not only was the fred lebow classic 5 miler a last minute substitution, it was actually a substitution for a substitution! from a fa 50k trail run in massachusetts, then to one in new jersey, and, ultimately, a 5 mile road road race in central park, it was big a drop in expected weekend mileage (and a switch from trails to roads, as well). but, given the forecasted snowstorm that approached the city, i didn't mind the change in plans at all.
race morning registration turned into a minor challenge, in and of itself. emmy picked me up just before 7, and after finding a parking spot a few blocks from the nyrr, we jogged over there. the two of us were practically the last runners to sign up - there was one more guy just behind me, in fact. it was almost 7:50 as we stood outside the club putting on our bibs and chips. the half mile or so run up to the baggage check and then over to the start corral doubled as a makeshift warm-up. shirt pick-up had to wait until after the race.
in an interesting twist, emmy hopped over the fence midway into the first corral. i, instead, went in via the gate - which was a mistake. since it was so late (less than 2 minutes to the start), the runners from the second corral had already moved up. i found myself, technically, well into the second corral! in a longer race i wouldn't of cared a bit. but now, it took me - remarkably - more than 20 seconds to just cross the start mat! worse yet, the first mile was very crowded and i spent it (unwisely) weaving in and out of runners until the field opened up.
it was particularly crowded on the transverse, but soon enough there was some breathing room on the west drive. my split for the first mile was 7:01 - disappointing to say the least. i tried to make up the lost time in mile 2, with a 6:39. the 13:40 2 mile split, 6:50 pace, was still less than ideal. i had hoped to run a 6:45 pace for the race, and finish in 33:45, or come in with a sub-34. that was a pretty realistic target since my 5 mile split a the boston build-up 10k the week before had been 34:10. so much for the best laid plans...
the current 6:50 pace now made even a 34 minute finish a stretch. unless i really pushed it to make up some of the lost time, that wasn't going to happen. and it didn't, with these splits remaining splits: 6:57, 7:01, 6;52 to finish in 34:32 - a 6:54 pace. somewhat disappointing, but under the circumstances, i chalked it up as a training run. just after the exiting the chute i found emmy and john (my old wtc teammate). emmy's sub 33:56 took 2nd in her age group and john's 33:19 won his - great work guys!
later that morning, just as the snow started to fall, i tacked on another 7.5 miles via the post road. that upped my day's mileage to 13, well less than half what i had planned to run. but with the race, they were quality miles and i was more than satisfied with the result. still, with two weekends of the new year headed into the books, i haven't gotten in a significant long run yet. that needs to be rectified.
for the short term, however, next weekend is the boston build-up 15k in ridgefield.