>> Monday, November 02, 2009
Or “Trying a New Race Strategy”
Or “You’re Never Gonna Shut Me Up”
Friday night, Pharmie and I made homemade pizza. About 70% of the pizza was ham and cheese for me, and the other 30% was veggies, shooms, and other gross things for Pharmie:
I parked about a quarter mile from the starting line, and I had the street to myself. Here’s my headlights shining showing no one else around:
I'm pantsless and pooping at this moment
I HAD A NEW RACE STRATEGY FOR THIS RACE. There’s been discussion on my blog that I maybe don’t start off hard enough. I did the TC 10 Mile in 1:02:43, with 5 mile splits of 32:09 and 30:34. I chatted with a few people in the first part of that race, and I didn’t know how much that was slowing me up. At this race, I was going to go out harder. Instead of constantly building my pace, I was going to go out harder and just try to hold on. I was nervous to try this, but I knew this was a good race to experiment.
So I took off harder than usual. I HAD to quickly chat with a man just after starting - I can’t just STOP talking. I need to stay friendly!! We talked about how the wind is really going to slap us in the face from miles 6-9. We couldn’t wait. Soon, I was running in 3rd place.
Running past where the half marathon had just started, I heard my name a few times. Amblyn cheered as I went by, and so did Kerry Y (who was wielding a big camera, of course). I tried to keep running strong. I was still running in third: first was a block up ahead, second was 75 feet in front of me, and checking over my shoulder I saw that I was in third by over a block.
Around mile 2, someone from Kerry's crew of photographers snapped a photo of me:
Mile 3: 18:29 overall. Compare that to 19:23 at mile 3 at the TC 10 Mile. I was running FASTER! Nice!
Right around the mile 3 marker, I saw Andy N on his bike (we recently cheered him on to a sub 10:30 IM WI finish). He shouted “Hey Steve!! Nice work!” I said “Andy! How are you?” “I’m good! How are you Steve?” I smiled: “I’m doing good! Thanks!” Andy’s closing remarks had me smiling for the next 1/2 mile. He ended with “I’m glad to see you’re still talking!!” I learned I can’t just shut-up and run. I want to be personable. I WANT to smile, say “hi,” and wave to people cheering for me. I’d have so much LESS fun if I just stayed “in the zone” and ran. Thanks for the great comment, Andy!
Just before mile 4, the guy running in second really started to slow up. I passed him as we exchanged well-wishes.
Mile 4: 6:12. “Nice pace. Hold this, Steve!” Right after hitting mile 4, I saw Manny (who also just finished IM WI) in the distance. I smiled as I got closer, and he saw it was me. “Hey Manny!” He shouted back: “Go Steve! Yeah man! Go get em!!” He ran out onto the street to give me a high-five.
Mile 5: 6:08. Half way split: 30:50. Nice! That was 1:19 faster than when I was at mile 5 of the TC 10 Mile.
The “turn-around” wasn’t until after mile 5.5 being we started the race by running around the lake, and we didn’t have to run around the lake on the way back. We made a couple of left turns to go around a block (where there was a timing mat), and then made a right turn to get back on the same course we ran out on. (Of course I had to say “good morning” to the guy running the timing mat!) Here’s the course map:
Mile 6: 6:13. Good... but I was starting to hurt a little. For the next mile, as I was running “back,” I was meeting those running “out.” I said hi to those I knew. Lots of people were cheering for me, too. The little rolling hills were getting annoying. Oh, and before mile 6, we turned back into the wind. It wasn’t cold; it just felt like I was REALLY fighting against it. Suck-fest.
Mile 7: 6:17. Hurting a little, getting a little side-stitch, and just trying to hold on. Just after mile 7, the trail split. Shortly after, I saw Manny again. He was ready for me this time, and snapped a photo on his phone. Here I am running past a surprised mailman:
Thanks for the photo, Manny!
Mile 8: 6:31. Yep... ugly. Slowest mile of this race AND the TC 10 Mile. During the TC 10 Mile at this point, I was running 6:00 miles. At this race, I was spent. Shortly, the road was filled with 2-way runners again. I heard my name (or “Steve in a Speedo”) SOOO many times!! Thanks for the cheers everyone!! So many spectators and racers were cheering for me! THANKS EVERYONE!!
Right around mile 8, Andy appeared on his bike again. He trailed me or led me for the last 2 miles. He didn’t pace me, he just hung around and cheered for me now and then. Thanks again, Andy!
I hit the edge of the lake and turned right. As I was coming up to mile 9, I checked over my shoulder. That guy I passed around mile 4 (who I had a 1:40 lead over near the turn around) was gaining on me, and QUICK! I turned around, lowered my chin, and gave all I could.
Mile 9: 6:17. “I’m beat. But I can NOT let this guy behind me catch me.” ...but I knew I was going to be caught. The trails along the road were filled with people getting ready to start the 5K race, so LOTS of people were cheering. I heard his footstrides behind me, and I knew I was going to be passed like I was standing still. Sure enough, in the blink of an eye, I went from 2nd to 3rd with about a half mile left.
I headed to the balloon arch, heard Amblyn cheering for me again, and hit the finishline ready to die.
Mile 10: 6:08.
First 5: 30:50 / Last 5: 31:29
3rd out of 937 overall
1st out of 48 in M25-29 age group
I grabbed some water and walked back down along the course to find some friends. I said hi to Kerry Y and chatted with Amblyn for a few minutes. As I was talking with her, I cheered some friends across the line. I couldn’t linger - I had to get going so I could get down to Pharmie’s race and cheer her on! I jogged back to my car and quick snapped a photo with 10 milers and half marathoners running in the background:
- I PRed, taking 24 seconds off my 10 mile time over the TC 10 Mile. The numbers don’t lie.
- I didn’t “finish strong;” I finished nearly dead. I was SO ready to be done.
- I enjoyed running this race MUCH less than the TC 10 Mile.
So, I WAS faster, but I didn’t enjoy myself as much. There’s a “line” somewhere between enjoying the race and turning in THEE fastest time possible. I always want to be faster, but I don’t know that those 24 seconds were justified. This race was the first in a long time that I did not negative split, and it hurt. It hurt bad. Was it worth 24 seconds? I’m just not sure it was. But, I WILL try racing hard in the beginning like that again. We’ll see what the next longer race holds for me!
So anyway, I hopped in my car, drove 30 miles south to Pharmie’s 50K race, and ran part of one of the trail loops with her! She did SO GOOD!! I’ll have photos from her BEAUTIFUL race in a day or 2!