Thursday, January 12, 2012

Race Reports - January 7 & 8

New Year’s Resolution 5k, Saturday, January 7, 2012
Garmin time 30:19, 9:58 avg. (official time 30:25)

I had big plans for my first race of the year. I got up ready to put them into action. Saturday morning at home was cool and damp, which meant it was cold and damp at Kanawha State Forest. Since the race was put on by the Mountain State Wilderness Search and Rescue Team, there were lots of dogs running, which is always fun – I’m a super dog lover. I really wish Bree were still young enough and in good enough shape to run with me. When she was young and healthy, she could run like the wind… (But I do have a potential 4 legged running partner - next race that welcomes dogs, I may have to “steal” Patty from Mom and run with her!)

I hit the start line with a goal to run the race in 29:30 (approx 9:30 avg). I knew going in that this was a tough course, so I tried to start slow and keep it easy the first half. I thought I was doing well with pacing but once again the 2nd half with the long slightly uphill got to me. That added to lack of rest & food/drink, made me hit the wall hard – I had to walk a bit in mile 3. This was the first time I’ve had to walk in a 5k in a long time and I’m really disappointed about that.

I didn’t meet my goal :-( and I had to walk :-(, but it was a run :-); it was fun with all the dogs around :-); I finished :-). Still a “win” in my book :-). It was also a course PR :-) (last race on that course was in July 2011; time on that one was 31:32, 10:28 avg).

Mile 1 – 9:50
Mile 2 – 9:48
Mile 3 – 10:16
Mile - .1 – 9:59
Total: 30:19, 9:58 avg.

Winter Series Race 2 (8k), Sunday, January 8, 2012
Garmin time: 49:26, 9:59 avg; (official results: 49:30)

This was my second race of the year and my second race of the weekend. I thought I might be a little ambitious with back to back races again, especially with this one being a distance I had never raced before. I was a little nervous which was weird, since I’ve done a half, which is farther, but the brain works in odd ways sometimes. I had a fairly conservative goal of a pace of 10:30 per mile, which would have me finishing in about 52 minutes.

It was nice, sunny day, with a slight chill in the air, which made for awesome race conditions: perfect temperature, a flat course, and lots of motivation from other runners. In mile 3, a fellow Daily Mile runner came up from behind me, and I used him as a pacer for while. But he was too fast for me and I couldn’t keep it up. Looking at my splits you can see how much faster that mile was and how the next mile was slower since I had to recover. If you need it, there’s the proof that you have to run your own race at your own pace!

I let him go and was struggling to get back to and hold my own pace when I started running next to a running coach and her charge. She wasn’t there for me, but her comments and motivation to her runner really helped (a big thank you Ms. Running Coach! If I see you again, I’ll be sure to thank you in person!) I found my pace and my groove, so at about mile 4 and the last turn I was ready to finish strong & fast.

Throughout the race I kept looking at my watch, which I usually try not to do. The whole time the pace was faster than my goal, and I was a little scared about it – that I had started too fast and was pushing too hard to finish well or within my goal. I was afraid I’d hit the wall like I did the day before. But I didn’t and I wasn’t and I didn’t.

Instead, I finished strong and happy in under 50 minutes, which was more than 2 minutes faster than my goal. Awesome!! I’m really looking forward to race #3 (the 10k) in February.

Mile 1 – 10:05
Mile 2 – 10:02
Mile 3 – 9:51
Mile 4 – 10:09
Mile 5 (.95) – 9:46
Total: 49:26, 9:59 avg.