Other than my sneakers, it wasn't bad at all. My hat helped a lot as well, to keep the rain out of my face and eyes.
I get to the first mile marker and see the clock at around 16:00. At this point I'm hoping it was 6:00 when I crossed the start meaning I just did the first mile in 10 minutes. I had no idea how I was pacing, as I wasnt using Nike+ due to the rain. But I get to mile 2 and see that I'm doing sub 10min-mile. Feeling pretty decently despite my now sloshing shoes, I decide to kick it up a little as I reach the west side. At this point, I know there are a couple mini-uphills, and then its pretty much downhill from there. I get near the finish line, and want to sprint to the end as I normally do, but it was pretty crowded! It was hard to do so. What made it even more difficult were the people who stop as SOON as they cross the finish line! I was trying to hard not to mow someone over that I again forgot to look up at the clock. I quickly glanced back and lucky for me, they had a clock facing that way, and it was 44 minutes and change. Without knowing what the time was when I crossed the start, I had no idea if I PR-ed or not, but I knew it was close.
So it turns out, I did PR! Whoo-hoo! Final time was 38:48 (9:42 pace), meaning I PR-ed by barely 20 seconds, but hey, a PR is a PR! My previous PR at 4 miles was the Gridiron 4M in February with 39:05 (9:46 pace). And this same race last year I finished in 42:10. So pretty nice progress all around. To think how I would have done had it not been raining.
So with this, I've now completed 3 of the 9 races towards my guaranteed entry into the 2012 NYC Marathon. Next up will be the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k on May 14th.