Hands down one of the most important things I do in training is run races. The key word here is run. I don’t race them. It allows me to practice executing different race strategies while running with a crowd of runners.
I’m lucky that I live in a place where races are affordable races are held frequently and are only a mile or two away from my front door.
I’ve talked a bit about my goals for the first half of 2016 with my RPRC team, but I haven’t mentioned them here. Here’s a quick recap.
One month goal for January: Build enough endurance after my fall injury and illness to complete the NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half (it was cancelled due to a blizzard, but I completed 13.1 on my own the following weekend.
Three month goal: PR in a 10k by the end of March. The time to beat is 47:07
Six month goal: PR at the NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon. The time to beat is 1:42:15
The NYRR Gridiron Classic was technically my third NYRR race of the year. My strategy was to run miles one and two at an easy pace and miles three and four at tempo pace.
This is one of my favorite races of the year. Just past mile two you get to vote for which team you think is going to win the Super Bowl. NYRR has made a few changes in race procedures late last year. So far the changes I’ve experienced are positive.
The first mile had two turns and went up the west side hills making it easy to keep my pace conservative. The second mile has quite a bit of downhill to it, so it was a bit difficult to maintain an easy pace. I’d say I ended up closer to what my tempo effort would be at my current fitness level. Mile three went up Cat Hill while mile four covered the fastest section of Central Park.
- Mile 1: 8:25
- Mile 2: 8:18
- Mile 3: 8:03
- Mile 4: 7:13 -> There is no way this was tempo effort. I haven’t run a mile anywhere close to this fast since last September.
Based off the paces of my training runs, I’d give myself a C- in terms of executing my race strategy, but an A for running a negative split? Okay, no need to give myself an A when I clearly did not execute a tempo effort for mile 4.
My next race is March 26. I really would love to set at least one PR this year.