NYC Runs Firecracker 10K Recap + 4th of July Fun!

The last time I blogged, I’d signed up for the Firecracker 10K and was unsure if I wanted to try for a PR or not.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been afraid of trying to PR and failing, but I woke up to light rain and humidity and just wasn’t feeling pushing it.

Ashley and I took the subway out to Roosevelt Island and got there with plenty of time.

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Which we obviously used to take photos. Also, this is the best I could do for patriotic. Lame, I know. St. Patrick’s day is way more my jam.

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But serious props to these girls in the red and white stripes for being far more patriotic than me.

The race start was pretty easy to get to from the train, and the NYC Runs volunteers were helpful in pointing out where we should go.

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We were walking to the start, and Ashley turned to me to say “okay, see you later.”

Ah ha! Not so fast, my friend. “Nah, I was thinking I’d run with you, if you don’t mind.” I think she was a little surprised but didn’t mind running with me. I asked what her general race plan was and decided I would try to keep us to the pace she wanted to keep. I don’t know how Laura paces an entire marathon; trying to stick with someone at a specific pace isn’t easy.

Ashley wanted to start at 9:45 miles and get faster, but we ended up running the first mile around 9:20. Because clearly I have no idea what I’m doing pacing people. I think our second mile was around a 9:34, which was still faster than she wanted to run. After that, it became clear she wasn’t having a great race and I wasn’t an effective pacer, so I mentally switched to just being there and running with her for support, since I didn’t know what else to do.

Volunteering at Coler-Goldwater is one of our Junior League community projects, and the loop took us past the hospital a few times, so we ended up talking a lot about Junior League while running. (Since my mind has obviously been on Junior League a lot lately.) We used to run together a lot more, so it was nice to catch up while running and have really random conversations again.

After the race, I got home and rallied to head out to Hoboken to go sailing again!


I met someone who’s going to transfer his Army Ten-Miler bib to me. SERIOUS WIN.


After sailing, I ended up going to Jersey City for a party with some Junior League friends and watching the fireworks down by the water there.


And now I’m at the beach with my mom for the next few days, since I had Thursday and Friday off, too.

Mid-week holidays for the win.

Have you ever paced a friend for a race? Any pacing tips?

16 comments on “NYC Runs Firecracker 10K Recap + 4th of July Fun!

  1. Monica

    I did once say I was going to help pace someone in a race. His goal was to run a sub 9 min/mi for a 5K. I told him that I usually ran an 8:50ish average mile for a 5K, and I start a little slower and work my way to a faster pace. Well, race day came and we stood next to each other in the lineup. About a quarter of a mile in we started to separate. I thought I was running slow, so I just figured Id keep running that pace and he would keep up. Well when I got to the end of mile 1 the clock read 8:15, WAY faster than the 9:10 I thought I was running. I turned around and he was no where to be found. So I tried to slow way down in hopes he would catch up, but knew it wasn’t going to happen, so I just ran.

    Funny thing, I ran my best 5K ever and won 3rd in my age group with a 8:25 pace. My first medal ever.

    And my buddy, still met his goal of a sub 9 min/mi because he WAS trying to keep up with me. HA!

    Oh well. Now I know.

  2. Liz

    I am the world’s worst pacer. I’ve never officially tried to pace anyone, but I keep offering to help, and then I insist that my friends can run faster than they think I can. Oh well…

  3. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run

    I actually tried to help pace a friend on the 4th. She is speedy, but does not pace at all. She is a new-ish runner and naturally fast, but usually does short distance. This was a 5 mile with ALOT of hills. I was going to hold her back for at least the first mile or two, but it became stressful and I felt like I was holding her back too much. In the end, she finished in sub 40 minutes and me in 47, so I had no business trying to run with her. 🙂

  4. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content

    Glad you ran the looks fun. But no, I’ve never paced anyone – just thinking about it makes me giggle. I’ll never be that good a runner! I would love someone to pace me though!
    Bet it was good to see Manhattan from a different persecutive though – I had no idea Roosevelt Island was there!!

  5. Heidi

    YAY! Glad you got a bib for the Army 10!!

    (and i suck at pacing. I’ve never tried but i can barely pace myself soooo i can’t imagine i could pace anyone else hahaha)

  6. Linda

    I enjoyed the race, but certainly did not PR. I didn’t go in wanting to finish in any particular time. I would have done a lot better, if I didn’t stop to take pictures, but I had fun.
    It didn’t even occur to me to dress in red, white, and blue. I saw those runners in their flag dresses/singlets. They looked great and commend them for wearing that. I think wearing anything like that would totally have thrown me off. Had I thought of it, I would have gone to Old Navy and purchased a flag tank to wear.
    Did you take the tram back? I was thinking of taking the tram back to the city, but whenever I think of the tram I remember how those people were stuck on it for hours.
    It was a very different race for me. I don’t remember ever running such a small race.
    As for pacing people, I’ve never done it. Toward the end of my marathon training last year, I had pretty consistent paces and a pacer for one of my long runs remarked that I would be a good pacer because of my consistency, but this year I’m all over the place. I think I’m trying to push for speed. I’m hoping at some point from now until the marathon, my pace evens out again (I hope at a pace faster than my average pace for last year).
    You were good to try to pace your friend and then to realize you were probably torturing her and turning it down. 🙂
    See you at the next race?
    By the way, I totally walked into a hole near the bag check area, twisted my right ankle a tad and scraped up my knee some. That wasn’t a particularly fun experience before the start of a 10K run. I seem to be okay now, but I have some residual ankle stiffness.

    1. Theodora Post author

      I did really want to take the tram back, but didn’t feel like switching at 59th. Maybe one day…

      How’s your ankle doing now??

  7. Michele @ nycrunningmama

    I paced my sister for her first race – a 4 miler in PP. It definitely was tough and required me to constantly stare at my Garmin. It’s hard to run at a pace that isn’t your natural pace…I think pacing takes a lot of practice!!!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your mama!! =)

  8. fionarwbl

    How was the NYCRUNS aspect of the race? Was it busy? I really want to do their Riverside 5k series but work is conspiring against me making it up there by 6.30pm!

    Nice job on the army 10 miler bib. I so want to do that race!

    1. Theodora Post author

      The race was fairly small, which was nice, but we only saw one water stop, which, in that heat, was less nice. I’ve done the Army Ten-Miler twice–it was my first long race!–but I’ve gotten faster since then, so I’m very excited for it.

  9. Alison @ The Peacock Diaries

    Hmmm, you know when mid-week holidays are a fail? When you have to work the other 4 days. Weirdest work week EVER. Everyone else who had to work was seriously bitter about it and extremely unpleasant. At least when I have to work those random days during the holidays I can browse all of the online sales and buy myself pretty things.

    I’m glad someone was having fun 🙂

  10. Deana Stiles

    Kudos my friend. You really love engaging to marathon. I am proud of you. Your are so physically fit. It is not easy to join this one. In fact, it is necessary to prepare the body for this long run and your body is perfect for this.

  11. Laura

    Pacing is definitely stressful! I check my watch every minute or so, and do a LOT of math in my head to make sure I’m hitting my splits. I wear a pace band to show what split I should hit for each mile, but for the first few miles, I also try to calculate in my head where I should hit the quarter mile mark, where I should hit the half mile mark, etc. (After the first 5 miles or so, your body should be in the groove and it’s easy to just keep going at the same speed; plus, my Garmin is generally off by enough at that point that calculating splits shorter than 1 mile doesn’t work).

    Hopefully that helps?


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