Monday, February 6, 2012

NYRR Gridiron Classic 4 Mile Race Report

I finally had that breakthrough race that I have been wanting my entire running "career." That race where you pass everyone, and finish with a pace that you can be damn proud of!!

Yesterday I did the NYRR Gridiron Classic 4 Miler and finished in a time of 25:06, or a 6:17 average pace. Last year I did 28:05. 3 min PR!!! I had two goals for this race: 1) Finish in under 28 minutes and 2) keep all splits under 7:00. I SMASHED both!

Mile 1: 6:12
Mile 2: 6:09
Mile 3: 6:29
Mile 4: 6:14

I also had an unexpected (yet unofficial) surprise and accomplish a goal that I had set for myself this Fall: I (unofficially) broke 20 mins for the 5K split! There was no 5K split marker out there, but I did hit the mile 3 mark at 18:47.37, and based upon my mile 3 split (since the next 0.1 was still in the same terrain area of the park) I hit 3.1 roughly around 19:26, 34 seconds under 20 minutes! BAM!!!

My warmup was actually longer than the race. I did 10 mins steady, then 10 x (20 sec fast, 40 secs easy), 8 mins steady. My average pace for the warmup was an 8:01, so my legs were clearly ready to go fast! I then stood there in my corral for 17 minutes before we got going. Oops!

I facebooked before the race:

I knew this race was going to hurt, so it was more mentally preparing myself to put my body into that pain zone of ultimate hurtness. Embrace the suckage!!

The gun went off, we crossed the start mat, and NOBODY was going for it! I was like, "This isn't a half marathon!! This is a 4 mile race! You should be running this at a 5K pace!!" So I booked it and ran outside of the cones in clear territory and all of the volunteers were yelling at me to stay inside the cones. Why? So I can run slow? HELL NO!!!

I was that guy with the obnoxious breathing problem for the first two miles. I was running so fast wondering when my body was just going to give out. It hurt so bad!!! I was clearly hating life.

When I saw the mile split at mile 1, a 6:12, I was like, "I am running 30 seconds faster than expected. Holy!!! Do I slow down? No no no no, this is a 4 miler, this is SUPPOSED to be happening. Go out hard and hang on for dear life!"

Mile 2, 6:09, I wanted to die again, but I was already half way over and this was possibly going to be all over in 13 minutes.

Mile 3, 6:29, I knew I was going to break 20 mins for the 5K, but I also knew my body was starting to give out. I was in the "hanging on for dear life stage." This was also the hilliest part of the course, and those three uphills really started to take its toll on me.

Mile 4, 6:13, can only be described as copious amounts of slobber coming out of every orifice of my face. I was a mess and hurting REALLY bad. I WANTED THIS RACE OVER WITH ALREADY!!! The last little uphill by 72nd street finally did me in and for the the first time ever I thought I might puke after a race. That quickly subsided, but wow! that hurt!!!

My dear sister even came out and watched the start and finish of the race. Her eyes were wild eyed when she saw the look on my face at just how badly I hurt.

Geez that hurt....

We ran around the bottom of the park to the UES to 77th and Lex to my new favorite bagel place.

Hello ham, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat everything!

You ready for some numbers nerding out?
So exactly 4 weeks ago I did that 10K in the park, where I PR-ed my time by a few minutes to a 43:21 or a 7:00 flat pace. My avg HR for that race was a 181, wheras this 4 miler was a 6:17 avg pace with an avg HR of only 176. So 43 sec/mile faster pace and 5 bpm lower. *disclaimer* it was 48 degrees at the 10K and only 33 degrees at this race. My HR is always higher when it is warmer. * I still think I have become a lot more efficient in the past 4 weeks.

Now here is something new I experienced. I felt completely out of control over my pacing at this race. Of course for a race this short, I don't think you should be in control of your pacing because you should be running all out anyways! I felt a lot more in control at the 10K and even held back slightly in those last few miles. I felt like I was running a LOT harder with a lower HR at this race than the 10K. I guess now it is learning what sub 7 miles feel like?

I am VERY proud of my performance, mostly shocked, but very proud. I never thought I would ever break the 20 min barrier for the 5K split. My coach now wants me to go sub 40 for the 10K this Fall! *gulp!*

Oh, and I looked up the final results. I came in 147th overall, 143 for my gender, out of over 6,000 finishers. Yeah yeah, there is a giant difference between the winner's time and mine, but still, wow!!!


