Pretty Much on Target

This morning I ran the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile along, you guessed it, 5th Avenue in Manhattan. I ran the 1-mile race in 5:29. That was just about what I expected at the starting line today (“5:30”), which makes me pretty happy.

The weather wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t that bad, either. It was cloudy and about 66 degrees at the start with 78% humidity. You could feel the humidity a slight bit but the effects of it would be to-be-determined. (The effects seemed minimal.) I didn’t wear my Garmin for stats, especially since I think my net time says it all. I had a 0x-caffeine PowerGel around 8:15am, then a 2x-caffeine PowerGel 20 minutes before my race with some water. I was in a good mood for this race. I just wanted to have fun, and I decided that my strategy would be different from prior years. My recommendation to myself in prior years would be to hold off a bit on the pace on the first 1/4, then for the second 1/4 when it’s uphill gun it. This year, I decided I’d just run as fast I can could (yet still a little conservatively since I couldn’t do 100% sprinting for that distance!).

I crossed the 1/2-mile mark just about 2:40, which set me up for a 5:20 finish. I still had gas in the tank though I could tell I was slowing a little, so I just pushed myself, saving some for the very end. A guy in a green shirt who started with me and who was running for a 5:30 after running a 5:45 last year was about 50 feet ahead of me for the second half of the race, which surprised me a bit but I couldn’t catch him. (He beat his expectations; I basically met mine.) As I approached the finish line, there’s surprisingly a nice amount of distance between seeing the time on the clock and actually finishing. I saw 5:07 and thought I might end up with a 5:20, but there’s a good 10 seconds to go after that! Strange. Fortunately this year no one got in my way as I powered to the finish.

5:30’s not that fast, but it’s respectable, especially because, yet again, I didn’t train specifically for this race and I continue to say I want to. It’s really hard to balance marathon training along with it, along with a grueling, unpredictable work schedule that has me up at extraordinarily early hours. I was dreaming that maybe next year, instead of really doing marathon training, I’ll focus on doing well in the shorter races. And maybe THAT will be my marathon training. Hey, it’s an idea. Might make the races even more exciting for me, and make me a bit more proud of my results. I think I still have a body that can turn out PRs. And I want the pride of doing that! We shall see!

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