Want to race all of NYC? Check out this Bronx 10-Mile Race Recap and add this one to your race bucket list!
All year, I’ve had one big running goal: to complete New York Road Runners’ 9+1 program. Well, my fit & focused friends, as of last Sunday, I did it! That means I’m in for the 2016 NYC Marathon! EEK!!
My 9th and final race was the Bronx 10-Miler. I’ve been training for the Philadelphia Marathon and the Dopey Challenge, so 10 miles was no big thing. In fact, I had 15-miles on the calendar that day, so I woke up super early to get 5 miles in before the race even started. Here’s how it all went down:
5am – Wake up time! I got up and snuck out the bedroom so as not to wake Will. I headed into the bathroom for pit stop #1, brushed my teeth, got dressed, made some Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats from Love Grown Foods (so good!) to go, and headed to the subway. I also made the last minute decision to grab a light jacket. Best decision ever considering it was chilly before the sun was up and the D train was blasting air conditioning as though the MTA has a use it or lose it air policy before the winter hits.
6:30am – Arrive in the Bronx. I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve been to the Bronx, and they’ve probably all been to go to Yankee Stadium. Luckily, a bunch of other people that looked like runners got off the Subway at the same stop, so I just followed the herd (#follower #moo). Like all NYRR races, everything was very well organized. There was a volunteer RIGHT outside of the subway exit directing everyone where to go. I made pit stop #2 at the porta potties and then hit the ground running to get my 5 pre-race miles in. I was nervous about running in an area I didn’t know so early in the morning, but then I realized the race was already set up (duh, Nicole) so I could just run a few miles on the closed off course. Plus, turns out a bunch of other people (I’m looking at you NYC Marathon trainees) had to get in some longer mileage that day, so I wasn’t alone in my craziness.
7:30am – Finished up my 5-miles and arrived back to a super crowded Race-Day Central area. I got in line for pit stop #3 and, now that I was all warmed up, rushed over to bag check to drop off my jacket.
7:45am – I downed my favorite Probar organic energy chews, snuggled into my corral and found my pacer. This was my first attempt ever at running with pacer, but it being my last NYRR race of the year, I wanted to try something new. I decided to attempt to stick with the 1:25 pacer, which would mean keeping an 8:30 pace.
8:00am – We’re off (well, my corral crossed the start line at around 8:03 if you want to be exact about it). Like any race, the course was pretty crowded for the first half mile or so. I did a lot of dodging and weaving and started getting stressed about keeping up with the pacer when so many people were in my bubble. The road conditions at the beginning of the race were also pretty terrible. There were potholes and uneven patches of pavement all over the place. A few runners tripped, some fell (eek!) and many an iPhone were dropped in the craziness. I hope they fix that part of the course for next year! Anywho, I quickly decided to just keep the pacer in my sites for the first mile until I was able to find my own space.
I’ll let time specifics go here as I take you through the rest of the race:
I hit mile 1 8 minutes and 28 seconds in. Sweet! On point.
At mile two, a girl pulled in front of me. I call her The Spitter. You see, she grabbed a cup of Gatorade from the fuel station (there was water and Gatorade at every mile!), took a few sips and tossed it aside. Then, she spit. Ok, I’ve seen runners spit. I’ve spit myself a few times. Then she spit again. And again. She didn’t even pull over to the side of the course to spit into the road. Nope. She was in the middle, just spitting without any regard to the runners around her. You know us humans were build with the ability to swallow for a reason? Get away Spitter! I sped up a bit to get her out of the path of her saliva.
Right before mile 3.5, the elite runners passed us on their way back to the start/finish line. One of my favorite things about out-and-back courses is being able to see the elites! Not going to lie, I was pretty jealous they were already on mile 7 when I had 7 more to go!
All was going well until mile 6. My pacer was just a few steps ahead of me, I was feeling good and then suddenly. BONK! I got hit with a wave of exhaustion. My feet were sore, my legs felt heavy and I felt like I was significantly slowing down. What the heck? Then I realized I hadn’t eaten my energy chews! I usually have chews every 5 miles. I downed those babies and kept on truckin’.
I started feeling a bit better around mile 7.5. Less than a 5k to go. I got this! Then, she was back. The Spitter. She cut right in front of me and… she was still spitting! Are you part llama? I wanted to pull ahead of her again, but I just didn’t have it in me. You win this time, Spitter… this time…
Due to bonk moment at mile 6, by mile 8, my pacer had pulled way ahead of me. I could still her little pace sign bouncing around up ahead if I squinted really hard, but hopes of a 1:25 were shot. I was, however, still keeping a fast pace for me, so I wasn’t too discouraged. In fact, I crossed the finish line in 1:26:14, which was an 8:38 pace, and an automatic PR since this was my first 10-mile race! Not so far off from my pacer, after all!
I got my medal and a bottle of water, and then pulled off to the side for some stretches and the obligatory post-race selfies. Then it was off to get my jacket back from bag check and make the trek back to Brooklyn.
Overall, this race was pretty awesome. The weather could not have been better. The course had some good rolling hills that made it interesting without being too easy or overly challenging, and it was nice to explore a bit more of the Bronx. I do think the roads need to be fixed up at the start of the race and I want to call more Bronxians (Bronxinites? Bronxters?) to come out to support the race next year. There really wasn’t a lot of crowd support until the finishing shoot. Runners feast off the energy of a good crowd and funny signs, so come all ye’ Bronxinistas! Come with ye signs and ye shouts and cheer on thoust runners (clearly, I never got that into Shakespeare).
Thank you NYRR for another great race and a great way to get into the NYC Marathon! 2016, here I come!
This post is linked up with Tuesdays on the Run.
Have you ever tacked extra miles on pre-race?
What’s the deal with all the spitting?
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