Hello, dearest readers,
First off, No. 229686.
What's that, you say?
GUARANTEED ENTRY INTO THE 2008 NYC MARATHON
Yup, $136 dollars later and I'm good to go. What a rip -- and yet, if it buys one more porta-pottie at Fort Wadsworth, money well spent, I say!
I said that my predicted finish time would be --
Yes, I am shooting to BREAK FOUR HOURS!!!
Can it be done? Well, of course it can, but by me?
This is the first time I'm going to go into training without having to start over; if anything, I'll start marathon training in about as good a shape as I was in about mid-way through training last year, if not better. This is going to be exciting, to see how much further I can push myself this year. And while at this very early stage I'm not hugely confident, if I could shave 30 minutes off my time between 2006 and 2007 , I can surely shave 15 off between 2007 and 2008.
I sense the makings of a good contest!
We'll wait until Fred's Team gets started up in April, and then -- LET THE CONTESTS BEGIN! Also, I'm looking for new and exciting "party favors" to give people for donating / guilt people into donating -- oh, did I say that last part out loud? 'Fraid so. Hey, ANYTHING to get you all to donate to the Aubrey Fund. HOORAY, FRED'S TEAM!!!!! If you think of anything good that would make a nice party favor -- I was thinking of key chains, for example -- leave me a comment here.
So today was the Coogan's Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K up by Ft. Tryon Park. You start on 167th and Ft. Washington Ave, head to the Park, into the Park a ways, and back. Simple, right? Pretty much, except that it's an almost totally hilly course. Mostly uphill to the Park, downhill once you get into the Park, and then, of course, the opposite on the way back. It's more tiring than it sounds, the Park's hill, I'd say it's about Cat Hill steep, maybe a little less, but it's about twice as long. The best part about this race are the bands they have set up along the course, playing, you guessed it, salsa and blues music (no, not "shamrock" music, but there was a guy with an accordian...) Right outside the park there's a drum corps. Most of these bands are kids, too. And after you finish, head a block over to Coogan's Pub and Restaurant for your free beer. At 9:00am! Mmm mmm GOOD!
Didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, but since it was a 5K I wasn't nervous, I was just thinking I wouldn't maybe do as well as I wanted. Oh, well. 30 degrees and breezy but I didn't want to overdress as I tend to do on colder days. Thermal shirt, cotton long-sleeve over the top, long pants, ear warmers. Gloves -- but only one pair (on Friday I wore two pairs, and needed them.) Looked for Teammates -- Nicole had invited those of us running this race over for brunch, as she lived in the neighborhood -- but couldn't find them, the crowds were huge. Oh, well, I'd find them after, Nicole told everyone to meet up by baggage claim. Lined up in the 8 minute mile pace group and stretched. How big was the crowd? The 8:00 corral was so far back we couldn't hear the starting horn. 8:00!!!
Oh, quick tangent -- starting mid-April NYRR is going to start using seeded corrals. In other words, when you sign up for the race, you're to give a predicted pace time, or if you're a NYRR member, it'll be based on your race history, and your bib will have a color code that will correspond to your pace's corral. BRILLIANT!!! I don't mean that sarcastically, I'm truly thrilled. So many people -- myself included -- have been thwarted of a PR, involved in collisions, or just plain old had a bad time at a race because so many runners either don't know how to properly estimate their pace and line up in the right group, or they just don't care. While I don't think this will completely solve the bottlenecking problem -- there's always going to be people who insist on being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the races are usually too big to really enforce this -- it will be a great help. Thank you, NYRR!
It's funny, I think a lot of people were expecting this to sort of be followed today, I've never heard so many people complaining about slower runners blocking their path. And yes, there was definitely a lot of congestion today. The road isn't that narrow, but it's an out-and-back, and because it goes so quick there's traffic in both directions nearly the entire time. This is also a race that brings out a lot of newbie runners, because it's early in the year and it's such a short race. Plus did I mention the free beer? LOTS of kids do this race, too, not just the kids' races but the whole 5K. I'm really so glad that NYRR has a Foundation that gets kids running, and their charity Team For Kids supports running programs in schools. It's great to see them out there, and a lot of them do really well.
Without further ado, my stats.
Out of 3259 people -- 1483 of them women, and 363 of the total # between ages 40-44 (with 147 of those being women)
Finish Time: 25:11
Overall Place: 904
Gender Place: 180
Age Place: 23
Age Graded Time (don't ask me what this means, but I'll take it): 24:18
Age Graded Gender Place (but not this): 199
AG % (no idea what this means): 61.3 %
That's two PRs for me, both for the overall 5K time and pace per mile time!
After the race, an absolutely lovely brunch at Nicole and Richard's apartment. Nice people, good food and fun conversation. A perfect way to celebrate a good race. Thanks again, Nicole and Richard!
Too tired to get to the promised "and more" part of this post's title. And there is more.