An unexpected PR

This weekend was the Newport 10k in Jersey City, NJ. It’s not particularly far from home, but we had other plans in the area for the weekend so decided to check into a hotel for Friday and Saturday night (the race was on Saturday morning).

This was ideal because the start line of the race was literally right outside the front door of the hotel, so no early start to drive up that morning. I wonder if that helped me (I was awake early because I always am, so maybe not as much as I am thinking).

At around 7:30 I wandered down to get my number, bumped into a couple of friends and then took my number back up to the room to get changed (I just threw on jeans and a t-shirt to get the number). A short while later I came back down in time to spot a couple of friends heading out for a warm up. My watch was slow to get the satellites – must have been the tall buildings and extremely cloudy skies, so I didn’t record the first part of the warm up, but it seemed like a faster warm up than I have ever done before, and possibly even the furthest at about 2.5 miles (I wonder if that helped me).

It was around the end of the warm up when it started to rain. There were about 15 minutes to go until the start so I headed back into the hotel to use the facilities one last time (another bonus of staying in a hotel) and then ventured across the street to see the family who were eating breakfast in Cosi (I would have been jealous but I knew there were going to be squagels at the finish so I would be able to get my fix).

As it was getting close to 8:30 the rain was picking up and runners were huddled under trees to keep dry (and as warm as possible) while they towed away a car that had been left on the street in the start area.

I was definitely getting cold from the wet as the start time approached and the slight delay didn’t help, but some jumping up and down on the spot was enough to keep relatively warm.

My approach to this race was not to look at my watch and just do what felt right. There were clocks at each mile, so I would be able to see how well I was progressing. This was probably a good thing, because my GPS seemed to beep for each mile before I reached the clocks (it actually got a total of 6.41 miles by the end – last year by comparison it recorded about 6.3 so there was probably something strange going on).

I was surprised by how quickly I had reached the first mile because I haven’t been as fast in other races this year, and have been working on increasing my distances which has lead me to skip out on any speed work (except one solitary track workout with RVRR). The surprises continued as I hit each subsequent mile – I was sure that at some point I was going to fade, but somehow it just never happened. I was very slightly worried when I felt the pain in my hip (from Monday’s run) with about half a mile to go, but it didn’t seem too bad, and in the end I was able to find a bit of extra speed again for that last mile (the last mile or so is along the Jersey City waterfront overlooking lower Manhattan, so very nice – the Newport Liberty Half Marathon does the same).

These are my Garmin splits:

See what having the GPS show longer than the race distance does to the average pace!

See what happens to the average pace when the Garmin records longer than race distance!

And this is my official timing info:


Last year my clock time was 41:50 and chip time 41:44 (which was my first, and fastest 10k before this – I did 4 in total last year – well 3 really because one got messed up and we only really ran 6.0 miles, and the others were around the 42:50 mark).

After the race I grabbed some food, joined the family to cheer more people in, then quickly showered at the hotel before coming back out to hang out with RVRR friends. There was free beer, and random prizes – I won a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant right across the street from the hotel which came in handy that night (although it would have been better if we hadn’t also chosen that place to eat the night before).

It was during the prize drawing that I spotted someone in an Essex Running Club jacket that looked like fellow blogger Paige from On the lam(b) as she picked up a prize.

I approached her as everyone was leaving and she took this picture (yes, I stole it, because I didn’t take one myself); this picture is included in her race report.

Paige, I stole your picture.

Paige, I stole your picture.

A pleasant way to end a great morning. Maybe see you at the next USATF team race, or perhaps on an Essex Running Club Run (I may end up trying to sort out bringing some of our club members to join you for a run – if that’s ok with the club – just got to find a time I can do it, so it may not be for a while).

This entry was posted in barefoot running, fitness, minimal running, minimalist running, New Jersey, NJ, running, Training and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to An unexpected PR

  1. paigesato says:

    You (and fellow RVCC runners) are more than welcome to join us on a run–Thursdays at 6pm from Fleet Feet on Bloomfield Ave (3-6 miles), Sundays at 7am (again from Fleet Feet) 6-10 miles, and Saturdays on the West Essex Trail (6 miles out and back)!

    • runninginnj says:

      We have occasional “adventure runs” on Sundays – I just have to work out when I can do one (and when there isn’t already one planned). They like the person who suggested it to be there and “lead” it, but I don’t usually run on Sunday for various reasons so it will take some planning, but, it will happen.

  2. Barney Ward says:

    Just be sure to say hi to Charlie Slaughter for me, Neil.

  3. barefoottc says:

    Congratulations on your PR! Close hotel seemed to be really useful for you! 2.5 miles seems a long warm up, I think id feel tired after it?! Seemed to help you though…maybe include this in future races.

    • runninginnj says:

      Thanks, I think it was just one of those days where everything just comes together and you just feel right – it has happened in a handful of races over the last year. I guess the right approach is to try to get that to happen every time. Someone suggested it may have been down to the right nutrition – I had a steak the night before so perhaps that’s the magic formula.

  4. Dave Schatz says:

    Those splits are very impressive. Well done.

  5. decidida74 says:

    Congrats on the PR. The wet boardwalk was a little scary at times! =]

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