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Joe Kleinerman 10K Race Report

December 7, 2009 2 comments

What a better way to welcome winter weather than with a 10K team race!  The forecast for the 8AM race was 36 with a 28 degree wind chill.  I haven’t run in that kind of weather for about 10 months, so I was a little unsure what to wear for the race.  I tend to over dress, so I went light, a long sleeve, a short sleeve and my racing singlet.  On the bottom, short tights, regular shorts, and knee high Injinji compression socks. Gloves and a hat of course.

It was an unusually early race at 8AM, and to make it worse, race day number pick up was at NYRR headquarters at 89th St. while the race start was at 102nd St.  So Nate and I decided that instead of messing with the crazy weekend subway system at 6AM, we would just get a car at 6:30 and save some hassle.

I, of course, excited for the race was up and ready at 5:30AM, after tossing and turning for 15 more minutes, I realized no more sleep would be possible, so I got up had a Rev 3 (Usana Energy Drink) and a banana.  Also had a few Margarita Shot Bloks to counteract any dehydrating from early morning caffeine.

We got our numbers and jogged over to the Start.  Checked our bags,  I popped a couple No-Doz and we started a warm up at about 7:30.  We did a pretty good paced warm up for about 12 minutes, went back to bag check and removed our warm ups, then headed to our starting corral.

Now today was a team race, meaning it was one of the 10 annual races that is scored for the NY club point standings.  Club races are always a little more competitive than the “regular” NYRR races.  NYRR has about 40 clubs, give or take.  For the men’s division there is an “A” group and a “B” group.  The A group is the top 13 teams and the B group is the rest…Every year the winner of the B group gets promoted to the A group, while the last place A gets demoted.  We are currently 12th of 13 in the A group.  In most races scoring is done by adding the times of each team’s top 5 guys.  Exceptions to this are the Club Championships which scores 10 and the NYC Marathon which scores 3.  The scoring is as follows 15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1  and all teams after that field a 5 man team get 1 point also.  This thing is, the top 4 or 5 teams are basically pro teams with VERY good elite runners that are 5 minutes/mile or better, depending on race distance.  So, for the average local team, untouchable.  The next few teams are good mainly due to their size.  Our team is solid, consistent, although fairly small with no real standouts.  The Hoboken Harriers will be the next B team promoted and they are a very similar team to the BRRC.  The frustrating thing is that no matter how well we run as a team we rarely, if ever crack into the top 9 for those elusive 2 points.  It makes the actual aspect of the team race un-interesting to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I run hard for myself and the team and am very aware of teams we are competing with on the course, but I envy Hoboken because they are of similar talent to us but are winning the B team competition and get to actually SCORE points, ah well, they will join our plight soon enough.  The disparity of the upper A group and lower A group is so great that one promoted B team actually elected to stay in the B group since it’s more fun to battle against teams of similar talent.  I would suggest to the NYRR, changing this system.  One way would be to expand the A to be 20 teams and score all 20 from 1 point to 50 points.  There are just so many good teams caught in “no man’s land” of not being involved in any meaningful points competition.  Or maybe A, B, C groups.

Club Standings

OK, thats my soapbox speech to the NYRR 🙂

On to the race…

We inch our way up in the 1st corral and find John S., our fellow teammate.  He is not sure we will be able to field the 5 man team, since many of our best guys were “locked out” due to the race capacity being reached before they were able to register.  We will start our race with the hope that we have a couple guys that signed up for BRRC to make it a legal scoring race for us.  But even if we have 5, there is little hope that we will get more than the 1 point for fielding a team, the 2 point 9th place will be out of reach for a short team.

The gun sounds and we are off!  John is out speedy, especially for his 6:15 goal pace.  Nate and I are shooting for 6 flat.  My plan is 6 flat pace through 4 and then see if I can hold on for the last 2.2.

Mile 1–The first mile is congested and has a big downhill follow by a sizable uphill so it is a little difficult to find a rhythm.  I manage to come through right on pace in 6:05, Nate right with me and John up ahead at 5:55.

Mile 2–Settled in, but kept pushing the downhills and even effort on the up.  Came through in 5:57

Mile 3–Closed in on John and passed him.  Let him know that his arch nemesis from Central Park TC was gaining on him (they battle every race for supremacy in the 55-59 age group)  I feel strong, but try to keep my enthusiasm contained, especially on the downhills where I can tend to get carried away.  I keep pushing but start to wonder how I will keep this up, since 3 miles is only the half way point.  Split is 5:51, 17:53 at the 3 mile mark.  Right on schedule.

Mile 4–Time to focus.  I want to be at 24 min. at 4 miles then see what I have.  I feel good.  My marathon build up for NYC included a lot of 6 min pace tempo runs and many times Nate and I dipped under 6.  So I am imagining tempo, keep form, relax, don’t bunch up my shoulders, stay upright, run smooth.  I’m racing now though.  Very aware of the runners around me and trying to key off of them.  If someone comes up, I go with them.  Using the energy of the group to feed off of.  I keep expecting Nate to pull up next to me, but it doesn’t happen.  I hold steady with a 6:05, 23:58. Perfect.  Now it “go” time.

Mile 5–These Central Park races always start at different spots on the loop, and I never really know where I am.. Granted, I am quite directionally challenged, but I really never know what’s coming hill-wise.  I’m getting better, but some chunks of the loop are a surprise to me 😦  After 3+ years running the course, you’d think I would know by now.  Prospect Park in Brooklyn–I know like the back of my hand…Central Park, not so much.

5th mile had the big up, about 600 meters of up, and I felt every meter of it, lost focus a little since I was focused so much on first 4 miles, I relaxed.  Came through in 6:21, 30:19.  I’m still fired up, I know if I hold it together for the last mile, I’ll have a solid time.  My best 10k since moving to NY is 37:50, breaking that would be awesome.

Mile 6–Lactic acid sets in.  Left middle back get tight, hard to breathe, but I stay relaxed to best of my ability.  I push harder to make up for that 6:21, I need to get back on pace.  The last mile is rolling, I’m pushing hard, but don’t have any juice left to go with people passing me.  Tomo from Hoboken goes by me with 1000 meters to go.  I cheer him on, but really want to beat him.

Through 6 miles in 36:26 with a 6:06 split.  Bring it home, good time going if I can finish it up.  I am able to pick it up a bit and run my last .2 in 1:16 for a time of 37:43.  I did it.  NYC PR.  It’s a start.  I’m very pleased, especially with such light mileage after the marathon.  Only ran 12 miles last week due to arch pain.

Team race was good too.  We ended up having a team of 8 and came in 14th out of 42 teams (for 1 point)

I was 117th out of 4776.

BRRC team results

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