Van Cortlandt is a pretty famous cross country course. It's hosted the Footlocker National HS race, National championships, all kinds of college championships. Everyone comes to race here. It is not an easy course however. I did find these videos that take you on a video tour (4-6) which is pretty cool. The course VCTC uses varies slightly in the exit so you get one more up hill and one less long down hill.
Going into this, I didn't have much of a plan. Of course in my head there's always that little PR voice. The reality is, I'm not very sharp right now. I ran hard on Sat and all my post marathon runs have been slow and not very long.
Hilary and I lined up fairly close to the front. For the first race of the series, it was crowded. FRNY had about 10 people racing which is a great turn out.
The first 1k is flat and fast. Too fast. I went out WAY too fast, like just under 7 minute pace. And of course, I did that thing, that thing I know better than to do. I felt really good so I just went with it instead of easing off a bit. I knew I was going to pay for it once we got in the woods to the hills.
When people see the start and haven't run the course, it doesn't look that bad. You start on a fast flat, you end on a fast flat. All the suffering happens in the woods where no one can see you.
As we heading up the first hill, my HR was hitting close to 190. FUN! Hilary was just ahead of me but already out of reach.
Yup, out too fast, paying for it now. I targeted women in head of me to try and catch them. I think I got 1. I got passed by at least one (a team mate) maybe 2) . I wore my Garmin last night which I almost never do for racing, I really just wanted to see what my HR was going to do. Of course then I couldn't stop looking at it. Watch only next time.
I was trying to make up time on the down hills but it didn't seem to be working too much. As I shot out of the woods for the lass 800m, the man directing traffic pointed at me and said 7. I took that to mean 7th woman. I charged ahead trying to over take the woman just ahead of me, who turned out to be Gabriel, a team mate. I didn't recognize her at the time. I just missed catching her at the end.
So the FRNY women did well: 5, 6, 7 over all. I think Rachel C. may have got in the top 10 as well, she finished close behind me. We scored 5 muffins for the night.
Tough crowd! For being 7th over all, I was 3rd in my AG.
I ran a 23:21 (7:31 pace) 5 seconds off my 5k PR, the fastest time I've posted at Van Cortlandt. As the summer rolls on, I see myself breaking that time and breaking 23 minutes.