This morning I woke up at 6:15 am, grabbed my uniform and flats and walked over to the elite tent at the Tavern on the Green parking lot at 67th and Central Park West. After stretching in the tent for a bit I started my warm-up at 7:00am with the other NYAC ladies. At 7:45 we were called to the start line area where we were allowed to do strides and continue to warm-up. Being with the professional field was intimidating and definitely a little nerve-wracking, but SO FUN! At 8:00am sharp the horn sounded and we were off and running down Central Park West (see above – I’m in there somewhere)! I was a bit worried about going out too fast considering the field, but I was able to get into a good rhythm and came through the first mile comfortable at 5:36. The crowd was absolutely amazing! Because I was the first local runner to pass, everyone cheered loudly and called out my name. I saw Mom, Dad and Marisa at multiple points throughout the race. It was awesome! I didn’t really know what to expect time-wise coming into the race and was mainly hoping to be competitive and feel good after a disappointing finish at NCAA Regionals. I came through the 5k in 17:30, feeling pretty good. The second 5k was tougher and much hillier. I definitely need to get in some hill work before I race in the park again. I passed one person during the course of the race but was pretty much in no man’s land the rest of the time. I finished in 35:15, first for NYAC and 27th overall. According to the race director who approached me after, the times were about a minute slower this year because of the humidity. I hit the NYAC Tier 2 time standard of 35:52, so now I will have a travel budget of $250 per race and get the complete Brooks uniform kit. Although I hit the Tier 1 10000m (track) criteria, it was in Princeton uniform which makes things a little tricky. The race was so fun. I loved every minute of it!
After the race I took some pictures with the team, did a cool-down and walked back to The Aire. After a quick shower I took the subway downtown to the post-race luncheon at Becco Restaurant in Times Square. I was lucky enough to sit with Deena Kastor and baby Piper, Katherine Switzer (first woman to run the Boston Marathon), Romanian marathoner Lidia Simon (World Champion in 2001), and Adriana Nelson (2007 Chicago Marathon runner-up).The four-course meal was delicious and the conversation was great! I can’t wait for my next road race.