Healthy Capital 5k – April 2010

Healthy Capital 5k

Local 5k, competing with a trail 10k on the same morning. Got there super early to do my warmup 2 miles. I like running the last mile of the course backwards then forwards to get a good feel for the finish. Registered on site because I had missed the early discounted rate 2 weeks ago. I ran this race last year, and it was fun because there are a lot of high school students there and the band plays, so the energy is good. I ran another half mile when a friend showed up. We looked around at the start and saw a few familiar faces but no one we knew that was faster than us. This was kind of initimidating, because all of a sudden an overall win became a reality. One singlet guy next to me was a wild card. My Garmin crapped out on me before the race – thought it was charged up but one of my kids must of knocked it off.
The course was pretty simple – one loop, with a shared quarter mile hill at the start and finish. Unfortunately the start was the downhill.

With the gun there was a mass stampede effect going down the hill. A large group of students sprinted down only to drop off after a quarter mile. Hard to gauge pace. I kept up near the front and started inching upward at about the half mile mark. Passed 2 guys and now was running 2nd, with the leader (singlet guy) fairly far ahead but definitely in sight. Passed by the mile marker and my friend (who was running in a small pack in 3rd -6th) shouted out a 5:50ish pace. This made me panic somewhat, because I was already breathing pretty hard.  Somehow I was able to settle into a manageable pace after about a mile and a half. After a while the pack behind me was no longer audible and I tried to set my sights on the leader. I was definitely making up ground but just not quick enough. I didnt have any splits other than the first, and no one was around me, so I just tried to red line it the best I could. I was really closing in on leader guy toward the end of the third mile, but then the quarter mile hill hit. This pretty much neutralized any chance  I had at kicking it past this guy. He was able to hold his position so I just gave it all I could up this brutal hill. There was a turn and a steeper hill for the last .10  – I took a quick look back and there was no one in sight. I saw the clock turn over to 19 minutes and struggled across the line in 19:20. Very excited about the time and the overall finish. My friend was able to kick it on the hill and finished 3rd. Had to wait forever for the awards. Turned out they only did first overall awards and the rest age group. Took home first in age group obviously, but was crushed when I heard 1st got 50 bucks! Oh well – still an awesome race for me. Time to adjust my 2010 goals again!

Palmetto Half Marathon – April 2010

Palmetto Half Marathon

Inaugural race, run right through my neighborhood. Capped out at 1200 runners per the website, though there was a 5k too, and I dont know if this number included that race. Absolutely perfect race weather – clear, light wind, high 40’s at 7:00 am race start. I lined up front and center with this one because of the number of people. I had tapered the last 2 weeks (28 miles last week and only 16 this week before the race). Took the last 72 hours off. I had a group that we had planned to do 1:35. Felt this to be aggressive, but I have very little as a point of reference given I’ve only run one half (a 1:45 in Nov 2009). I knew I could cut a large chunk off that, but how much was anyone’s guess. Out and back course with rolling hills.

Hit the first mile in 6:58 with all the adrenaline. Felt very good with all the recent downtime. I had already unintentionally ditched my group. At this point I decided to revise my plan and just go for it, and try to keep the pace around 7 minutes as long as I could. First 10k was super fast for me, as they had a race clock at mile 6 and I hit it right at 42 minutes, very close to my 10k PR pace. Splits in the early going were 6:58, 7:11, 6:51, 7:00, 7:05 and 6:52. My Garmin was a few seconds ahead of the actual markers though. Hit a hilly section on miles 6 and 7 but came back to a flat stretch for miles 8-10. My wife and kids were at the front of our cul-de-sac cheering me on at mile 8, whcih was awesome. Mile 8 (which included a large hill) was 7:26, so I picked up the pace again on the flat stretch and did brought it down to 7:08 the next mile. At mile 10 I knew there was only a 5k to go, and the official clock was at about 1:10:20. Decided to run it hard as I could all the way from there – 6:50, 6:58, 6:56 on miles 10-13. Was really laboring that last mile but the finish line was a huge motivator. Saw 1:31’s as I approached the finish and sprinted to the end, finished in 1:31:55. Extremely excited about the time. A PR by 13 and a half minutes! Finished 22nd overall and got 2nd in my AG. So happy all this training is paying off.

Resurrection 5k – April 2010

Resurrection 5k

Csab – nice to meet you at this race and congrats on the huge PR!

Csab already reported on this race above. Basically a pretty small 5k (67 finishers) on a reasonably fast course, though definitely rolling. The first mile is mostly downhill and the rest is up and down. I felt pretty bad this am before the race – stomach wasnt happy with the pizza and beer combo the night before. I was a little queasy driving to the race and wondered if I would actually race it. I got to the race site and did 2 10 minute pace miles, and felt better. Though this race is small, it actually attracted a fair number of good runners from the area.

I started this race pretty slow – I think part of it was being unsure about how my stomach was going to react, plus I hadnt done any speedwork this week (mostly recovery from a ridiculous nearly 17 mile run I got pushed into on Sunday done at 7:58 pace), so the sudden shift to sub 7 pace was a shock to the system. As csab noted, he blew past me in the first quarter mile and had a pretty good gap on me by the end of the first mile. First mile was in 6:36, so I knew I was going to have to kick it up a notch to have a shot at a third sub 20. I noticed that my breathing was actually unusually calm, it was just leg fatigue that was causing me trouble. Mile 2 found me starting to get into a good groove, and I started making major headway on the pack. Passed csab on a hill. He was confusing to me because he said he was hoping for sub 21, when I knew his pace was way under that. I hit the second mile at 6:22, and felt I had a lot more in the tank than I usually do at that point. Passed what I thought was the last 35er right at 2 miles and suddenly found myself completely alone. The elite pack was no longer in sight so I was running purely on feel and self motivation. Since I obsess about races all week and always wish I had pushed myself a little more, I tried to really pour it on. Once I hit the midpoint of the third mile I knew it was all flat and downhill, and I was able to push the pace to slightly sub 6.  Hit mile 3 at 6:10 and burned it on the downhill last tenth. Was able to cruise in at 19:40, and felt really strong at the end.

I ran the course again as a cool down, and thought I had 1st in AG all sewn up. Unfortunately, 2 guys completely unknown to me finished ahead of me in the 18’s. Oh well, still got a 3rd place and finished 8th overall.  Very happy with the time after the way things started. This is the most negatively split race I’ve ever run.

Will be shooting for 1:35-1:40 at the Palmetto Half next weekend!