Ay ay ay. It went down!
I had done the Mini 10K 8 times in a row (from 2007 to 2014) and skipped all the last three years. The course has stayed the same, a loop of the park that starts with a fast mile on Central Park West. It starts right on Columbus Circle, a straight mile on CPW, then into the park (going north), up reverse Harlem Hill towards the east side, and down south and over to the finish on Tavern on the Green. But the race is a riot. All women. SO much history. Super festive. Fun. Empowering. You really feel the times. This was the 46th run of the Mini, the first women-only race that started in 1972, named after the miniskirt, which was quite popular at the time.
Anyway, I jogged to the start with Juan and my stomach was already hurting a bit. It was fine most of the week but it had been hurting a lot the last 10 days, and the weekend before I had to skip the NYRR Retro 4 miler because I couldn’t even walk from the cramps/spasms/whatever it was. Friday it was hurting a LOT in the afternoon, but I had been fine for a couple of days so I thought I could handle a 10K.
We lined up in the B corral. Found Patricia quickly, and Barbara was in A, right there! It was a great morning to hear the speeches and all the opening remarks. Also, right on our right was the Trump Hotel, just saying.
I found a few people in the corral that I knew. You could feel this was a special race, in a special day. Even though it was a bit warm, everyone was excited!
Back to my race, I had some stomach pain on the sloooow mile-long jog to the start, so I decided to take it easy. Which is what I would do anyway on the first few miles. I made a conscious decision to hold back and extra bit. We get moving…
Mile 1 is always SO exciting!!!!! Not only is the only flat part of the race, but we NEVER run in Central Park West and EVERYONE is there cheering -because they can scoot easily to the finish line! Everyone passed me and I heard so much labored breathing, I remember thinking how happy I was that I wasn’t running that hard.
Soon enough I saw Juan and I knew I was in for a loooong time around the park…
Mile 1 was 7:15, what? why did it feel easy? Mile 2 was also interesting: 7:12. Ah, ok. Mile 2 and 3 are the hilliest. Around mile 2 my stomach started bothering me. Mile 3 was 7:17. What?
I told myself to hold on and no push too much. A few minutes later, right before mile 4 the pain started. My stomach felt like someone had kicked it and I couldn’t breathe in. Juan was there, and I thought about dropping. I also thought about asking him to walk me to the finish. I was a little scared I’d faint from the pain. Mile 4: 7:58. I see Juan up ahead.
I also noticed that Christine was running right ahead!! So I told myself that if I could catch up to her, I could just hang on. I said hi and by to Juan.
So, for about 10 or 20 seconds I tried to push the pace to get closer to her. It hurt so much more. I realized that if I sped up I couldn’t breathe. Mile 5 was 7:21. I told myself then that if I could run a lot slower, I could finish. Because I really really really wanted to drop out. The last mile was just survival-mode. I had so many people yell my name, and I couldn’t even yell back, I couldn’t talk. I felt like I couldn’t breathe in. With a mile to go, I was walking. I would walk for 10, 15 seconds every 200 meters. I would start running again and back to walking. I was walking at the 200 meter marks.
I had never walked at a race before. I’ve done about 150 races and I’ve never walked -other than through a water station, or in an ultra. It was scary.
It made me appreciate the miles. I think I had been taking running for granted for too long. A mile seemed like forever. With 1 mile to go, I didn’t think I could finish. I would switch back and forth from “of course I can do a mile” to “I just want to lie down here and I don’t care”.
I didn’t need to finish the race to prove anything. I knew I could walk it. But I felt to hopeless.
Mile 6 was 8:23. The last .2 was 8:33 pace.
I know, it’s still quite fast. It just really felt like an eternity.
I can push through pain, but I just couldn’t breathe because of it. To me, racing IS pushing hard, feeling your legs falling off, your lungs burning, your head questioning how much harder you can go and how soon. I got none of that. I finished, yes, I was in pain, yes, but that’s not how I am used to feeling in a race…
Eric was volunteering handing out medals and he gave me one. I was to weak to say I didn’t want it. I saw no glory on what I did. I shouldn’t have run. But I am stubborn. And I didn’t want to miss on the fun.
Finish time: 48:14 Average Pace: 7:46
Previous PR: 44:32 From: May, 2013
Age Grading: 65.63%
Overall Place: 335 of 8476
Age Place: 34 of 1,141
Alison and I circled back to cheer on the rest of the field. So much fun. About an hour later, we took an all-female staff picture by the finish line, SO COOL, right?
I ate a bit but was mostly in pain all day. Sunday I woke up ok, I went for a run and it was hurting after 2 miles. I need to figure out why all the stomach pain and what is going on. Now.. I am signed up for the Queens 10K this weekend, and I am hoping I am ok by then… I shouldn’t line up again if I am still having any stomach pain. I shouldn’t. I am so stubborn though. I won’t. I won’t, don’t worry, I won’t!!