i wanted to race the kurt steiner xc 5k to make up for the disappointing 21:52 that i ran the previous weekend at the harry murphy xc 5k. but van cortlandt park was a cold, wet, muddy mess - perfect cross country conditions, actually - that sunday morning. it was the continuation of a nasty weather pattern that arrived thursday and stuck around for the weekend. i ran a xc 5k saturday, on staten island, "the scout trail run," and ran my local 5k, the "scarsdale fall foliage 5k" that afternoon.
but the staten island race was basically a fun run and the fall foliage 5k was all about pacing katie (who, happily, ran a pr). the kurt steiner 5k was all about racing. in almost perfect - relative to this weekend's weather - race weather, my finish at the harry murphy 5k was disappointing because the back hills had gotten the best of me. i had to walk up one of the back hills during the second mile. i finished 10th in my age group in that race.
while the sloppy conditions didn't bode well for running under 21:52, i would give it my best shot. i picked my way through the crowded initial straightaway on the flats, and picked up the pace as we turned the corner and headed for the hills. since it was so wet already, i didn't bother avoiding any puddles - just plowed straight across them. again, without mile markers, it's impossible to really gauge the pace, so i couldn't rely on splits.
the trail conditions were amazingly dry - much drier than the wet and squishy flats, actually. i had no problem maintaining my pace to the overpass and onto the back hills. and, even more remarkable, i didn't walk any of the back hills. the only slowdown, barely perceptible, was on the downhills! i also found myself slowing down a bit when we returned to the flats. when i crossed the finish i felt great - and was surprised to see my time, 22:14, was 22 seconds slower than the week before!
despite the slower time, this was an incredibly better performance (as counter intuitive as that may sound). i'm not sure why i slowed from a 7:03 down to a 7:10 pace. maybe i was just a bit more cautious because of the weather and course conditions! regardless, i was very pleased with my performance (and even moved up to 4th in my age group - albeit with a smaller field)!
here are some race photos.
next up - on what looks to be yet another rainy day, the nike+ human race 10k in prospect park on saturday!