NYC 2 Mile Race - August 2015
So, back in New York and ready to challenge the 12.30 barrier in a 2 mile race. I've managed that a couple of times since recovering from 2012's intense illness but each time I've broken down afterwards and not been able to carry on the progress. This was the 2nd race of my latest return to running, coming a few weeks after the beautiful trails of Glendalough. The streets of Queens may not be so obviously scenic but they are beautiful to me - this area is my home from home and I have had so many wonderful experiences running on this loop around Jamaica High School.
On this particular morning, in glorious sunshine and with the temperature and humidity starting to rise, I had a short warm-up and some stretching before coming to the line behind the speedy people but close enough to the front to give myself a chance of a good time. After our Race Prayer and a brief silence, a couple of hundred of us headed off on the dash to the corner, the incline past the track and down on to the road past Thomas Edison School - the opposite side of the road from the course of our immortal 3100 mile race that had finished a few weeks before.
This was the first time in ages that I felt secure enough regarding my injuries to actually run flat out. There was no holding back, apart from a conscious effort to keep my stride short on the uphills and the bends. As I came down to the mile marker I could hear Utpal as usual calling times - 6.16, 6.17, 6.18....I remember how I used to hear something starting with a five there but no matter, that was then and this is now, my target of 12.30 clearly possible if I could run slightly negative splits. Plan was to keep my breathing steady until the bottom of the hill on lap 2 and then allow it to quicken as everthing goes anaerobic, but to keep my pace up I had to switch my breathing much earlier in the lap - I know I can't keep up a whole mile gasping for breath like that so I knew it would be a tough finish. It felt great to be working so hard in a race, just surrendering myself to the effort and not thinking about the consequences for once. When I came within sight of the clock I could see I was going to make it, crossing the line with 12.28 as my finish time.
I'm writing this back in my NY basement waiting for Uddipan to come round and massage out the tightness, but I'm hoping this was the start of a series of faster runs rather than another prelude to a breakdown!
Well the only way to find out if you can run flat out is to run flat out, so whatever happens next, there are no regrets. The photos below are before-and-after selfies.Expectation followed by elation.
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