As I'd mentioned before, I've really wanted to get my 5 mile PR in line with the rest of my PR's. Unofrtunately, I hadn't really felt strong lately, and my left shin had been bothering me since Friday's run. Not really hurting, but worrying me. So I wasn't really looking to PR today. Oh, and did I mention the predicted 25 mph winds?
It was pretty chilly in the morning when the "Albert Einstein Road Runners" left the Bronx. I was all bundled up in a jacket and gloves. Somehow right when we got into the park, the wind seemed to die down a bit, and it seemed to warm up as well. I made a decision to lose the jacket at the last second. (I hung onto the gloves though.)
The race was packed, as usual. 6450 finishers. Akiva and I started together, and Sara was a little behind us. The beginning was really congested, but I wasn't too stressed, because it wasn't going to be a PR day.
At about the halfway point I ran into someone I recognized. I wasn't going too fast, so I stopped and chatted with him for a bit. Akiva came up beside us and joined in. We ran together for about 10 minutes, and then Akiva and I started to pull ahead. I was really hurting at this point. Nothing too mechanical, just throbbing shins, and mostly my left. So when Akiva started trying to weave through traffic, I hung back and slowed down.
When I got to two miles, my Garmin was off a bit, and so I thought I reached there around 16 minutes. I was kind of surprised at how fast I was going, and so I felt a little better about how bad I was feeling physically. It was a little discouraging to see the 2 mile marker 0.18 miles later, but I was still doing pretty well. (I think 18:10 at that point.)
I started to get energized, and picked up the pace a touch. When the next mile went by, my Garmin said I had run it in about 8:35 or so.
Now I was ahead of a 9 minute pace. Then I started to get annoyed that I hadn't looked up my PR before heading out this morning. I actually thought it was an 8:58 pace, and so I was in the ballpark. Damn. Now I couldn't take it easy anymore.
My shins were really burning, but I had to keep going. I think I sped up just a touch to about 8:27 miles (from what I remember), but I couldn't push too hard. I was really just trying to hang in there, and not slow down!
Finally the end was in sight. I did the ol' "get into the open" routine so that the photographer could get a good shot of me. Alas, it was not meant to be. While I was finishing, I could see him moving someone out of the way, and trying to get a better position. Oh well.
At least the race ended well. My net time was 43:52, and wouldn't you know it, a new PR. I was actually wrong about my previous PR, but I set a new one by 35 seconds. (It's still not really in line with the others, so I've still left myself room for improvement.)
Congratulations to all the Marine Core Marathon finishers. I'm looking forward to reading your race reports!