Here we go. It’s raining. I’ve got a big glass of iced coffee next to me. I’m ready. Recap time.
NYCRuns hosted both a 5k + 10k race on Roosevelt Island last Saturday. Having volunteered for them I knew I had some race credit in the bank, the weekend free, and a race on my training plan. 10k it was. Cost for the races seemed to be equal. I’ve noticed that with a lot of the NYCRuns races. It appears that if there’s a 5k and a 10k, or a 10k and a half, the pricing is usually the same, which seems sort of odd. Though, their prices are insanely cheap so maybe it all balances out. Anyway, cost for this event was $25 until 2/23, $30 until 3/16, and $40 after that. They were social media-ing about race day sign ups so I don’t think that the race ended up being full. Packet pick up was on the upper east side at New York Running Company, which worked out wonderfully for me since I had to be up around there anyway on Friday night. Got my bib and a travel mug. It’s one of those silver slide top coffee or tea tumblr type mugs. Whenever I use those I spill coffee all over my life so I’ll probably give it to a friend, but I thought it was a cool giveaway. In college I lived up on E. 94th Street so before I went where I needed to I wandered up to 92nd to see if the health food store I used to shop at was still there. IT WAS. But it was closed. Pretty cool.
I slept like trash per usual. I haven’t raced since November so I knew I’d be too amped to get a good night of sleep. This was expected. The outfit I ended up choosing was Oiselle flyte shorts, Nike breeze running tank top, and the Oiselle flyer jacket I got at Hood to Coast. I had planned on just wearing some arm warmers instead of the jacket, which would’ve been perfect since I warmed up real fast during the race, but I felt panic since I wasn’t used to racing in the cold. LESSON LEARNED. To stay warm before the race I struggled to throw on some black leggings over my shorts (I seriously need to find a good + inexpensive pair of warm up sweatpants) and my XC coaching sweatshirt. Ate half a bagel with nothing on it, crushed some iced coffee, filled up my water bottle and headed out. Roosevelt Island is pretty close, but not close enough for me to not almost pee my pants. The second I got on the train I almost peed all over the place. After 40 minutes of successfully holding my pee and wincing in pain I arrived at Roosevelt Island. I’d never been there before, and didn’t care to look around as I wildly hobbled to the porta potties.
Turns out, I learned post urination, there are quite a few things on the island. A Starbucks (pre-race dream of coffee + clean bathrooms), Walgreens (or Rite Aid, but I think it was a Walgreens), and maybe a restaurant or two. Pretty neat. NYCRuns had some good music going via DJ/announcer, people were scattered on a large portion of grass, and it was cold. Some dude walked by me with no shirt on. NO SHIRT. I wanted to be like, bro, you better win this. Spoiler: he did not. I passed him. Though, I can’t really talk since I wore shorts and a tank top during Skunk Cabbage last year when it WAS SNOWING AT THE START. So I don’t know, whatever. Point is, it was pretty cold. Chris showed up to meet me and we half ass warmed up for like, 1/4 of a mile and then stood around watching people. I dropped my bag at the check, stripped down to my running clothes, and almost fell into a bush attempting to get my leggings over my sneakers. The 5k went off at 9:30 and things seemed to thin out a bit. At 10am I lined up, the announcer told us about the course, and we were off. The course was pretty much two loops of the island but at the start we took a turn to the left and did a little out and back around a cone to make the mileage work out. I didn’t really pay much attention to the view or my surroundings which is a bummer since I’m sure it was pretty, but I kept trying to focus on someone in front of me to pick off. I passed quite a few people, and that felt good, and I think in the beginning I was probably averaging 7 minute miles.
There were three water stops and I want to punch myself for not taking a single bit of water. Having never run a 10k I was sort of thinking of it as a 5k, and was like ‘I NEED NO WATER, I WILL BE FINE’. No, I needed water. I wanted water. Bad. I was licking my lips like a beast in the last few miles. If I could do it over again I would’ve grabbed water at the last water station because it was right before a tiny little downhill and I think that would’ve helped me not slow down. I slowed down a bit in the last mile and felt like I was totally depleted. The last 600 feet or so I got the worst side stitch. Dehydration? Maybe. It was gnarly. I was trying to push my hand up into my rib cage and then realized that wasn’t the way I wanted to cross the finish line. I tried to push but couldn’t even sprint it in. Alas. Finish time of 46:59. Average pace of 7:35. I’m like, 95% sure I blew it in the last mile, but only two guys passed me during that time so that felt good. The course was a lot better than I thought it would be. Normally I don’t like running loops in a race but this I would do again in a heartbeat. The volunteers were very helpful and supportive, there were no collisions that I saw at the end due to the 5k + 10k being close in time, and everyone seemed pretty pleased with the event.
I put things into perspective for myself by comparing this to The Tribute (5 mile race) that I ran last May, where I won my age group. My pace for that was 7:35, too. So I guess I’m back in the same shape if not in a little bit better shape right now compared to then? I’ve been told that the 30-39 age group is more competitive than the 20-29. Not sure if I believe that. I think it honestly depends on where you’re racing and who shows up. TBD, though. I think pretty much every age group is competitive and until I start going under 7 minute miles I won’t be happy with my time. I was pretty mad at myself for not doing 7 minute pace throughout the entire race, but when I compared it to my time from The Tribute I felt a lot better.
This was my first 10k ever, my fist race as a 30 year old, surprisingly my first race in NYC, and the first time I’d ever gone to Roosevelt Island. Pretty awesome. After the race my stomach went haywire and I passed out for an extended period of time. In conclusion, if I were you, I’d run this race next year. Maybe don’t go shirtless, but don’t wear a jacket either. NYCRuns puts on a lot of races, and the ones I’ve been to are really organized, so check them out if you’re looking for something to run.