It’s been nearly three months since my last race. I was injured or sick for a good portion of August. I was in Europe for two weeks at the beginning of this month. To say that I’m not in peak condition is a bit of a stretch. However races don’t move because of my lack of training. With that I got up this morning to run the New York Road Runners Fifth Avenue Mile – a super fast sprint from the Met to Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan.
I don’t normally run mile races. Last year I ran this race in 6:26. I’m pretty sure that the last time I ran a mile race before that was when I ran the mile in 8:44 in third grade. Back in January I said that I hoped to finish a mile in 5:50. Last night before going to bed I said that if I finished under 7:00 then I’d be ecstatic. I took the train into town this morning, got off at Harlem/125th and proceeded to do a counter-clockwise loop of Central Park. About six miles in total.
This gave me perfect timing to pick up my bib, check my now sweaty backpack, do some stretches, and get ready to race. I lined up near the back of the pack when we mobbed together at the start. I was surprised at how slow the start of the race was. It took me about 10 seconds before I crossed the starting line. Even at the start it was slower than I thought. I felt comfortable. I’m not supposed to feel comfortable during a 1 mile race. It’s almost a sprint. If I felt like I could have a conversation during the race I wasn’t going hard enough.
There’s really not much to discuss about the actual race. You run down Fifth avenue. There’s a small hill, but then it’s kinda downhill. I hit the half mile mark at about 3:20 clock time. I was actually getting a bit worried at this point. I knew I’d finish under 7:00, but would I have a PR? Luckily I was able to do a negative split for the last half mile and finish at 6:20 clock time. I was guaranteed of a PR. I felt good. I felt tired. I was sweaty and stinky. Official time was 6:10. It also marked a milestone that it was the first time I had a 60%+ Age Grade.
I stuck around after the race to watch a few more heats. Lots people older than me running much faster than me. One day I’ll be as awesome as them. The race was amazingly fun. Fun enough that I’m actually considering practicing for short distances in the future.