Start spreadin’ the news, I’m running today; I want to be a part of it, New York 5K!
Holy cowbells, early wake-up call for this race! Good thing we got up early, we needed to catch the Path train into NYC, and didn’t consider trains being scheduled less frequently on the weekend! Despite the early hour, there were plenty of passengers waiting, truly a city that never sleeps!
5:30 – The alarm sounds, I weigh my options: go back to sleep or get up and run! 5:40 rolls around, I roll out of bed. Of course I want to run, this is NYC!! I begin with a good breakfast, some oatmeal and a banana for stored energy.
6:30 – We leave the hotel and walk a block to the subway. It’s a rather chilly morning, so I’m glad we’re wearing extra layers!
7:15 – The train arrives; YAY!! So nice and warm, never thought I’d long for the comforts of a Jersey subway.
8:00 – We hop on another train, walk 10 minutes, arrive at the United Nations, and search for my corral. This race is HUGE!! Despite the hustle and bustle, we stop for a New York minute and take-in the moment! With a crowded start corral and limited time, I perform a quick, 15 minute plyo warm-up with light stretching.
8:30 – The elite men are off. Holy speedometer these guys are fast! 20 minutes later, the elite woman take off.
9:00 – YAY! Finally the gun for my wave!
Mile 1 (8:22) – I use this mile to gradually warm-up again. I had planned on a 7:50 first mile, but since I’m freezing, I don’t find it prudent. I feel so good this mile, weaving in and out of people, and hearing the loud cheers is so exhilarating! I actually turned my music down to take it all in; I usually have it full blast. This mile is very flat with a bit of uneven road. I see Jason just before the 1 mile sign and that’s all I need to kick-up the pace!
Mile 2 (7:52) – I’m able to speed-up this mile, though I still feeling amazing! The crowd thins out, allowing me to conserve energy by not weaving as much. A slight uphill mid-way through, but nothing too concerning. My hands are starting to sweat, I see Jason and cut across the road to throw him my gloves!
Mile 3 (8:38) – Right at the beginning of mile 3, there is a gradual incline. My fellow competitors begin walking, I keep going, weaving in and out like a taxi in rush hour. My pace slows slightly as a result, but I keep going. I’m slightly disappointed in the pace, despite the Central Park’s rolling hills and the frigid wind, I still feel great. I hope I’m not conserving too much for the finish.
Final .31 – I entered Central Park about a mile ago, I must be close, so I just go for it. I’m running at an 8:18 pace, and kick it in to the final stretch. My watch indicates I’m running beyond the 3.1 distance, likely due to having to weave and not cut tangents. The time clock reveals 27 minutes, I’m initially disappointed. I have been working so hard toward a sub 26 official time.
You cannot predict races though. Each one is different, each one unique. Going back and doing calculations, I did run a sub 26 (25:35 to be precise). In hindsight, I am super proud of my effort and accomplishment. Over the past couple months, I have been doing a new type of program; plyometric training 4 days/week and lifting with weights 2-3 days/week. I have kept my mileage low, no more than 8 miles/week. Sound crazy, right? Some say yes; my philosophy, do what works for you and your goals. I am a sprinter – This program would probably not be ideal for those running over a 5k distance. With the injury I have suffered to my knees, keeping my mileage low has always worked best and now the plyo has really amped up my results.
Overall, I am so happy with how my 5k went. I had been counting down the days since February when we decided we were headed out to NYC (for Jason’s Marathon). Originally my goal had been a sub 24, but as the months progressed, I realized that was not realistic. Now that I have figured out the plan that works best for me. I know by next year, I will be super close to it! I am so grateful for all of the support from friends, followers, athletes, and my fiancé.
Post 5k, Jason and I walked through central park, grabbed breakfast, walked through Time Square (visiting M&M world!), then back to the hotel to rest up for Jason’s Marathon the following day!
Wherever your travels take you, if you ever have the chance to do a races, do it! It is so much fun to experience different events in different states! I was very impressed with the organization of this 5k, and the cost was only $30. The tech long sleeve was amazing; I have literally been wearing it every day because it is so comfy and breathable!
If your training routine has gone stale, same thing different day, results are diminishing, then it’s time to change! Contact me for a free consult and we will discuss what you can do to start seeing results again!
Editor: Jason Quarford