Not many things, other than running, will get me out of bed at 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning. Luckily the NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Race is one of my favorite NYRR races or else waking up this morning would have been ten times harder. Bo and I woke up while it was still dark outside, and spent the next 45 minute sipping coffee, eating Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread and almond butter and getting race ready.
We had to leave the house earlier than usual since neither of us wanted to brave the Pope and UN traffic and crowds while heading up to the NYRR headquarters on the UES. By 6:30 we were on the subway for the 45 minute trek up to the Bronx. Due to the small talk we made with fellow runners, the subway ride flew by very quickly.
As soon as we exited the subway station we were greeted by brisk temperatures and sunshine. Even though we were both a bit chilly, we agreed that this was perfect race weather. Though there were more than 9,000 people running the race, New York Road Runners did a phenomenal job this morning. Bib pick up only took a few minutes and the porta potty lines moved very quickly due to the multitude of porta potties. Every volunteer was wide eyed and bushy tailed, happily pointing runners towards the start on the Grand Concourse.
At 7:50 Bo and I slid into the F corral with just enough time to stretch before the 8 AM start and choose our meeting point for the finish. Our plan was to start the race together before running our own races.
Our training has been very different lately and Bo wanted to use this as a diagnostic run while I had a very specific race plan from Jess. The goal of this race was to serve as preparation for Brooklyn RocknRoll half marathon in 13 days. Instead of trying to run a PR today, I focused on executing a race strategy in a race setting. The goal was 7 easier paced miles followed by 3 tempo miles at the end.
One of the reasons that I enjoy this race so much is because it’s very unique course. It is an out and back run that takes you through urban area of the Bronx as you run down the main street, Grand Concourse Boulevard, as well as quieter parks when the out and back diverts before turning you back towards the finish. It is also a great race to practice running hills as is ten miles worth of small, rolling hills. Nothing compares to Harlem Hill in Central Park but after the race my calves felt the combination of hills and running in the lightweight, responsive New Balance Vazee Pace. (elevation map courtesy of Runner Girl Esq recap)
I crossed the start line exactly at 8 AM feeling incredible. My legs felt loose after yesterday’s shake out run and the cooler temperature made me excited to run. Unfortunately, I was so excited that I forgot to start my watch or Nike+ running app. My watch was still in tempo/lap setting which did me no good but luckily within a quarter of a mile I was able to start my Nike app.
I spent the first four miles enjoying the sites and taking in the energy of the people cheering and running around me. Once the lead runners came by I passed the time by watching the runners, hoping to spot Jess or other speedy friends sprinting by me.
I didn’t spot Jess but I did have the chance to say hello to four different blog readers who spotted me on the course! When I dropped the pace, around mile 7, I put my headphones in and jammed out to my Berlin Marathon playlist from last year. While I was certainly burnt out on the playlist a year ago, today I loved the mix of Calvin Harris, Avicci and Macklemore.
As you’ll see below, I did a good job not going out too fast and sticking roughly to our plan. My “easy” pace is closer to a 9:30 but the fact that I had enough energy in the tank to drop it to sub 9 for the finish made me feel good. After talking to Theodora and seeing the official NYRR time, I also realize that the Nike Plus app isn’t perfect and seems to be a bit generous. If we assume that and add 5-6 seconds onto each mile, then I was right in the range Jess wanted.
- Mile 1: 9:22
- Mile 2: 9:10
- Mile 3: 9:12
- Mile 4: 9:20
- Mile 5: 9:05
- Mile 6: 9:08
- Mile 7: 9:15
- Mile 8: 9:01
- Mile 9: 9:00
- Mile 10: 8:51
Nike Plus Avg: 9:07
This race has me so excited for the five weeks of running. My plan for Brooklyn is to run with Amy and see how she’s feeling since she’s still making a return to running after having a baby. Savannah will hopefully be a PR race while San Francisco will be all about the fun with Evann, Kristine and friends!
Did you race this weekend? How’d it go?