Yes, this was my third installment in the Mini 10K. And although the price of the race drastically rose from last year, I signed up with
no little hesitation, for I love this race. The history surrounding it is incredible, and Wall Street Journal published an article including all the facts and memories of the first-ever last week.
I stated in my last post that I was somewhat alarmed as to how my performance would be on Saturday, for I haven’t been training, and my runs have been sporadic in both distance and speed. His Lordship left the evening before to set out for a triathlon, so I took that opportunity to rest up, play with the cat, and watch a chick flick. Don’t judge me—I rarely watch these to begin with, so why not do it at a time that doesn’t include a peanut gallery? I decided to call it a night soon after the movie, and was in bed by 10 pm—plenty of time to get a good amount of rest.
Side note: Water for Elephants is lame. I am suddenly reminded of why I don’t watch these types of movies.
Against my will, I woke up at 2:00 am. As the clock started ticking toward 3:30, I started doing anything and everything to get myself back to sleep. I did breathing exercises, counted sheep, and even turned on the TV for an episode of Entourage. None of it helped. I finally fell back asleep at 4:45, giving myself exactly one hour before I had to get up. Unfortunately for me, that hour was filled with ridiculous nightmares, and I woke up completely drained.
Needless to say, I was moving rather slow. After a few cups of coffee and my pre-race toast with peanut butter, I set off to Tavern on the Green in to give ES her race bib. As I do for every Central Park race, I take the opportunity to run up 5th Avenue, the only time when the streets are empty, and you take in so many of the iconic NYC landmarks.
When I reached ES and Lora, I realized I was dripping in sweat. “Oh. It appears to be humid,” I said. Hooray! Racing in humidity! In all seriousness, if you are someone who enjoys racing in humidity, please leave a comment below. I know no one who enjoys such things.
We went into our respective corrals—nay, attempted to (heyyy, crowds)—and I maneuvered my way through the hoards of ladies. I listened to Mary Wittenberg and saw some of the Pros, including Desi Davila, who gave a quick speech and wished everyone a fun and happy race. As per usual, the lustrous Peter Cha Cha gave his course directions, and I broke into a chuckle, thinking of Joe doing his best Cha Cha impression.
I flew over the start mat and everyone darted up Central Park West, listening to my feet, and trying not to trip over potholes and drains. As many runners know, you know how the race will be from the get-go. I knew during the first 800 meters that this was not going to be my finest hour, as I was having trouble breathing through the thick air and longed to be back in my bed. Mile 1 ticked off at 7:02, and I soon found out I would have trouble holding that pace.
Harlem Hill wasn’t as bad as expected, and for the first time I didn’t have waves of nausea charging up either hill. I kept finding myself around the same runners, two of which kept coming to a screeching hault around aid stations, followed by full on sprints past me. Although tempted, I didn’t want to do the same. I kept my feet moving, even though I was full-on exhausted from the wrath of lack of sleep and humidity. My Garmin displayed what may have been the most disastrous negative splits I’ve ever endured in a race.
As I made my way down the East side of the Park, I decided to stop fighting the fight—just finish comfortably. My mental state was loopy, my leand I started craving sugar. With 800 meters to go, I slowed up a lot. My legs were giving in, and I desperately needed water.
I came through the finish and put my hands in the air. I had a goal of finishing between 45-46 minutes, and I came in at 48:21, a nine minute PR from my first Mini 10K two years ago. I grabbed my medal, flower, and water and kept walking with the finishers, making my way back to Tavern on the Green where I would rendezvous with ES and Lora.
Just past the bagels, I saw the volunteers displaying some kind of sticks. Curious, I stepped closer. The glorious sticks were, in fact, POPSICLES. Like the child I am, I grabbed it with sheer glee and force. Thank you, New York Road Runners, for dishing out cold sticks of sugar on this hot day of days.
So, there we have it. I’d say Round 3 was a success. It’s always a hot race, as it’s in the start of summertime. But what I’ve come to know of the Mini is that there is an energy and spirit that cannot be matched by other races. Also, I’m still sore, so I guess that means I did something right.
Congratulations to all my friends, and ladies who ran this past weekend. Cheers to you!