Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gay Pride 5 mile race in Central Park

Today, I ran the 5 mile Gay Pride race.  It was sunny, 77 degrees, and 61% humidity at the start of the race.  We went out with some friends last night, so I didn't get to bed until 1am and got up at 7:15 A.M. to get ready to get to Central Park by 8:20 A.M. for the 9 A.M. race.   Despite a busy week of training this week, I felt good.  I ran into my friend BGR in the coral right before the race (he had already run 4.5 miles), which was really cool.  He showed me his new Iphone, which looks awesome, and my wife and I are looking forward to getting (although the Apple Store in our neighborhood is sold out of them).  I forgot to get the satellites set up for Garmin Watch, so activated my watch just a few seconds before passing the timing mats to officially start my race.  Luckily, I thought to myself, I picked up the satellites quickly.  I hit start on my watch as I passed the timing mats and my race was off.  The race started out fast, as the beginning of the race was downhill (a welcome change from my 2 previous races that started up hill).  I checked my watch about 30 seconds into the race, thinking "this pace is pretty fast".  My watch said 9:42 per mile.  "What????, I thought to myself. I guess I haven't picked up the satellites properly yet".  30 seconds later, it still read 9:42 per mile.  Another 30 seconds later, the same time - 9:42 per mile.  Odd, I thought, until I noticed that my watch had started and stopped at the beginning of the race.  So, I hit start about 0.25 miles into the race.  It was very hot, but I was feeling good, running comfortably in the 7:30s.  Not too hard, but not easy either.  Definitely easier than my last races, despite the temperatures.  My weight training on my legs and bike riding is definitely helping to strengthen my legs, as is running on the bridal path (which I find to be very hard, as it is kind of like running on sand).   I stopped at all 4 water stations during the race, taking 2-3 sips of water and pouring the rest of the cup over my head.  I was totally soaked the entire race, which helped keep me cool.  When I got to mile 4, uphill on the west side of Central Park between 102nd street and 84th street, I noticed that EVERYBODY was struggling, including me.  Every single race I curse the hills in Central Park in my mind.  It is super hilly.  I ran a split of 8:00 per mile during this tough mile (I thought about walking) and finished with a strong 7:05 per mile for mile 5.

Overall, I averaged 7:37 per mile for the 5 mile race, finishing 69th overall for my age group (545th overall) with an Age Graded % (AG%) of 59.32% (my goal is to be over 60% for these races, so I just missed it for this race).   Once again, I had no pain during my race, which was awesome.  The area where I had my ganglion cyst behind my left knee is still bothering me a little bit, but it isn't slowing me down.

Planning on riding my bike 50-60 miles tomorrow, so hopefully that goes well.

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