Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rising Expectations.

Today I ran in the NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 5K in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I was fresh off my PR shattering performance in Kissimmee but it was the first time that I raced in Prospect Park and I didn't know what was in store for me.

The race time temperature was about 30 degrees lower than last week and the wind was blowing. I decided on wearing two layers as I figured that once I started running I would heat up so I left a layer behind. This wound up being a wise choice, one of my few for the day.

My hope was to break 32:00 for this 5K. My legs were still barking a bit from trekking around Disney for most of last week and the weather wasn't cooperating. My biggest blunder was that I didn't count on the hills.

The first 1/2 mile was uphill, not dramatic like Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Everest or the roller coaster of the same name at Animal Kingdom but enough to make me feel a little like burnt toast. The next two miles were generally downhill and unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy these downhills as it seemed like I was still trying to make my heart and lungs jump back into my chest (downhills still remain fat runner candy though). I took a sip at a water station while walking through it and got my body back in time to do the last 1/2 mile, uphill yet again. Finish time, 32:55 or a 10:37/mile pace.

This was the first race of 2009 where I didn't set a PR but I did knock off the third of the nine races necessary for the 2010NYC26.2 so I view the race as a success. Two weeks ago I would have been happy with this time but my expectations keep rising. I know I won't set a PR in every race and that the proverbial low hanging fruit has been picked but there is still more opportunity. I realize, fortunately or unfortunately, that the opportunity will only be realized with more hard work.

Vacation over. Back to training.

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