Sometimes you do everything wrong and yet the stars align and it all falls into place. Case in point: the second installment of the speed series. I was so not prepared for this one after only sleeping about four hours the previous night and then snacking all day long instead of eating any actual balanced meals. I had an afternoon coffee at work to try to wake up, but I was still feeling pretty sluggish when I headed to Prospect Park, so I figured the chances of breaking my new 23:30 PR were pretty slim. When the gun went off, I made my way up the GAP hill and struggled to settle into a manageable pace. I recall being discouraged when my Garmin beeped with a 7:49 for mile one because it was a slower pace than the last race. The downhills made mile two more bearable, and around 2.5 I caught up to Jess and held on for dear life trying to keep up with her to finish strong. We hit mile three and when I saw the finish clock ahead, I kicked it to come in at 23:28—a PR by the skin of my teeth. Later, I was really happy with what I saw when I uploaded my splits. It’s quite possible that this is the first time I’ve successfully negative split an entire race:
Once we all crossed the finish, it was pretty clear that it was going to start raining any second, so we quickly made our way to a nearby pizza joint for dinner and ended the evening with the requisite post-race group shot.
I wish I could say that the third race of the series went just as well. Sadly, doing everything right—getting plenty of sleep, hydrating, making better food choices— didn’t do me any favors this time around since it ended up being one of the hottest days of the year. This was a 7 PM race, and it was still 97 degrees by then. I briefly stopped at home after work and then jogged to the start. When I got there, I felt like I’d already run the 5K rather than just a mile, and my face was absolutely dripping with sweat. (Lovely visual right? You’re welcome.) Anyway once the race began, I tried to maintain a speedy pace for the first mile, but the heat immediately got to me, and as I watched my pace steadily decline I tried to just focus on running the whole thing to be done sooner. This is why I’ll never move back to Texas, I thought to myself around mile 3. I’m happy to report that the race wasn’t a lost cause for everyone, though. We stuck around for the awards this time, and not only did Jess take 3rd in our age group, Abby placed 3rd overall. Ladies, can I try to keep up with you for some long runs during marathon training?
What’s next? Well, this Saturday I’ll be racing the Pride Run in Central Park. I’ve actually never done a 5-miler, so I’m anxious to test this distance out, particularly since I love racing 4-milers but despise the 10K (6.2M). My best 4-miler time is 30:05, or 7:31/mile, so I’d love to finish the Pride Run in under 38 minutes if I can hold on to that pace for another mile. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get a little redemption after this last 5K!