French Linen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Not Quite the NYC Marathon

I've been on the lookout for local races each weekend and was considering some last weekend when our monster Nor'easter snow storm made for renditions of "I'm dreaming of a white Halloween." By this weekend the snow had mostly melted and we were back to some blue sky, sunny but crisp fall weather. After spending a couple hours raking leaves yesterday, Mike and I headed out for a 20 mile bike ride.

This morning I became engrossed watching the lead runners in the NYC Marathon now that I have a new found interest in running. It was hard to believe they were running at a pace equal to my bike ride yesterday (granted, we were weren't as speedy with the leaves on the path as we sometimes are). I had been considering doing the Pumpkin Chase 5K in nearby New Canaan all week and there was nothing like watching some inspirational marathoners to get my butt off of the couch. The race had been postphoned to this weekend after last weekend's storm.

I was on my own for this race as Mike decided it was his turn to finish cleaning up the leaves on the other half on the lawn. Upon arriving, I plunked down my $15, got my free t-shirt and realized I was about 1 hour early. As I was sitting in the car, I saw other runners warming up and pondered just how you are supposed to warm up for a 5K. In this day and age of smart phone instant information, the answer was a quick "warming up for a 5K" Google search away. My just-in-time coach informed that 45 minutes out from the start of the race I should be doing a 20 minute warm-up run, followed by a bathroom break and other preparations such as putting on my number, followed by whatever warm-up exercises I could do before the race start so I didn't start out cold. So, that is what I did.

At the start of the race, I decided not to go too fast (remembering the challenge I had last race not to mention having the post-race commentary in my head about how the 3rd place woman's marathoner had paced it too fast, being out in front for so long only to be overcome at the end). That said, I did mile 1 in 8:20, a quick pace for me. The course was slightly uphill on the road and then turned onto a wooded trail. I watched for tree roots and slowed my pace somewhat, hitting mile 2 at something like 17:40. Back out on the road, I picked up the pace and recall my time at mile 3 being sometline like 26:50. I had my sights set on catching the woman in front of me in the last 100 yards, but my legs couldn't go faster up the final incline to the finish line. But she pushed me to finish at 27:47, 5 seconds faster than my last 5K, and so a new personal best. And thanks to my just-in-time coach - whoever you are!

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