(Now that I started playing around with facebook, there's no time to blog...)
Akiva, me, Dmitriy - before the race.
I ran another race on Sunday. The (first annual?) Japan Day 4 mile race in Central Park. Prior to injuring my ankle, I had looked to this race to set a new 4M PR. All my other PR's had gotten faster in the last year, and my my 4M mark was out of whack. It was 6 years old, almost from when I first started running.
Then when I hurt myself, I kind of gave up on my goal for this race. After last week's performance I thought I could get a good race in, but probably not set a PR. So I went to the race without clear expectations. It was also about 75 degrees and very humid. I was thinking somewhere in the range of an 8 minute mile would be great.
The starting area was packed. They've been putting up tighter barricades, which results in the starting crowd being stretched out over a longer distance. It seemed like there were way more people than usual, although in the end there were only 4,593 finishers - which is about normal for these races.
The first mile had the usual crowding, but I've learned not to get too aggressive. I was running with Akiva, but we let people get between us pretty easily and don't stress out about running side by side. (I actually think people who do that in a race are really being inappropriate.) So we ended up running a fairly relaxing first mile, and it passed by in 8:25. (For the record, this mile included "Cat Hill
We picked it up in the next mile, and ran it in 7:38.
A little into the third mile Akiva started talking about bonking. I was tired, but feeling like I could make it. He hasn't been running as much lately, and I guess he didn't feel like he could keep up the pace for another 2 miles. (I think a lot of racing has to do with experience and confidence, and that for sure helped me to stick to it for longer.) Anyway, he pushed me on ahead. We actually didn't separate for a few minutes since he kept up the pace, and I wasn't in condition to speed ahead anyway.
Eventually he stopped to rest, and I broke away. I felt like I picked it up at that point, and pushed stronger. But when the mile marker came by, the 3rd mile had taken me 7:45. It's possible the rolling hills affected me.
For the last mile I started to think about a PR. Over the last few race, the Road Runners have been putting people's pace on their bibs. I think it probably has to do with their ideas for wave starts, but for now, it's not even clear where the pace comes from. In any case, my bib had a pace of 7:48. Calculated out over 4 miles, that was a 31:12. The number didn't seem familiar, but I figured that must be my PR.
I knew I was going to have to pick it up to reach that time. I picked up the pace ever so slightly, with the plan of really pushing hard in the final stretch.
The course ended after a turn, and when I made my final turn I had about a minute left to the goal time. I started sprinting like a madman, and finished up the last mile in 7:09. I crossed the finish line with a net time of 30:57, for a 7:44 pace, and a brand new PR.
After the race
Turns out my old PR was not actually 31:12, but 32:55. I beat it by almost two minutes. 7:48 was (and is) my PR pace for a 5M race, so I was pretty happy to set my 4M PR a little faster. Now they're all in order. (See the sidebar.)
(While you're over there, you can see my traineo button. My weight loss seems to have
gone in reverse. I really have to get serious about that again if I want to improve further on my speed. When my ankle gets better I'd like to do some speedwork again, though as marathon training starts again it probably won't be a priority for me.)
In case you're wondering, Akiva ran a 32:42. Not bad, but he wasn't happy with it. It seems to have resulted in a renewed dedication to running (but not blogging!), and so at least some good came of it. We're set to run tomorrow morning.
My next race is scheduled for Father's Day with a 5 Miler. I always have warm feelings about this race, as in 200o it was my first race ever. Yesterday's race was my 40th.