Saturday, September 22, 2012

Race #9

  Name: NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile
Date/Time: Saturday, September 22 at 8:55am
Location: Fifth Avenue
Length: 1 mile
Bib Number: 2824
Official Time: 9:45
Average Time per Mile: 9:45

I have been excited about running this race for quite some time for two main reasons.  One - it was the shortest race of all my qualifiers.  Two - upon completion of this race, I'm officially qualified to be in the 2013 NYC Marathon.  Along the way, I also challenged myself to run this mile in under 11 minutes and was really hoping to get very close to the 10 minute mark.  If you have been following my journey to the marathon, you'll know that my average mile pace is closer to 12 minutes so this was no small feat I was hoping to accomplish.  

I trained, but probably not as much or as properly as possible.  I did a few practice runs attempting to hit under my goal time and seemed to fairly consistently hit 10:50.  While it was good to know I should be able to make my goal, I was really hoping that I would be closer to 10 minutes than 11 minutes.  I should have known adrenaline would kick in on race day!

Let me take you through the fastest mile of my life one quarter mile at a time.  The start for this race is a bit different as the various groups of racers hit the course in heats.  My heat was set to begin at 8:55am.  Chris and I arrived at the start a bit early, but that was good because I was able to get the lay of the land and decided I would prefer to start toward the back of the pack so that I wouldn't be bunched up at the start (and use the port-o-johns...always important!).  I got into place and Chris headed off toward the finish line.  I had also decided I would run without carrying anything (very unusual for me) so I stretched and waited until the race began.  Once it began I realized the time clock at the start of the race was attached to the lead vehicle so I quickly started counting the seconds off until I crossed the start line.  I was at roughly 40 seconds when I crossed the start.  My goal (in order to run a 10 minute mile) was to allow 2:30 for each quarter mile.  At the first quarter mile marker, I was very close to that mark at 2:40 (keep in mind that I was roughly 40 seconds behind the official time).  That was quick...and I felt it going into the second quarter mile, but I pushed through hoping to see something close to 5:00 at the halfway mark.  Again, I was pretty close, but fading fast.  I mentally regrouped, specifically thinking of Lane Goodwin and his fight with cancer (check out this post for more about his battle).  Those thoughts coupled with the finish line in my sights gave me the strength I needed to keep pushing.  I should have hit the third quarter mile at around 7:30, but it was a little closer to 8:00 when I passed it.  With only 5 more NYC blocks left, I dug deep.  I could see the clock at the finish when I was about 2 blocks out.  It read 9 something.  I was in shock!  I knew at that point that I would most certainly knock my goal of under 11 minutes out of the water, but I suddenly became motivated to cross the line around the 10 minute mark.  I crossed at roughly 10:30 on the clock, but my official NYRR time was a 9:45 minute mile.  I have never been so proud of myself or amazed by the human body!  Don't get me wrong, I was spent at the end of the race and likely couldn't have run at that pace for much longer, but I accomplished something great on this day.  It definitely motivated me toward the bigger picture goal of running the full marathon next year.  Although, I believe I'll stick to my 12ish minute miles for that one :)

Thumbs Up for Lane as well as my awesome time!!

Andrea :)

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Andrea! You sure are doing McLean County proud (and your mom and dad). Thanks for sharing your thoughts during the race. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts. Alicia Harrington (Daviess County Public Library)