Update: Check out this story the story from the New York Times about Kathy Martin and her masters running accomplishments. It was an honor to be in the same race as someone who hasn't lost in over 10 years! If you watch the video closely, you can see some familiar faces in the first few minutes.
The last time I ran a 3k indoor track race was in my Mt. St. Mary’s uniform at the 1997 Northeast Conference Championships. It was the first day of a three day meet where I ran the mile (trials & finals), 3k, 5k and distance medley relay. Our team won the meet with the most points any team had ever scored in the Conference history, a record that still stands. We collected every just about every award given. I remember that meet well.
Last night I only had one race to focus on – the 3k, so maybe that’s why I was more relaxed I’ve ever felt at a track meet. Or, maybe I was relaxed because I decided to do the race the night before and had no concept of how fast (or slow) I was going to run. Either way, the result was a new PR in the indoor 3k.
Back in November, I suggested the idea of running some indoor meets to my coach, Cliff English, as a way to keep motivated during the winter. He put the NYRR Thursday Night at the Races meet on my schedule for this week, but after Sunday’s half marathon, I was all set to back out of the track meet because my legs were tired. Then, on Wednesday night, I got a text from one of my training partners, Nicole, saying that she was planning on racing. So, I rallied and decided I was going to run and recruited Laurel to be my support crew for the evening.
When I got to the track, which is at the Armory on 168th street (which is on bike route to the GW Bridge), I’d already done 2 workouts and my plan was to just get out on the track and run with the pack. As with most running races in NYC, you never know who’s going to show up. There’s always a good chance that someone fast will be there. As we were lining up, the announcer, Ian Brooks, let us know that we had a special situation in our race. Kathy Martin was running to attempt a new world record in the 60-64 year age group and the New York Times was there to cover the race. Ian also announced the NYC triathlon champion was running. My cover was blown and at that point I knew that I had to step it up and run like a pro.
Fortunately, I found my running legs from 15 years ago and was able to cruise out on the track. For the first mile or so I was running consistent 40 second laps, which felt so easy that I was actually smiling, much to Laurel’s surprise. During the second mile, I slowed down to 41’s, but it still felt easy. I was completely shocked to see the pace I was running, since I haven’t done any speedwork (it’s January after all!). Just a few seconds behind me, Nicole was running fast too. We ended up finishing 1-2, both with new PR’s. Kathy Martin smashed the world record.
Check back for official times, once the final results are posted.