Washington Heights has always been a place I would frequently pass by on my training rides towards the GWB and north up the 9W. This is also the home of Coogan’s 5km. Ever since I first ran this race back in ’11, I always seem to forget the rolling hills on Fort Washington Avenue – and this year was no different.
|Coogan’s 5km 2013 – photo by Ben K.
For the past two years, I have found street parking near the race. This year, I decided to suck it up and just park at the Hospital parking garage. No reason to waste the liquid gold in my tank. Race number pickup was efficient, as with all NYRR races.
A proper warmup was necessary, especially because of sub-freezing temps (NYRR recorded 29 degrees with 10mph winds
). 15 minutes of jogging was all I needed, plus some stretching in the Armory, followed by a chilly jog to the start. I would later find out that I probably underdressed just a bit.
I wanted to run this race completely by how I felt. Mile 1 split was 5:37. At that point, the cold air did not bother me. However, after making the turnaround at Fort Tyron Park and back up the hill onto Fort Washington Ave, my nose was really hurting – to a point where I could not breathe properly through them. Then came Mile 2, 5:52. That was a huge
deficit from the first mile. Mile 3 wasn’t pretty either with a 5:42. From 8 minutes into the race, until the end, the effort level and feeling was complete suffering. And although a 17:52 (Garmin data
) was not what I had planned, it was still a 40 sec & 120 sec improvement from 2012 and 2011, respectively. Hopefully from now on I will remember
the feeling of racing in the Heights!
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5km, coogan's, NYRR