After speaking to my Coach, Danielle Sullivan of Iron Fit Endurance. She kept it simple for me and said it will hurt and don't worry of your pace drops towards the end.
Before leaving for the race, I went to Bagels Express to have my usually breakfast ritual, a Poppy Seed Flagel with 3 Eggs, Tomato, Salt, Pepper and Ketchup. Every local race that I participate in, I have that sandwich.
We met up with our 495 Track Club Team by our Table that was set up as part of the 5K's Health Fair and walked outside to warm up. We all did our typically warm ups that our team does, A Steps, C Steps, Skips, Stride Outs, Calf Warmups, and a few more Stride Outs to warm up the muscles. And I am so happy that we are part of this Youth Team. Typically, my warm up includes a few leg kicks and that was it, which is probably why I would get hurt!
It was time to line up, I took off my pants and the temperature was just right for running. Then, I jogged back to the truck to swap out headwear from my 2008 New York City Marathon Winter Beanie to my Ironman Arizona Running Cap. A few minutes later I ran to the front of the School to meet up with Irene and the boys. My head was still focused on reigning in my butterflies as I talked to my friends.
A couple minutes later, about 1000 runners walked towards the start line. I was about 5 lines behind the very fast people which included or 495 Kids (And our top runners finished 1, 2 and 3). I waited and all of the sudden there was a horn or something and everyone motioned forward and off we went.
I forced myself not to look at my want and go by feel for the first half mile, which included a small hill of a gain of 42 ft and I knew I was running a little to fast. My first mile averaged 7:34 as I tried to catch up to my friend Brian and his son Brian Jr.
The next mile was greeted with a water station that was way to far away from the course. While I was not planning on drinking any water during the race. I could not help think that the water table was to off course to make it easy to access without losing time. Even Irene mentioned afterwards, that the table was too far away. Well by this time I was pushing hard but I knew I was much slower than the first mile. I glimpsed at my watch and it fluctuated around the 8:00 mark.
By the end of the 2nd mile going into the 3rd, I felt the declaration continue and my average came down to 8:20 for the final mile. There were a couple people I was trying to catch, but that did not happen. In fact, near the final turn, I was thinking why is there an apartment building up ahead. How much more time is left? My brain was thinking of some building up on another road and I thought that was far from the finish. Well Thank God, it was the school and all I had was 800 yards, I round the last couple turns and headed towards the finish line.
As I got closer, I can see 24:01 and ticking higher, I pushed a little harder to see if I can cross before 24:30. I finished with a fist pump into the air and timer showed 24:41. My official time was 24:44.5. I kept my goal of sub 25:00 and a pace of 8:00 to myself. Normally I would tell my athletes to share it with others, have them write it down and post it on their bathroom mirror. But because I was really anxious, and afraid of pulling something, I kept it a Secret and really did not want to disappoint myself if something went wrong today.
After grabbing a bottle of water, I walked back to the finish to watch Irene and the boys cross the finish line along with my friends. It is so cool to see your friends cross the finish line. We should always run with friends and/or volunteer at events to experience community and support.
I got to see Elijah and Irene hit a PR and I am so proud of Zachary for running with his friend Samantha who did her first ever 5K. Zachary is so supportive and thoughtful. She even told him to leave her, and his was a resounding, "What, No! I am staying with you!"
The base building is working. Today was a huge confidence builder towards my goal of 3 hours and 45 minutes at the New York City Marathon and I am getting closer to that time!!!