Posts Tagged ‘mile


Race Report: 2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile

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.

Men's 25-29 Starting the 2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile

Men's 25-29 Starting the 2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile

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.

Leaders of the Men's 35-39 group at 1500m of the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile

Leaders of the Men's 35-39 group at 1500m of the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile


2010 Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile

Being injured sucks, but one thing my doctor made very clear, if I can run a couple of miles and my IT band doesn’t hurt, then I should be okay with shorter races. Today was the shortest race of the year for the New York Road Runners, the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile. A race that I had done absolutely nothing to prepare for with the exception of running a mile at a nine minute pace on Thursday to make sure I could do it.

One of the great things about the Fifth Avenue Mile, is that unlike many of the other NYRR races that require me to get up at some horribly early time on a Sunday Morning, this one starts in waves. Yay for “sleeping in” until 7am. I Boarded the train at 8:05am, got off at Harlem/125th and proceeded to do a moderately slow 4.3 miles around Central Park for warmups.  Surprisingly my legs felt good and my hip wasn’t hurting.  I had set a mental goal of being happy if I was under 8 minutes.  I also realized when I got there that I forgot to bring a bag to check the free T-Shirt.  I tried checking just the T-Shirt, but I wasn’t surprised when it was gone by the time I made it to the end of the race.

Around 10am I walked onto the closed section of Fifth Avenue in front of the met and started to do some more stretches.  I was feeling great, but still lacked confidence about the race.  They pushed us up to the starting area and I decided that the race called for something with a bit more a beat than Car Talk from NPR, so I told my iPhone to shuffle the Black Album from Metallica.  I set up RunKeeper and started it about 45 seconds before they started the race.  The gun went off and I started running.

I took a moderate pace, something that I felt I could keep up for a mile without getting getting injured.  Although I tried to start near the back of the pack I was quickly getting passed by some of the speed demons in the group.  I settled into a pace with some other folks who weren’t the ultra-skinny runner types around me.  At 1/4 mile my split was 1:52, I started a little bit back from the start so I backclocked that to 1:49ish.  I was feeling good about running what looked to be around a 7min/mi pace.  Unfortunately, my attempt at keeping my pace up with high tempo music was hindered as my iPhone chose “The Unforgiven”, a slower tempo song.  Darn you iPhone!  As I hit my stride the 1/2 mile marker came up at 3:33.  My pace had accelerated a little bit, and I was feeling great.  I was passing some people who had gone out too strong, although it was clear that I was pushing myself.  3/4 of a mile was 4:57, still accelerating some.  I also failed to hear RunKeeper chirp in my ear about my pace — this meant that something went wrong and I wasn’t being tracked, so I don’t have fine grained results.  By this point the winners in my age group were crossing the line and the finish line was in sight, so the lack of RunKeeper didn’t bother me much.  As I hit 200m left I give it everything and was able to finish in 6:26.  My personal best and far better than I expected.

The best thing though?  Even though I had now ran about 5 miles this morning, my legs still felt great.  We’ll see how that works for Grete’s Great Gallop next week.

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Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

Upcoming Races

  • Nov 6 - New York City Marathon, New York, NY
For previous races, check out my Race Log