I left off yesterday around mile 7, on pace to PR.
For the rest of the race, I checked the clock every now and again to see how I was doing. I finished mile 12 just before 3 hours had passed.
Yep. Unless something catastrophic happened, I was going to PR at this race. I lightly jogged the last mile. Figured I should at least finish strong-ish.
Official finishing time – 3:14:39. That’s 8 minutes and 14 seconds better than DC (and 2:25 better than my current PR). Now we can all say with certainty that I did a similar (this time, faster) race that felt less taxing.
How in the world did I PR today? As I said in the North Carolina post, I think that consistent pacing of fast walking may end up working out better than running followed by slow walking. I think that if walking’s involved, throwing running in there would probably prove to have the best result, but only if I can speed up the walking that comes in between the running. (Speeding up the running portions, and having a longer stride wouldn’t hurt either.)
I also think that this incredibly flat course and perfect weather (with almost no sun) really gets almost all the credit. It’s certainly not me taking good care of myself whatsoever. I’ve had 18 Crumbs cupcakes this week. Okay, that’s a lie. But I have had one and a half! (I used to think it was special that I could have Crumbs out here… Then I found out they have one on Hollywood Boulevard. I need to slow down on the cupcakes. They’re not cool anymore.)
I haven’t slept all that much. I certainly haven’t been going to the gym out here (even though I obviously should be). And unless Doritos at 3am in Port Authority, followed by Lucky Charms 3 1/2 hours later at the race site is the new optimum pre-race nutrition plan, I didn’t have that part together either.
I do still think that being in New York itself has probably helped. There’s so much quick walking always happening out here. I think my fitness level may be improving a teeny bit just by virtue of being here. (I miss living in NY so much, in case I haven’t mentioned that already.)
So there you have it. Inexplicably, I PR’d. (I never understood that phrase, really. I hear people say it all the time. But, what? You “personal recorded?” I don’t think that makes perfect sense, but I think it’s an accepted thing to say, so I’m gonna go ahead and say it.)
They had tons of food waiting for all the runners at the finish and a really nice photographer who patiently got a picture of me jumping (my favorite kind of race pictures).
Crossing the finish line was slightly awkward because the photographer was very close to the other side of the finish line, so you kind of wanted to pose, but more than anything, you wanted to make sure you ran all the way through to get your time recorded, and there wasn’t much space. So, it was a little weird, but it all worked out, especially since I got my jumping picture. And really, isn’t that all that matters?
I went back to the Greyhound bus and slept all the way back to Port Authority, then slept on the subway all the way back to Far Rockaway.
It was a fun, simple, enjoyable race with great weather a totally flat course. Number 10 is in the books (well, on the interwebs). (Double digits now, y’all!) Next up: The Hollywood Half.
Tomorrow, as promised, I’ll post part 2 of the posts brainstorming toward the future challenge (hopefully) of 57 marathons all over the county/US territories in 1 year.