I ran the NYRR Queens 10K on Sunday, June 21st in Corona Park in Queens, New York. After a long, 3-month hiatus from running, this was my first race since slowly returning to the habit at the start of June. The race was scheduled to start at 8AM, but endless rain led the organizers to postpone the race by one hour to 9AM. No issues on my end, I appreciated the extra hour of sleep!
I didn’t sleep nearly as much as I would’ve liked, and woke up tired yet eager for the race. Despite the sleep deprivation, there was no denying that I deeply missed that feeling of adrenaline on race morning. My last race morning (NYC Half) was depressing and filled with pain (physical and emotional), so the happiness I felt before the Queens 10K was a very welcomed change.
I ate my typical pre-race breakfast of toast + peanut butter + banana with a huge cup of coffee (with coconut milk ice cubes! a new love), packed some extra clothes (in case I needed to change after the run), and set out to make the 1-hour trip to Queens.
I arrived with a full hour to spare, and the scene was already poppin’! Music was blasting, runners filled the park, and the rain held off!
The temps were creeping up and the humidity…oh the humidity! Us runners all know that humidity is seriously destructive, so you can assume how crushing the 95% humidity felt.
I strolled around for a bit before finally lining up and patiently waiting for the race to start.
There were about 8,500 runners, so it took almost 10 minutes to cross the start line and begin!
The humidity caught up with me almost immediately. I felt myself heating up but my legs felt good and I was so absurdly happy to be back on my running game. The course was pretty crowded but I didn’t mind it too much. The first mile flew by but I was internally complaining about the heat almost immediately.
I officially overheated! And so the bargaining began – I started splitting the race into smaller parts and working towards smaller milestones in order to avoid mentally checking out. I had no time goals but I did want to avoid walking (unless pain hit). The humidity was no joke, I completely forgot how horrid it was to try and run through all the moisture!
I did my best to notice all the scenery but my mind kept wandering back to the humidity (I know, I know). I grabbed water every time it was available, which seemed to help since I never really got my expected dehydration headache (does anyone else get those?).
Hitting the halfway point always feels awesome, and this was no exception. I refused to look at my pace prior to the halfway point, but allowed myself to reevaluate after my Garmin beeped at mile 3. My pace seemed to remain consistent but I was mentally ready to be done with the race…I wanted my medal!
We started running along the highway towards the turnaround point. Seeing all the people running back towards us served as the ultimate motivation to keep pushing. My Garmin was already 0.1 miles off from each mile marker, but for the first time I allowed myself to think of a time goal. Was it possible to finish under 1 hour? Mental math told me yes but my body resisted. Reaching the turnaround point was awesome, especially because it was at the MetLife Stadium!
The final mile was rough! I felt my heart rate skyrocket up and even got dizzy at one point, but I kept speeding up as a sub-60 minute finish felt more and more real in my mind. I started passing people (always a nice surprise) and was determined to finish strong. I even accidentally elbowed some chick while accelerating…oops. Those final 0.2 miles…you guys…I have no idea where I got the energy from, but I sprinted at full speed and crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face.
Final Time: 59:57 (9:39 min/mile pace)
Place: 4207 / 8675
Age Division (25-29): 370 / 979
After chugging some water and snagging an apple, I hopped on the train back to Manhattan in full glee. Look at that view!
All in all, I loved this race
• Fueling & amenities – there were many water/Gatorade & Port-a-Potty stops
• Post-race goodies – apples, water bottles, pretzels, the usual spread of goodies!
• Flat course – I can’t recall any hills except a single small one around mile 3
• Race shirt & medal – the tech tank is extremely high-quality and the medal is elegant and stunning
• Non-scenic route – as much as I loved running in a new area, I wish there was more to see (although running by the MetLife Stadium was awesome)
• Far from Manhattan – this might only be applicable to me, but it took me almost an hour to get from my apartment to Corona Park
• Crowded – the start of the race was crowded and continued to be throughout the race (although it was tolerable)
I”m not sure I would do this race again, mainly because of the proximity to Manhattan, but it was fun nonetheless!