Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wall Street Run 5/22 and Media Challenge #1 5/23

Hi all,

It's a 2-in-1 - I had races on consecutive days last week and didn't want to overwhelm everyone. I'd already written the recaps when I learned that I would need to wait until today for the results of the second race. What can I say? I'm lazy!

Race 16 was the Wall Street Run. It’s supposed to be a 5k, but, due to construction, the course was just under 3 miles. Here’s the NYRR’s description of the course: “The starting line is on Murray Street at Fourth Place, just west of West Street. Start eastbound on Murray and turn right (south) on Church Street. Turn left (east) on Liberty Street, right (south) on William Street, and pass the one-mile mark as William crosses Wall Street. Continue on William, turn right (west) on Beaver Street, left (south) on Broad Street, and left again (east) on Pearl Street. Turn right (east) on Fletcher Street, right again (south) on Water Street (using the southbound lanes only), and pass the two-mile mark on Water between Coenties Slip and Broad. Turn right (north) on State Street, left (west) on Battery Street, follow Battery as it curves north, turn left (west) onto Third Street, and make your final turn left (north) onto the Battery Park Esplanade. You’ll pass the three-mile mark just north on Albany Street and finish on the Esplanade near North Cove. View the course map here.” I just followed the people in front of me!

First, I want to thank everyone who donated! I really appreciate it and I know the American Heart Association does, too!

Goals: There was no chance of setting a PR here,* and I needed to rest after my hard weekend of running. I also knew I’d be racing again the next night (see below) and my performance in that race would be more important than in this one. My friend, Nancy, wanted to run, too (she’s walked the event in the past), so I told her I’d run with her. She has asthma, too, and was coughing a lot, so we took it slow. We got to the start and waited patiently, along with the other runners. The horn sounded and we moved very slowly. We couldn’t figure out why we weren’t moving and then realized that the walkers were walking around the runners along the sidewalk and coming back in to cross the start line ahead of the runners. It was a big mess! We ended up finding our way around and crossed the start line almost 10 minutes after the gun sounded! We struggled past walkers, who were walking 4-6 abreast, sometimes blocking the entire street! It was really strange! The course was also strange and difficult to maneuver. The only water station on the course was on the narrowest street, bringing everyone to a standstill, whether or not they stopped for water (we didn’t). We tried to make up time on the wider avenues, but with all the walkers it was really difficult – we were zigzagging almost the entire 3 miles. We were also dodging pedestrians who ignored the police officers who were supposed to be guiding the traffic as we ran past. In the 3rd mile, I heard sirens and pulled Nancy over to the side. We kept running, but I didn’t want to block the emergency vehicle. This year’s finish was really nice, but not logistically sound. The final quarter-mile or so was along the waterfront, which meant we were running along a fairly narrow path, lined with benches. The view of the Hudson River was incredible, but it was almost impossible to spring to the finish – there were just too many people crammed into too narrow a pathway.

Nancy and I ran almost the entire way – we stopped for a brief walk, just before the final turn to the finish. We got our chips clipped and then lined up for water and sandwiches. We both have TMJD and were dismayed to find that Subway had cut back on its donation and they ran out of sandwiches before we got to the head of the line. Our only other option was a bagel, which neither of us can eat. We headed towards the stage to find our team captain (the famous Sue) and Mark found me just as we got to the top of the stairs. He very generously gave Nancy his vegetarian Subway sandwich and we commiserated on the difficulty of the race and the general nastiness of the walkers (some even called out “Block Him” when he tried to run past). I wish the runners here were as nice and respectful as Shayna and Debs are! Something is going to have to change or this event will lose runners.

Official stats: I finished in 31:44 for an average pace of 10:35 over the 3 miles. I was 3038 out of 5267 finishers, putting me in the 42nd percentile. It was 65°F (12°C) with 52% humidity. My splits from my watch were: 10:48, 10:25, 10:38.

Celebration treats: I didn’t get home until late, but I had some of my Jacques’ House Blend bar from Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Haven.

* I define “setting a PR” as running a particular distance or course faster than I’ve run it before. If it’s a course PR, I denote it as such. If it’s a distance PR, I just call it a PR.

Race 17 was the first Media Challenge of the year. We run 3.5 miles – twice counter-clockwise around the lower loop in Central Park and then some.

Goals: There’s only one water station on this course and it’s at the finish, so I was going to have to run over 1.7 miles at a shot to keep from walking between rest stations. I was hoping to run sub-9s, but wasn’t sure, after the 10k race, 18-mile training run, 6+ ladder and 3-mile race in the past 4 days. Setting a PR involved breaking 32:10 and I hadn’t run this distance since last August, but it was still there in the back of my mind.

I got there early enough to do a warm-up loop and did not like the way I felt. In fact, I started writing my recap in my head, assuming I’d have to write that for the 2nd time this year, I did not set a PR in an eligible race.* I lined up towards the back and took it easy going around the bottom of the Park. I started feeling better (thank you, warm-up run) and started looking for rabbits. I picked off as many yellow and orange shirts as I could find, but ended up following a blue-shirted runner who seemed to be moving at my pace, but about 10 yards in front of me. I stopped for water after the first loop and did some knee swings to keep my knee pain in check. I started running again on the downhill (I’m no dummy!) and felt good going around the loop. As I came around to the 72nd Transverse, I passed my rabbit, but she passed me again as we came off the Transverse. I didn’t push my pace, though until I passed the start line and headed for the finish. I could hear the time-caller and it sounded as if she were calling 20-somethings as people were crossing the finish. I didn’t know if I could get there before she started calling 30s, but I went for it! I didn’t make it.

Official stats: I finished in 30:06 for an average pace of 8:36 over the 3.5 miles – a PR by over 2 minutes!! My actual time was 30:01, according to my watch, but this isn’t a chip-timed race, so my gun time counts. I was the third female in for my team, which means my place counted towards the points used to determine the winning teams (top 5 males, top 3 females). I was 101st out of 156 total finishers (35th percentile) and 29th out of 62 female finishers (53rd percentile). My splits from my watch were: 14:38 (8:36), 14:48 (8:42 pace), and :36 for the final tenth (6:00 pace!) – these were 1.7-mile splits, rather than 1-mile splits.

Celebration treats: Another late night (for me), but I did make time for a treat – dark-chocolate-covered hazelnuts from Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Haven. I have to get back down there for a bigger bag – they’re delicious!!

Next up: The inaugural Japan Day 4-miler on June 3rd and the Arctic Circle Marathon on June 30th.

Thank you for all your support!

Pictures from both races are available here: (as always, there is commentary in the slideshow).

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Nice going, George! You certainly run in a plethora of races. I'm jealous!