NYRR Women’s 10K & Competition

I ran my first 10K this morning. I am excited to say it was the NYRR’s 40th Mini Marathon women-only 10K.

I prepped last night with a bowl of pasta and a Guinness, then sat down to watch the documentary, Run for Your Life – the Fred Lebow story. It was an apt choice since Lebow launched the NYRR club into notoriety and created the NYC marathon. They even had a brief mention of the Women’s Mini 10K. (For the first one, Lebow got Playboy bunnies to run it and it was called a ‘Mini’ because the pseudo sponsor was a women’s shaving cream company and the mini-skirt was popular at the time.)

I couldn’t really sit and watch due to nerves, so I got all my gear ready for the next day. I looked over my time logs and realized this run would put me over the 150 mile mark for the year! Not bad considering my bouts of illness, back pain, traveling, oh and winter too. I headed to bed and actually got sleep this time, unlike the night before my Miami Half race.

Everything went smoothly in the morning and I was at the start line at 7:30am with my iced coffee in hand. At this point I just soaked it all in. The emcee talking on the speakers, the big corral numbers, the great statues and buildings at Columbus Circle, and the beauty of Central Park — this was my very first run in central park! The emcee named some running greats and Olympians who were running, who I had only ever read about in Runner’s World, and today I was going to run ‘with’ them. I was so stoked to see so many women ready to compete, hundreds, maybe thousands.

The race started at 8am and shortly thereafter I hustled across the start line. The start of a race is a always a bit of a madhouse, so I bobbed and weaved until I could set a pace down. And that pace was too fast at the start of course. I hit Mile 1 at like an 8:30 pace – mind you, I’m more a 9:30 pace runner. But I felt good, so whatever, and I galloped on.

I loved running through Central Park. There was one section of Mile 2 where you’d think you were in rural NY, not in the middle of Manhattan. So many lush, big green trees. Lots of shade which was nice even though it was cloudy, even breezy at times – great weather overall.

I was a little worried about the hills. I had only read the NYRR description and had no idea what sort of elevation I would hit, but I got through them just fine. I kept thinking to myself, these aren’t hills! I’ve battled hills, thank you very much Ithaca.

I hit the 5K mark at 28:32, so I was more or less on time. My goal was just to finish this thing under an hour. By mile 4, I was getting tired, but there was a great group of NYRR cheerleaders that really got me pumped up. Unfortunately this is the part of the race I have a hard time with, because you feel like you’re close, but really you’re not, really you’ve still got to put the effort in.

Right before Mile 5, I grabbed some water and got back into gear. With each step I told myself I was getting closer, that in mere 10 minutes, a mere 6 minutes, 5 minutes, I’ll be done! It was exciting to see some NBR cheerleaders, as I run with them occasionally. It definitely made me want to start running more often with them.

I kept waiting to hit the 6 Mile marker but instead it just goes into 800m and 400m signs. Holy crap only two track laps to go – piece of cake! I held back a little because I knew there was a hill going to the finish line, but it took me a few seconds to realize that I was literally coming off it just as I started looking for it.

And then the money shot. I could see the finish line. I’m not a crazy sprinter, so I picked up speed gradually but I was at a hard run when I crossed the finish line — with a big smile on my face, because the main timer said 58-minute something, and I knew my time was even a little faster than that! I did it, I ran my first 10K under an hour!

I wasn’t too impressed by the medal (or shirt) but that’s probably because the Miami metal is super, super awesome. But it was cute that they also had flowers and French toast bagels – so delicious!!

Sometimes I think paying to run in a race is stupid, but honestly it’s such a nice feeling – the combination of camaraderie and competition – you share with all the people around you. I’m on track to run my marathon in October, and cross you fingers, I stay injury free until then. Next up, Baltimore 10-Miler next week.

Final Note
When I registered for the race, I estimated my pace at 10:30.
My timer shows 56:17, for a pace of 9:03! Nothing in my race log is that fast for that long!!
Look forward to getting my official time. Ha, my official time was 56:13, which is a pace of 9:02!

Before & After (My teeth are green in the after because of the popscicle.)

NYRR Women’s 10K & Competition

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