Summary: I’m. Not. Pleased.
This is a NYRR race. It is an exorbitantly expensive NYRR race which takes place in New Jersey. If I were a huge Giants fan, I might have considered it, but I’m not; nor am I a fan of NYRR. Or waking up at 4.00 AM to run a race at 9.00. Or taking three trains to get to said race. But I won an entry to it, so what the hell, I’ll do it. I’m overdue for a 5K PR anyway, since mine is from way back in December and it seems a little ridiculous to me that my 5K pace is less than twenty seconds faster than my HM pace.
The only little issue with this “set a 5K PR” plan is that both my 5K and HM PRs were set in much better weather conditions. The 5K was in December — it was cold and crisp. The HM was on an unseasonably cool morning in May. Both with low humidity. Because I can handle the sun, I can handle the heat, but humidity kills me. (See: Celebrate Israel Run.)
Anyway, based on my HM PR, I should be able to run a 22:38 5K. And really, that doesn’t sound completely impossible to me … if the weather cooperates. Which it did not. So I didn’t meet any of my goals.
A. 22:38 (7:17 pace)
B. 22:59 (7:24 pace)
C. <23:54 (7:42 pace)
In the past, including in my PR, I’ve run 5Ks like this: go out way too fast because I’m a lunatic, die in the second mile, revive somewhat in the third mile, run like a crazy person for the last .1 because I come back to life when I see a finish line. So, theoretically, if I don’t go out too fast, I should be able to negative split and run a stronger race since I won’t wilt in the second mile. The lovely plan was to run 7:30, 7:20, 7:10, and then run like the crazy person I usually am at the start of the race, which would bring me pretty close to a 7:17 average pace.
But, since humidity kills me, and today was just a lovely 70° day with 81% humidity, it didn’t quite work out that way.
Mile 1: 7:30. This was hard. Not because I couldn’t keep up the pace, but because I kept consciously pulling myself back so as not to go out too fast. It was annoying. But I ended up spot on where I wanted to be, and it almost felt too easy.
Mile 2: 7:29. Apparently, it takes about ten minutes for the humidity to affect me, because it was also midway through the second mile at the Celebrate Israel Run that this happened. I was running close to the desired 7:20 pace, and around 1.5 miles, I suddenly just could. not. breathe. It’s not the same “I can’t breathe” as when you’re sucking wind, really… that’s when you’re gasping for air and everyone within a five mile radius can hear you. It’s hard to describe, but it felt like my lungs weren’t just taking in oxygen. Whatever. Not fun.
Mile 3: 7:42. The one and only “hill” on the entire course was here. It’s not really a hill, it’s an entrance/exit ramp. I mean, come on, this course is on a parking lot, how hilly can it get? Physically, I felt fine, if you ignore the whole I can’t breathe thing; my legs were actually really cooperative today and my shins didn’t hurt at all, when normally they take two to three miles to get over themselves. But this was the hardest mile mentally because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t PR, and if I wasn’t going to do that, then what was the point in running myself to death? Might as well just give up and walk.
Mile .21: 6:55 pace. The magic of a finish line, I guess. And a softer surface. I have to say, I prefer real grass to artificial turf.
Anyway, I don’t remember what the clock said when I crossed the finish line — 24:2x, I think. According to my Garmin, I ran 3.21 miles in 24:11, which is a 7:32 pace. Now, while not exactly what I wanted, it would have been a PR if I ran 3.1 miles at that pace. But that isn’t what happened.
Actually, I can’t say what really happened, since I, along with at least several other people, did not have my chip register. I know that my Garmin time is always a few seconds longer than the official time, since I start it before the first mat and stop it after the last one; but I don’t know how many seconds that was today. I’m going to guess that my official finish time would have equated to something around a 7:46 pace. Which, in addition to not being a 5K PR, also does me no good whatsoever in terms of moving up a NYRR corral.
In other words, I traveled seven hours to run for less than 25 minutes, and I am distinctly displeased with the results.
Though I shouldn’t really complain so much, since even though the weather conditions were much better in that race, my 5K PR felt way harder than this… if that even makes sense. (It’s hard to explain how there are different types of not being able to breathe, but there are… at least for me. Just trust me on this one.) Which hopefully means that once this stupid humidity goes away, I will finally get that elusive PR.