Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oakley NY Mini 10K Race Recap

Just over three weeks ago, I participated in my first race of the year. I thought it was high time I got my race recap done, especially before I run race number two in just a few short days.
The Oakley New York Mini 10K is one of my most favorite races to run. Not only is it one of the two women's only races put on by the New York Road Runner's Club, but it is also the only race where you get to run up Central Park West before continuing the race inside of Central Park.
On June 14, I participated in my fourth New York Mini race. The first time I ran it was when it was called the Circle of Friends New York Mini 10K back in 2006. In 2009 I ran it when it was called the NYRR New York Mini 10K. Then I ran it again when it was renamed the Oakley New York Mini 10K in 2013.
The day before race day, I headed uptown to the NYRR Club's office to pick up my race bib and tank top during lunch. This was my first time doing this during working hours, so I wasn't exactly sure how much time it would take me. Thankfully, by the time I got back to the office I still had 20 minutes to spare. Good to know for future bib pickups!
When I woke up at 6am race morning, I was grumpy as all get out. I was stressed that I had to take 3 different trains to get to the race start, due to subway work in Astoria. Those of you who know me, or have been to a race with me, knows just how much I hate being late.
Right before this picture was taken,
I had commented to my boyfriend that I didn't want to go. He laughed because seconds later I posed with a big smile on my face. Honestly, I did want to go. I love, love, love to participate in races. At the time I just wished it was going to be a little easier to get to the race and that I had someone going with me. This is where I need to make more running friends who like to race.

But alas, I got myself out the door. Three train rides later, which were surprisingly smooth, I arrived to the race start with 30 minutes to spare. Thank you Subway God's!

I hopped into my coral as soon as they opened and immediately snapped this picture. Taking advantage of them being empty to try and get a glimpse up Central Park West.
The race start was right outside of Trump's International Hotel and Tower...
...with the big globe in Columbus Circle...
...and of course no race start would be complete without the obligatory selfie...
I look excited, right?

Then moments later, that empty sea ahead of me looked a little like this...
Yup, it was crowded. About 6,000 runners crowed. I even overhead someone say during the race that they had no idea that so many people would run this race. Um hello. It's a woman's only race that let's you run up Central Park West. Of course it's going to be crowded and I love that so many women come out and participate.

Heading into this race, I had a goal finish time that I only my boyfriend I was hoping to hit which would give me a PR. I wasn't confident that I would be able to run that fast. A speed that I hadn't done in a race in seven years. He told me before I left that I could do it, but I had to convince myself that I could and at the time I wasn't buying it. So I told myself I would be happy to finish in under an hour, but of course I kept in the back of my mind what my PR number would be.

So at the blow of the horn at 8am, we were off! The first mile takes you up Central Park West and it was nice to see that the cars had been cleared from the side of the road this year.

At 90th Street you make your turn into Central Park and head towards the Harlem Hills. I was thankful for all the hill training I get during my Sunday long runs on the trails. The hills felt like a piece of cake and when I hit the 5K mark I felt amazing!

The last 2 miles of this race are always the toughest for me. It's a combination of just finishing a major hill climb, the heat and knowing that the finish line is on an uphill. It's not a major hill, but it's tough enough of a one on tired legs that you are wanting them to sprint to the finish line.

As I crept closer and close to the finish line I kept peaking at my watch. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was on point for a PR as long as my legs didn't give out.

When I crossed the finish line my watch told me I finished in 57:03! I did it! I set a new freaking PR!
Official Finish Time: 57:01 - Average Pace: 9:11
New PR by 24 seconds (In 2007 I finished my fastest 10K in 57:25. Average pace: 9:15)
Almost 11 minute PR from 2013 finish (01:07:54)

Splits: 9:26, 9:18, 8:46, 9:08, 8:50, 8:44, 8:16 (for the last .2) (Negative Split Race Too!)
When I think about it, I still can't believe what an amazing race I had. I truly pushed myself and saw what I was totally capable of doing. I proved that I had what it took to get that PR my little ol' heart wanted so badly.

My boyfriend texted me after the race and said: "You are getting faster and wiser the older you become!". I never imagined my 42 year old self could beat my 35 year old self! Just shows that hard work, dedication and perseverance pays off. Lord knows I have put in the work and sweated buckets to get where I am today.

The day after the race, I thought it would be fun to see a side-by-side comparison of myself between last year's race day and this year's race day.
This is what a 30 pound weight loss looks like! Never give up my friends!


  1. Awesome and Awesome Deborah!

    I don't like being late to races (or I call them events, because I am not really racing, I'm just trying to finish, ha!) I am always taking public transportation so you'd think I like later start times, but I don't. I like getting out there on a Sunday morning when the city is still unsure if it's awake or asleep. This doesn't mean I don't mutter a lot in the morning before I leave about, why am I doing this?

    They have pushed back the time for a family 5k we do every year, until almost 11 this summer and I am thinking, I don't want to do it. I will have to consult my family. The longer races; the 10K and the 1/2 are the earlier runs ... But your post got me looking for the next event. There was an 11k that I was looking at but we are out of town. I prefer a 5k, since I'm not really a runner but every now and again ... I max at 12k and I honestly don't run the whole thing, but it feels good to finish. I love your side by side photos. Impressive, but I've always been impressed with how active you are.

    I've done a few female focused events, Mermaid Series, Divas, Esprit De She. The EDS was my favorite, it was actually an evening run out by a bird watching area. I'd never done something like that before. It wasn't super large, I did it with my sister before her knees died, but they aren't doing them out in my area anymore.

    Question: Where do you put your phone when you run?!?

    1. Thank you so much Ellen!

      I firmly believe that all races, especially the summer ones, should be early starts. The one time I had a late start was when I ran the NYC Marathon. The thing that stunk about that was I had to be up at 4am to get to the start before they closed the bridge down. So it was an early start with a late start. 5Ks are nice runs to do. They are enough to feel challenged, but yet don't take hours to run. We have a Divas Half Marathon race out on Long Island in October. I always thought it would be a fun one to run.

      As to where I put my phone when I run, well it depends on the run. First I must say I do not run with music so having my phone with me isn't always a necessity. When I go down to the track for my morning runs, I leave it at home.

      When I go on my long run, I leave it in the car. Where we run I feel safe, I do have mace with me, but there are points where I pass my honey on the trail so I don't feel the need to have it. I most likely would if I had room in the little zippered pocket of my hydration belt.

      When I race, that is the only time I have my phone with me. I will wear my iFitness race belt. The zippered pocket is big enough for my iPhone. You could also get a Spibelt which would work too. The pocket on that one expands to fit your phone, keys, etc.

  2. Sorry I am a little late here (I really need to get better about checking my reader more often).

    WOW! and CONGRATULATIONS! What a terrific race! I hope you are feeling proud of yourself—you definitely deserve it!

    1. Haha it's ok. I've been a little MIA lately, but thank you! I am extremely proud of myself. This race really proved that I got more in me than I realize!