Let it be known that its never a wise idea to sign up for a race the day after arriving home from a week long beach vacation. However, if you HAVE to do it, this was one great race to tackle on a beautiful, warm day in September. Since I was away the week prior to the race, I didn’t have time to get my bib or shirt ahead of time. Astrid (my CrossFit bestie turned NYC Marathon training partner) was kind enough to do the driving, and I took the LIRR to Douglaston where she picked me up (6:30am, woof!). We got to the Bronx by 7:00, and within 15 minutes we had picked up our bibs and shirts, checked our bags, and used the bathrooms. NYRR, I gotta hand it to you, this was THE most organized race (apart from a marathon distance). Huge props for making 10,000 runners really happy with a smooth check-in system.
As I was pinning on my bib to my brand new, bright yellow Team MR8 shirt, a man approached me and gave me a huge high-five. “TeamMR8! I love you guys!” Turns out he is in charge of the charity programs that get bibs for the New York City Marathon, and he had personally been involved in the decision to get TeamMR8 representation this year. I felt so grateful, and it made me even more proud to be part of such an amazing organization. We CAN make TeamMR8 bigger than ever this year!
Astrid and I had been discussing our game plan all morning. We wanted to pretend like these are the first 10 miles of the marathon. Don’t go out fast. Don’t even try to PR. Go annoyingly slow for the first few miles, and then just go into cruise control for the remainder. Our plan was to feel like we had some gas in the tank at the end, and run a controlled race. The problem is, its actually HARD to go annoyingly slow, especially if other runners are passing you (we are so competitive)! We managed to make it work though, and our first four miles were 9:41/9:29/9:21/9:12. Ehhh. Not even CLOSE to annoyingly slow. Try, “well under my marathon goal pace.” Still, we felt good, and I felt like I could maintain that pace for the rest of the run.
At mile 5, we got to the top of the out-and-back route and had some quick turns through a little green park. We clearly picked it up there, and mile 5 was 8:58. At mile 6, I lost Astrid in the crowd. One of these days I’ll actually stick with her the entire race! I had a tri-berry Gu (which tastes exactly like my favorite ice cream flavor) and chugged some water to wash it down.
My last few miles were 9:05/9:28/9:14/9:07/9:18. I was surprised that I stayed in the same range even in miles 8-10, as they were a slight (but long) incline. When I was tired, especially in the final mile, I thought a lot about Martin Richard, and why I was running. I pretended he was running right alongside me, and I picked up my pace. I am sure that on November 2nd (and every run in-between), I will be channeling Martin’s positive outlook, boundless energy, and happiness. Martin was truly Boston Strong.
My official time was 1:33, which was a 2+ minute PR since my last 10 miler, only a month ago. Not bad for a little 10 miler after a vacation, after all!