Monday, April 27, 2009

4.27.09 Dogwood Mile Race Report

Dogwood Mile
I signed up for this mile race mostly on a whim and partially just to see how well I could do. It was in downtown Knoxville along gay street and I signed up the day of the race down there. I brought along my running gear and we also invited April's sis and her boyfriend to come along. They had a good time because they brought their 3 month old puppies, although they are already bigger than most dogs.

I wasn't nervous at all before this race. Why should I have been? I had absolutely no expectations and only hopes of beating my high school self. So I basically went into this race as I would go into some speedwork, a little warm up (jogged to the car to change shoes and jogged back) some form drills, a few pickups and I was ready as ever. The other races were going on before mine in the different age groups. It wasn't all run at once. The kids race was first then various age groups, mine being the last one and the elites went after all age groups had run. They also did a sort of staggered start where after 8 minutes or something they started the next "wave" A wave consisted of mavbe 15-20 people. The road was pretty narrow so I'm glad there weren't more than that actually.

So I was ready to run this, well as ready as you can be after months of slow running training for a marathon. I had only done maybe 2 or 3 speed session in the last few weeks tops, because I wanted to give myself some rest after the marathon. Not a whole lot of change can happen in that time, but I felt like I had a good chance of coming close to 5. From my last workout which i ran 77's or so I pretty much knew it wasn't going to be possible, because even those were difficult. Regardless I had it my mind to run fast despite how I felt.

So the announcer says "one minute till start" and I get up to the line. Right in the front, I wasn't playin'. I put my toe on the line, hand on ipod to click the start button and wait for the gun. Before I know it bam, we are flying up a somewhat short incline about 150 meters to the first right turn (from there it's a straight out and back). A guy takes off in front of me and I think "Dang he's gonna run a 4:30!"

He wasn't far ahead, but the fact that he was ahead kind of worried me. There was a guy to my left, but I wasn't to worried about him. I just focused on the leader. As we turn right for about 100 meters onto Gay Street, which is lined with various buildings and business there is an Arbies. I decided that's where I would start my kick from, just to have a landmark to look for. We pass arbies on the out route and are going at a pretty good clip for another 10-20 seconds, then I find myself gaining on the leader and within another few seconds I pass him.

Holy crap I'm in the lead! This was kind of scary. I wanted the lead, but when I got there I sort of wanted out, haha. So it was all me from there, there was no looking back. I focused on the end of the road where the turnaround was. I could really see it because it was dark, so I just ran. Eventually I made it to the turnaround and did a HUGE friggin half loop to go back the other way, think of doing a 180 in an indy car going top speed - that is what it felt like.

I took a quick glance to the right as I ran the other way, sizing up my competition. Didnt' really give me that much info, but I saw that I had a small lead, but since it was dark everything was just a blur and anyone could have been just behind me and I would have missed them. Right at the half I noticed my throat became incredibly dry. It felt like I just drank a cup of sand. My breathing already was heavy, but not uncontrolled. I tried to keep my pace, but I felt it slagging and here I relaxed about the 600 meter point through the race. I was hurting a bit breathing wise, but legs were still moving and turning over for me. I could see Arbies ahead. Since I had nobody to run with, I tried catching stragglers from the previous race and actually nabbed a few.

As I ran by Arbies I yelled at all the people sitting there eating outside "go Arbies!!!" then I just took off like crazy. I started my kick, and yay it was actually there! As I turned the corner to head toward the finish line I heard a guy yelling "You got this!" and another " Go catch that girl!" (the previous race was still finishing) and so I did. I just took off and caught them.

I didn't hear the announcer calling times or anything, and at no point in the race were there markers or anyone giving times, so this was a blind run. Still it wouldn't have mattered, I simply am not in track shape, or even close to it at this point, but I'm getting there. I was so happy when I crossed the line. It was so fun to just run a mile. I knew I won, but I really didn't care too much about that, I just wanted to know what my time was and get some WATER.

Unfortunately there was only warm vitamin water, and that didn't do me very well. I felt like I just ran 200 miles through the Sahara. It's funny, this race almost felt worse than the marathon in terms of breathing. I could breathe fine during the marathon, but this was just dryness. I guess you can be dehydrated for a mile race, who knew? Anyway I had a great time. I don't know if I got some kind of award. Someone said there were gift certifactes or something, but I never got one. I would be happier with a medal or something like that. I like to have a little keepsake showing the feat, instead of like a free water bottle or something. So there it is 5:17 mile is my current pace. There is another mile race after my 10k. I'm not sure if I'll run it though. I want to be a little better trained for faster paces going into the next one.

today's afternoon run:

Really hot and I struggled just to get two loops in the neighborhood finished without dying. So if there were any doubts about weather affecting a run, they are gone now. It's real and don't underestimate the heat. Fortunately I was wise enough to realize this before the run and wanted to use these miles as a sort of primer to tonights workout. Which I may or may not be able to do. We have to our car out of the towing lot and it could take a little longer since I have to try to jump the battery, and possibly leave, buy a new one, come back, take the old one out and put the new one in and even then who knows. Worst case scenario is it has to be towed back which is yet another 50$ on top of the 135 to get it out. Ugh. So I'm not really planning on having a workout tonight, but I really want to. Most of that is because tomorrow there is a chance of thunderstorms and I'd rather just do the workout a day early than miss it altogether.

12:29pm. home. 83º 32%H 13 mph wind from SSW (hot)
42:58, (6.25) gm 1002

pm workout:

Fortunately I was able to jump the car after charging it for about 25 minutes, so didn't have to have it towed back from the towing company. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to get another run in because the whole ordeal took so much time (just to have the car moved from our Community lot 50 feet to our house)

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