I am so glad to be able to run! So thankful God gives me the opportunity to race when I can- every once in a while. Thank GOD I live in a FREE country, and thank you to those of you who have sacrificed to make it so!
I love the 4th of July.
I love road races.
I LOVE 4th of July road races- even when I don't beat McMillan's calculator!!!
I have excuses, but I don't need them...because I set a new personal record in this race, and it was all about the FUN.
The short version: 42:00 gun time/watch time, 41:49 chip/net time.41:59 at the finish line and on the race sheets.... Help me decide on one, please?
Empty road before the race
It wasn't a marathon, but here's my marathon length report. :)
Race Goals :
- To have a FUN race with very little self-imposed pressure to reach a certain time. In fact, I chose this race because of the festive atmosphere, (lots of people in costumes). I came in knowing that it's a hard course- quite unlike me. I just wanted to have a relaxed FUN day and see what would happen.
- Time goals: to PR (beat 44 minutes) would be nice, but not a given. (It never is.). I hadn't raced a 10K since the last one (8/2010)- which was almost a year ago. At best, I thought I might beat McMillan's prediction for me at the distance, but I DIDN'T plan on it, which is why I did a little speed session 36 hours before the race, and lifted weights this last week.
- I wanted a baseline: for training for a 10K in mid September. I plan to do 10 weeks of training for this one and will race it on another hard course- the Prefontaine Memorial 10K. (I have never ran the Pre course and could use some comparisons by people who have done both!) Sidenote: Just to clarify things a bit from some comments in my last post...I am shooting for a sub 40 race at some point in time. It'd like it to be this fall or winter, but am under NO delusions that it might occur in July, August or even September of any year!!
- To keep the course as short as possible without injuring anyone. (running the tangents without hitting objects)
The B2B is a point to point course. So after spending the night snuggled up to the boys at my parents house, getting about 2 hours of sleep, I left the crew and headed to downtown Eugene to catch the shuttle.
KIM had mailed to me hanging at home! :( (This was SO kind of her...It is the most comfortable skirt ever - even in tempo and speed work, and I was bummed! ) .
But, I still had my cape and flag and sparkly star garland!! So I arrived at the drop site entirely un-matching, sports bra hanging out, and turned into super-patriot-woman. The cape came in handy for several other runners, as I will explain later.
Hydration/ fuel & warm up
I got a little scared after I checked in my bag and realized there was no water at the start.
I decided to warm up and run to Safeway to see if there was a fountain. About 20 other people were doing the same thing, so I ran back to the bag check and asked if I could get something out of my bag. THANK GOD they let me. This saved my bacon, big time. I got out some money and went back to the store (passed friends John and Kacy- and lost them!!) for a bottle of water. This was about 20 minutes before the race and I drank about half the bottle.
There were water stations at miles 3, 4, 5, and I had a straw tucked in my watch for those. I ate half a banana and part of a bagel much earlier (6:30 ish), but forgot to take the gel I packed. I never train with them, anyway.
Hydration plan....and CHECK out the new purse!! I got it to match my favorite jacket :)
There were pace markers for 5,6,7,8,9, 10...minute milers. I lined up about halfway between the 6 and 7. Chatting with other racers, I met Rebecca, who asked what pace I was hoping to run. I said 6:30- rounding things off a bit. She decided she'd like to try to follow me and I was happy to have her do it. A few people commented on the cape and it helped relax things around us. The start was congested and there were a few thousand people. We could see the elites coming to line up at the front- so cool!
attack the hill, and cruise on through the second mile, or you can conserve energy and go slowly up the first mile, and save energy for the flat part of the course. I went with BOMBS AWAY. I must add here, that there is a cash prize for the king and queen of the uphill and the downhill- Usually an elite gets that :) . I am not elite, Dad. Thanks for your optimistic 38:XX guess, though :)) (He is not to be beaten in encouraging predictions!)
7:30- Couldn't be helped.
Mile 3- It was still a little downhill, then flattening out a bit. I tried to establish my goal pace for the rest of the course - passed the water station without stopping, and a hose that was misting the racers. Ahhhh... 6:29
Mile 4- struggling now, really feeling the wear on my legs from the whole uphill/downhill charge...listening to the watch beeping and hoping to find my happy place, and struggling to convince my legs to pick up faster.
