Race Report: Brrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k
This race report might be low on enthusiasm. I’ve been listening to a lecture on Thiamine all day, and my brain is fried. But, this was my reward for finished the entire lecture. Yay?
I ran a race yesterday! And RACED a race! This first race I’ve “raced” since the Mini 10k, all the way back in June. I’ve run my fair share of races, but most just to get my 9 in to run NYCM this year.
I found the Brrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k about a month ago, and emailed it to Susan, with the message “Run? Yes?,” which is all it took for both of us to register.
Since I started running regularly again in the beginning of the year, every single one of my runs has been an “easy” run. No garmin. No speed. Go where my legs like, not where my training plan says. I had no idea where my pace was, and I was honestly feeling pretty slow. Therefore, I was nervous going into an actual race, and not knowing what I could push myself to.
I met Susan super bright and early at our corner. It was 6:15 and still really dark and eerie out. It felt exactly like marathon morning. Dark, chilly, absolutely no one on the street. When I saw Susan, I told her, and she said she was feeling the exactly same way. But we were about to run 20 miles less than a marathon.
We hopped on the subway and took the long ride to Prospect Park, getting out at Grand Army Plaza, and walked the approximately ¾ mile to the bib pick-up. The park was still empty, and it was a beautiful morning. High 30s. A few clouds. No wind. The perfect day for a run.
This race was being organized by NYCRuns, a much smaller race organization that NYRR, so the pick-up was less hectic and crowded than most NYC races. It almost seemed like a big group of friends getting ready to run together, which was such a nice, stress-free feeling to start a race. We found Jocelyn, Laura, Laura and Eissa, and I also ran into a girl I went to high school with, a girl I went to college with, and my super-fast grad school friend Katie, who’s marathon PR is 2:58.
Susan and I were running a bit behind everyone (hi porta-potties!) and had to jog the half mile to the start, which was a nice little warm-up. We missed the announcement that the timing system wasn’t working, and the race had been turned into a fun run. I found out when I crossed the finish line, and honestly didn’t really care.
The race horn went off and up up up we went. Literally. The race started on that neverending hill in the park, and kept going for two loops counter-clockwise around the park’s perimeter. I had my regular watch on, not my garmin, so I couldn’t tell my exact pace, and just tried to keep a steady speed, without pushing too hard, considering the length of the pace (because everyone knows 10k’s suck).
I hit mile 1 in 8:11, which was a little slower than I wanted, but I had to weave a lot to get a good clear path in front of me, and ya know, starting on that hill. Mile 2 was where I really hit my stride, and realized that I had both some speed in me and felt pretty fantastic. I pushed myself and hit mile 2 in 7:34. That mile included a lot of downhill, so that time seemed about right. In every 10k the 3rd and 4th miles seem to be the roughest, so I wasn’t looking forward to them, especially because 4 contained that big ‘ol hill again. But, I kept pushing hard, and hit 3 in 7:53 and 4 in 8:14. Yikes! That number was a little jolting, and I sure wished it was lower, but I kept going.
Laura passed me right at the mile 3 marker, and my goal was to keep her in sight and push through to the end. I did, and finished feeling fantastic. Mile 5 in 7:42; 6 in 7:34; 6.2 in 1:40, for a final time of 48:53. My PR, from the Mini last June was 48:49! I was only off my PR by 3 seconds! The fact that I almost PR’d on zero speed work, two months off from running, and minimal running in the past month makes me think that my fitness I thought I had lost during my break is intact and better than ever. I’m pretty sure once I amp up the speedwork, I’ll be able to up my pace easily, and find a way to hit my goal time of sub 1:45 at the Brooklyn Half in May.
After the race I was pretty much on cloud nine. I was so happy with my performance, and even felt I could have pushed further. I went into the race thinking I was going to run a personal worst, but ended up almost killing my PR. I was raving about the race to Susan all morning, and besides the timing snafu, I think it really was a great little race. And we got hot chocolate and souvenir mugs to top it all off. Thanks, NYCRuns!
I think this race showed me that I am ready to tackle speed, and attack every shorter race that I approach this spring. I have the speed somewhere in me; give me a little hard training, and I know I will demolish that half. It’s all about confidence, right?