Sunday, March 04, 2007

Coogan's PR

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)

Quite satisfying!

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.

Happy Purim!


Blogger Uptown Girl said...

Good to see you today! Congrats on the's always nice to PR but on that course? Even more satisfying!

Sunday, March 04, 2007  
Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

Your race report was exciting. Congrats to you both on setting PRs!

I love the costumes.

Sunday, March 04, 2007  
Blogger Sempre Libera said...

Was that you I saw inside the Armory? I think you called out to me but I tend to be a little jittery before races and I think I spaced out. Sorry! Congrats on the PR!

Sunday, March 04, 2007  
Blogger Chelly said...

congrats on your PR! I'll be running the 15K next weekend too as a training run in preparation for the MORE half coming up. Actually I'm supposed to do 12 miles that day but I may not make it the other 2.5. :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007  
Blogger Darrell said...

A PR! Awesome. Good luck next weekend at CCC. I still need to stop by your fund raising site.

Thanks for the mention and say hi to Akiva, his blog went dark.

Monday, March 05, 2007  
Blogger Raul! said...

Wow, you've been doing a lot of races. I haven't done a 5K in a long while, but I should just to see if I can improve my 5K time. Great job.

Thursday, March 08, 2007  
Blogger E-Speed said...

awesome! Love the splits! Negative split 5Ks are so elusive! You rocked it!

Thursday, March 08, 2007  
Blogger peter said...

Great result on the 5K. Nice negative split. I loved how you "multi-tasked" while running (dressing up as a runner for the holiday). I multi-task by running by my ATM to make deposits when I receive checks, but it slows down my run by about two minutes. I carefully read your blog a year ago about your NYCM race and in November I ran it too. Being from Staten Island originally, I loved it! Your account gave me a good feel for the race so thanks. (I bonked the moment I got back in Manhattan from the Bronx.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007  
Blogger jeanne said...

awesome! you really had me on the edge of my seat with that one. I love all the details. Those are some beautiful splits!

happy purim back atcha. and funny costumes. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007  
Blogger Yvonne said...

nice PR work. and that course is hilly if I recall correctly...

Monday, March 12, 2007  

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