My Queens 10K Recap!
My iPhone alarm goes off at 4:00AM, my eyes open and I know it's time to get up, but I don't want to. My iPad alarm goes off at 4:05AM, running on three hours of sleep I know it's time for me to get up now or I'll never get up.
I head off to the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth and all that morning jazz. Before I know it, it's 4:20AM. I already have my shirt, shorts and socks laid out. I failed to find my bras, (yes plural, these things don't stay down lol) the night before so here I am digging through the pile of laundry I did a couple of days ago looking for my bras. But success, I've found them and I lay them on a chair and now it's off to the kitchen to make breakfast.
I needed to have a race day usual, whole-wheat toast, peanut butter and some sliced up bananas on top. I didn't have any bananas at home so the toast and peanut butter had to do. While the toast was in the toaster, I threw on my pants and my bras. I slabbed on peanut butter on the toast and went into the bathroom to do my hair.
My hair is done. I put my shirt on and got my fanny pack together. Shot bloks, phone charger, money, house keys, metro card, ID card and Aleve. I put my socks and sneakers on, found a shirt to wear on the train in case I got cold, but a shirt I can also ditch when I get to the start line.
Did some stretching, put my fanny back around my waist and I headed out the door at 5:35AM. A little later than I wanted but I made it out and to my surprise it wasn't even cold.
I'm waiting on the first train out of three I need to take to get to the starting line. The A train. It comes pretty quickly so I'm not waiting long. It's still morning, which means the trains are running local, great! I hate local trains. I get stares and glares throughout the ride to Jay Street. I'm guessing people never seen a runner before? In my part of Brooklyn, I'm sure my bib number and compression socks were foreign to some.
Jay Street. I've arrived. It's part two out of three now. I have to take this train to Jackson Heights. It's myself and one other Queens 10K'er on the platform, now there's two. I'm feeling good about this. As I'm standing on the platform waiting for the train, more runner and heading down the stairs. Bib numbers are everywhere with different colors at the bottom, green, purple, blue and a few others. I look down at my bib and I just stare at the strip of brown. "Hey, at least it's not clear," I told myself.
After 15 minutes of waiting, the train finally comes. There are a couple more runners on the train but nothing to be excited. As the train gets closer to Queens, more runners enter the train with each passing stop. Now I'm very excited, I love to see runners on race day. We all have a purpose on this day, we're all going to do the same thing. Can't change that.
It's now time to get off the train. I'm at Jackson Heights and I am starving. I'm trying to find a banana and I see nothing, but I do see a newsstand and ask if he sells bananas. He doesn't, but I see some raw cashews and I purchase those.
I walk up the first flight of steps and hear "train," I start running up the steps and I run into the train car. Here's part three of three. The train is filled with runners at this point but not to capacity. Runners are conversing with one another and I'm taking it all in. I'm looking out the window and I see trees and cars. The train makes several stops and more runners come aboard. "This is getting serious," I thought to myself as I can now see the unisphere that I'll be running past within the next hour or so.
The train pretty much empties out at Mets-Wills Station. I'm following the wave of runners along the boardwalk and into Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I see the bag check on my left and the port-a-potties on the right. Now I have to use the bathroom, naturally. I find a line to stand on, it's fairly long but it's not crowded so I'm okay with standing on this line. I speak to my mother for a few minutes on the phone and she tells me she's tracking me online. I'm excited, I use the bathroom and make my way over to the corrals.
Corrals are color coded, so I'm looking for brown. I'm standing by dark blue. In the far distance I can see brown. "9,000+" I say. "Damn, couldn't even get a corral with a dash in between the numbers." I also say. But then I remember according to my Brooklyn Half time, where the hell else would I be?
I'm standing at the back of the corral, so far back that there is no one else behind me. I move up and I see a garbage, time to throw away my shirt, so I do. I'm now standing in the middle of the corral. I turn on my run keeper app and get my "Go The Distance" playlist ready. I don't want to be doing anything when it's time to hit the start line.
The president of NYRR has just finished her opening speech. A few seconds later, the gun goes off and the first corral of runners take off. I'm so far behind I can't see them, but I know they've started.
Once a few more corrals take to the course, the brown corral starts to move. "This is it," I say. As I'm getting ready to run this race. Before I know I'm running over the blue and red start line and I take off into the race.
Mile 1: As I'm running, I'm feeling the music. The first song that plays is "werqin girl" by laquifa. It has a great beat and I am running to the momentum. Seven minutes into the mile I realized that I've just run seven minutes and I should take a break. So I do. After a minute has past I begin to run and pretty soon I see the one-mile marker. "This is going to be easy," I thought.
Mile 2: WRONG! This is what I get for not training properly. I remember looking to my left and seeing the highway. "What if a car came crashing through these barricades, then what?" I thought. Why would I think of that when running? Who knows, but I continued to run. There were some sprinklers and I tried to avoid them, but it was so hot and the water was so cold, so I just enjoyed them.
Mile 3: At this point, I’m tired. I can’t believe I am so tired. This is what I get for not training properly. My intervals have decreased and I’m realizing that I am walking more than I am running. I think this tattooed girl who I saw on TV for the Brooklyn Half special and I say “yupp I’m keeping up with her.” I also see a curly haired girl and a Van Cortland Park runner, these women will all be my pacers.
Mile 4: I see the “out and back” portion of the course coming up. I’m running up on the left side and I see runners on my right side. “The turn must be coming up soon, yupp must be soon, any day now.” Boy was I WRONG! This stretch must have been the longest ever. I see a mile five marker and I couldn’t believe it. However, a runner came up to me and asked “what mile are we on,” “five, because I read the mile marker sign and if I can read it then it must be it,” I tell her. She swiftly replies “well I didn’t see the clock, the light looks like it wasn’t on so that’s why I’m thinking its still four.” That thought didn’t even cross my mind. At this point all I know is I have lost Van Cortland girl and tattoo girl, but I know the curly girl is behind me, that’s fine by me. I finally make the turn to go “back” and…
Mile 5: The real mile five, with the clock counter under it, working and well. UPSET! But happy because this means I only have one mile to go. The girl who I was talking to is tried. And so am I. I see her struggling to run and I just tell myself “I need to keep running.” I see two older women running and they pass me on the left. I can’t believe this, only because I remember seeing them on the train earlier that morning. The Unisphere is right in front of me. It’s huge, but the water isn’t on, that sucks, but I and took some pictures anyway.
Mile 6/10K: I am hurting because I want this to be over. I see people sprinting when they see the mile six-marker sign. I don’t know where I’m going so I’m not sprinting anywhere. I see what looks like to be a straight path but it’s not. I am overlooking the trees and I see I need to make a short left turn, then I short right turn then the finish line. At this precise moment “I can’t stop” by Flux Pavilion plays and I make a mad dash to the finish. That couldn’t have been a more prefect song to end the Queens 10K.
Georgina (my iPhone) played the most amazing songs. Every song was on tempo and to the beat, I didn’t have to change a song once. Check this list out.
My official time is 1:19:33! I’m happy, this means I PR’ed. When I ran Brooklyn Half I ran a 10K I ran it in 1:20:27. So almost a minute off my pervious time. No training, three hours of sleep and TOM was at my side. Couldn’t be more proud of myself.
Check out this awesome proof! I’m so in love with it.
“I Can’t Stop” was playing at this moment, I was so focused.
Until next time..