  1. Congrats on the race.... so no pukie?

  2. The bagel makes all the pain worth it, right?

    Congrats on the PR!

  3. Great job, kid! Don't get cocky!

    Remember, you still got quadruple chicked. Unacceptable, unless their last names are Gaucher or Wellington or something East African that I can't pronounce, like Meb Phleminegharam.

    Actually, I think you're currently faster than me right now, which CAN'T HAPPEN. Once my base phase is over in six months, I will destroy you. And with a HR of 14. In fact, I may even read a paperback book while doing so.

  4. That bagel looks so delicious and well deserved. Congrats!

  5. Yeah buddy! Well done!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Wow, what a speedy race!!! great job on your new shiny PR :)

  7. Nice race.

    (note: that is basically the same as my 5k PR. I feel inadequate but that's OK)

  8. you let 4 women beat you? Seriously dude... we need to talk haha.

    Great job! Feels good doesn't it???

    Interesting that you felt "out of control on your pacing"... I guess I always feel in complete control of my pacing during all of my races. I wonder if that means I am never going all out in races so that I save something for the end to turn it on at the finish?

    Not sure if you have been doing any running interval work, but I think after I do my intervals much faster than race pace is why I always feel I am good on my pacing.

    Sub 40 10k huh? That is a good one to shoot for! I will add in a challenge, no women are allowed to beat you too next time ;)

  9. nice race!! you totally killed it. I have an 8k race this coming weekend and I'm a little nervous because I've never raced this distance. I'm hoping for 6:50s but we'll see what I can do.


  10. this makes me want to throw up. ugh. nice job. also, I really hope there's a finishing line slobber shot of you suffering, please.

  11. I didn't read a word of this because I was too distracted by the bagel picture. And, I'm still a little mad about that.

  12. That is absolutely awesome! You are Speedy Gonzalez!

  13. that is one kickass PR. congrats!

  14. nice run!
    you crushed that
    serious early season speed!!

  15. Congratulations on the huge PR! I agree there's no pacing in a race this short. Just have to go all out the whole time and hope you don't die. :)

  16. Hey, anyone still without a real powermeter (like yours truly, thanks to the massive holes in my wallet otherwise known as children), should check out:

    Sorry if this has already been covered by Jon at some point and I missed it (and I don't have the time for my own, so I squat on his comments section) but it looks to be a poor man's computrainer. Basically, software to use in conjunction with your indoor trainer and ant+ cadence/hr gear. Apparently, it can use those in order to approximate a power reading, which I've always thought a basic Garmin setup should be able to do anyway. What is it lacking? Just computing power? I thought all it needed was crank cadence and wheel speed. What's the missing ingredient that a PowerTap is utilizing? Gearing?

    Anyway, the software is a $10/month subscription, which would equal the cost of your average PowerTap in about, oh... what, ten years? I think I'll give it a look see and report back.

  17. Slober coming out of every orifice says it all.

    Way to go McSpeedy and now get ready for sub 40.....

  18. "copious amounts of slobber coming out of every orifice of my face" <--- Yep. It sounds like you were doing it correctly.

    However, like MattyO said, you let 4 women beat you???? haha

    How did you end up in your AG??

  19. Heck yeah! I saw it on facebook, and I couldn't wait to read the full race report. Nice work! That's just smokin' fast, and you didn't back down at all when it started to suck!

    One of my goals this year is to break 20 min. for a 5k. We'll see how that goes.


  20. Great job, amigo. Don't listen to Matty-O and IBT -- in modern cultures you are considered studly if you finish within the top 10 women. So only 4?? You are a stud.


  21. That. Is. Awesome!!!! Great job!!!
    It sounds like you were a running, wild man!

  22. Way to kick the shit out of that run Jon!

    The out of control pacing is the only way to run the shorter ones. I usually don't even look at the watch until I turn it off after the finish.

    Great race!

  23. Damn, nice work!!!! And OMG that bagel....

  24. Wow, phenomenal effort! When you listed your goal for the 4 mile race of trying to break 28 min, I thought you were short changing yourself. In my head I thought you would have a good shot at 26 min, but I ended up writing that you might get 27 min, just so I don't predict a time way better than you yourself predicted, haha

    Anyways, sounds like the race went perfect overall, and yea it sounded painful just reading about it!

    It sounds like your body is getting more efficient!

    And that bagel looks amazing, haha

    Congrats on the Giants winning yesterday, while I wish the 49ers were there instead, they deserved the victory against the Patriots. And I also won $166 betting on the Giants, so I'll take it =)


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