So when I finally did cross the starting line, I stayed left and just muscled my way past people. No noodling in the first mile for me.
Now, I had 2 goals today. I wanted to beat my PR of 48:51, I wanted to go under 48 and I would have been happy. My other goal, was to run 7:30s. I just raced last weekend, I had a speed workout on Tues, I have a 20 miler tomorrow, I didn't want to go ALL OUT OH MY GOD KILL MYSELF. If I wasn't hitting 7:30s fairly easily, I was going to ease up.
Mile 1 7:27, ok, not bad, I feel really good it's just CROWDED.
As I've mentioned before, Central Park is hilly. This race went clockwise, which isn't the usual way races are run. I find it to be a bit faster, but not by much.
Mile 2 7:32. Its still crowded, but I've averaged about 7:30s for my first 2 miles so not bad. Now we move into the Harlem hills. Up then down then up.
Mile 3 7:22. I worked that down. I run the hills up in that part of the park so much I'm really use to them. It's FINALLY starting to clear out a bit. Going into mile 4 is a lot of gradual uphill. I'm just trying to keep the effort steady.
Mile 4 7:50. Poop. Slower than I wanted. But now I know I have Cat Hill to run DOWN so maybe I'll make up a bit of time in mile 5.
Mile 5 7:19. Yup. Time made up. One mile to go around the south end of the park and then up towards Tavern on the Green. The finish is where the marathon finish it. I'm looking at my watch. Sub 48, no problem, maybe even sub 47. Thing about this finish is there are 2 little rises. I know them well. Whenever a races finishes this way, I think about the 4 NYC marathons I have run and how what ever I am doing now feels better than it does when I'm finishing the marathon on this stretch.
I'm soaked, I am tired.
Mile 6 7:30. Right on the nose. Oh here's that lovely .2 uphill to finish.
Total: 46:30, well over 2 minutes better than my PR.
I can't feel my hands. I am soaked to the bone.
I find Hilary, Loren, and Rachel all close to the finish line, the 4 of us making up 4/5th of our top 5. Hilary and Rachel both PRed, Loren ran a lot better than she thought she would. Our women's team finished 10th, the men finished 7th.
This will be my last hard race before NJ. Next week I'm suppose to do a tune up race, but I did this instead. I am signed up for a 4 miler but I'll use it as a tempo run. The week before NJ, I'm running the More half for my last long run, but running it easy. I did this before Steamtown as well and really liked it for a long run.
Wow, I can't believe I'm about to taper! This training cycle has gone so well for me. Fingers crossed for just a few more weeks.