Monday, July 21, 2008

Pat's 5 miler race

Me in the white shirt on the left (flying past the other guy!) Those seven people behing me were in front of me at the top of the hill.


I woke up before the alarm today and could surely feel the results of the last two nights....why didn't I go to bed early and get some extra sleep....I think it has happened every time I run a race...something comes up and I don't get my sleep two night's before.

I am glad I'm up early as if gives me he chance to stretch a little extra and relax a bit before heading to Amanda's. I always second guessed my self when it comes to training before a race. Thinking about what I should have done different....I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter at this point is all in the past..whatever I have done right or wrong, will show in my performace today.

It seems perfect this morning, overcast and a hint of drizzle....what better weather conditions could one have? I picked up Amanda and we parked at Rite Aid ...just a short walk from Main street. As we walked down, we discussed the race and her stradegy. Her Archilles was still a little sore so she plans on starting slow and feel it out. If need be she will just run this like a training session.

We got very little warmup as we ran into an old neighbor and somehow she felt the need to talk on and on...I didn't have the heart to say we need to go and I waited patiently. We ended up running a half mile which actually was pretty heated as the sun broke through and the humidity fell on us like a large winter quilt.

Suddenly we realized the curse of Pat's was always seeems to be a hot muggy day for this race.....mile three would surely be murder.

If I calculated my training, it would put at about 38 minutes plus for this race so I felt sure I would do mid 38s.....I would be happier if I could pull off something in the 37 range. Origonally I planned on running the cross country and getting into better core shape to PR this race...but today I knew it would take a miracle to run in the 36s so that was a long reach.....but 37s well if I had a good day, maybe I could do that....

All well and good until the sun and humidity showed up! So now I set my sites on beating my time of two years ago (I missed last year) 38:04 and if i accomplished that, I would probably be in the A good plan I think.

I didn't have a mile pace plan so much as I decided to start comfortably fast and judge each mile as it came. I didn't mind being a little conservative as I wanted a strong 4th and 5th mile.

My first mile felt good though I was passed by a lot of runners. My spit was 7:33, I was quite happy with that and the heart rate was in a good range(148-156). This got me a little excited and I decided to push a little more in mile two as I figured I should be able to run this race in the 160 range.

Mile two ended up at 7:25....OK, I was feeling a little hot but my heart rate peaked at 160 so I should be OK. This was looking good, If I could keep this up, I will beat 38 for sure. Funny though, I still had a lot of runners passing me.

Mile three is the long hill which beats a runner up when combined with the hot sun and humidity. This is where I am usually quite strong and in the past have had some of my better splits on this mile.

This year was diffenet though, I didn't feel as strong and held back a bit as my heart rate was hugging 163 and I didn't want to use up too much. I passed a few people and jockied back and forth with a few so I felt I held my own here. My split of 7:58 told the truth and was a bit dissapointing.

I crested the hill and felt pretty good. My plan then was to use the flat and up coming down hill to make up for the slow uphill of mile 3. A runner passed me right at the crest, I recognized him. He was an old buisness associate ...about 10 years younger than me and always a little faster. I let him go but stayed close...If I could stay close, I could surely out kick him at the finish.

In mile four, I felt pretty good. I passed a bunch of runners on the flat and used my downhill running skills to gain some time and I passed my old friend with ease. I felt good and fast. I knew this would help me as at the bottom of the hill was the trail and the trail can kill the legs. I rounde the corner to the trail and passed three or four runners. This felt like is would be a good mile and help me make up for mile 3.

I worked the trail well cutting corners and keeping the weaving down to a minimum. I continued to pass runners and felt quite strong. Mile four ends half way through the trail, but the worst part of the trail is in mile 5. My 4th split was discouraging. My Garmen said 9:12 pace but I knew it was wrong as it doesnt measure well in the woods sometimes. By my watch, I figured my 4th split to be around 8 minute (it actually ended up @ 8:10).

This didn't make sense....I felt good, I was passing plenty of one passed me and my heart rate was 161-166 my mind I felt it should have translated into a 7:30-7:40 pace........not an 8 minute pace.

I started pushing a little harder and powered the next two hills of the trail. When I turned out onto Elm I worked the hill well and felt strong. I couldn't wait for the crest so I could start my speed up and eventually my kick on the downhill. When my friend passed me again on the Elm street uphill I felt a little unsure of myself. Was he starting his kick? did he save it all for the last mile? Would I be able to keep up with him? Was I running slower than I thought?

I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and tried to concentrate on my own running and breathing. I did feel strong and felt that I was running the right speed for this hill. I noticed him pulling further and further ahead and gave up on beating him. Right now I had to concentrate on the uphill.

I crested the hill and turned onto Main street. I felt I had some left for a kick and decide to start my pick up. It actually felt good to pick it up...almost like my body was so happy to change gears rather than dreading it. Should I have done this sooner? Did I allow my heart rate to hold me back?

I started the down hill finish and also my kick.....I felt strong and fast...I passed my friend like he was standing still.....what a great feeling....I passed at least a dozon runners......did I hold back too much? What a great I passed the last couple of runners, I heard some on in the crowd say "look at that guy go!" I assume he was talking about me. My finish felt fantastic, my fastest this year I think. My 5th mile came in at 7:38 so I feel pretty good about that....still can't figure out mile 4......why did it feel right but end up so slow?

My finish time of 38:34 is OK. I am not upset with it and it is where my training said I should be....I guess I just hoped for a little better so I was slightly disapointed. A few years back ....pre surgey issues, I would always shatter my time predictions and leave the races quite excited. Now that I pay more attention to my training tools, I don't seem to do as well.

Oh well.....move on and hope for a good B to B race..... right after the race, It clouded up and was drizzly again......whats up with that?

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