Monday, August 4, 2008
2008 Beach to Beacon
HERE I AM AT MILE FIVE. (the guy in the middle on the other side of the road)
Well.......How do I start? Despite my indulgence Friday night, I didn't feel any noticeable affect during this race. I arrived early and felt pretty good warming up.
My plan of not drinking 1 hour before the race start worked well as I wasn't running for the woods every 5 minutes and I didn't have to wait in any lines for the porta-potty.
I found Dana at the 7 minute pace marker in the corral. We talked about strategy and the course. Both of us had the same plan, to start easy and pick it up as we went. Simple enough, hopefully the humidity would not slow us much. I planned about 7:20 for the first mile as it is a down hill start. By the time I reached the first mile, Dana was long gone and my split of 7:15 had me feeling pretty good about my plan. At this point I felt fairly comfortable with a heart rate of 159 and no physical problems to speak of.
I let mile two and three be governed by the heart rate. I kept it between 157 and 162. This felt Ok though my pace dropped back to 7:47 and 7:52. I thought about trying to pick it up but then remembered Blaine's advice and figured I could make up a little time in the 3.5-4.5 mile down hill.
My mile three split of 22:56 seemed good and at this point I grabbed my first water and dumped it on my head. This felt great and cooled me down quite a bit. I felt energized in mile four and could tell I was settling in. My heart rate was still between 158 and 161 but my pace had increased to 7:37. As I think back now, this would have been a good time to allow the heart rate to increase a little and gain some more time but I kept thinking about the hills to come and wanted to reserve a bit.
At the four mile mark, a person was holding a sign that read: Only 2.2 miles left. This really lifted my spirits…only 2.2, time to speed up. I practiced 2.5 mile speed runs and figured that is what this would be, just a 2.2 mile speed run. Well easy to say I guess. Mile 5 and 6 don’t make sense. In mile 5, I could tell I was running faster as I passed quite a few runners and very few were passing me. I felt good and the hill didn’t bother me at all……the funny part is, my garmen read
7:05 mile pace but still 157-161 on the heart rate. This made no sense at all as 7:05 pace and hills should increase the heart rate for sure.
In the beginning of Mile 6, I tried to pick it up a bit but felt like I just couldn’t shift gears. I didn’t feel any slower and actually felt I was running strong. I just couldn’t seem to crank it up a notch. When I crested the last hill, I used the downhill running to pass a bunch of runners and hit the “little hill” with power. I crested that and started turning on the arms and legs. Now here is the other strange thing, my 6 mile pace read 8:11 with a heart rate of 160-164. I felt surely something was wrong with the garmen.
At the 6 mile mark, I started a semi kick and I felt great. The problem was the traffic, it was so congested that I had to weave around a lot and that slowed me down. I negotiated around dozens of people and even though I kicked pretty good, with about 200 left to go some guy I was getting ready to pass, just stepped right in front of me. I had to almost stop and then turn around him to start kicking again. My finish felt great but I knew I didn’t leave it all out and felt a little disappointment as I jogged up the hill and all the way to the food table.
I don’t know what happened in mile 5 and 6 but was surprised to find my 4,5,&6 split was identical to my 3 mile split 22:56. This showed that I did run negative splits as the second half is tougher than the first and my speed was consistent. The last .2 was 6 minute pace so I am pretty happy with that, though I know I had a much better kick in me if not for the traffic. This I realized as I had the energy to jog up the grass hill.
At first, I was a little disappointed with my finish time of 48:02 as I had hoped for better but after comparing to previous years, I felt better. 2003—44:03, 2004-47:20, 2005- 47:58, 2006-47:53, 2007-50:06. Out of all those years, I felt the strongest on the hills and at finish in the 08 race, my time was about average and I easily beat last years time.
So to wrap things up……….I am happy with this years race and can not wait till next year to train a little harder, take the things I learned this year (thanks Blaine) and apply them to a better time.