A year and a half ago I ran my first NYRR race. It was four miles and I ran it in 31:35, or a 7:53/mi pace. Since then I've gradually ratcheted down my pace for the shorter races, following up with another 4mi @ 7:42, then a 10k @ 7:22, and finally a few months ago my last 4mi @ 7:01. This weekend I'm running a 10k, my last race of the year, and my goal is to finally break the 7:00 barrier.
Seven minutes not only serves as a nice, round psychological barrier, but it also opens up a whole world of possibilities for my racing going forward. First of all, since NYRR bases your starting corral placement off of your fastest average mile split, the faster I can run these shorter races, the closer I get to the starting line. This means less dodging of slower people (I get to be dodged instead), and potentially even a 3-digit race number (the ultimate Central Park status symbol).
Second of all, seven minutes is the race pace to which I need to start acclimating myself over longer and longer distances. At that pace a half marathon would take about 1:32, just a few minutes short of my longer-term goal. And a full marathon would take 3:03, a few minutes faster than a Boston qualifier. So being comfortable at and around 7:00 is key.
And finally, sub-seven is just badass.
All that being said, this would be a huge improvement on my earlier performances, and I haven't done any speedwork lately. But I'm hoping to piggyback off of my marathon fitness, hit the starting line fast, and just hold on for dear life...
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