Thursday, January 17, 2013

Race Report: NYCRUNS Central Park 10 Miler

This past Sunday I ran the NYCRUNS Central Park 10 miler. Before I get to the race report, a little background......A few days before the race, PRSFIT teammate, MH, who lives in the SF Bay area, was in NYC for work and asked if I wanted to join him for some early morning miles in Central Park. Of course I said yes. I never pass up a chance to run with a teammate. I was also able to preview the race course. I've run in Central Park plenty of times but not recently, so it was a good refresher. MH and I had a good run, a little over 7 miles. I do most of mid-week running in and around Teaneck so running in the park a days before the race really got me excited.

I spoke with Coach Jeff on Friday to discuss race planning. He's been giving me a lot of long tempo runs to get me ready. The race plan was simple, warm-up well and then GO! Coach was confident that I could hold a high zone 3 - low zone 4 effort for 10 miles.

Sunday was a great day to race. Temps were in the low 40s and overcast. The only problem was that the humidity was 100% which is my #1 asthma trigger. I knew I'd have to pay attention to that while I racing. The course was a double loop which started a little south of the 72nd Street Transverse on the west side and went counter-clockwise around the south end of the park, north on East Drive, across the 102nd St. Transverse, and south on West Drive.

I was feeling really good the first 5 miles but when I saw the clock read 35:xx I knew I took it out too fast and I'd paying for it during the 2nd time around. After Cat Hill, I tried to conserve my energy on East Drive and the transverse knowing that the West Side Rollers were waiting for me before the downhill finish. I started feeling my asthma flaring up with about 2 miles to go on those dreaded West Side Rollers. I had to slow down a few times to normalize my breathing. I survived the rollers and had enough in tank for a strong finishing surge. As I approached the finish line I saw the clock at 1:18:xx and I knew I had a new PR. My official time was 1:18:55 which is a new 10 mile PR by 1 minute.

Since this was my first NYCRUNS race, I want to write a few sentences about the experience. Up until this past Sunday, the only races I've done in Central Park were New York Road Runner races. The NYCRUNS race experience is much different. It felt a lot more like a small community race. Everyone was milling about before the race. We didn't have to be in a corral 30 minutes before the race, the start wasn't a clusterf#&k, Steve yelled GO! over the megaphone and off we went.

The post-race experience was great as well. We weren't funneled through a chute, handed a bagel, and sent on our merry way. Steve had hot chocolate, coffee, apples, bagels, and grapes. Everyone was just hanging around enjoying a mild winter Sunday morning. I was very pleased with the experience and can't wait to run more of Steve's races. I know many people that are thrilled that there is finally a viable alternative to NYRR in the City.

Back to the race.....was I a happy with a the new PR? Yes! Did I run a smart race? NO! So as I get into training for the Superhero Half, I'm sure there will plenty of long tempo runs between now and May 19 but I also want to focus on racing smarter. I will be on the lookout for some 10ks and 10 milers in February, March, and April where I can focus on racing smarter.

I have a lot more to say about training for a half marathon vs. a full marathon, but I've gone on for too long. More to come later.


Robin K said...

Spot-on description of NYCRuns - and just why I love them! My first "race" back from injury is their 10k next weekend in Prospect Park, and I'm excited just for the atmosphere (since I know my time will be slow, ha!). Congrats on the 10M PR and best of luck with your 13.1 training!

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