Monday, February 24, 2014
Spring Tune Up 8K
I felt pretty good going into the race. I have been back on my regular running schedule and eating my usual healthier diet so though I am still a little tired and some lingering stress from the last few months remains I felt good about this race. Hubby and I had decided to run separate races, so he could run how he felt and I could run my own race. We would meet at the finish line. This race is the hilliest race of the Grand Prix season with multiple long steep hills. I was hoping my recent hill training in my new hilly hood would pay off.
Neither hubby or I are training for any distance races and it is the hilliest race of the season so we opted for the 8K. Also we had to get back to meet the contractors at our house so they could finish up punch list projects. That is an experience for another blog!!!
ATC is kind of known for well organized races and I will say this one was a little bit of a disappointment. The races have been really crowded lately, with a swelling membership, and so they have been starting in self-appointed waves. Hubby and I were supposed to race out of wave B (7:30-9:00/mile). When we arrived parking took forever because there was not enough parking to accommodate the crowd. We got our number a little later and ended up in the endless porta-potty line late, though 30 minutes seemed like it should have been plenty of time. There were too few facilities. Long story short we missed wave B's start and ended up sprinting from the porta-potties to run with C everyone over 9:00/mile.
As a result the first mile as a lot of bobbing and weaving. Hubby and I started out saw a friend, chatted while the crowd spread. On a nice early downhill I saw the last of hubby about 1/2-3/4 mile in, he was channeling his inner Mo Farrah. I said good-bye to our friend, collected his compliment on my "love running for life Chi Running" shirt and decided it was time to actually run.
I have to admit I was tense at the start. I was mad about parking, missing our start wave, the lines at the restrooms. After the first two hills I was reminded of how painful and endless this race will be if I continue to run this uptight. I shook it off and reminded myself this is for fun. I think it was something like , "Oh yeah. Hey you! You are no a competitive runner so relax!" Sometimes everyone needs a good dose of cold reality.
I did manage to enjoy the race and starting 10minutes in gave me the opportunity to practice my math skills while I ran at all the mile splits. After mile 1 at around 9:30 I could see I definitely got free of the crowd and my splits were decreasing to below nine and then right around 8 at the end. The key to this race is to resist the downhill. It is so tempting after climb after climb to fly down the other side. The secret here is to keep it steady and use that to coast and recover so you can maintain a steady pace on the climbs. I could definitely feel the benefit of my hill runs every morning.
I finished around 44 minutes a course PR for me. Hubby and I were heading out but I mentioned the parking... Seems we were parked right where the 15K people started their second loop. We had to wait until the last 15K runner passed our road. So I grabbed my jacket from the car and we went up to the AG awards for the 8K. Based on the start of the race, I was just glad to finish. I was surprised when they announced my AG and I saw the girls blank stare as she looked at my name (Nguyen) and said, "Kathy...umm, umm, Nyan?" Hubby knew right away. We don't usually stay around for AG awards so I when I place they usually just mail it. It was fun to be there and get my little medal. More fun to put it around hubby's neck when he said "can I wear it? I never get bling." Of course he had raced great that day also and had finished 5th in his AG around 41 minutes. His AG is ridiculously fast. My AG was again the largest with 69 runners doing the 8K, something about 40 year old women and running. In April I will be in the 45-49 AG which is ridiculously fast so I will enjoy this while I can.
Hope you had a great running weekend. Does anything at a race stress you out? Can you put it aside?