Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just Get In Gear, No Rear

AM: 3M wu (1M alt 400s 5:17) + strides; 10k race (32:22); 8M cd (54 min) :: 17M

Pros and cons in the decision to run Get in Gear:

This is a recovery period. Really shouldn't be racing.
Not 100% healthy after the 100k (hamstring is still a little tight).
I'll get my ass kicked.

I've been a bit sluggish. A hard run would help flush the system
Where am I at fitness-wise?
I live 4 blocks from the course and it is going to be a gorgeous days.
Backup for our GEAR team that was bit short on numbers for this race.

Pros: 4 Cons: 3

I ended up registering last night at about 6:30 p.m. It doesn't get much more last minute than that. My thinking was that I would run a controlled effort for the first four miles and see if I could pick it up. Given that I've run about 80M in the last 3 weeks I would consider it a good day if I ran around 32:00.

I woke up feeling pretty good, all things considering. I got in a good 45 minutes of stretching before heading out for a warmup. I felt so-so on the warmup, but then I followed it with some barefoot strides on the football field across the street. That added some pep and I went to the starting line feeling confident that I could at least run respectable.

I went out a little too aggressively (4:59), but it felt comfortable. However, I was very confident that I was not going to run 31:00 today so I settled in to a relatively steady pace through the hill to St Thomas. I believe I heard 10:07 (5:08), 15:23 (5:15), 20:40 (5:17) and 25:57 (5:17) for splits. The whole way I was running pretty comfortably (for a race), but anytime I attempted to pick it up I struggled a litle. As we came over the Ford Pkwy bridge I had the urge to kick it in, but I thought better of it and simply maintained the effort through the line. I finished 16th overall.

I'll be honest, it stings a little bit not to be up there forcing the issue, but I'm secure enough to recognize the situation and realize I'll be back up there soon. I needed to take this break now if I want to run fast come fall And really the race dynamic was the same running in the second group as it is leading the race. I was mixing it up with Kelly Mortenson, Michael Stoick, Digger Carlson, etc. People were passing back and forth the whole time. That makes me think that I could continue to do this once I'm no longer looking to win the overall. I just have to realign my goals. It takes away some of the dread and the accompanying pressure that this will all come to an end as i get older.

Get in Gear Results


Eric said...

"I'll still be able to mix it up when I get older..." Man, that is depressing! Your best years are ahead of you. If they're not, then what the hell am I doing trying to run fast again at 34?! haha

Nice controlled effort. I may have to skip the spring marathon next year and take a shot at the Human Race or the Get In Gear. They look like fun races, and always very competitive.

crowther said...

Like you, I wonder about what running will be like once my best times are behind me. In addition to the point that you make -- that there's plenty of racing excitement taking place behind the leaders as well as among them -- the other thing I find comforting is that running, unlike most sports, is quite useful in everyday life. You can commute, "run" errands, exercise the family dog, etc. etc. I find it comforting that, if I ever get tired of competing, I'll still have plenty of reasons to run.

digger carlson said...

If you still have the fire over the next decade you will learn to adjust, Pat. I hated not being an open division threat anymore, but a good age group and that list of best age group times will still give you something to fight for down the road. WAVA tables are nice too! You're still in the mix now as it is, so...hang on.