A Girl Runs in Brooklyn

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

Race Recap: Harbor Fitness Race for Autism 5K 4/27/14

Better late than never…. decided to do a quick RR for my 5K last Sunday (even though I am missing 3 races in March/early April still….I’ll do them eventually I swear!).

 

Short Version: No PR, but a fun day raising money for my school for children with Autism!

 Long Version:

On Sunday, April 27th I ran the Harbor Fitness Race for Autism 5K in my neighborhood of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, NY. This race was put on by a gym in my neighborhood (Harbor Fitness) and the proceeds go to benefit the school I work at, The HeartShare School, which is a school for children with Autism. This race was fun, as I had a lot of co-workers that were there as well, some running and some walking. Other than the 5K they also had a kids race (about a block) in which a few kids from my school ran in, which was really nice to see. Then they had a lot of family oriented activities such as face painting and a bouncy castle, and the Zumba instructors from the gym had outdoor Zumba after the race. I did Zumba with a girl who goes to my school for probably 45 minutes after….and had a blast! They also had a bunch of raffles and free food. It was a very nice event, and a BEAUTIFUL spring day! One of the kids from my school that I worked with even walked the whole 5K race, it was so awesome to see!!

 

As for my race, I didn’t really have a strategy. #1 priority was to enjoy the day, have fun with some co-workers and friends, and support my school. I haven’t had a new 5K PR in almost a year. Which is crazy as my first 6-7 months of running I had one huge 5K PR after another. My first 5K was October 2012, a 37:07. My second was November 2012 and I PRed by over 3 minutes. My third was March 2013 and I PRed by over a minute. My 4th was April 2013 and I PRed by 4 minutes and got my first sub-30 5K (and killed it at 28:30). My 5th 5K was May of 2013 and I had a teeny PR (28:16). I went from a 37:07 in October 2012 to a 28:16 in May 2013. Almost 9 minutes off my initial time, and huge PRs each race. ANNNNNND I haven’t PRed since. So I feel that I am overdue! The problem is, in May of last year my focus shifted to half marathon training. And I have been training for and running half marathons (or injured, or recovering from injury!) ever since. I have run several 5Ks since May 2013 but either was just doing it for fun and not trying for a PR, or it wasn’t the right time in my training to give a PR a real shot, or had injury issues, or I HAVE tried to PR, and failed. My 3 previous 5K PR attempts have fallen short by at least 45 seconds….all of them in the 29s somewhere. Needless to say, I WANT A NEW PR! I had hoped that this race may be my day. HOWEVER….. since I returned from Hawaii the week before I was REALLY TIRED. I didn’t adapt well back into the time zone, I had come down with a bit of a head cold, I was just exhausted. I had run a cumulative of only 8 miles since my half marathon in Hawaii on 4/13, and not a step since I had came home on 4/20. So….. hard to determine going into the race if that would help me or hurt me.

 

I didn’t have much of a strategy other than maybe try to PR but if I couldn’t then just enjoy the run. I decided just to start fast and see what happened…if fast felt good I’d go with it, if not then I would just run easy. I ran the first mile in 8:37. Which was DEFINITELY below PR pace (a 28:16, my still current PR that was set 5/5/13 is a 9:06 pace). Had I kept that up I would have had a HUGE PR. However, maybe I should have tried to pace myself a little better because I quickly realized I had gone out too fast. I didn’t really look at my Garmin during that mile, I just RAN….and maybe I should have been a little more disciplined. After the first mile I felt myself slowing down a little. I glanced down at my Garmin a few times and was seeing paces in the low 9s…. generally like 9:05, 9:03, 9:08…in that range. Which is still PR pace, and if I could run the last 2 miles at that pace I would still PR. But I hit the halfway point and my body just said NO. My calves cramped up bad and I was really sucking wind. And….just…..no. I decided not to kill myself over this race and let my pace fall way off. My last mile was 10:40. Meh. I was just out there to have fun….a PR would have been a nice bonus but when I wasn’t feeling it I was ok with letting it go. My time was 29:23. Not even close to a PR. Meh. It was, however, my 6th sub-30 5K time, which was a HUGE goal for me when I started running. And best of all I had fun raising money for my school on a beautiful spring day in my neighborhood.

 

And….pictures:

 

Race outfit:

 

“Before” and “After” with my good friend Marilyn, who PRed in her 3rd 5K and got her “A” goal of sub-40 minutes!

 

 

 

Me and my co-worker Darnell

 

Thanks for reading!

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Sometimes the Worst Runs are the Most Important

Most of the time I love running. But PRs aren’t born the days when it’s easy. Not the days when the temperature is perfect on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the park. It’s the days when you bundle up and run in the freezing cold. Wake up before sunrise. Endure the “dreadmill” when outside isn’t an option. And nights like this. When I worked for 12.5 hours and just want to go home, watch some Olympics, and sleep. When it takes every ounce of willpower to not get onto the highway and drive home after my last client, but drive down to Brighton Beach and go use the treadmill at the JCC where my pool is because it is closer to work than my gym and I know if I get all the way near my apartment I will lose all motivation to go to the gym. And then realizing I can’t watch NBC Olympic Primetime on the TM because the JCC only has Russian TV and I have to watch Olympic coverage in RUSSIAN, highlighting only Russian athletes. And my iPod is dead because it was accidentally playing all day in my bag. But staying on the treadmill til I’m kicked out for the place closing anyway. These runs. These are the worst, but most important.

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