Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Half A Raffle

On Memorial Day I did my second return event, the Cadillac Rotary Stride for Strive 5K. There were a couple changes to the event this year. The race started at 8:30 am rather than noon and the finish line was on the High School track instead of on the road in front of the City Pavilion. The start time change was a big help as I remember this race being overly hot last year. The weather was just about perfect, other than a headwind coming off the lake, we couldn't have had a better day. For me it's easier to run into the wind than the oppressive heat, so I didn't mind too much. I ran 1.5 miles as a warm up before the race with a target of keeping my heart rate in zone 2. I left for the warm up a little earlier than I should have, but I wanted to be sure to be back on time.

Earlier in the week I did a little tempo run time trial to see where my ability was. I ran a 1 mile warm up in zone 2 and then 2 miles as fast as I could, followed by a 1 mile cool down. The fast miles came in at 8:17 & 8:51. Now this happened at the end of the day and it was hot and more hilly than the race course so I decided that my goal pace should be 8:35. If I was a little faster that would be ok but I wanted to keep it as close to that as possible for the first 2 miles. Then if there was anything left in the tank I'd crank it up.

So back to the race, we're off, it's a little windy. I'm passing people, I look down at the Garmin and it says 7:58. Pull back a bit, let those people pass me back. This was the second race of wearing the Garmin, but the first time I let it really dictate pace. The first mile came in at 8:22, a little fast but I felt solid, working hard but not even close to dead. The second mile I slowed down to 8:29, still a hair fast but not bad. It took me about a tenth of a mile to remember that there wasn't much left of this race and if I had anything else left it was time to use it. I saw a friend coming in for the finish (coming back from the short out and back I was about to head on) and cheered him on which gave me a boost oddly enough. Then when I was coming back the same way I saw another fella I recognized so I hollered for him too and got the same boost. For the finish we turned off the road and into a parking lot then across a field and onto the track for a half lap. As I was approaching the track I was catching a woman in front of me. She popped out of the gate onto the track a step or 2 ahead of me and made a beeline for the inside lane. I came out the gate and instead ran the tangent toward the curve in the track to pull ahead of her. As we came around the final bend I could feel her on my right hip. I turned and told her to come with me, waving her on. Something about the competition in the heat of the moment, with someone right there I couldn't run faster until she was there and then I had the juice. A second or 2 later and I could feel that same juice bubbling away in my stomach, I wondered if I was going to erupt like Mt. Vomitous. Somehow I kept my breakfast. A guy came out of nowhere and passed me, then I could hear the girl coming again, but it was too late I crossed the finish line, totally spent. I turned around immediately and gave thanks to the lady for being there, I told her I couldn't have run that fast without her there. Then it was time to shed my chip and find the family. According to the Garmin the third mile came in at 8:08 and the last .06 was recorded in 20 seconds for a pace of 5:42 (I question the possibility quite frankly). So anyway chip time was 25:25, better than expected. Some stats for comparison:

2008
Place.......O'All.......Gender......Time.....Pace
9-13....139/340....93/170......28:30.....9:12

2009
Place.......O'All.......Gender......Time......Pace
11-16....104/341....78/160......25:25.....8:11


I'm happy with it and if I run another 5K this year I'll have a nice round number to aim at. Next Sunday is the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon, so I'm looking forward to that.

18 comments:

Jeff said...

I'm so not worthy -- a sub 8 mile? That's friggin incredible. I'm in awe, truly.

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