Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marathon Kickoff 5 Mile Race

What a beautiful morning for a race! Rain, thunderstorms and howling wind rolled through the city last night, but by dawn skies were clear and the air was still. I always make a point to eat breakfast at least 3 hours before race time, so that means I was up around 5:15 making oatmeal and stretching sleepily.

Once in Central Park I was amazed at how many runners were at the starting area. Seriously, thousands of runners were all gathered around the Poland Springs tents, listening to live music and warming up for the run. I was happy to find that there were several recycling bins in which to dispose of the discarded Poland Springs bottles. And the race's little souvenir was a pair of green shoe laces, made from recycled Poland Springs bottles that say "Please Recycle." At least they're making an effort!

We gathered in our corrals as star of Broadway's Spamalot and NBC's Lipstick Jungle (his name escapes me, and google has failed me. Does anyone know his name?!) sang the national anthem. He not only ran this race, but will also be running in the NYC Marathon next weekend.

Central Park was absolutely beautiful, it is always such a pleasure to run there. But the thousands of other participants made it quite the beginning I really had to navigate. I accidentally bumped into al least five people and several returned the favor.

When I don't listen to music, I like to have a little mantra going in my head for each mile. I don't let myself think about the next mile at all. I focus on the one I'm running!
My Mantra for each mile:

0-1: Let's go! This is easy! You ARE a morning person. (This is a lie. I am not really a morning person.)
1-2: Wow! Loving those downhills!
2-3: Welcome to the East Side, hello sun. Aren't you glad you're wearing sunglasses?
3-4: You are prepared for this race!
4-5: One more mile, why not make it a fast one?

I finished well within my goal (between 40:00 and 45:00 minutes) at 41:11. I was 1,906 overall (out of 6,472 finishers) 48th in my age group (out of 256 female 20-24 finishers). My average pace was an 8:14 mile. Post-race I was rewarded with a delicious New York apple and a chocolate chip bagel.
Though a bit crowded, the race was wonderfully fun. I can't wait to watch the Marathon next weekend!

Here are some pictures of race day!

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