Given all the trouble I had just getting to and during the race today, I’m happy to have escaped with a sub 31 min 4th place Flyer finish…
Of course I never planned for things to happen this way. I really wanted to do well in the race. I had taken in the Mets-Reds game the night before with a woman who had never been to CitiField before. Although the Mets didn’t represent themselves very well (they did not score after the first inning and lost 5-1), we had a great time nonetheless. I abstained from the alcohol, got something to eat after the game and went to bed around midnight, excited for the prospects of a good comeback to racing.
I woke up on race morning a little before the alarm (which is always a good sign for me), got dressed and was out to Time Square by approximately 7:10am. Because the race start was scheduled for 8am from near Tavern on the Green, a mere one stop on the 2/3, I thought I still had plenty of time. The train ticker at the platform however told me that the next train wasn’t coming for another 20 mins. Although I thought I’d still be on time if I had waited, I got impatient and jogged over to the A/C platform, thinking surely I’d be on my way faster. Big Mistake! I waited and waited, and waited and WAITED and no train rolled by for 10…15…20 mins…eventually when it was already 7:35 with no sign of activity, I ran all the way back to the 2/3 station and waited for another 5 mins before I finally got on my way! Even though I ran faster than I raced once I got off the train, it would be another 10 full minutes before I made it over to the start. By then, the corrals had collapsed and I had to almost jump a fence just to get in the back of blue/beginning of red corral. I had 2 minutes to catch my breath before the starting horn sounded and I was once again moving fast and racing.
I ran as hard as I could but from where I started this race, it was bumper to bumper for about the first mile and a half. I had to fight aggressively to find some space to run while keeping my sub-6min race effort. I did manage to run a good first two miles but in the middle of the tough uphill third mile, I got a side stitch which evolved into a hammy cramp that I could not ignore. I slowed to a walk, and suddenly, before I even had the chance to object, my race was over. I walked on the side for about 20-30 secs and thought about just taking a DNF but I didn’t want to let my teammates down (it was a club points race), my father down (it was Father’s day) and myself down (I am not a quitter…), so after the cramp subsided a bit, I started jogging then running again. By mile 4, I was tearing down Cat Hill and back to racing. I heard my teammates cheer for me and I fought like hell to finish the last 2 miles in a respectable time. I eventually crossed the finish line in 30:49, good for fourth place on the team. Although I am more than a little disappointed on how this race turned out, I am resigned to the fact that many aspects of this race was beyond my control and I did the best I could given the circumstances.
Weather – Temps 64F, Humidity 79%, Cloudy, Wind W0.5MPH
Official Time – 30:49 (6:10 min/mi)
Overall Place – 185/4420
Age Group Place – 29/501
Age-Graded Pct – 71.19%
Mile Splits – 5:54; 5:52; 6:54; 6:06; 6:03
Avg HR Splits – 175, 179, 175, 176, 184