Staten Island 5K Race Recap

SI 5K logo

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.

SI 5K Strava map

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.

SI throne

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.

Jana me SI

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.

Training Recap 10/5 – 10/11

After last week’s tumbleweed gif, I’m tempted to post one of EVEN MORE tumbleweeds representing my nonexistent miles, but will refrain because then I’m just pushing this metaphor too far.

Monday: Running club meeting, where we focused on upcoming marathons. I had 2 slices of pizza but made the mistake of watching MNF after and drinking.

Tuesday: 1 mile warmup and cool down for my 3-mile tempo run after work on the West Side Highway, with plenty of foam rolling before and after at the gym. I grabbed a peanut butter protein smoothie from Gregory’s Coffee then headed to a book launch party and reading for Slaughterhouse 90210 at my beloved .Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. There were free drinks but I wisely did not partake.

Wednesday: After a very intense and lengthy dentist appointed, I tried a Boxing Burnout class at Overthrow. Their description on ClassPass: “Overthrow New York is to boxing what soul cycle is to cycling, creating a training experience and filling a need for a functional, efficient, and group oriented boxing workout in the fitness world!” Needless to say, there were no candles or encouragements to ride as a team. I got there early but they were out of wraps, so the front desk guy advised me not to punch too hard. OK, can do. We learned the basic punches and had a cardio warmup in fighting stance, then got to hit the bags (3 to a bag). I’m left-handed but it just made more sense to do everything right-handed with lots of left crosses. We did this in HIIT circuits, which was pretty cool because I knew that by the 5th set, I could really wail on the bag. We then formed two lines facing each other and did a mix of planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, and crunches. It was pretty brutal on the knees and the floor was both wet (from sweat and/or spilled water?) and managed to chip off in small pieces onto my back when laying down. I would definitely try this class again but wear a t-shirt to encounter fewer floor mysteries. I was so glad that I filled my water bottle up in the sink before class because it was pretty warm and musty and everyone without water looked like they were dying. Also, there were about 20 people in the class and 19 were female. I could tell some were regulars, but the instructor was pretty good at helping us newbies acclimate.

I stupidly stopped by Juice Press after and should have gotten a smoothie with more protein, but instead grabbed a $10 bottle of Fountain of Youth. I really need to re-join people for Saturday morning long runs so I can #willrunforjuice.

Thursday: Normal gym time, with a rowing warmup (2000 meters), then lots of back, chest and arms strength. Grabbed Korean fried chicken and beer after at WA Bar & Kitchen with my lifting partner. Their wings are on the saucy side, so I might just stick with BonChon which has more combo options.

Friday: My favorite 6:30am ride with Nikole at BYKlyn. Easy on the knees and Achilles with the added bonus of hills and a great soundtrack. I was exhausted after and might have taken a little nap before work and after my much-needed shower.

Saturday: I walked around Prospect Park and the Greenmarket, which were both overflowing with participants of the Brooklyn Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I met up with some friends who had run it for brunch and felt both inspired and terrified for my upcoming San Francisco Nike Women’s half.

Sunday: Staten Island 5K. I wanted to PR and go for sub:26 (a logical next step, my current PR is 26:16 from NYCRuns Memorial Day 5K), but I went out too fast (like 20 seconds per mile too fast on the first 2 miles) then crashed on the third during a slight incline for a bridge. The finish was spectacular, but I knew I had missed my PR. I ended up getting an extra 4 miles in while waiting for the Staten Island Half finishers to come in, then was rendered pretty much immobile because I had stupidly raced in my Brooks Pure Cadence instead of my Brooks Ravennas. I really feel the difference after more than 4 miles, mainly due to the heel-toe drop difference. Race report to come later this week before I leave for SF.

Fall Racing Schedule

I’m already many weeks into my latest Half training cycle but feeling fairly unprepared. I’ve cut a few long runs short (did I learn nothing from Brooklyn this May?) and tended toward cross-training in lieu of some of those mid-week 3-milers. After battling and beating plantar fasciitis this spring in my left foot, I’ve had some Achilles pain the last few weeks. But I am feeling way better this week after increased mileage and cross-training. My next 2 races are:

The Bronx 10 Mile


The Nike Women’s San Francisco Half

Nike Womens Half 2015 Course Map

I registered for the Bronx 10 Mile back in June along with the Mile, knowing it would sell out. I then entered the late-June lottery for Nike SF and got in early July. The timing is great other than a busy wedding weekend in between the two, leaving me wondering when to squeeze in another 10+ mile long run. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, either before I depart DC, the day before the wedding, or after I come back.

I’m considering adding on the Staten Island 5K plus some extra miles SI around that day (October 11), which is exactly one week before Nike. I’m not even trying to hit a personal record in SF, due to those killer hills, shown in red above. Instead, I just want to enjoy my time and consume all that race swag. Assuming I’m relatively injury free after the Bronx, I plan to sign up for the following races:

  • NYC Runs Haunted Island Halloween 10K. I ran the 5K version last year and while I got a 5K PR earlier this year on a similar Roosevelt Island course, I am overdue for a 10K PR. I hated life and the humidity during both the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K and the Queens 10K and walked through the water stops. I think late October weather might be perfect to best myself on either of those runs. I’ll be cheering on many of my friends in the NYC Marathon the day after, so hopefully a race the day before will get rid of my marathon FOMO. Plus I’ll be going out for Halloween that night before waking up Sunday to cheer on my marathon running friends. I live right along the course then will probably take the subway to the finish.
  • The Staten Island 5K on 10/11 OR the Race to Deliver 4M on 11/22. Either one will be my 9th NYRR race this year and thus my final race in the 9+1 series. I could of course do both and hope to improve on my NYRR best mile pace. I’m also considering the Jingle Bell Jog for this reason because it’s near me in Brooklyn. I did my volunteer time back in April at the Japan Run and had a great time but am also glad to have it out of the way now that everyone is trying to squeeze in their races and volunteer credit.
  • Richmond Half Marathon on 11/14. Why yes, I would love a hometown race with the option of getting both Dixie Donuts and Sugar Shack Donuts after. This would be the Half I want to PR on this year. There are hills, but I’m pretty sure they’re more gentle than those in San Francisco. A friend who ran it last year told me there’s great crowd support, plus my family is pretty much obligated to attend and cheer me on. It would have been even more reasonably priced earlier in the summer, but I’m glad I’ve waited to register so I can watch for injuries.

So, after a fairly slow summer, it looks like fall will be pretty busy. Let’s hope I stay injury-free and that the weather cooperates.