This past Saturday I kicked off the 2013 running season with the Joe Kleinerman 10K race in Central Park. Despite the chilly 32 degree windy weather, I was excited to run my first race of the year with a few thousand of my fellow runners. Best of all, my cousin Steph and some of her TNT members were doing the race and I was able to cheer them on as well! Steph is training for the NYC Half with Team in Training and this was her PDR and her first 10K race ever!
|Steph & I pre-race|
Shortly after arriving in Central Park, I parted ways with Steph so she could meet up with her TNT group and I could do a quick warmup. As we got settled into the corrals, listening to Mary Wittenberg talk about Joe Kleinerman and all of the people behind-the-scenes that help make NYRR events happen, it felt cold and windy and I couldn’t wait to get moving!
The course was one counter-clockwise loop of the park, starting on East Drive and ending on the 72nd Street Transverse. I tried not to let the cold get to me and kept my pace slow for the first miles, knowing those Harlem Hills were in the near future. I had forgotten my watch and my Nike+ app GPS is always inaccurate, so I wasn’t really sure what pace I was keeping during the race. Mile 1 & 2 ended up being around 9:45 pace. I felt super strong going into the Harlem Hills and pushed through knowing I’d be rewarded with some sweet downhills in the second half of the race. I stopped paying attention to what my intended pace was and just really enjoyed running. I once again found myself in awe of the beauty of Central Park and got lost in my head. I started thinking about how thankful I am to be a runner. I just love running races surrounded by people who appreciate and love this sport as much as I do. It wasn’t until about Mile 5 that I snapped back to reality and remembered I was “racing”. I wasn’t trying to PR but started thinking it was a possibility, given how strong I was feeling. When I hit the 6 mile mark I sprinted my little heart out and had some terrible photos taken of me in the process. Okay, there was one decent one: