Race number 31 was the Holiday 4-miler. We ran the middle loop from the 102nd Street Transverse down the west side, across the 72nd Street Transverse and then back up the east to finish on the 102nd Street Transverse.
Goals: to run between water stations, to run all 4 miles at sub-10 pace, and to finish somewhere between 36 and 38 minutes. A PR would be nice, but I ran a tempo run on Friday and a long run on Sunday.
I got to the Park a little early, so I went over to the t-shirt tent to say hi to Emily and Tom, who were volunteering. It was freezing out, so extra kudos to the volunteers today! I looked for Roxy, Mark, Paul and Lou, who were all supposed to be there, but couldn’t find anyone, so I dropped my bag off and hurried to the start to huddle with the rest of the corral. The announcer warned us about black ice on the course and then we were on our way. I tried to run at a steady pace, but the course was very crowded, even into the 2nd mile. Roxy caught me walking at the water station, so I picked up the pace and tried to keep up with her. I managed for a couple of blocks, but then had to drop back. I’m not quite used to running in the cold yet and was having trouble breathing, but didn’t want to stop. Slowing down helped and I decided to take a walk break at the 2nd mile marker. I was still moving pretty well at that point, but really struggled trying to get up Cat Hill. I pushed myself to get past the Cat, then walked to the crest of the hill. There was another water station a little before the 3rd mile marker, so I ended up taking 3 walk breaks in the 3rd mile, which took me out of the running for 2 of my goals in just one mile. I hit the 3rd-mile marker in just under 29 minutes, which meant that I’d really have to pick up the pace to have a shot at my 3rd goal. I’m not sure where it came from, but I managed a burst of speed, though no finishing kick, and came in with over 30 seconds to spare.
After the race, I found Roxy waiting for me and then we met up with Mark at the baggage area so we could go to the Silver Moon bakery for post-race treats. This was my last NYRR race of the year and it was great to run and celebrate it with friends. Happy Holidays, everyone!!
Official stats: my official time was 37:23, for an average pace of 9:20. My splits were 9:15, 9:12, 10:29, and 8:33. I was 2618 out of 4872 total runners, putting me in the 46th percentile. It was 27°F with 51% humidity and 13 mph winds.
Consolation treats: Mark bought us hot chocolate at the Silver Moon bakery and then Roxy treated us to brunch at the Metro Diner. My contribution was dessert, obviously – chocolate French macaroons from Silver Moon bakery.
Next up: Resolution 5k (1/1/09)
Race pictures are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157611186218343/.