The forecast was for some wet weather in the area for today’s race. It never showed up when it was supposed too and good thing too. When it did show up in the evening, it was a monsoon.
At lunch while we were eating our GFCF pizza, My Lovely and Talented Wife asks me, “Are you going for a PR?”
“I dunno, it’s going to be a race time decision.”
“Don’t you think you better decide now?” she asked. And as I thought to myself, “Well, I guess I should decide”, I began to move to the goal that I would go after my PR time for the 5k of 21:56. But, I wasn’t exactly convinced. I needed to see if I got a warm fuzzy at race start.
For some reason, I always have a hard time getting to this race on time. Although I was early enough this year, I have in the past been sprinting to the start only to have the gun go off 10 seconds later. Today, I had enough time to get my bib number and put my ticket in for the Triple Crown Door Prizes. I made it back to the car with about 10 minutes to spare.
I pinned my running bib to my shirt and put on a Breathe Right strip. This was another indication that I was serious about going for a PR. My DNA blueprint for my nose must have not gotten the memo to have widened pathways for air intake. Couple that with some nasal cavity build up, it makes it harder to breathe and if you are needing oxygen at a greater rate, this is not a good thing. I don’t always wear the Breathe Right Strips, but I probably should on races that I want to perform. As soon as I had the strip on my nose, I could feel the extra volume of air, ahhhh… breathing!
We had our pre race instructions. I lined up only about 10 feet away from the starting line. If I am going for a PR it’s best to be as close to front as I can without impeding the fastest runners. Of course, I line up behind 2 girls that aren’t going to run as fast I am, so as soon as the gun goes off and we are 50′ into the race, I find myself have to dodge them as not to run them over.
Although I this was the 3rd time that I was running this particular course layout, I forgot a few things. Mainly, the hills after the first one!
I overheard a couple of people saying that the 1st mile was fast. Seeing that my watch had a split time of 6:40, I would say that was right. And I mapped the course out in Gmap-pedometer and sure enough, the split time was too soon. The second mile split does seem to be right and the course is right at 3.1 miles. Just like with other GPS based tracking system, you really don’t know the path they used to certify the course (and there is allowance for overage and underage). That is, the 3.1 course might be 3.05 or 3.13, who knows. Most race courses (from what I have read), really stay close to corners on turns (where us runners sometimes take the curves wider to avoid slowing down) and take a straighter path (and we may not be able to do that because of traffic)
During the first mile I wasn’t feeling quite “right”. I had had some stomach problems which had me make repeat trips to the bathroom early in the morning. So, early in the first mile, I was serious hoping that the Troops were not heading South. I was shadowing some faster runners for this first mile, since I didn’t get that much warmup before race start, I didn’t want to go out too fast, but since it was a short race, I didn’t want to go too slow either.
My Second Mile Split came in 13:55 (6:58 minute average mile) and I was probably running closer to a 7:00 min mile the first mile. I felt fairly comfortable even though I could tell that I was slowing down a little bit. I hadn’t remembered the mid race hills, just the one at the beginning and one at the end, so I hadn’t planned very well. Regardless, I was running pretty much the best race that I could at this point. Much better than my “Match” race last time, where like a match, I was REALLY hot to start off and then died in the middle of the race.
At Mile 2, I was still on pace for a time close to my PR time. I would have to pick up speed at the end to break it, but this was under the assumption that the 1st mile split was in the right place.
During the last mile, I was no longer worried that the “Troops were heading South”, now I was worried that the “Troops would head North”. Thankfully, I never got the nausea feeling, but I did think that this might be the first race that I would have to stop and puke.
The last 3/4 is flat save for a hill right at the 2.9 mile mark where you turn, go one block (up a hill) then turn again and 0.1 mile and your done. So during this 3/4 I had a younger runner pass me and this other guy and set out about 15′ ahead of us. At some point the other guy drops off and I am following the younger kid still 15-20′ ahead of me. I look ahead and I see a woman and a guy about 25′ ahead of the younger runner.
The woman is still ahead, but the older guy has dropped back and the kid has almost caught him and I am catching on the kid. Then we turn to the last hill. Advantage: Terry.
The last hill wasn’t as big as I had remembered, thankfully. The Kid has overtaken the Older guy and I am about to over take the Older Guy. Halfway up the hill, I pass the Older guy and focus on The Youth ahead of me. Could I beat him? He’s now ahead and the race is about over. So, before I crested the hill, which is also a turn, I go for it. I know that the finish line is around the corner and I am going to beat The Kid. I let everything go… somehow, I still had some extra energy stashed away because I had to sprint the last 0.1 of mile to catch him with about 30′ to go and then stay ahead of him for a 1.2 second margin of victory.
My official finishing time was 22:33, not a PR but I was really pleased at my performance. Given that at one point I though that I was running 10 seconds that my fastest mile, EVER and that I forgot about the hills in the middle of the race. Or that during the race, I thought I was going to purge at one end then, a little later, that I was going to purge from the other end.
I could get a 5k PR right now, or rather in 7-10 days, if I was on the right course, but there’s no 5k races that would support it. There’s a 5k race next weekend but the Day of Race registration is $30 (it’s a charity tie-in) and it’s been crowded before. There is a half marathon, but I am going to go after my Half Marathon PR in the Spring.
Although I was happy about the race, I wasn’t thrilled with time and I physically felt yucky. I went to the car and got my camera. I was not feeling like taking pictures but I did manage to take a few in between finishing the race and the awards.
Reindeer Race Door Prizes Won: None
Triple Crown Door Prizes Won: None
Overall Finish 50/390
Age Group Finish 6/15