This was of the oddest of all races I ever run, mostly because it was this particular race…
As you know, I had an old PR of 6:30. I was pretty sure I could PR again
, but I wasn’t sure if I could do 6:20, 6:15 or what. So I made the executive decision to not look at the watch during the race, not even to look at my heart rate (oh gosh, that number can be quite scary in such a short race!)
I positioned myself on the 4th row. There are no corrals so you have to line up where think you’d be ok. The gun goes off and in the first two blocks it was crowded and had to weave around a little, but it was fine, not stressing about it. Two blocks in, I settle on a rhythm. This is where things got really REALLY strange.
Every time I run this race, or do any kind of mile repeats for that matter, I am going all out, struggling, breathing heavily, and scared for my life; soon I start fading, I gulp for air and desperation sinks in throwing my form, my lungs and my legs into a fit. Really, mayhem.
This one was NOTHING like it.
I was moving in such a controlled way that I had no idea what was happening. It was fluid, relaxed, low to the ground, no stress, breathing was completely subdued, no big movements, all was superefficient and working like a perfectly oiled machine. All I thought was Great, I am doing an 8 minute mile. My average pace last week at the 4 miler is gonna be faster than this one mile. I was a bit upset, but I checked and there was nothing else to activate, no extra gear to pull on. Nothing. Frustrating!
With a quarter mile to go, I get upset at myself and will myself to look for a sprint deep down somewhere, there was nothing extra. Nothing. But my pace didn’t seem affected, or my breathing. SO strange.
Then, with two blocks to go, I see the clock at the finish: 5:52, 5:53, 5:54 clicking up. And I get it, I was running way too well, probably for the first time ever, so I didn’t know how to handle it. I then understand why it felt good, why there was nothing extra, why it felt so comfortable… I just had no idea I could do it.
I crossed the line in 6:05. There was no puking, no coughing, nothing dramatic for once. It was beautiful. Unexpected on all fronts. The time was suprising too, I would have laughed if someone said I could be close to sub5, but the way my body took over the race was the win. There was no tension, like running a mile all out was normal now. This was my second PR of the year (out of 12 races), and there was no tears, no crazy nothings, we just do this.
Who is this person!??!?!
Finish time: 6:05. Average Pace: 6:05
Previous PR: 6:30. From: September 2009
Age Grading: 71.04%
Overall Place: 1,376 of 4,839
Gender Place: 157 of 2,184
Age Place: 18 of 333
Not bad, huh?Another race over my 70% AG goal!! YEY ME!
Had an apple, hang out with friends, added a few more miles with Helen and Keith, cheered, then had more food, then, oh, got to see the best runners in the world!
In the meantime I came around Kara Goucher, who was signing autographs and she said “It’s not a visit to NYC if I don’t see you!!”. She’s so sweet. I let her to her autograph signing… Robert, who run in the media heat and was taking pics for RW, got this pics of Patricia, my other training partner and I. So cool.
We then positioned ourselves to watch the elites go, we were at 100 meters. I have to say, and hope you are not dissapointed, that I didn’t take pictures! I decided to get video, because I love watching and studying their form in slowmo, so this is all I can post here about the finish meters:
and then, SOON, it was over. It was over SO FAST.
Then, I got to congratulate them up-close and personal, right at the finish line!
We waited a bit, then it was time for the awards ceremony…
I then went to the elites tent, where they were mostly seating waiting to do their drug testing. Nothing else to do but peeing now. It was kinda cool being in there, they’re all SO relaxed after the race, and chatted a bit with them all. One pic from the tent with Shannon, who I love!
This race is always such a fun time. It’s amazing how for one morning in the year ,Fifth Avenue is all ours. That corner, where the finish/awards/tent is, is such a toursity area with the apple store and the Ritz and it is so crowded, but when you see all these Olympians, and World Championships winners and medallists (Leo had his silver with him in there!), it’s such a different place… Like you’re in a virtual universe. And to come across Kara or the other ones who remember who you are, or other people/journalists who remember my blog or interviewed me last year for the Footlocker Five Boro challenge or anything else, it just seems… crazy?!?! It was truly a strange day. This was the most non-dramatic race I’ve ever done. A whole out of body experience day, really. Next up: Berlin Marathon. In 7 freagging days!
NYRR’s Fifth Avenue Mile RR: To Infinity and Beyond!