Monday, August 29, 2011

Head For The Cure RR

What: Head For The Cure 5K
August 28th, 2011
Overland Park, KS
Finish Time
: 21:03
I have not had a good summer of running. I dealt with ITB issues from May throughout July. I’ve only started to feel like I’ve been getting my speed/endurance back since mid-August.
Race Week:
My runs this week have not instilled confidence that I would be able to hit my goal pace of sub-7:00/mile. My allergies had been bugging me and my breathing has seemed out of whack all week during my runs. Just like I did the previous 2 years, I ran the Mud & Muck Run 5K on Saturday morning. Since I knew I was going to attempt a PR during HFTC on Sunday, I ran the Mud & Muck Run easy and just had fun with it.  Even while taking it easy, my breathing made it seem like I was putting in a higher effort than I really was. I never could get a groove and even decided to stop and walk during 2 short stretches. Needless to say, it did not boost my confidence for my PR attempt at HFTC.
The Night Before:
Although it wasn’t conducive to a PR attempt, I was offered a ticket to the Heart/Def Leppard concert for only $25 and couldn’t pass it up.  The concert was amazing and a lot of fun! I only managed to get about 4 hours of sleep.
Race Morning:
I was exhausted when I awakened after getting only 4 hours of sleep. I started the coffee, took a shower, and tried to wake up the best I could.  I ate my usual race morning breakfast, a bowl of honeynut cheerios, got ready, and headed to the race. It wasn’t until I arrived at the race that I realized I left my camera back at my apartment. I placed it in a fuel belt I received at the Mud & Muck Run, but forgot to take it with me.  Since I had about 40 minutes until race time, I decided to do a slow and easy mile warm-up, during which I couldn’t stop yawning.  I remembered that I had a sample packet of jet black GU back at my Jeep so I downed it about 20 minutes before the race and hoped for the best.
The Race:
My plan was to go out at about a 6:59 pace and try to hang on. This race was going to be my test to see how far away from a sub-21:00 5K I am. I figured I would likely crash & burn, but I would leave everything I had out on the course.  With about 10 minutes to go I head to line up. I feel that I’m lined up too close to the front, but after talking to people around, it’s clear that I need to move up more. I really wish the race had pace signs to help people line up correctly.
I moved up about another 10 feet, still was around people looking to average a 9:00 mile, but the next row had some fast runners so I didn’t think I should move up any further. A young lady did a great job singing the National Anthem and the race started.
I started the Garmin before crossing the mats so I knew my official time would be faster than my Garmin time.  The first mile starts with a nice gradual downhill so after weaving my way through the slower runners, I let gravity help me out and tried to hit a pace of 6:59.  After the first downhill my average pace was at 7:14 so I knew I had to pick it up during the gradual incline.  I was pushing myself and started to see the pace dropping.  I passed the first mile marker in 6:56 according to the clock, but my Garmin shows I finished Mile 1 in 7:02.
Mile 2 was a rough mile. I started breathing heavy and knew the last half of the mile contained a noticeable incline. It was all I could do to prevent myself from slowing down too much. I decided I needed to find a “rabbit” to pull me along so I chose a guy who looked like he could have been in my AG. He seemed to be running strong so I vowed to keep him in sight. It seemed to work, but I still had to fight the urge to walk. Without stopping to walk I passed the Mile 2 marker at a time of 14:10.  According to my Garmin, Mile 2 took me 7:07.
Mile 3 started and I was in a mental battle. I remembered some words of encouragement that a good friend said to me while chatting before I headed out for the race.  She simply said “KICK ASS!” At that moment I decided it was time to do what I could to pick up the pace. My “rabbit” was about 50 feet ahead of me, but I was slowly gaining. About ½ way through Mile 3 I finally passed him. He picked up the pace to stay with me. Since I was feeling rough, I figured he would outkick me if he stayed close. Since I could hear that he seemed to be working as hard as I was, I decided to push the pace during the next incline. He did not try to stay with me. I then saw another guy that could be in my AG and made him the new rabbit. He was a ways ahead of me so I kept my pace during the incline, but as soon as we turned and started on the gentle downhill, I started picking up my pace. With about 1/3 mile to go I started my kick. I am passing runners and gaining on my rabbit. I hear a lady tell him the finish is around the next corner. I think of those two words “KICK ASS” and somehow find another gear. It feels like I am flying. My rabbit hears me coming behind him and kicks. I would not be denied and flew by him with about 100 feet to go until the finish. This was the fastest I ever remember running and it felt GREAT.  Oh I was a hurting unit, but it felt GREAT!  I passed under the clock when it said 21:10 (I think). When I stopped my Garmin, it read 21:10 as well.  It was a new PR by just over 1 minute! I could not believe it!
Since I was out of it, I had to walk around a while before I stopped to have them remove my timing chip. Chip removed, I managed to find the final rabbit after the race and thanked him for pushing me. We congratulated each other on good races.
I stayed for the awards and then went out for another 7 mile run (2 hours later). That was a very slow run. :)
After uploading the Garmin data to my computer, it shows that the last .1 was run at an average pace of 4:04. There is nothing like finishing on a gentle downhill to make it look like you have some speed. No wonder it felt like I was flying. 

I’m betting that if I had proper sleep last night and was well rested, I would have easily finished in under 21:00. I am very surprised that I still had that kind of effort in me based on how the week has gone.
Thanks to everyone who managed to read all of my ramblings.

The Official Race Pics

Floating picture 1.

Floating pic 2

I must have been bored.

I must have been focused on the kick.


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