On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, June 14, 2010

NYRR Mini 10k

Okay, so I snuck an extra race in there unexpectedly.  I'm a sucker for an all women's race; what can I say?  To make this Mt. Washington related, I'm not a sucker for Harlem Hill in Central Park.  That bitch sucks.  Pardon my language.  Why it sucks so bad when it's only a 4.4% incline I don't know.  But it sucks.  I was running on it Friday, and some guy ran past and gave me two thumbs up in encouragement.  I could have hugged him.  I smiled for another full mile - it was so unexpected and nice.

The Mini 10k - named not because women are mini, but because it was previously the "mini marathon" (after the miniskirt).  I did not care for this race, because I suck and not because the race itself does.  The corrals were crazy crowded, more so than I've experienced before (even at the Chicago Marathon!).  The crowds didn't thin out until about the 5k mark.  I was elbowing and tripping people.  Better yet, I was weaving around walkers in denim carrying purses through the one mile mark, people who were either in the wrong corral or had started too far up.

Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe were both there, celebrating being pregnant at the same time.  I'm glad they have each other as a resource, and I like both of them individually, but sometimes I feel like the only female runner that honestly couldn't care less about their new status as BFFs.  I was more curious to discover, later, that Delilah DiCrescenzo of "Hey There Delilah" fame was there.  And she finished in 33:38.  Which only earned her 12th place.  Yeah.

But the race.  I'm disappointed in myself, for good reason.  This race was terrible for me.  I really wanted to see how close I could come to breaking an hour, and I feel like I was in the right shape for it.  However, my body decided otherwise.

Anyone who races a fair bit and writes race reports will eventually have to face the same question: how much information is too much information?  Perhaps you know what I'm getting at.  For my sister, to whom the whole world is a bathroom, there is no such thing as TMI.  That woman will go to the bathroom anywhere.  What you and I see as someone's front yard, she sees as a potential toilet.  (True story: she once turned down a Starbucks bathroom to go au naturel a couple of blocks later.)

Instead of telling you what happened, let me tell you what I texted as my race report to my sister: "At 5m gave up and am walking the rest. GI cramps so bad I started crying and there are no bathrooms."  There were eventually port-a-potties, of course, but they were all lined up about .2m from the end.

You can see exactly where I crashed in my split times: 10:06, 9:32, 9:35, 11:57, 11:02, 14.25.  Frankly, I'm shocked the last mile only took 14 minutes.  Even when I could see the finish, the pounding weight of running hurt me too badly to contemplate.  So I walked.  All of the runners I had passed up in the first three miles (and more!) caught up with me and overtook me.

A year ago, I would have been ecstatic to finish a 10k.  6 months ago I would have considered this time a victory.  Today, I'm disappointed.  But I'll get over it.  At least it was only 10k and not 5000k, like this race in Queens that just started.

Finally, this picture from the NYRR (as is the earlier one) has me speechless.  If you've ever wanted to feel like a heavy plodder, just look at these women floating.  Linet Masai, on the right, won the race in 30:48.


  1. Sorry your race was so craptacular, but that last photo is amazing to say the least...

  2. I wouldn't call this a 10K. I would call it a 5K wih a really long cool down.

  3. My running definitely doesn't look that graceful! They look like gazelles! I look like a clumsy hippo:(