Sunday (June 5) I ran the inaugural Celebrate Israel 4M race, a familiar 4-miler through Central Park. Since I didn't have too much trouble driving in for the last couple races, I did so again for this one. This turned out to be a rough one, since I failed to realize there was a parade to Celebrate Israel as well, which shut down a bunch of streets near where I had been parking, which was also near the start of the race. After circling a bit and running into a handful of detours due to the parade, I decided to just garage it, and took the $25 hit.
I get to the start line around 8:30am, do my usual warm ups and stretches and down a pack of Gu energy gel at around 8:45. Honestly, for a 4-miler, I probably didn't need one, but it has been working well for me in the previous races so I figured, why mess with a good thing?
After "enjoying" both the Israeli national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner, the starting horn finally goes off. Though a smaller field this time, it was still a little more than 5 minutes to get to the start line. A good start, legs felt good and strong, and I fall into what feels like my normal pace. Get to the mile 1 marker (which happened to sync up very well with Nike+), I realize I'm going at a pretty good pace, and Nike+ confirmed it saying I just did the first mile in 9:10. Whoa! My usual pace is never that fast, let along the first mile! But I'm confident at this point, and it still feels good, so I just plug along. A little after the 2 marker, I started to feel the faster pace start to catch up a bit. This part of the course also contains a couple rolling hills, so I backed off a little. Saw the mile 3 marker, and knew the end was near. It was also a bit of downhill. So I got back to what my pace was, and when I saw the turn onto 72nd, I kicked it up and finished strong. My time turned out to be 37:19, at a 9:20 pace! That was a pretty sizable PR! My best 4-miler was the NYRR-4, in which I finished in 38:48 at a 9:42 pace. About a 1.5 minute improvement! Of course it was raining buckets that day, but still, I was very satisfied with my finish.
Onward from here, the Tri is in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! Still deciding how/when I should taper, or if I even really need it, since I haven't really been training THAT intensely. May try to get 2 swims and 2 runs in again this week (though the weather may be something to contend with this week). And try to do an extended training session (aka- run/bike/run) on Sunday (my only available day). Then 1 easy swim, bike and run the week of the 13th. I will probably just use the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge as my easy run. Should be an exciting next 2 weeks!