Saturday, August 22, 2009

Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run

Despite a night of thunder, lightning, and torrential rain that sparked flash flood warnings in parts of New York state, I got up and joined the crowd for the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run this morning. Took the subway there, which was amusing -- I knew I was in the right place as the car filled up with people in running gear. :) Then out of the subway into a steady drizzle, where I picked up my race number (5400) and "race souvenir" (why not just say t-shirt?) and tried to decide how much of my stuff to stow. I like the way the New York Road Runners manage baggage -- you bring your own bag, pin a small piece of your number to it, and put it in a corral by last digit of your number. It speeds things up because you know where you put it, and you recognize your own bag. Also, it means they aren't giving out a few thousand plastic bags -- everyone brings their own.

There was a bit of standing around trying to stay out of the rain, with limited success. Finally, it was time to get into the starting corrals. Again, I was impressed by the organization -- when you signed up, you told them your estimated pace, which then determined your race number, which then determined your corral. All very orderly, all very nice.

A rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, some inspirational words, and we were off. I was trying out the CardioTrainer app, which was okay, but it unfortunately meant that I couldn't seem to back out of the app to start my camera and take pictures of the pretty buildings and historic neighborhood.

I started off nice and slow, settling behind a couple who were running slower than I normally would, but I decided to see if I could run straight through. After about half a mile, however, I was feeling bored, so I sped up a little to pass them. We ran up a hill that made everyone in my area stop, so suddenly it felt as if I was sprinting past them.

The rain had cooled things down a little at the start, but it stopped and suddenly the air was very hot -- and very humid. (Is it really possible to have 98% humidity? Really?!?) They had water stops at 1 mile and just after 2 miles; I stopped at each to drink a cup of water, which meant I had to walk. (I'm very clumsy.) The volunteers had "helpfully" filled the cups full, which meant that I ended up snorting water up my nose each time. Oops .

We ran along a park, past a beautiful convent gate, and then down a steepish hill. I think I'm slower downhill than I am uphill, especially when the streets feel slick under my feet. Then we made the last turn and had 10 blocks to go. I started to speed up, a little, and started to feel a little ooky. A few blocks before the start, a girl running a little ahead of my suddenly turned, ran to the edge of the street, and hurled. Oh...

This set me off a bit. My ookiness became a bit more urgent. I slowed down, trying to calm my stomach, but nothing seemed to help. I had now reached an area where there were spectators cheering. Not the best place to lose it. It occurred to me that there wasn't much I could do to avoid throwing up now, so I might as well sprint to the finish.

Let's just say that I was glad there aren't finisher's photos, as I'm pretty sure I had my hand over my mouth.

I finished the run, ran off to the side, saw a sewer grate, and threw up. Classy. No one said anything. I stood up, wiped my mouth on my shirt, and headed off to get some water, feeling much much better.

Then I picked up a banana, a bag of pretzels, and some more water, and headed back to the subway, riding downtown with other runners.

Not my fastest 5K, but not my slowest either... and of course it was the farthest I have run since the RnR 1/2. Plus it was fun to run a short event in a new neighborhood of a city I don't know well. I didn't make the "highlights video", but it's nicely put together.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on running in the rain and a bigger congrats on holding it until the end! :)