There are some days where I race too conservatively.
Unfortunately for me, Saturday, the day of the Oakley New York Mini 10K, was one of those days.
As a newly pregnant lady, ES asked if we could cab to the start at Columbus Circle. I was happy to oblige, and after a quick trip, we arrived at the start ahead of schedule.
It’s been two years since my last Mini 10K, and while some people have their own reservations about women-only races, I truly enjoy the Mini. It was my very first race four years ago, and since then, I’ve worked hard enough to get a position in the first corral.
And running up Central Park West is a nice change of pace from the normal loop of Central Park.
I wished ES good luck, as she had her own race strategy in mind, and I sat in my corral and waited. I tried listening to remarks made by the elites, Mary Wittenberg, and some guy who I’ll never know his name as the speakers weren’t loud enough to hear over the deafening sounds of female chatter.
With fellow North Carolinian homie Katie. Also, I don’t recommend running in Aviators. Such a rookie.
And then Peter Ciacia appeared, and there was silence.
Then the gun went off.
The first mile up Central Park West is a false flat, and I knew I could start off too fast—not the best idea considering Harlem Hill is imminent upon entering the Park.
I dropped the first mile in 7:30. I eased up further as I reached the hills; I could drop my pace on the East side.
I started in the middle of the pack, a poor decision on my part. I spent much time weaving around people up Harlem Hill. (This is foreshadowing.)
The sun started peeking out, and the humidity became a touch unbearable. I grabbed water at the top of the park and dumped it down my back, which is something I would continue to do at every aid station until the finish.
As I reached the top of the second hill, I tried dropping my pace. I felt I was giving enough effort to drop my pace. Between the weaving and the humidity, my pace was actually dropping.
I saw His Lordship cheering at 94th Street. This, along with my dropping pace (mile 4 clocked in at 7:55), gave me a jolt for the final 2.2 miles.
Smiling. A sign that I may or may not be taking it too easy.
At this point, I was doing math in my head to see if I could PR.
Right before I reached Cat Hill, a girl in front of me tripped and fell. I asked if she was alright, and she assured she was, albeit a bit embarrassed.
The crowds thickened at the 72nd Street transverse, and because of this, I got amped up and sped up the hill at 72nd Street.
I quickly approached the puke threshold, and nearly came to a halt. With some serious deep breathing, I gathered myself and got myself to a manageable pace.
As I turned back to the West side, I saw my PR fading in the distance, but had some reserves in the tank to “sprint” the final 800 meters. (It wasn’t a “sprint” so much as it was just picking up the pace.)
While I’m ecstatic that my head is back on straight with racing, I’m a bit peeved that I didn’t push myself further, and instead ran this almost as a tempo run. And what a difference running that extra .15 miles makes (don’t weave, folks).
Also, I’m convinced Marathonfoto hates me, as there has been no documentation of myself running the past three NYRR races. What gives?
Does anyone else have this problem?
Next up is the Pride 5-Miler.
And by George, I will not be conservative.
Look out, puke threshold.