It’s been a while since I ran this race and I have finally gotten around to recapping it. Hallelujah. Do we all get more lazy in the summer or is it just me?
This was not a good race for me. Honestly, I think that is partly why this recap has taken me so long. I wanted to forget it ever happened. But I’m a completist, and if I don’t write this I will remember it forever and mention it over and over on my deathbed to confused caretakers.
The Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run took place on Saturday, June 29 and was my first 5 mile race. Five miles is not a common race distance and I’m never sure why NYRR decides to make some races 4 miles, some 6.2 miles, some 5 miles. But I was excited to see what racing the 5 mile distance felt like. I assumed it would feel like an easy 10K. Ha. So young, so naïve.
It was a hot and humid morning. According to the NYRR race page, it was 78ºF and 71% humidity at the start, but I find this hard to believe. The humidity felt more like 574,296,499%. I do not run well in humidity. At all.
I learned my lesson from the terrible and dehydrated 2019 Mini 10K: I need to drink more fluids before a summer race. So this time, in addition to my usual 16 oz. plain water and 16 oz. Nuun water (plus breakfast) prior to leaving my apartment, I took with me an additional Nuun water in a used Gatorade bottle that I drank on the subway ride down. I hoped this would help. I didn’t even care if I had to pee during the race. I just didn’t want to feel like dying. That feeling is bad!
The start was on the east side of Central Park at 66th Street. I was on the west side and got off the train at 81st to get in a little warm up. I jogged .85 miles to the start area and decided that was far enough. I waited on line for the porta potties before heading to my corral. Not even a mile of slow jogging, and this is how sweaty I already was.
I knew this would not be a fun race. Someone made an announcement that we should all “take it easy” out there and it was “not a day to PR.” I hate hearing that because I always like to PR. Fortunately, since this was my first ever 5 mile race, it would be a PR for me no matter what.
After we started running, I noticed that everyone around me was running much slower than I am used to from corral D. People were jogging. This annoyed me because, you see, I am a dumb idiot. Come on, I thought. We can go faster than this. If only I knew.
The first mile included good old Cat Hill, so it was going to be a little slow going anyway. I was running at a bit of an effort but not full out. My first mile was a little slower than my usual 10K pace.
MILE 1: 7:53
Mile 2 was along the flattest and best part of the course. This was a nice relief, despite the humidity, and wound up being my fastest mile. I had a feeling I was going faster than I should, but I wanted to see how long I could hold on. I would soon find out.
MILE 2: 7:42
The next mile is where it all fell apart.
Mile 3 started out on a flat and then downhill on the north end of the loop, ending in the middle of the uphill coming back down the west side. This is the steepest hill in the entire park.
I felt like I was going to die.
Normally, I will slow down on this hill but still feel like I’m getting up at a reasonable pace. Today, I was shuffling. Imagine a 105-year-old woman in mile 25 of a marathon wearing sandbags on her ankles. It was like that, but slower.
My pace dipped below 10:00 on this hill. I felt awful. Some people were walking. I should have been one of them, because I’m pretty sure some of the walkers were passing me.
MILE 3: 8:32
At this point, all I wanted to do was finish. The next two miles were up and down the west side hills, and up and down with my pace. I was breathing super audibly and probably sounded like I was having an asthma attack. I don’t have asthma, but at this point I wondered if maybe I did?
MILE 4: 8:22
Four miles in and my pace was slower than my last three half marathons. Somehow, I picked up the pace just a bit toward the end of mile 5 where it flattened out. I’m just thankful nobody got any photos of me on the course. I probably looked like death. I’ve honestly never felt so bad in a race, even in the miserable 2019 Brooklyn Half.
MILE 5: 8:16
Probably because of all the staggering I’d been doing, I wound up running 5.09 miles in all. I don’t know how, but I sped through the last 0.09 at a 7:14 pace. I was just so eager to be done.
I regret going out so fast. I should have just jogged the thing like everyone else, all of whom were smarter than I was. Well, another lesson learned.
One nice touch: in addition to rainbow bagels they also handed out rainbow Popsicles! Plus the usual apple. I swallowed half the apple before remembering to take a pic.
I found a few other Harriers and we complained about the weather while sucking on flavored ice.
I have never been so happy to be done with a race. I was also happy that I remembered to bring a plastic bag for my bagel, which I knew I’d want to eat at home.
After walking through the park, I somehow found a second wind (did I ever even have a first?) and jogged over two miles home up the west side of Manhattan, bagel bag in hand. I hadn’t planned on doing this, but I started jogging and kept going. I actually felt okay now that I wasn’t running as hard as I could.
When I got home, I toasted the bagel and enjoyed it with a protein shake.
I should mention the shirt we got with the race. It’s a nice one.
And that is my recap of the 2019 LGBT Pride Run! Maybe next year, if the weather is the same, I’ll take it easy and just enjoy it, knowing there will be a Popsicle for me at the end no matter what.
MY OFFICIAL RESULTS
Age Group: 21/539
Honestly, when I saw my age group place, I laughed out loud (#LOL). I felt absolutely terrible and still managed to pull off 21st place out of 539? Unreal. Here’s to getting older, I guess.
Also, I’m going to start including team awards for my club in recaps because why the heck not. Go Harriers! (Note: I did not score for my team in top three Women’s Masters 40+ in this race. If I do in future races, I’ll mention it.)
NEW YORK HARRIERS
Women’s Open: 2nd Place
Men’s Open: 7th Place
Women’s Masters 40+: 1st Place
Men’s Masters 40+: 4th Place
Men’s Masters 50+: 7th Place