Rock N Roll
Yesterday I participated in my final competitive race of the year. Out of the four races I have participated in this year, the Rock N Roll New York 10K is the longest race I have participated in. The 6.2 mile event, now in its third year, is yearly held in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. I am no stranger to the park. Earlier this summer I ran in the MLB All Star Game 5K and last October I ran in the Rock N Roll 10K. The course is nothing like Central Park.
The course is not as “hilly” or “steep” as Central Park, but it is close to it.
Over the course of the week, I was concerned about the reported rain storm set to hit the New York area. I have never participated in a competitive race in the rain. How would I prepare? Do I participate if there is a downpour?
As the weather lingered in my mind, I continued to prepare for a 10K. My training heading into Saturday was lack luster. But I gave it my all.
My favorite part about an upcoming race is claiming my racing bib. Runner number 5335 was ready and hoping the weather would cooperate.
Saturday came and the weather held its own. It was cool chilly October morning. I arrived a bit late. By the time I arrived the corral/heat I was assigned in had taken off. Heat 5 was off and running. I was corralled with Heat 6. As the clock counted down, I mentally prepared myself for a 6 mile journey.
The M.C. counted down and as he uttered “1”, we were off and running. The East Lake Drive was congested with all types of runners. At first I though to myself, I am not going to finish with a good time. Last year I finished the race with a time of 51 minutes and 16 seconds. From the start I was in trouble. And unlike my last race, my health and pace was not in question. Would I get through crowd?
Upon finding room along the East Lake Drive, I was able to break free. And as we hit the arch in Prospect Park, I was off. I broke away from the rest, hit my strides and never looked back.
At the half way point of the race (5K) I ran a near record pace. Could I keep it up?
Not once did I feel out of breath nor body tightness. Unlike the previous three races, I mentally and physically felt prepared. I would also attribute my good health to my chiropractor and massage therapist. Without their treatment the day before I would probably not have felt 110%, at the end of the race. I owe them a great deal.
When my body aches during a run, I am generally looking at my Garmin watch. That is never fun. Fortunately, during this event, I rarely viewed my watch. I was on my game.
As miles three turned into mile four and five, I knew I was running on a record pace. Question is what would my final time be?
Only one way to find out, keep on running. As mile 5, ultimately turned into mile 6, I felt the euphoria from the crowd. I turned my jets on. I pointed at the sky. And in the distance I saw the finish line. I was doing it. I felt great. Crossing the finish line was my goal. I was 6.2 miles away from my second consecutive Rock N Roll medal. Low and behold, I did it.
I crossed the finish line. Unofficially I broke my record. I finished the race in 51 minutes. WOW! I did it. My hips, knees and back felt great. I collected my medal. The medal was worth the run.
Ultimately, when the event organizers posted the official results, I was in shock to discover that I completed the race with a time of 50 minutes and 51 seconds. A new 10K record was met. I beat my old personal best by 25 seconds. Amazing.
Ending my running season at the Rock n Roll 10K is a fitting tribute to why I run and why I love running. Where do I go from here?
My off-season has begun. However, that does not mean my training ends. No. No. No. I decided earlier today to go for some outdoor runs during the winter.
In 2014, I plan on participating in the same events. However, my ultimate goal is to participate and complete the NYC Marathon in 2014. Unoffiically, “Destination 2014” is underway. One year from November, I will run in the one race I have dreamed of since 2010. My goal is to train. Get lean. Develop a runner’s body. And most of all, stay healthy.
Hang on to your seats the fun is about to get underway. Another successful running season has come and gone. Wait for 2014. We will have some fun.