I decided a few weeks ago to race the Staten Island 5K as both the 9th (and likely final) race in my 2015 NYRR 9+1 program and also to try for a new and improved 5K PR. My previous one of 26:16 at the NYCRuns Memorial Day 5K seemed like it could be improved upon, especially with my 7:24 mile at the 5th Avenue Mile. Plus, it looked like a relatively flat course (though nothing is as flat as Roosevelt Island) and I’d been regularly incorporating speed workouts into my runs and workouts. The race was at 8:30am on Sunday with the half marathon to start at 8:45am, ideally for less interference. I’m not sure how that went.
I made the A corral for the first, and probably only, time in my NYRR race career. There was also a B corral. Showing off my letter before the bag dropoff.
I had taken the 7am ferry, so by the time we entered the Richmond County Ballpark, I was able to use the bathroom and drop off my stuff. I was not able to obtain more water (the fountain was turned off and there were no concessions) or do a proper warmup. We were a little unclear about where the start line was and it took some guesswork and following the crowd.
My A goal was to get sub-26 and my B goal was to beat my PR of 26:16. Neither happened. I went out too fast, clocking an 8:06 mile, then an 8:10 mile. At this point, my right hamstring/glute felt really tight but more significantly, my cardiovascular fitness failed me first. I was heavy breathing. I was thirsty. I downed some Gatorade at the 2nd water stop, but should have drank more before. I had to walk then slow jog through the water stop, sloshing Gatorade all over myself. There was an incline at a slight bridge that I normally wouldn’t have minded, but it was brutal to dehydrated, not in sub-25 minute shape me.
The photos show my struggle. They are bad. So bad. My Strava numbers are a little bit off from what I remember my Garmin splits being. I will say that I somehow found it in me to have a sprint finish, where I passed 7 people or so in the last 100 meters. It helps that a faster coworker (who won an age group award) cheered for me on the homestretch and that I found some sort of Gatorade-induced speed within myself.
Yikes. On the plus side, my 5K performances as a whole have been stronger in age-graded % than any of my other distances (except for the mile), so I did successfully lower my NYRR pace per mile by 30 seconds. (They now adjust it to an equivalent 10K time. LOL so hard at my desire to get even within 5 minutes of what they think my equivalent 10K time is. I’m about 10 minutes out so far). If this is indeed my final NYRR race of 2015, then I won’t have a chance to speed up until the Al Gordon 4-miler next February where I’ll be 4 weeks out from running the NYC Half (and probably trying for a half marathon PR there if I’m not doing any more fall races).
I got some water (not enough), stretched out, then ran another slow 4 miles around the course before cheering on teammates running the half. I also hopped in the Iron Throne of baseball bats. I was trying to smirk like Cersei. We then experienced a lot of issues when trying to get brunch. Two of the restaurants I had bookmarked were closed and the third was only open for a private party. I ended up getting a Butterfinger Blizzard from the Dairy Queen back in the ferry terminal.
A pre-race photo with my teammate Jana who was in the Top Ten for the 25-29 age group in the half. Look at me, so full of hope and anticipation. Look at her, so actually race-ready.
I might try out the Staten Island Half next year in an effort to try out all of the 6 borough races (since I did 4 this year), but will probably not travel quite so far for a 5K again unless I think I’m going to love the course.