I was invited by my friend, Richie who sponsors a Team For Kids team to join him in this race after he was unable to join me in Berlin as previously planned. The plan for NYC was to run it together at a managable pace and perhaps finish strong if we both felt good.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon - and I met (was re-aquainted with) his two high school track and cross country teammates would would be running with us. Had lunch and dinner together, stayed in the same hotel and traveled via the Staten Island Ferry together to the start. Great time, commraderie and a nice time getting our way throught 5 boroughs together.
We ran consistently ran right at 8 min pace through the first half of the race. The weather was not comfortable for racing - high humidity and dew point, but with cloud cover and misting rain. Not too disimilar to Berlin a few weeks ago. When the conditions are unfavorable like that, I generally keep myself in check by locking into an HR rate that I know will get me through the race without a struggle.
Well - we happened upon another former high school running friend of theirs just before mile 13 - and she was running a bit faster than our pace. Perhaps due to the excitement of that connection - Richie latched on to that pace and we started running a series of faster miles all the way down to 7:20 pace at mile 17 - which include the climb over the 59th street bridge. Because of pushing the pace, my HR was well above my conservative range for those miles and having crossed that threshold - I was toast. If I had been running by myself or had just protested and just kept at the pace we were running, I think I would been fine. As a result, I lost contact with them just before mile 17 and then the last 8 miles I had to back off the pace - to attempt to get my HR down and essentially "ride the struggle bus" to the finish. Kind of a miserable experience to finish things up. But overall we had a nice time together. I ended up about 10 mins behind everyone - who all eventually split apart in the last miles as well. Was extremely pleased to hear that Shalane won the women's race.