Monday, December 13, 2010

It's been awhile, again...

Ok it’s been awhile. I’ve had a few good updates then waited too long and they didn’t seem relevant anymore so I past on them.  So I thought with the news I got from the doc this morning I had plenty of time now to update and write a few things down.

The last few months I’ve been fairly busy, nowhere near like the beginning of the year, but that is O K… After a few weeks rest from IMC I started back in with track and a few runs just to start back into it. I.T. Band was never an issue after starting up again, always good.

At track we were doing a 5K so we would know where are splits would be for future track workouts. I was excited about the chance to run a 5K, because the legs had felt good all year and I knew they had to be faster than last year. My PR was 19:43 done in 2008 at the Fleet Foot 5K in Redmond, so I was really interested to see what new time I could post. Especially, with the weeks leading into the 5K I was feeling really good.

It was just over 12 laps and I felt great into lap 8 keeping a steady 6:25  + - 3 seconds. I remember thinking  “only 4 more laps, I still feel good.” Then I hit lap 10 and it quickly became real work. The thighs were not happy and they were not shy about letting me know. I floated through the last full lap thinking if I eased up a bit I could get my legs under me again and push the last bit to recover some time. HA! I floated through then pushed it alright, pushed to just keep 6:40 for the last half lap. Argh!!!!

I came in at 20:16, I just couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that I had not done a sub 20, I was pretty disappointed to say the least. Not sure there alway needs to be a lesson learned around every failure, it just is what it is. I look back on it now and still feel disappointed about it, but what can you do?

A few weeks after that I had a 15K planned over at Magnuson Park, such an odd distance, I was really looking forward to it. It was a small event only about 300 people total for all three event: 5K, 10K, and 15K. It was a windy cold, cold morning, Halloween actually, sunny and no rain. The course was 3 loops of the 5K course, flat w/ only one hill at about the half mile mark that climbs about 2 hundred yards in a stair step pattern. First time up the hill I was thinking not bad, but this is going to suck on lap 3.

By every possible stretch of the word I went out way too fast, hitting mile one at 6:24 with a few dashes of 6:05’s on the opening flat section. Not good! I calmed down telling myself “I will make you walk if you don’t slow it down RIGHT NOW!” My goal was to run it at half marathon pace, so around 7:15, then just throw it all out there for the last half mile. 

Lap one was 20:24

Heading into lap two I had a better handle on pacing and kept in within reason, the hill was much more “hilly” the 2nd time around. However, once at the top the downhill pays for most of the time lost, pushing 6:15 on the down, but making sure it’s backed off effortwise.

Lap two 22:10:  - Seems way off from 1st , but this is where I should have been for the whole race.

At the start of lap three I made the mistake of staying with 3 guys that started to pass, moving me from 7:05 pace to 6:50 pace. When we hit the line to begin lap three I was pissed mildly at myself because the three guys moving pass me were doing so because they were kicking for the line only doing the 10K. My only advice that I ever give to someone is “run your own race” and I totally almost blew up because I didn’t follow my own advice.

The hill on the 3rd lap ssuucckkeedd! Hit a 9:50 pace at the top! Woo Hoo!!! On the downhill I could only top out at 8:10. I kept yelling in my head, stay in , stay in. only 2 more miles.
I started to focus on the guy in front of me, about 30 yards out. I wanted to close the gap on him and stay close. He was running very light and looked great, like a easy run for him. I was pounding away at 7:00 pace bridging the gap slowly. With a mile to go I let loose on a small down to try and get within 5 yards and as I did he used the down as well to slowly pull away. – so close….

The last mile weaves through the trees at first then pops you out on the road heading south for about a qtr mile then straight back north to the start/finish line in a long half mile stretch. I was still focused on the guy in front, trying again to reach him, but into the turn around he had 15 seconds on me. The last bit was really fun, I wanted to dig and just lay down a full out effort to the line. My pace was 7:00 going into the last turn and I managed 6:24 flat out to the line from just over a qtr mile out.

Finish 1:06:24

I pushed as hard as I could of and felt like the result was above what I thought I could of done going into it. I was hoping for a 7:15 ave. pace and ended with a 7:08 ave. There were plenty of times I wanted to stop because the pain was so much. The pain of racing is obviously different from injury pain, but makes you want to stop just as much. It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure plenty of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

At the end the guy in front thanked me for making him race so hard and I thanked him for the same. And I guess that’s kind of what it comes down to, the sport of it. Whether it’s swimming in crazy white caps, snowboarding in the tree’s, cranking up a mountain pass on your bike or running a race and trying to catch the next person, trying not to let the person back catch you. It’s all for the sport of it.

I’ll write about the Seattle half next, just got back from the doc to see what the damage total on that was. Ugh!!!

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