Race number 8 (6th 2009 marathon-qualifying race) was the Scotland 10k, which took us around the big loop of Central Park and then some to complete the 10k distance.
Goals: to run between water stations and to set a PR, which would have meant breaking 54:49.
Despite another weekend of subway changes (including having to take a bus to get to where the train was running) I got to the Park early enough for a warm-up. I wandered around the festival a bit first and got my face painted with the flag of Scotland before committing to removing my coat (it was only 28°F when I woke up). I took off up the West Side of the Park, intending to run to the first mile marker and back. On my way back to the start, I noticed two fading contrails that crossed to form Scotland’s flag in the sky. I thought it was a really cool effect, but I don’t think very many people noticed it. As I was passing the festival area, I was hailed by Fabian, who was volunteering at the finish line water station (Go, Fabian!!). We chatted until it was time for me to run to the start, a quarter-mile farther along. I got to the 9-minute-mile marker and found Rachel and Lana, but Lana was too far back for me to get to her. The race was incredibly packed! The announcer said there were over 8000 entrants and there turned out to be just under 7000 finishers, about 1200 more than last year. Can you guess what happened next? Well, the race started and it took Rachel and I about 6 ½ minutes to cross the start line. We were completely boxed in and spent quite a bit of energy trying to maneuver around walkers and slower runners (only one more race, for me, until they’re no longer a problem.). I was aiming for 8:50 miles and the first mile was much slower, so I decided to pick it up. I lost Rachel somewhere along the rolling hills up the West Side, but I also killed my PR chance. My pace dropped by over a half a minute, which was way too much on those hills. I tried to maintain, but the north hills did me in. I maintained a fairly good pace around the rest of the Park, but had to take an extra walk break (to use my inhaler) before running down Cat Hill. I just hope I can keep my pace better at the More Half Marathon. I finished a minute off of my goal and then waited in the finishing chute to cheer in Rachel and Lana.
After the race, I skipped my cool-down so I could not win anything in the raffle. The Red Hot Chili Pipers were really good, though, and I did run into Lou, so I didn’t mind not winning. I was sorry to have missed Stephen, Mark and Paul (Congratulations on your PR, Paul!), though.
Official stats: my official time was 55:55 for a 9:01 pace. My splits were 9:23, 8:47, 8:51, 9:25, 8:56, 8:46, and 1:50 for the last tenth of a mile. I was 3590 out of 6928 total runners, putting me in the 48th percentile. It was 37°F, 25% humidity, and 8 mph winds.
Consolation treats: I went to the Orchid Show as soon as I’d showered and changed, so I only stopped for a Cheesy Beany Melt at Taco Bell. There aren’t many pictures, because my camera malfunctioned while I was at the Botanical Gardens. I had a slushy Dr Pepper when I got home and an Alfajor straight from Argentina (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
Next up: More Half Marathon (4/6), Adidas Run for the Parks (4/20)
Pictures from the race are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157604318709780/
Pictures from the Orchid Show are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157604323029373/
Videos from the race are available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ0Ru-07l8M and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e556p-m_-Q
I’ve also updated the tea brewer video (it’s no longer sideways) and you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5h93dvKb9c