Fitness 4 Miler RR: A few steps closer to the “dream”

The first race of the “five in a row” was this past Saturday and it went exactly as I had planned it, andbetter than I expected… but I do tend to have very low expectations.
 
To start, Friday was Fashion’s Night Out, and not wanting to miss out on anything, my friend Flor and I created a shock and awe plan to attack the stores and be in my apartment to eat pasta and go to sleep on the earlier side. I really wanted to do well in this race. I was committed. We stuck to our plan, had fun and cookies/gelato/cupcakes, even got a free FNO dri-fit shirts at Niketown and headed home for fuel and rest. This ties up to my previous post: I don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING! My dad tells me at least twice a week “You can’t sit in 2 chairs with just one @ss“. Well, I gotta try!
 
Saturday morning, I was ready to go. IN DA ZONE. I could not have been any more focused. We got our Starbucks and face game on. I lined up in my corral 2 minutes before go time and spotted my team. Megan was there, and I wanted to stick with her, she said she was aiming at low 7s and wanted to do the first mile slow, like 7:15 (Cat Hill is there!). I said Perfect, I’ll just make sure I’ll stay tucked in behind you.
 
This race last year I clocked 29:34 (average pace of 7:23). My last 4 miler was on a very hot day, July 4th, and it was still a PR: 28:45 (pace of 7:11), and my 5 miler pace was faster than that (7:07), so I was confident I could get around 7:05. That was my goal. But instead of pace, I was going with my HRM, I’ve experimented enough with it, that I knew my first two miles had to be at 185 bpms, the 3rd at 190, and push to a bit over 200 from 3.5 miles on. That was the plan. And for once, the plan worked.
 
Rocco Dispirito did the intro

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and we were off. I let Megan go and I took it easy. I felt really calm, relaxed and confident. In a 4 miler, that is ridiculous. I kept check on my HR and I seemed to be right on target. Mile 1 comes back and I was at 6:56. Ooops, too fast. Not a surprise though. But HR was fine so I kept at it. Megan was like 50 meters ahead, I just made sure I didn’t let her go further than that. Mile 2 comes around at6:54. Ok, this will start hurting soon. For sure. Two minutes later, I felt like I was dying, I wanted to quit so bad, so bad… But I kept telling myself, I always want to quit and this would be over very soon, it’s just a matter of holding it now. Just HOLD IT. HOLD IT!!!! Mile 3 comes by slowly and with a slap: 7:24. Yeah, I had lost it, but at least it was just one slow mile instead of 2! HR was still right on target but both Megan and I had obviously had gone out too fast. I catch up to her by 3.5 miles and try to not pass her. Then it just came to me. I got up beside her for a bit, then I pass her, and she hits the gas and takes off. I manage to follow a few seconds behind. I knew pushing her would help her and push me on the last painful half mile where I was losing my mind. Talk about team work!
 
I did 28:09, average pace of 7:02. My HR at the finish line was 201. Right on.
 
The NYRR photographer snapped a picture of me in my Nike’s FNO t-shirt, it’s on the NYRR site too! Pretty cool.

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We watched the kid’s races, which is always super cute.

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Then we had a team picnic near the finish line. This team really rocks. 

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When I got home, and looked at my results, I almost flipped. I was at 69%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
This year, I had a few races in the 66% to 68% range. And my goal has been to get closer to the 70% Age Graded time. In case you have no clue what I am talking about, your age-graded score is the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time. A performance level of 100% is approximately the world-record level, 90% equates to world class, 80% is national class, and 70% is regional class. Here is a calculator if you want to check it out.
 
69% is pretty close though. Could I be any happier with this race? No, not really.  
A WIN.
Philly Half this weekend: you better watch out.
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