This past Saturday with the Ted Corbitt 15k run in Central Park. The race was to honor former NYRR president Ted Corbitt. And 15k, for those who are metric-system challenged, is 9.3 miles.
A big reason I signed up for this distance race was because it was 2 weeks from the Vegas Half, meaning I was going to be well prepared for it. I did find its challenges though, mainly how I was going to maintain in those 2 weeks. I really wanted to do another training run of 9 miles before this race, but I didnt like the timing of it. After the half, I took the next 4 days off to rest and recover. On that Friday, I did a 5 mile tempo run. Didnt want to do 9 miles that day, after having a 4 day lay off. The following monday, I did hills, totaling 5.5 miles. And Wed. was another 5 mile tempo. So going into the race, knowing how quickly I can lose my fitness, I was a little concerned that I'd have trouble covering the 15k distance.
Saturday morning arrives, I wake up before the sun even comes up, check the weather and its in the mid 30s. So I went with thermal long sleeve compression shirt, long sleeve tech-T, and a running vest on top. And it was the standard running tights with shorts over it on the bottom. Arrive at the park around 7:25am, giving me ample time to check my bag and empty my bladder. Its 7:40 once I've done that, and head to the corrals, which was actually a bit of a walk from bag check and the port-o-potties. I get to my corral, and realize, I NEED TO PEE AGAIN......there wasn't enough time for me to go back to the port-o-potties and back to the start line, so I decided to forget it. Race starts....and all I can think about is that I need to empty my bladder. So here was the debate, since the course took me back right to where the port-o-potties are, do I take the hit on time and go? Or do I hold it for 9.3 miles? I went for the former, and lost a grand total of a minute!
Ok, now that I can concentrate on something other than my bladder, I'm on my way. It was a touch crowded in the beginning, but since my last race was Vegas, this couldnt even be considered crowded. Fall into a nice pace and all was well. Crowd started to thin about just enough after mile 2, and it looked like i was doing about a 10- 10:10 min mile (other than mile 1, which came out to 11:16 after potty break). With the sunny, cool, crisp morning on my side, I was doing well, took a Gu at around 4.8 miles and going strong and with little aches/pain as I approached mile 5. Pace was pretty consistent, even having to "conquer" Cat hill, twice! My splits seemed pretty consistent, with each passing mile. I see the mile 9 marker, and know we're in the final .3! I tried not to kick it too early, knowing how long that .2 is on a 10k. But I couldnt help myself, and kicked it in a little early. Fortunate for me, I was able to sustain it until the end, crossing the finish in 1:35:57 (for a 10:19 pace). I instantly thought back of losing that minute!! But whats done is done, and I was very happy with that time for this distance. Extrapolate that out to 13.1 miles, and I would have done VERY well....compared to my Vegas time, at least. One thing in my favor though, was course knowledge. There is just something about having a race in Central Park, and knowing every bend and every change in elevation, so you know just exactly when to give a little and when to pull back. All in all, a great way to end my 2011 races.
I'll be back in the next week or so to wrap up 2011 and preview what's in store for 2012!