Saturday, October 11, 2008

10.11.08 Race for the Cure

I woke up early in the morning. Apparently I had consumed a bit too much gatorade last night whilst formulating my race strategy. After going back to sleep I awoke to the alarm clock and quickly got into my routine. Bowl of cereal and some skim milk, browse the weather channel on the internet.

I already had everything ready to go out the door this morning, race bib was pinned on, chip timer was attached to my shoe, shorts and ipod good to go. So it didn't take much time for both me and April to head out the door. She wasn't necessarily "racing" so to speak, so details were a little less important for her part. So after watching a clip of Family Guy, where Peter, the dad, goes into a crazy dance everytime he hears Surfin' Bird I was relaxed as I ever was going to be. Laughing also helped me wake up.

So traffic is horrible downtown. We aren't necessarily late, but if we have to continue waiting at every single traffic light, things are going to start looking bad. It's almost 8 and we are still at a red light. Finally I get to turn and we go in search of a parking spot. It was a little farther away than I had wanted, but it was a legal spot (I don't need to mention why that was important). So April is bookin' it to the start line. We are about four to five blocks away. The race starts at 8:15 for the chip timed people. So I use this time to jog and warm up as we make our way there. We made it to the line at 8:07

Plenty of time, and honestly there didn't seem to be that many at the front of this thing. Normally it's packed. So I took my time and did some light stretching. A really short acceleration, then got behind someone at the starting line. Now standing there waiting for a race to start is one of the worst things. You don't want to sit there and expend energy, so you stretch, bob back and forth, do some other stretch, or basically just stand around. So this goes on well after 8:15 and we hear "5 more minutes". Everybody is like AAAwww man. So we wait it out, but at least it was broken up by a prayer, the national anthem, and a few words about the Breast Cancer survivors after the race.

Then, like always, the gun goes off barely before you're even ready. But I was as ready as I'd ever be, maybe not in terms of performance, but mentally. Ready. The first hill is taken easily and right away I see there aren't that many people in front of me. I stick to my plan and take it easy on this hill, but maintain a good pace. One guy is already waay out ahead, but the others are basically in a group. I wouldn't call it a pack as they were spread out, but definitely close together, made up of about 10 runners.

First hill was okay. Nothing special, but I caught one guy on it. Then it started downhill. I paced the tall mohawk kid who was doing sprinter jumps at the start line - You know the ones where you bring your knees up to your chest. Those activate your fast twitch muscles. He took off at the beginning along with the faster (better?) runner and unfortunately his fibers didn't last but half a mile, and he died. I passed him easily on the outside as we turned around a corner. Another guy ahead, I track him down, and he says "go get em" as I run by breathing heavily, but certainly not in bad shape. No mile markers or times at this point.

The turnaround. Well at 2 miles I see some women holding up a sign. I yell "WHATS THE TIME?" they scramble around looking for a non-existent stopwatch and I run by. "Nevermind" I say as nicely as possible without making them feel too bad about it. So the long stretch begins. I am breathing hard at this point and my legs aren't doing too great. That last small hill was tougher than anticipated. So the duel begins. I pass this guy, he catches up, we run side by side. I listen to his breathing. It's worse than mine, but only by a fraction. I try to burn him out and do a slight surge. It works.

I make it to the final hill. Man that thing looks like a mountain and I'm breathing heavily and struggling. Legs are exhausted and muscles dont' have a lot left. I slow on the bridge/hill. I know it and I hear a lot of deep-breaths coming up behind me, trucking up this hill. Still I hold him off, although he's right there. As soon as I reach the top of this hill I see the decline. The finish! I do another small burst, just enough where I can't hear the guy on my back anymore. I truck it down this hill and am pretty much spent. I don't have much left and the legs are burning. I run hard, but not all out. I see the 50 meters that are all that is left just around this bend. 18:58, I'm almost there! I pick up, but at the same time I don't because I see I won't break 19, just not enough time to burst. Then as I cross the line, the heavy breather picks me off the instant we cross the line. He got me.

I just smiled. I ran a hard race and if I had known that guy was so close, I would have been able to hold him or burst. Lesson: always look behind you at the end of a race. I will not forget.

So I'm not sure what my official time was. i think it was 19:05, but as I said it was a crazy finish, so I'm not sure. I felt pretty good afterwards. Exhausted, but good. My legs at this point aren't ready for that kind of punishment, and the course was a lot hillier than I had remembered or even anticipated. If I'm right on the time that was a 6:08 pace. Just awesome improvement considering last year in November I ran a 20:47. I'm a month ahead of that and closing into the 18's. I know that I COULD go faster, but not much, and certainly not for any longer. So I think it was a good time trial so to speak. I really wanted to know where I was and this showed a lot.

So If I could run today's run 8 times in a row, that's a 2:41 marathon. Haha, that's totally not going to But I know I can try to come close to that in 6-7 months. I've only been back running for 1 month, so there is a ton of improvement left for me. I still have long runs, hill and speed training that need to be developed. But probably the best part is that I feel better than last year. My muscles are much more used to the strain, and my legs aren't as tight as they were last year (except for this week).
here I listed my goals.
So today I won the GOLD medal. yay I''m an olympian!

Now the next thing is when to race again? Well there is a buddy's race for the cure and the Turkey Trot. They are both in a month or so. I could do Buddy's because it's bigger and there will be more runners in it. It is almost the same course as I ran today. OR I could do the Turkey Trot. i am quite familiar with the course as I ran it last year because it is literally right down the road. It is flat and there are no hills at ALL, but it does steadily rise over the first mile and a half. There are a lot less people who run it. I could also compare last years time to this year's as I really enjoy comparing that kind of thing.

So for right now I really like the Turkey Trot. I know it's flat, less hassle, less runners (although good - around 15 minutes was winning time last year), and I have last years time as comparison. I can't do both as they are usually back-to-back weekends.

Ah before I forget. April did really well. I ran back up the course a little ways to finish with her. She was completely exhausted, panting, and her whole face was blush red. She said she was going to walk and did, but I nudged her (literally) and started giving her encouragement. The finish line was less than a half mile away, and she was almost to the downhill. She kept saying I have to stop, but I told her "you can make it, you're doing fine." then she said she was going to puke, I said "It's all downhill from here". Then I quit encouragement as I think she might have gotten (more) annoyed if I hounded her the whole way. Once she reached the bottom I ran off to the side to see her finish, but there were to many people blocking. The time said 40 minutes, but they started 5 minutes late. Her ipod said 35 something and she beat her co-worker Angie and her friend Jessica. Way to go!

I forgot to click my ipod as I was too focused on the race. I didn't even realize it till just before I saw April as I was walking back up the course.

8:30 a.m. Komen Race for the Cure. 63 degrees cool and sunny.
19:05. 3.1 miles. gf 269

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