Sunday, March 20, 2011

Like lil' wings on my tootsies

For the second straight year I absolutely floored myself and achieved the unimaginable at the Heart Mini marathon! There is something about competition that makes me rise above and reach my full-potential.

I didn't know what to expect from my legs though. This would be my first attempt at a half marathon. On my run home from work I pretty much fell apart in the last 2 miles and finished with about an 8:45/mile pace. Then the next week I ran longer than I have ever run before — for 2 hours in the sleet at Red Bird Hollow.

There were some bright spots — I've been doing speed drills like 400m sprints at a 5k pace or running 5k Time Trials downtown. I showed some speed. One 5 mile was at a 7:31/mile pace and another 5k at a 7:14/mile pace. So I aimed to run my first half marathon at a 7:30 pace, in 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Perhaps it was the canon being fired but I took off like a bat. I ended up in the pace group with a 6:52 pace. It felt okay so I hung in there. I thought I would get a good start, beat my best 5k time then bail.

2011 Heart Mini First 5K: 21:08/6:49 Pace
2010 Heart Mini First 5K: 22:06/7:06 Pace
Old 5k Best (11/05/2007): 22:10/7:09 Pace
Recent 5K TT (3/08/2011): 23:48/7:14 pace
Rank in race at 5k: 40th place

So at about 4 miles I fell off the group, but I still tried to keep them in my sights. We went around the turnaround at Delta and I tried to relax and appreciate the view. I saw Jason from Rogue on the Torrence hill. It was nice to have someone cheering. I felt a bit better than 2010 when I hobbled up the climb but not as great as 2009 when I sprinted up it! The downhill was a bit painful. When I saw Jason again he yelled that I was at about a 7min pace, and that number stuck in my head. I wanted to hold it.

2011 Heart Mini 10k: 42:53/6:55 Pace
2010 Heart Mini 10k: 44:27/7:10 Pace
Old 10k Best (7/10/2007): 49:30/7:59 Pace
Rank in race at 10k: 64th place

I really started to hurt. I think I started going backwards while other runners continued to pass. I tried to keep up each time I was passed but after a minute or so I would fall off.

2011 Heart Mini 15k: 1:04:34/6:57 Pace
2010 Heart Mini 15k: 1:06:53/7:12 Pace
2009 Heart Mini 15k: 1:14:37/8:02 Pace
Rank in race at 15k: 64th place

Well, I began to hurt even more. We had to cross the river and come back again — the bridges were tough. Actually I still had a little punch on the uphills but the downhills were killing my quads. I kept focusing on running smooth as possible. But I think my face gave away the pain I was feeling. I crossed the line and started coughing up a lung.

2011 Heart Mini 13.1mi: 1:31:47/7:01 Pace
2009 Flying Pig Relay, legs 2 and 3 (12.83mi): 1:43:44/8:05 Pace
Rank in race at finish: 71st place
Place in my division: 10th place (Men 30-34)

Perhaps it's not smart to push yourself so hard beyond your training. I will be paying for this with sore legs but I am really proud of the performance and it's so cool to see my progression. I never expected a 10th place finish (in my age division) in a running race!

Part of me is intrigued to keep running and try my hand at the Flying Pig, part of me wants to try a triathalon. But mainly I am content to throw my leg over the saddle and be happy for some early season base fitness.

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