Good morning and welcome to your April Fool’s Day post. No, I will not be playing any kind of jokes on anyone. I am not good at those kind of things. But I welcome you all to try to play one on me. 🙂
During the year, my event calendar (which can be seen here) becomes a living, breathing animal. In late December, while searching for some early spring 5Ks’s to start off the road racing season, I stumbled upon the NYCRuns website. NYCRuns is a race management company that produces over a dozen races in NY and beyond each year.
This year, I decided to try their Spring Fling 5K race which is held on Roosevelt Island.
First off, I have never been to Roosevelt Island before and was happy that the F train went directly there. I was concerned for a moment that I’d have to take that tram thingy – ya’ll know I don’t like heights. I mean, I love roller coasters and stuff, but being stuck on a tram hundreds of feet about the East River sounds like a country song waiting to happen. No thanks!
Once you get off the train, you realize how small the island is. No worries about finding the race site since it’s only about 20 yards from the station. Now, it appears to me that NYCRuns is pretty much a no frills race management company. You got your bagels, fruit and water at one table; your registration and pickup at another, a place to drop off your bags, and across the field, 8 port-a-potties. That’s it! No bands, no weird clowns, no one trying to sell you loads of running gear you won’t need. Just a place to take it all in while waiting for your race to start. I like that. Sometimes race events can get overwhelming with the number of things going on before a race, that it can really stress you out. I like a more simple race event. It’s relaxing.
The 5K course is one lap around the island. Simple. It’s a flat and fast route, with great views of Manhattan and some less-than-great views of the industrial side of Queens. But alas, at least you’re surrounded by water.
Since this is a road race, you can expect a certain number of pot holes and uneven pavement, but other than that, it’s a great course. There aren’t many people on the island, so don’t expect lots of cheering. But with that, you also avoid non-runners on the course. It’s pretty much like running in the park.
Right before the start of the race, I discovered my iPod was dead. OH MY GOD!!!! This meant I couldn’t use my Nike+ app top keep track of my pace. All was not lost, however. Thankfully my phone was fully charged so I could at least still have my music. Yeah, I MUST have music when I run. I’m hoping one day to get out of that habit, but as of right now I’m an addict.
Now, when I corral for a race, I try to stay in the back, knowing how slow I am. I don’t want to interfere with the faster runners and get run over by someone passing me. But I still find that when the gun goes off, I automatically start pacing myself with the pros and kill all of my energy by the first 1/2 mile. This time I had to have a mental talk with myself so go slow, then find my pace, which I did quite nicely. And I maintained that pace the entire race. NICE!
I finished the 5K race with a PR of 33:43, which means I had a pace of 10:52. Holy crap Batman! That’s the fastest time I’ve ever had. Like. Seriously! My previous fastest time was 35:39, and I was nearly 2 minutes faster than that. Hallelujah! I was so happy!
Afterward I stopped at Starbucks for my Venti Chai Tea Latte and skedaddled back home. It ‘was a great race in beautiful weather and I am so happy I did it.
Next race: the JFK Run on the Runway 5K. So looking forward too that one.
Now, time for some speed drills.