Yesterday I ran the NYRR Mini 10k for the fifth time in six years (2015, 2013, 2012, and 2011 recaps) . Other than the NYC Marathon this is actually my favorite NYRR race. Running with thousands of other women is inspiring and there are more spectators and cheering squads than normal which provides an amazing atmosphere! I always see so many familiar faces either running or cheering!
Katie and I shared a cab from Brooklyn yesterday morning which was a brilliant way to sleep in a few extra minutes and avoid any weekend transportation stress.
At 7:30 AM we met Jenna and Zoe at the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle in order to chat and hang out before the race began at 8 AM. The weather was sunny but cooler than normal, a refreshing change versus the heat and humidity we experienced most years.
At 7:55 we walked towards the corral to join the 8,832 other women running the race. The crowds and corrals seemed more manageable than years past, possibly due to the fact that the race didn’t sell out this year.
While we each did our own dynamic stretches, Zoe and I aligned on a race plan. Katie and Jenna were both racing the 10k but Zoe and I both hoped to treat it as a diagnostic race. Due to my hamstring and foot injury, it’d been almost six weeks since I’d run a distance longer than a 5k. Zoe on the other hand rocked a few half marathons back to back and is dealing with a nagging calf pain. We went into the race with three goals:
- Run by feel
- Finish under 60 minutes
- Run the entire time
At 8:02, just minutes after the start, we crossed the starting line together. We each put in one headphone so we could get energy and motivation from our music but still talk. After running this course so many times, I told Zoe that it was one of the more challenging routes but the first mile would be a nice, gradual uphill as we head up Central Park West before we turn into the park and start climbing Harlem Hill.
I didn’t want to stress myself out by wearing a Garmin so instead I wore my Timex watch and just started the timer, allowing me to get an official time but also not seeing or hearing the ding and mile pace after each mile. I reminded my body a few times, especially in the first mile, that this was not a PR race. My body isn’t in PR shape and the goal was to understand my base.
I tried to entertain Zoe and take her mind off the hills once we entered the park, taking a few selfies and pictures. It seemed to work as we were all smiles through these middle miles.
By mile 5 I could tell that Zoe was ready to be finished and not feeling terrific. I did my best to keep her within a few steps of me so I could keep pushing her through the finish line. While it wasn’t an easy race for either of us, I crossed the finish line proud of my effort and for sticking with the race plan. I now know that my base is a 9:37 mile as we finished in 59:40. We definitely earned the pink and black medals the volunteers put around our necks after we crossed the finish line!
I love that we both accidentally color coordinated with both the medals and the carnations they gave us! I’m wearing my Brooks Chaser 5″ running shorts and the Brooks Steady Short Sleeve, both of which I’m loving right now! Brooks sent me these to try and I have been wearing each of these non-stop. As I mentioned on Instagram earlier this week, the shorts have a nice, wide thigh opening that doesn’t chafe and the comfortable waistband also has two pockets for keys, money and fuel! The v-neck top is perfect when you want a bit more coverage than a tank and wicks moisture while keeping you 30% cooler than other fabrics!
Yesterday’s race serves as a great starting place for the rest of my training this summer in advance of the Rock’N’Roll Montreal Half and the Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Half this Fall. Is it frustrating that last year’s pace was almost 30 seconds faster per mile? Sure, but it’s the reality of the situation right now and I know that I’ll start seeing 8:xx sooner versus later with SMART training this Summer.