Passed the water station- not needing it. 6:48
Mile 5- This heads down Pearl street which is straight for a looooooooong ways, business district, some shade trees here and there. Lots of crowd support and people shouting "Go SUPERWOMAN!!" And a male runner and I fell into about the same pace here. We did no talking, just running. I felt like I was dragging..He'd surge and I'd catch up, I'd find a little extra and he'd catch up. Green Shirt guy probably helped me keep pace better than my watch! There must have been water somewhere here, but I had already decided I could make it to the end without. 6:53
Mile 6 As I approached Skinner's Butte park, I could see the road get shady again and the familiar turn that signals a slight uphill and turn to the left. I was running in front of a pack with Green Shirt guy comfortably to my right. Still trying to cut in at the corners....but looking for that 6 mile flag. When my watch said 6 miles. I read 40 minutes and thought WOO HOO!! But immediately remembered that .2-.3 is still a long way and a maybe few minutes. 6:43
6.2 and some I surged again, and Green Shirt had full view of the cape. As I approached the finish line, I saw the clock ticking closer and closer to 42 and hit the mat at what I thought was 41:59. (Also the time listed on the printouts at race itself). (.27, 1:41 note: I didn't add it all up...) You can see me cross the finish line here: warning! I look terrible, gasping for breath!! Get a good laugh. :) Haha.
Very shortly after crossing the finish line, I was caught up by Rebecca who was thrilled with her new PR.(her net time ended up under 42) .
Evidently, she and few other people were following me as their unofficial pacer. The cape made me an easy target! I was truly excited for her. She had told me that her goal was to be in the top 25 females this year, and we both made it with some room to spare. She also ended up 3rd in her age group and took home a medal. I took 4th in mine :) and thought that was funny!
(Thanks for the paper clipping, Dad! :) )
I am truly happy with my execution of this race. I don't know if I could have given more at any point, but I might consider moving up a bit at the start next time. I lost 10-11 seconds of gun time at the start, but also had many people to weave around after passing the mat.
B2B was VERY well organized as far as 10K races go..Shuttles were going one after the other, LOTS of porta-potties, a track to warm up on, water at the promised places, helpful volunteers, bag check- though NOT secure. And it is a great family activity. I'd definitely do this race again and recommend it to others.
Schwag was there for those who finished in the top 3 of their age groups, and there were cash prizes for the top 3 overall, and the King and Queen of the uphill/downhill. I did miss having watermelon at the finish line this year...there was none to be found- just water, bagels and coconut juice stuff.
I did a 3 mile cool down after the race- very slowly, and on rubbery legs. Afterwards I got the shakes and found a little sugary food right away. My quads are nearly as trashed as they were after each of my marathons today- 2 days later.
As far as getting a baseline 10K to start training from, I think this was perfect. I know my VDOT has dropped a bit (now a 49.32), but that is just fine. After all, I might be stronger at the 5K than the 10K. Since I have never specifically trained for either, I will enjoy seeing out the next 11 weeks. I doubt I will be any faster on the Prefontaine course, unless it is much easier- and I don't think it will be.
The local news interviewed the strange lady in the cape (Note to self: come prepared with something witty or profound to say next time!). You can see it here, with the rest of their B2B story: KEZI news clip.
I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to my MOM and DAD who watched the boys for me (at the last minute) to do this race. LOVE YOU!! I couldn't have done it, since Jon needed to work over the holiday due to recent events. It is such a privilege to race and makes me consider how challenging it must be for single parents to even find ways to exercise. I am grateful for their help and for my husband's desire to provide for us -and pay for my silly hobby. You both are the BEST.
After the race, my mom and the boys and I went to the Eugene Rose Garden, had a little picnic, and took a little tour. I loved spending time with her and them! Here are some of the photos:
Also...big congrats to AMANDA and her hubby in their AWESOME un-MARATHON! And another BIG Thanks to thanks to JENN for her awesome shout-out video :)!!