The WABC Father’s Day race organized by New York Road Runners in Central Park is already a traditional race for our family. You can see the years of my participation in the table below. I wasn’t looking forward to the race, as I wasn’t in a competitive mode due to my right knee problem. I forced myself to run. I had the knee swollen since May 24th and was avoiding running since then, with few exceptions on the past 2 Tuesdays when I led groups of runners from Lynbrook, Valley Stream, and Rockville Centre who gather each Tuesday at Lynbrook Runner’s Stop for the store run.

Despite the knee being still visibly bigger, it didn’t hurt and was flexible. I thought I should try to race in faster pace than jogging, but not full racing yet. I set a pace of 7 min. a mile as optimal, given the temperature of 82° and 87% humidity. I started cautiously at slower pace, observing the knee. It hurt, but not because of the injury. I was rusty and stiff. I was about 10 sec. slower at the beginning. The 2nd mile was more downhill, so I made sure I would catch up the lost time and I past the mile 2 marker about 3 sec. slower than my goal. From that point, I just maintained the pace and sped up a little the last 400 m.

The 3rd mile seemed to be infinite, though. I started to labor and felt a bit dizzy and short of breath. It reminded me how I always felt after a race before I started running more often and longer runs. I used to come to 5K, 4M, and 5M (I haven’t run longer distances back then) races without any training, ran like crazy, and was not able to breathe—exactly like this race.

Shortly before mile 4 marker, I thought I would let go, using the hot and humid weather as an excuse. Yet, knowing I had only 1 mile of suffering to the finish, I persevered in maintaining the pace. Also, the whole family clan was awaiting at the finish. They were hungry, as they haven’t eaten their breakfast yet. Except Janette, who is experienced and brought a muffin. We went to a diner on Amsterdam Ave. for a brunch. I finished in34:51, pace 6:58, age place 47 out of 380.

Here below is a table of my participation in Father’s day races.

Father’s Day Race Against Prostate Cancer


Date
Age Distance
(miles)
Gun
Time
Net
Time
Pace/
Mile
Overall
Place
Gender
Place
Age
Place
Age-
Graded %
June 20, 2010 47 5.0 34:51 6:58 455 441 47 68.3
June 21, 2009 46 5.0 31:31 6:18 184 180 9 74.9
June 15, 2008 45 5.0 35:30 7:06 536 511 50 66.0
June 17, 2007 44 5.0 36:43 7:20 791 749 123 63.3
June 18, 2006 43 5.0 54:42 50:57 10:11 3484 2452 390 45.3
June 19, 2005 42 5.0 37:07 37:02 7:24 623 584 99 61.8
June 20, 2004 41 5.0 35:13 35:01 7:00 420 392 67 63.4
June 15, 2003 40 5.0 34:06 34:00 6:48 274 267 53 64.8
June 16, 2002 39 5.0 34:30 6:54 229 217 100 63.5
June 17, 2001 38 3.1 23:05 22:27 7:14 435 399 174 59.2