Pride Week in NYC is always a bit crazy and fun. There is one factor that seems to remain the same every year… the heat!
My stupid knee was acting up all week since I thought it a good idea to skateboard to work Monday. After all my super sleuthing in trying to figure out where my knee tracking originated I think skateboarding is my final conclusion. Its a pretty jarring activity for the knee and leg in general. I guess I’m retired. Who wants a skateboard?!
My youngest brother Jeff decided to run the race as well. He made it into the NYCM lottery and so I advised him to get familiar with race protocol and run a few small races for the experience. We had an easy run over to 102nd street as I gave him a few pointers about positioning and some ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts.’
We linked up with Erica, Robert and Antonio before entering the corrals. It was overcast and didn’t seem too hot, for the moment. The energy in the crowds was great. People really enjoy this race and you can totally tell.
Baker Bros aint no joke!
We bid farewell and good luck to Jeff as we (Robert, Antonio and I) entered our corral. I think I have spent 75% of all race starts next to them. A little fist bump and then the gun went off.
We set it off at a pretty quick pace to start. We were easily pushing a 6 minute mile or quicker. Since my knee felt great right off the bat I just went with it. Making our way up the west side of Harlem Hill I had Robert flanking me to the left and Antonio pulling away up ahead. It was still pretty thick as thieves but beginning to thin out as Harlem Hill took its toll on some runners.
Water was all I really cared about. The sun had come out and it was blazing. I grabbed two cups at the first station, drinking one and pouring the other all over myself. I immediately felt better. Onward!
I had no idea of my pace as I was running ‘naked.’ I figured we were rocking along somewhere in the low 6’s. By now Robert was ahead of me by 1-2 seconds while Antonio was ahead of him by 1-2 seconds. I was hurting pretty bad. Not my legs, but my internal engine as I really haven’t been running that much, especially speed. Just hang on…
I have never been a fan of this particular course due to the left turns on 72nd Street. They are both like 45 degree turns and I feel as though I slow down tremendously taking them.
I finally caught up to Robert and joked with him, “What the hell did Antonio eat for breakfast, he’s cookin!” Along the Engineer’s Gate straightaway I saw Grace and Megan cheering. After saying hi to them they reprimanded me, “Stop talking Baker, you should be running!” Indeed. Next, I saw Abs who took this pic.
I saw Erica 500 meters from the finish who was snapping some pictures. I hammed it up as usual.
I finished in 31:04. It’s off my PR by 40 seconds or so. This makes me really happy. All season I have been healing my knee and doing 1/4th of the training I was doing last year due to it. To pull off some decent speedwork is a great sign AND I beat my 5M time from 2 weeks ago by like 16 seconds!
Jeff cruised in shortly after we did. He rocked a 7:14 pace which is impressive for his first race.
I was hanging with Robert and Antonio when this older runner came up and said, “Hey, I see you out here running all the time. You must do triathlons too? Figured I’d come say hi.” His name was Pat and we chatted about our races before he headed out. THIS is what makes our sport so great people. Don’t be shy out there. You know as well as I do that you run by the same people over and over again. We are all one giant Runner Army. Say hi.