- I can run a mile in 7:52, including a 1:45 uphill 400m right out the gate in a thick crowd. (That may not seem fast to you, but consider my slow-ass race times otherwise.)
- My sister might know what she's doing with my training.
- There is something to the whole "warm-up" thing. Who knew?
- Fifth Avenue is deceptively hilly. Looking down the course from the 400m mark, all I could think was "Holy #!$#@. That's UP."
- I'm better at short distances than long distances. My middle-distance times are consistently better than my long-distance times.
- No matter how short the race, there will be etiquette violations. Including: getting to the corral mere moments before the start and pushing your way up front (get there earlier if you belong up front!), starting up front even though your times can't support it (I am not fast, and yet I was consistently passing people for literally half the race), stopping DEAD to walk in the middle of the course at the halfway point. In a mile race.
Overall, I'm pleased with this race. I honestly had no idea how I'd do: no matter what race times I plugged into different calculators, the predictions were in the mid-8s. I loved the thought of going sub-8, but I haven't been focusing on (track) speedwork lately and frankly, I didn't think it was tenable. 8:xx just didn't sound sexy to me, but I was resigned to that - especially when I saw how thick the crowds at the start were for my wave (women 30-39).
But there was drama even before I got to the start! When I got to the subway, I realized that my bib had fallen out of the pocket of my skirt. I had already swiped my subway card, which means that if I left the subway to run back home and get the number, I couldn't swipe my card again for 18 minutes. I had my D-Tag on my shoe, so I decided to deal with it later. I'd look like a bandit, but I wasn't one. (Sure enough, this posed no problem.)
The course was straight down Fifth Avenue, with a slight incline for the first half and a slight downhill for the second half. I caught my 400m split (1:45 - too fast) and my 800m split (3:52 - slowing down as the hill got bad). I saw the 1200m signs, but I didn't check my time - I was too focused on just finishing the race. Also, by that point I could see the finish and I just kept thinking "Hold on Hold on Hold on Hold on." I wasted too much speed going out quickly and weaving around people, and I was afraid I had nothing left for the finish.
Once I passed the sign for 1500m, I could see the finish clock and I realized I'd finish sub-8, so I didn't push for a final kick. There wasn't anything left for a kick, anyway. I finished the race, grabbed some water, and very nearly fell onto another girl waiting to exit the chute. I grabbed her shoulder, grunted an apology, and got a very sympathetic smile in return.
My cool down was brutal, but needed. My calves were screaming in pain. After 2m, I got on the subway and headed home - and there, on the sidewalk three doors away, I saw my forlorn looking bib. I could see it from a distance, sitting on the ground and waiting patiently for me to return. (Now that I've personalized the bib I'll confess that I promptly threw it in the garbage. I rarely save bibs.)
I truly thought I'd hate this race. I expected it to be a depressing slog for me; I expected to finish at the very back. Instead I was toward the middle. There's a lot of room for improvement, and I wouldn't say that it was the most fun I've ever had in a race, but I liked it.