Wrapped up my 9+1 at the Dash to the Finish 5K. Ran a 19:25 / 6:15 pace, which is four seconds off my PR. I felt I ran OK. Would have liked to been able to finish a little stronger. At around the halfway point, I could tell I was going to be close enough to PRing that I would expect to get it and as a result was pretty bummed about my time. But I like my effort in this race in the context of my year. Perfect weather, crowded field, but not a lot of spectators until the park, which made running down 42nd and up 6th quiet and surreal.
Photos and full race report below, Click "Read more"
Mile 1: The start was extremely crowded and slow but things opened up considerably as we turned on to 42nd street. Hit 1:32 for my first 400 but just simply stopped checking. That is my wheelhouse for extended max effort so I just tried to hold that. Running down 42nd street is a trip - the crowds were really sparse and as a result all you could hear was sneakers hitting the street and intense breathing. Watch hits a 5:56 mile but I don't cross the marker itself until 1.8 or so, so I know the watch is off. The Forerunner 10 isn't great in Midtown and won't be of much use to me but I won't really be aware of the full consequences of that until after the race.
Mile 2: Up 6th Avenue. This is my normal route to Central Park. It felt fantastic running in the middle of the (car-free) street. When I'm running up 6th it's usually rush hour, clogged with cars and bicyclists and exhaust and horns. Watch is all over the place - as the course turns on to Central Park South my watch beeps for Mile 2 - (5:26!) which I KNOW is off- the Mile marker is at least 300m away. I still feel like I'm pushing 1:31, 1:32 but it's hard to tell. A PR feels within reach, so I start thinking about it, but it's hard to go much faster with over a mile to go. Still: it's a beautiful day. The sound of stampeding feet is incredible. It's good that we're doing this.
Mile 3: There's a hill as we enter the park and it takes a few people out. I'm kicking but it hurts. I definitley feel the slack here. The course evens out as we turn past Sheep's Meadow. I try to kick a little but there's really nothing there. I'm holding what I think must be 1:32 - 1:33s. It's been a pretty consistent effort the whole way. Now it's just about hanging on and literally pushing myself past the finish line - which is, of course, the marathon finish line. There's a decent crowd in the park. As we turn up West Drive you feel it. There's the "MILE 26" sign. Point two left. I gun it, but there's nothing left. As I drop over the finish line my watch is beeping like mad. FASTEST MILE! 5:21! (shut up, shut up) FASTEST 5K! 18:27! (shut up, useless piece of shit!) I see my watch time is 19:26 and realize I probably missed a PR by a little bit. I did - by four seconds.
Still, I wanted it. It's weird to think that the day has come where I am disappointed by a sub-20 5K, but here we are. Now- 19:25, 6:15 pace is not a bad time. I'll feel fine about it tomorrow. But now I know I can do better, now I have to go and do that. I'm not a big believer in giving yourself motivation. Either you want to do the thing or you don't. Now I have another thing I have to do next year. I have to beat my 5K PR.
What can you say about a 5K? Nasty, brutish, and short. It's over before you know it and then when you're done all you can think is: Aw man I could have gone faster. But since you can't really push any specific part of consistent max effort forward, you only progress by pushing the WHOLE EFFORT, the race, as a unit forward. Maybe. Next time.
Stay tuned for a new blog entry looking back on the whole year!
NEXT RACE: Joe Kleinerman 10K, Central Park - 1/9/2016