Race Reviews

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile Race Review

not me…obviously

Date: Sunday, September 8th 2019

Distance: 1 Mile

Location: New York, NY (5th Ave between like 62nd and 83rd St. or something)

Time: 0:05:59

I was looking for the format I used last time for one of these race reviews and realized it has been almost two months since I last ran a race, which for someone who runs consistently seems like a really long time. In actuality doing races is almost getting in the way of the actual training. For example, this race is only one mile (which you probably got from the name of the race). I had to run 10 miles on Sunday, so after finishing the race I would have had to either run before the race or after. If I got a medal for the race or any other swag, I would have had to either run with the stuff or leave it. I keep all this stuff hypothetical because they gave no after race stuff so this didn’t really apply. I also did my long run on Saturday so I had to run 4 after the race which isn’t bad at all. Point is, the races can in theory get in the way of training, or at least force it to take way more planning around, hence why I only signed up for two races during this 16 week thing. One of those is the 18 mile training run, which lines up with my 18-mile run so that is actually great.

Complaining about things that didn’t actually happen at all aside, the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile race is a really cool concept. They do the race in waves (they might call them heats but it’s the same concept) broken up by age so you actually line up with a bunch of people who are in your own age range, as opposed to around your same speed. It definitely has an actual person against person competition feel to it, because you know everyone around you started around the same time as you so anyone you pass you beat. If you care about those things. Which of course I do because I am hyper competitive.

With 9,172 running this thing, broken up into a lot of groups over not a lot of space, it seems like it would be an organizational nightmare, but NYRR does an excellent job of keeping the thing moving. My wave, the 25-29 age group, went at 9:20 AM, if I remember from last year that is an hour later than last year. Last year’s weather was trash, this year it could not have been more perfect. I think it was 60ish and sunny.

This is an awesome race. That being said, I fucking hate it. I easily think it is the hardest race I run. This is entirely my own fault and has no reflection on the race. Last year I flat out sprinted the first quarter mile because I tried to keep up with all the dudes in the front, and after that quarter mile I felt as if death had come for me. I spent like 20 minutes after this thing hacking up a lung.

This year was still not great, though I didn’t feel like death so that’s an improvement. I spent much more time loosening up, stretching actively and statically in an attempt to get my hammys at the minimal working. I also came out much more reserved. This helped a lot, as I cut off 18 seconds from the year prior.

Still though, after I passed the quarter mile timer, I had fleeting thoughts about bailing on running hard. I honestly think I would have if I didn’t think that stopping would have caused me to flat out tear my whole leg. The second quarter of the race is slightly uphill, so all I see in my vision is emptiness, very uninspiring. At least the second half is better, it starts off downhill and I could see the finish line so at least I knew my torture was coming to the end. I felt my hamstrings pulling the entire time though. I tried to kick it up another notch at the 200 meters left sign, as I saw that I was getting close to getting under 6 minutes, but I didn’t realize that I had started like 8 seconds after so the timer at the end line was over 6 minutes I was too deflated to run harder. Good thing I didn’t slow down though because I was literally one second from not being under. That was not intentional at all.

Either way, if you are great at running a mile this race is probably a blast. I mean I came in 408 of 825 in my age group. As I said I am irrationally competitive, so even knowing I am not a great mile runner, the fact that 407 dudes finished ahead of me is infuriating. And on top of that I was basically dead average. I hate this race. At least at other distances I don’t really care as much because I know I suck at it. This one hits harder for some reason.

The gear though for this race is sweeeeeeet. Last year they gave out the wackest hats known to man, I don’t even have mine I threw it out instantly so no picture. This year though they gave out a pair of running shorts, but like really nice ones that have pockets. The women’s shorts don’t have pockets but I am a man so that is zero issue to me. Here they are:

I didn’t take any of my own pictures because I forgot my phone in the car, for some reason bringing my wallet instead, which of course is very useful for running a mile. So my apologies.

So in review, this race is really cool and probably a ton of fun. Unless you are me and find no joy in anything. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Jenny Simpson won this thing for the 8th time. What a fuckkkkking beast. Who cares about the guys. Also Tiki Barber I think ran this. It infuriates me to no end that this guy is apart of NYRR. Stay tuned for a race review next week!

