~ Coogans Salsa, Blues and Shamrock 5k Or Eggs and Butt ~
I am finally beginning to see the point of thinking about and planning ahead when you are about to run a race. Doesn’t matter if it is a 1 mile race, a 5k, or a half marathon. If you have a game plan going in and somewhat stick to it, you can execute a perfect race. Yes, you can. I am learning slowly how to do this with a little help from my friend. Ok, a lot of help from my friend Scott. Knowing the course helps too and being that this was the very first time I ever ran Coogans Salsa, Blues and Shamrock 5k Scott’s help was amazing.
It may not be for everyone, but it helped me to run a smart race. I am far from a “smart” runner. I am usually all over the place pace wise and just go into a race saying “ok, I’ll sub 30 today”. Doesn’t always work that way. Anyway, on to the race.
For this race I decided to pick up my number and tee shirt the day of the race. I usually have everything beforehand but couldn’t this time. It worked out well. I arrived about 1 hour before race time and had plenty of time to get my stuff, use the bathroom and check my bag. The Armory is beautiful and I am glad I got to see it, even if just for a short while. I was trying to meet up with Scott before to say hi and wish him good luck but somehow, we didn’t. But, we did. I spotted Scott lined up in his corral and quickly went over to say hi. It was then that I decided to stay there at that corral, which really wasn’t my corral. I belonged way back in the 6000 corral. Ah, it was fun to do that. I know, maybe not the best race etiquette but I couldn’t help it this time.
In my mind, I had “the plan” swirling.
Mile 1 starts out a bit flat and then rather quickly the looming hill is upon you. The way I knew the hill was there was by just looking ahead of me and seeing all the runners getting higher and higher, so I knew what was coming. Swing my arms and push for the top. Strong momentum at the top of the hill is important. So that is what I concentrated on.
Mile 1 9.20 (wow)
As I hit mile 1 I saw the elites already at the turnaround running back on this out and back course. Unreal huh? Once entering Fort Tryon Park there was a nice downhill and I used it to my advantage. I think. My instructions: Don’t push the downhill. You want to run it hard, but let your natural momentum guide you, don’t give any extra effort. Your pace will be fast, but you NEED to save energy for the way out of the park. I felt myself running down the hill a bit too fast so I pulled back and just let it happen naturally. At the turnaround in the park, I knew that next section was a steep and hard uphill. Again my instructions: The half mile out of the park is a steep uphill. It is probably similar to cat hill, but a little harder. At only 1.5 miles into the race, it will not be too hard. Start out easy on the uphill, and after about 2 minutes up, start to push. You DO want to push the 2nd part of this uphill. Swing your arms and push for the top. Strong momentum at the top of the hill is important.
Mile 2 9.38 (not bad for that uphill)
At this point the grunting began. Yes, I grunted. Couldn’t help it. I never grunt but I grunted during Coogans. There was a water stop right out of the park and I did stop to grab a cup, only to give myself a couple of seconds of recovery. It helped but I guess I lost precious seconds there. I knew I was almost at the home stretch and just kept on going. Kept on moving. Kept on pumping my arms and concentrating on form. Give it all you got to the end, run like the wind!
Mile 3 9.28
Still had that 0.11 and I got that done too. Well 0.18 in 1.18.
Official Time: 29.43
I had a blast. I achieved my goal of sub 30 with a strong race plan in place beforehand. This is the way I want to approach all of my races going forward.
After the race Scott, Amy and her hubby Dave went for a nice brunch. And after brunch we walked to an amazing overlook of the Hudson River, palisades area, and GW Bridge. What a view. Just spectacular to take it all in. Took my breath away for a bit.
On my train ride home, I had the goofiest grin and I know my dork factor was quite high. :O)
The eggs and butt? Well, you’ll just have to use your imagination on that one.
Here comes the sun folks. Enjoy.
Twenty five years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore ~ Dream ~ Discover. ~ Mark Twain ~