Well, I ran my race last night down in Wall Street. It was hard, but it was fun. I met a woman on the subway on the way down to the race. Her name was Maureen and she was REALLY helpful and friendly, so we kept each other company until the race began. She regularly runs marathons, and filled me in on all the things one needs to know about running in NY. It was fun talking to her, especially since if I hadn’t met her I would have been ALONE at that race!
She was so kind she even invited me to go out to dinner after the race with her and her friends, but I passed since I knew I’d be getting home late as it was. So the race began, and we waited until all the 6-minute milers passed us. I laughed and said, “I should be the last one leaving I’m so slow.” Maureen kindly waited until the the stragglers came by, then joined me as I started running. She’s an 8-minute miler, so I knew I’d hold her up, and told her not to worry about me. “Okay, I’ll see you at the finish line!” she said, and promptly went off on her 8-miler way.
I trucked along, jogging my first 7 minutes before stopping to walk a bit. I tried to be consistent and run for 6-7 minutes, walk for 2 and so on. At some point the folks in the lead doublebacked a bit on those lagging behind, and sure enough I saw Maureen speeding right along. I was surprised to find that the turnaround for the doubleback was not that much further, which means my speed was decent. I had a pedometer for time but it kept cutting out on me (stupid free pedometer), so I finally gave up and just kept going, praying that around every corner I’d see the finish line.
Finally we came to the wharf area, where I knew the finish line was. I heard people cheering and knew that I was getting close. Sure enough I saw a sign telling me that it was the 3 mile point. Only .12 to go! I picked up my pace and was SHOCKED when I cross the finish line at 43:12. I have only run a full 5K once on the treadmill, and I didn’t do it that fast. Obviously the adreneline of running in an actual race pushed me forward. I was exhausted, but I had averaged 1.3 miles in less than 14 minutes. My fastest time at this point was 1 mile in 14:20.
And what’s even better? Maureen and four of her friends were there to cheer me over the finish line. I was shocked and kinda happy when I heard, “Come on, Jane! You can do it!” as I neared the finish line. They all slapped me on the back and I felt like I had known them forever. We chatted for a few minutes and then I said my goodbyes, to which they all said, “Hopefully we’ll see you at another race and you can run with us.”
I got home around 10 p.m., exhausted but quite pleased. And looking forward to my next race in October.
Update at 12:36 p.m.: The statistics are finally up at NYRR. The timing of the race is different than I thought. Since I had a chip, they clocked me from my actual crossing of the start line to crossing of the finish line. So technically while I crossed the finish line at the 43:12 minute into the race, I actually ran it in 41:07 based on when I actually crossed the start line. What does that mean? I ran a 13:15-minute mile pace! That’s a full minute faster than I have done in the past! Less heartening is the fact that out of 3520 racers, I came in 3029th place. *lol* But hey – fastest time ever!!