Sorry for the delay in posting, it’s been a crazy week and will continue to be so for a little while longer. It’s one of the busiest times of year at work, so I apologize for a slight hiatus from blogging and social media.
On Saturday, I ran NYRR’s Scotland Run 10K in Central Park. My training schedule called for a 15K race this weekend, but since I was already signed up for the Scotland Run, I figured 3.1 less miles is no big deal if I race this one hard, right?!?!
Races scare me, yet I still keep signing up for them. I usually get antsy the night before, overestimate the amount of time I need to lay out my clothes, shoes, other necessary race items, and plan for the morning travel. Then the morning of the race, I psych myself out about not being physically prepared. Friday night last week was no different. Fortunately for me, this time, I really focused on not thinking about the race. This was going to be only my second 10K race and I didn’t want to freak myself out about it. It’s not that I can’t complete the distance; it’s that I worry I take it too conservatively and then beat myself up for missing a PR.
For the Scotland Run, I had no goal in mind except to run fast. I knew if I could run fast, I would have a very good shot at a PR. Saturday morning, I met up with some of my teammates in Central Park before the race and it was just very nice to be there with friends and not concentrate as much on the race but rather the company you’re with. There were a lot of people signed up for this and I ended up in the 6000s corral (normally for NYRR races, I think I’m in the 4000s), however, I started 7.5 minutes into the race, so the start moved relatively fast.
The first mile was spent really dodging people. I have a pet peeve with runners who immediately start walking or those who either start in an earlier corral than assigned or enter in a way faster time than planned. This really defeats the purpose of the corral system and becomes a bottleneck on those who start with their properly assigned corral. Anyway, sorry for the aside. It felt like the first mile took 10+ minutes but according to my watch it was only 8:53. The next two miles felt fast but I felt great and I just let the adrenaline ride. Coach Brian passed me (in his kilt!) between the second and third miles and it was nice seeing a friendly face especially since I had my headphones on (I usually don’t race with headphones but I wanted to try out my new shuffle during a race. I really think the music helped). We went clockwise around the Central Park loop, so instead of a steeper Harlem Hill, the course hit the incline on the east side around 110th Street. By the time mile four rolled around, I was thinking maybe a 4-mile race is a better distance for me (the fourth mile was my second slowest at 8:35)! It felt like I trucked along with lead filled legs for the last two miles but when I looked at my splits afterwards, they were actually around 8:20/8:15. With the remaining small bit of gas left in the tank, I “sprinted” into the finish and really felt like I pushed myself.
I knew I had a good race the whole time and by the fourth mile, I knew I likely had a PR in the bag. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t focus too much on what my pace needed to be to PR. I ran this race by feeling and knew that if I had a good day, it should be relatively easy to break my personal record. I ended up having a great race and broke my previous (and first) 10K time by almost six minutes! I finished the race with an official time of 53:10 (8:35 per mile). Not only was this a record, it should hopefully change my bib time for future NYRR races! The feeling of pride and accomplishment for the rest of the day is the reason why I race!
On a side note, I want to mention a big kudos to NYRR. I know since 2012’s ING NYC Marathon and the Hurricane Sandy debacle, there is a lot of negative press on the organization. However, regardless of how large the field is for a race, NYRR always does a great job handling the crowds, bag check, corrals, and finish line amenities. Their races are always well organized and I am always comparing other races to how well NYRR’s are put on. So big thank you to NYRR!