Monday, December 1, 2014

A Bronx Tale Revisited & Revised

Leave it to me not to run a race at Van Cortlandt Park for 6 years only to then run two races in seven days!!!!
Same ride up as Sunday,trolley to  Center City,R7 to Trenton,New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station and #1 Subway from Penn Station to 242nd St and Van Cortlandt Park and back again post race,sure it's a hike and a half but providing I'm armed w/ the essentials Music,Diary,Book and Green Tea I'm a contented traveller.

Arrived at VCP by 10.30am,the open race wasn't going off till 12.30pm but I'd rather arrive early than be sweating it by cutting it too close to race time.....although there didn't seem to be much fear off sweating anything today!!!
Unlike Sunday which had been a sunny warm day Saturday was cold grey and overcast and given that I'm cursed w/ piss poor circulation in my extremities my finger tips and toes were feeling it.
Thankfully a three mile warm up on the track adjacent to VCP....yeah leave it to yours truly to find a track at a Cross Country meet!!! allowed my finger tips to lose that numbness....guess that's why it's called a warm up then!
Returning to the finish line I stripped down to race wear,nixed  the hat for the trusty old St George's bandana,running vest,arm warmers,gloves,three quarter length tights and spikes,"took a knee" to offer up a pre race prayer and heading to the starting line.

Last week over 15k I felt it prudent to go out easy,today over 5k I had to be aggressive from the start and by the time we made the first turn at the end of the straight alongside Broadway I'd worked my way upto 14th place{I finished 23rd over 15k on Sunday}
Going into the back woods I was relegated to 15th by a runner whom I never let out of my sightline....
5.57 at the mile mark,the mantra was "work the uphills,fly the downhills" unlike Sunday where I had to negotiate the back hills three times this was "one and done"
There was some jockeying back and forth between mile 1 and 2 I got back upto 14th b4 slipping to 17th but never any lower and even in 17th I was cognisent there was daylight between me and whoever was following me.....but made damn sure not to allow the runners ahead of me to gap me.

12.57 at mile 2 a 7 minute mile but if you've ever ran the 5k at VCP you'll know most of mile 2 is uphill after uphill......however"what goes up must come down" and the back half of the back hills is downhill.......whee!!!!!!
Caught as much air as I could on those downhills to stay clear of the chasing pack and remain on the shirttails of the three runners ahead of me,coming out of the back hills and making a hard right I ate up a ton of ground as I worked the shit out of the final down hill,reentering the main part of the course I was right behind the three runners ahead of me.
Biding my time till the final straight on the cinder path I went into "track mode" w/ 200m to go,the first two runners fell behind me and now it was left to the guy who'd passed me going into the back hills,turned out we were both Masters runners but at the time I was unaware of that all I knew was he was 14th I was 15th....and I wanted 14th place!!!

As I drew alongside him he responded,did I have it left in me after 3 miles to dig deep and find another gear? bet ya!!!
Put three seconds between myself and Matt as I got to the finishline in 19.19.3,14th overall and second in the Masters race Ben Levitz had finished 4th overall in 17.09.1 #propsandrespect
Remarkably upon referencing my all time top tens list I discoved todays time at the grand old age of 51 not only ranks in the 5kxc top ten but is also faster than times I ran in my 40's......still life in the old dog yet!
Given the uphills I'm not sure what I could've ran on a flat/flatter course come Club Nationals in a fortnites time on a flatter course than VCP at Lehigh I hope to run somewhere in the 36 minute region,we'll have to see how doable that is,between now and then I hope to avoid illness and injury,where Club Nationals 10k xc is concerened I have "Unfinished Business" to attend to......and we all know  how I love to carry a grudge..........#itsonlikedonkeykong

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