Yesterday was the Healthy Kidney 10k race in Central Park. I went out with every intention of racing this, but not really expecting a great time. With the half marathon training I've been concentrating a little more on endurance and haven't been doing the speedwork that I really should. It was an overcast morning with the threat of rain in the air. I opted for my capri tights and a t-shirt figuring that the 10k distance wouldn't be long enough to go with shorts. The trip into the city proved my decision correct - I was cold. I got into the park a bit later than I usually do for a race so I grabbed my bib and t-shirt (they give out technical shirts, a reason why this race is always popular), dropped my bag in baggage check and headed for the starting line. The starting line was a pretty good distance from the registration area and the wheelchair race started as I was still trying to get to my place in the chute. The crowd was enormous. I bumped into Ira from my running club. He was lined up with the 7:00 minute pace group, so we exchanged greetings and I headed back further along the chute. I was planning on a 9:00 pace with the intention of pushing it a little if I felt good. There was a lot of speechifying at the start - this race is a men's national level race so it attracts a large number of elite men runners. That combined with the charity group - the main sponsor is the United Arab Republic in thanks to the city for the care their king received when suffering from kidney disease - made for a lot of activity at the front of the starting area. Once the horn sounded, and the race started, we stood around for about 4 minutes. Not too bad for an NYRR race. The course was an entire loop around the park plus about 200 yards, so the start funneled through the finish line. Made for a tight beginning and messed with my ability to settle into a good pace. I went too fast when I saw daylight because I was frustrated with having to practically walk at other points. I managed a 9:17 for the first mile but probably ran harder than that time reflects. The next two miles went pretty well - 8:55 and 8:44. Mile 4 is a hard one with the Harlem hills but I still managed a decent 9:01. I was still feeling pretty good and began to pick up the pace. Mile 5 was back down to 8:41. At that point I decided to go for broke and dig in. I reeled off mile 6 in a blazing (for me) 8:14 for a final time of 55:11. In retrospect, I'm a little disappointed with the effort. It's a new PR, but I've only run the 10k distance once before, a year ago in 55:29. This race felt harder, though, and I think I'm in better shape than I was last year. I wasn't planning on smashing my PR, but I felt I would have an easier time this year. But I felt spent after the race and today my legs are sore. One more long run to go before the next half. I have no goals for the Steamboat course except to finish. I'm expecting a long slog and am just going to try and enjoy the race.