Somehow, I had another PR today. Quite unexpected (as usual) but I'll take it.
I've been meaning to post this week about how pathetic my running has been lately. Darrell
always posts his month's numbers at the end of each month, and I was planning on posting my February totals of 51.5 miles. Not bad, but not great. Definitely off January's total of 77.8 miles. If you break it down by weeks, it's worse. This past week I only ran once, 4 miles on Tuesday. It seems like it's always bad weather, or I'm busy at work. Pretty frustrating.
So anyway, today was a 5K in Washington Heights. I ran it mostly to get another qualifying race in, and I certainly wasn't expecting a PR. It's the Jewish holiday of Purim
today. Which meant I was up late last night at a party (sort of), and got up early today to go to synagogue before the race. Incidentally, the tradition is for people to dress up on this holiday. This year Akiva
and I dressed up like... wait for it ... runners. We wore our technical clothes, running bibs, Garmins, and our finisher medals from Philly. It was kind of cute.
So today, we went to the Heights for synagogue in the morning, and then took a cab over to the race. The website says there were only 2,826 finishers, but it really seemed a lot more crowded. We picked up our numbers and headed into the crowd. (Somehow, we ran into some people we knew, including Uptown Girl
. It's always amazing how that can happen, even in such a huge crowd.)
The race started, and the crowd wasn't too bad. We were able to navigate some space. We didn't run side by side (I always find that annoying when other people do that) but we were able to stay somewhat together. Akiva always runs faster than me in training, but somehow I felt like I was setting the pace.
The first mile went by in 8:01, and the second in 7:49. Akiva had gotten it into his head that he wanted to finish under 24 minutes. I wasn't really trying to set a PR and I was feeling kind of tired at that point. I told him that he could make it, and that he should push ahead and finish strong. He refused to go, saying that he "didn't have anything left in the tank".
So I forced the issue. I pushed ahead, knowing that he'd stick to me. I didn't think I could keep it up for the rest of the race, but I was trying to get him to 24 minutes. A mid-pack rabbit, if you will. Anyway, he stuck with me, and at about 2.5 miles there was a little downhill portion. My Garmin wasn't picking up a signal, but I started to think at this point that I could actually keep it up and finish with a PR. I wasn't sure exactly how I was doing, but I knew I was close. I think that allowed me to speed up a touch just to be sure.
At about 3 miles I surged ahead for a strong finish. I didn't know where Akiva was, and I actually thought he wouldn't be able to keep up. I was really pushing hard at the end, because I knew I had a PR. With about 5 feet to go I saw Akiva flash by me on the left to finish about a second ahead of me.
Fortunately I wasn't really trying to race him. Before I slowed down to catch my breath I high-fived him because he had beaten his goal. Somehow his physiologic state didn't allow him to realize that 23 was less than 24 at that point, and he didn't seem too excited. I couldn't really figure out why until about 10 minutes later when he finally realized he had beaten 24 minutes!
Officially, we both ended up with the same net time, 23:32. That's a 7:35 pace. The splits, if you care (and even if you don't) were:
0:35 (it doesn't add up perfectly, so I think this was slightly faster)
We thought about stopping into Coogan's Bar to join the party, but it was pretty crowded, and we wouldn't be able to eat the food anyway. Besides, today being a holiday, we're both scheduled for a huge festive meal later in the day.
Next up is the Colon Cancer Challenge
, next week. So far I've raised $397, and I'm still hoping to get over $500. We've also built up quite a big team, so it should be fun. (I'll be running a 15K for the first time, so it's also a guaranteed PR!)
Finally, one announcement. Adam from Burning Twenty
has been working on "the Tinkoff 1000", where he plans to run 1,000 miles this year. I've been wanting to join the challenge, but it's just not feasible with my schedule. So instead I've come up with a plan to run 1,000 kilometers
, which is a little over 620 miles. A sort of "mini-Tinkoff 1000". To stay on track I'll have to average about 12 miles a week. That by itself doesn't sound too bad, but the consistency will be the key.