This morning I made the trek (and yes, from Brooklyn on a weekend EARLY morning it’s a trek) up to Central Park for the NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K. My debut at this distance.
Thanks to baggage check being on the entrance road, I had slightly more time to spare today…but only by a little. At least I wasn’t having to hike back over a hill! Got lined up, the national anthem was sung, and we were off. Thankfully without the “We need EMTs at the start NOW” going on this time!
Pre-race fuel was a peanut butter and banana smoothie and water at home, caramel VIA on the train, and PowerBar Strawberry-Banana Energy Gels about 45 minutes out with some water. I opted to go with a 4:1 run:walk ratio again, and it worked well this time. I also used the “just look 5 feet in front of you” technique when I knew a hill was coming up. Made the hills doable without dropping to a walk for the most part – proving that hills really are more mental than anything for me. At least hills of the more gradual type.
When I got to the 96th St transverse on the west side, a couple of my Front Runners teammates were there with the Front Runners banner and a poster with the names of all the FRNY women running. What a way to start!!
I was near one of our older FRNY guys for a good bit of the time – we kept leap-frogging back and forth as I went through my run:walk thing. He was great encouragement as well!
The first loop ~ 4 miles…aka the central loop in the park ~ went amazingly well. I even managed to do all my running interval on Cat Hill that time. At about mile 3.5 we heard vehicles and were all told to move to the left as the lead runners were coming through. We all had a good chuckle about that – we hadn’t even finished one loop yet and people were about to finish. Woo!
When I got to the east side of the 96th St transverse, my FRNY support team had moved over there with different signs. I handed my gloves off to them because they were making my hands extra hot and sort of tingly (not really…more fluttery? it’s hard to explain). They cheered me on and I kept going.
Just before the fluid station on the 102nd St transverse, I sucked down my GU Mint Chocolate, then grabbed som more water. Just after that, I made a quick pit stop and kept going.
Connected up with Sam again on the west side. About halfway down the main loop, he saw one of the photogs on the course who he knows, so he yelled an intro of me, and the result was probably my favorite race pic so far…
Continued on around, still keeping up my 4:1 and feeling really good. This loop, we added in the bottom part. Somewhere along the way there was another FRNY cheerleader…but I was in a zone and not really noticing what else was going on.
Once I hit mile 6, I was essentially in unknown territory. Prior to this, my longest run was 10K. Amazingly, I felt stronger as I went on for the most part.
I will admit I walked most of Cat Hill the second time around. BUT I ran until my legs were refusing to run anymore. I was able to start back running at the next run interval, so that was good.
My hamstrings were starting to get a little sore, so I slowed up my pace a little. (I’m going to roll them out with The Stick in a few minutes.)
Martha and AJ were still around the 96th St area on the east side, and OMG did their cheers help me keep going and push a little harder. I knew I was almost to the end. And puzzle of puzzles I wasn’t feeling like I was about to drop. I mean, I felt the effort, but I wasn’t dragging like I’d been at that same point on the path when I was running the 10K.
I passed the 9-mile marker and bore down to finish strong. At that point everyone along the sides of the course was cheering everyone in. It felt really good. And I was alone enough crossing the finish mats, I got announced coming in. WOW!
I smiled big for the camera (we’ll see how it comes out), then walked to the fluid station tables and downed a couple of cups of Gatorade. Then I walked up the hill and stretched before walking over to baggage and then over to our Front Runners Women’s “BGB” (Big Girl Breakfast).
My left knee has started doing the ITB tweaky thing my right knee did after my first 10K – but it feels slightly better. I know what to do for it – ice, rest…some good, gentle stretching…and 3 days off. Hopefully it will respond the same as the right one did.
But overall, I feel really good. I’m totally proud of myself for this one!
Final time? 1:51:23
Average pace? 11:58 (to put that one in perspective…my average pace in my last NYRR race that was used for corral placement in this one? was 12:32)