two weeks ago on Saturday it happened that the Central Park Spring classic 10k was taking place in Central Park. After running all the 5k´s last year and me now training for my first half marathon I was ready to run a more advanced run. This was my test to see how far I have come and what I´m capable off.
In the last two months combined I ran 132 miles (212 km), in February I had 56 miles and in March I had 60 miles till the 10k. I hope to beat that this month and have an even greater number but I´m sure this comes naturally with the preparation.
I was always a long distance lover and not so much a short distance runner and it took me forever to get better with that. But after I discovered that I have to work on more hills and more intervals it was easy to improve and get better. Ever since I started to include those trainings I was able to cut 8 minutes of my 5k times as well as my 10k times. Which doesn´t mean I will stop now. I´m a fighter and I´m my biggest competition and want to try to be better all the time.
I know it is not usual that you eat a lot of carbs before a 10k but in my opinion it helps me to keep my pace as well as hydrated. Since my first ever race I found out that a sandwich filled with jam helps me the best and milk just gives me a stomach ache.
I took the time to prepare my outfit the day before as well as attaching the number on my shirt. I was planning to sleep a little bit longer and to get up eat and take a shower before the run but I didn´t think about me being nervous and was up 2 hours before I had to leave the house so it gave me plenty of time to get ready.
My personal goal was to finish the run under 1:05 hour because I knew I can do it. I was just a little nervous because everybody I talked too that central park has many hills and that they are steep.
Find the start line was easy because many runners did attend the run and the only thing I had to do is follow them from the subway station. When I arrived I took my time to check my bag and stretch and warm up. When it was time to get into my starting block I tried to look for someone in the block ahead of me. Why? because this run had no pacers and I always make sure I have a stronger runner ahead of me and kinda try to catch that runner.
When no pacemakers are available I find this to be a perfect solution. What is your solution to reach your goals?
The start was a slow mile which was really good because this is what I´m also used too. When I hit the first mile marker I looked at the time under it and was ready to go a little faster. The first 3 miles I felt really good and could increase my pace every mile.
Somehow I hit a low at mile 3 and I decided to use it to recover a little. First all the bad thoughts came into my head like why you are doing this? why didn´t you sign up for a 5k because it would be over by now. After realizing it I changed my thoughts immediately and switched to positive and happy. This is and important reminder for everybody, keep your mind positive and think about all the things you already achieved and will achieve in the future.
I passed the low after about a 1/2 mile and got faster again especially when I saw my 4 mile time I knew I can run under 1 hour. I tried to keep some energy for the last couple of hundred feet to sprint to finish line. Didn´t workout as well but at the end my final time was 58:01 minutes, my best time till this date.
Many many people tell me that I look like a natural runner which is hard for me to believe because some years ago if you would have told me that I will do what I do now, I would have called you crazy. Today I know back then I was just lazy and that I found in running my happy place. No matter if I have a stressful day or I´m upset when I run everything is forgotten and I come back stronger and more relaxed after a good run.
I hope in the future I can improve my time more and be better than I was the day before.