Final Notes: No comment on the Giants game yesterday. Leave me alone.

Race Reviews

NYRR 1 for You 1 for Youth 5K Race Review

Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Distance: 5 km

Location: New York, NY (Central Park)

Time: IDK like 30 minutes

First and foremost I would like to say Happy Global Running Day to all my fellow runners. In a society that glorifies made up holidays sometimes it’s easier to just give in and go with it. Looks good on social media and honestly isn’t that the only thing we all care about? It didn’t occur to me why this race was on a Wednesday until that guy with the silky smooth voice on the PA system mentioned it while we were waiting for the thing to start in our race corral. That whole thing had me super confused but I thought this would be an easy way to get my Wednesday morning run in and add another 1 to the 9 + 1 NYRR scheme. I have used Wednesday four times in this paragraph, not once have I spelled it correctly on the first try. Shout out to spell check you a real one.

So made up holiday aside, the point of this race was to promote New Balance, I mean to do some charity work. What that terrible name for a race is supposed to imply is that everyone who signed up for the race got a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit’s and New Balance donated a pair of sneakers to kids in need. I may make fun of a lot of things, including this, but it is really cool that they gave those kids sneakers. The sneakers are awesome too, I added them to my three sneaker rotation as my light run sneaker and so far they have been great. Not sure if they would hold up on a long run, but fuck it they look good which for a short run is all that matters.

As for the race, it didn’t seem to be a particularly crowded race which was a nice change of pace for a typical NYRR race. Since the thing started at 7am and was only a 5K, I imagine that unless you lived in Manhattan this wasn’t really worth it. I may have bitched about this before, but I don’t live in Manhattan so as usual it was not very convenient. I did hop on the ol’ PATH and take a subway to Bryant Park where I ran to the race start on 83rd so at least I was able to parlay the race into a good training day. I may have been gassed, but I have no complaints it was my choice to do a race before work.

 The race itself was a breeze, the whole course seemed like it was going downhill. Apparently we ran up the notorious Harlem hill but it didn’t seem bad. At the end of the race I was saying that I thought the whole thing was downhill and some old British lady overheard (i.e. eavesdropped) and gave me her thoughts on it. She did not agree with my assessment to say the least. Suck it up it was 3.2 miles. It’s that type of attitude that lost you the states in the first place. Even our fat guys whip up on the soft ass English, look at Andy Ruiz. He might be my new obsession, if I was a young decently attractive 18 to 21 year old with insecurities about my ability to have a social life and wanted to pay for a friend group, I would even go so far as to look and Andy Ruiz and give my thoughts on him with the ever so poignant #Goals.

I didn’t eat breakfast (meaning not a big breakfast) so the after race snacks were a life saver. Grabbed myself a bagel, an apple, and some of those bee Belgium waffle things and started hauling ass down 7th Ave. If you saw a jackass running with a race bib on through one of the most crowded streets in the country around 8am with a giant bulge in his pocket eating a bagel, congrats you saw me! The bulge was an apple don’t be a perv. Its 2019 though so even if I was aroused don’t dick shame me.

All in all pretty happy I woke up for this. I don’t smell like shit at work and left clothes here yesterday so that’s a plus. Didn’t bring a belt though. Let’s hope for the best.

I went the entire blog without mentioning how brave and strong I am for writing this the same day I did the race. I am not looking for applause or to be lauded for this achievement. But recognize greatness when you see it. O yea obligatory race picture will appear at the end. Thanks Nat for always managing to look great even drenched in sweat looking like you just carried a jug of water on your head through the fields. And also for looking at the camera instead of at the button like my dumbass.

Final Notes: No idea who is going to win tonight. Don’t even know the spread, but I am thinking of going against what I have been doing and betting on the Raptors. I can’t stop laughing thinking about that story of Kawhi’s trash talk. Not going to link it so if you made it this far just go look it up. Such a fucking weirdo. I think I am going to incorporate his style into my running, so every time I run past someone I’ll mumble “pass” or “pace man gets paid.”