So, June is supposed to be all about relaxing and enjoying running--which don't get me wrong, I have been doing--but I've also had two really important events happen this week.
#1 - Qualifying for the 2011 New York City Marathon
Okay, this one was kind of in the works. On Thursday I ran the NYRR Wall St run, which was qualifying race #9. Admittedly, this was my real goal for this year, but last October Philly stole my heart, and it also stole the glory of being my first marathon. (My excuse was wanting "practice" before NYCM, I thought it would be too overwhelming to be my first, and thought Philly would be great to break myself in) This also seems kind of funny to me, because heck, what if I hate running marathons?! Now I've GOT to do this one regardless. I mean, the NYCM is known around the world and people do desperate things to gain entry. (Don't they? I'm sure they must!)
#2 - Running a 9 minute mile 5k (4 minute PR)
This one still baffles me. It seems like every race I go into having low expectations, I amaze myself. And it happened twice within just a few days. Thursday's Wall St run had low expectations. Mainly because it was very hot, and because I had heard that the race is just CRAZY. I was honestly expecting it would kind of be like a running mosh pit--flying elbows and all. But somehow, I managed to run 3 miles in 28:02 (9:20 pace) which was pretty cool. It was the fastest I had run any NYRR race, so I was very, very pleased overall.
Sunday I ran in a local 5K, benefiting the Coney Island Sports Foundation. (http://www.coneyislandsportsfoundation.com/) When I first found out about the race I wasn't even planning on racing it, but a few weeks ago I got picked to be a Jamba Juice Active Team Ambassador! I got a huge kit in the mail with coupons, a shirt/hat and shorts, and lots of other goodies. When I looked at the manual that came with my kit, I noticed that this race was on the list of Jamba Juice sponsored events....and since I had to complete 3+ events in my Jamba Juice apparel, I figured why not?
Again, I had no real goal for this race. I was hoping to stay close to my 28:02 from Thursday, but I didn't really know what to expect considering it was very, very humid. Ran into a friend, and some Jamba Juice team members and just chatted and relaxed and had a great time. I knew I had started the race fast, aggressive even, but I didn't really think about it. I honestly don't even think I ever looked at the pace on my Garmin. I was just running and focusing on my arms and my form. At the two mile mark, a volunteer was calling out the time, I passed him around 17:55...I did some quick math and realized I had run 2 miles SUB 9. WOAH. What was going on here? I kept trying to push the pace as much as possible, but cramping and most importantly fatigue was starting to set in. After I hit the third mile I was close enough to see the finish line clock said 27:xx. I knew either way it would be very close. Gave it all I had, and finished in 27:58. (For a full race recap, visit my daily mile entry.) How did I just run this 5k faster than I ran 3 miles just three days ago??
I'm still in shock. I honestly didn't think I would be racing well at all this summer. Last year I seemed to improve a lot once the cooler temperatures hit, but this year, it seems like every month I'm setting a new PR. I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts and not question it!