I owe myself two race reports. I need to post them before I get too behind so here they are!
College Ave Mile
Somehow a 1 Mile race acquired 700 points Championship Status as part of NJ Long Distance Running Grand Prix Series. In case that snuck by, I repeat, this is the LONG DISTANCE RUNNING Series. :) This is funny to me.
I had not run a mile in a long time so I was curious and terrified at the same time. I must admit, the 700 pt status did help me to justify the 30 minute drive for a very very short run. There was an additional one mile relay race at the end and this helped too. A while ago, Nikki asks if I would partner up with her for the relay. As soon as she asked me, I knew we would make a great team!
The race was at night. I had a conflict. I had scheduled 20 mile group run for the morning. Nikki was ok with me showing up to race on tired legs so we registered and decided to give the mile a shot. I was hoping to break 6 minutes.
I hated the mile in high school. It was too long for me then. I loved the half. I once ran a 5:40 mile only because my coach told me we needed a 4th for the relay and it had to be me. I am sucker for stuff like that so I did it. I was probably 15 years old then. A few years ago, maybe 5 years, I ran a 6:08 mile just before a 5k race. I was running 21-22 minute 5k's then. Beating that time was more realistic than expecting to run my fastest mile ever.
As Nikki and I warmed up we worked out our relay order by deciding that we would race each other in the Mile to decide who gets to anchor. :) I think were well matched and we both probably wanted to anchor so this was the fairest way I could think of that would also motivate us to run harder.
Nikki and I lined up in our corral, after getting some advice from Ben to hug the curb, because that is where the course is measured. The course was a 2 lap course around a square block. LOL! A square! 8 90 degree turns at top speed.
Gun goes off and we go out fast! By the first turn of 8 turns, my Garmin read 5:26… LOL! I yelled for Nikki to slow down since she was ahead of me. LOL at Nikki! We both backed off, came to our senses and came through the half way mark just sub 3 minutes, I suppose. I wish they had a mat for splits. I was hoping to have some type of kick at the end but I already knew that I was toast from this morning's 20. All I could hope for is that Nikki's fast start would catch up with her so I could have a chance to anchor. I chased those bright pink shoes for almost another half mile before she solidified her lead on the last turn! I know we both worked hard out there. By the end she ended up 3 seconds ahead of me, which is a lot for a mile! I did not reach my goal but it was close enough for me to feel good about the effort!
Our relay was the last event. I can honestly say that by the time the relay arrived I had enough of fast running on tired legs. If a thunderstorm rolled in and cause it to be canceled I would have secretly thanked the universe for that gift ;)
My legs were simply toasted by the time the relay started. But I know I ran my best. I wish they had a split mat because I failed to stop my watch and Nikki failed to start hers… so we have no idea what we ran for our half mile splits. I don't even know the final time but I know were were solidly sub-6:00. Phew. If not, then we know who the weakest link was :)
President Cup 5k.
As this is my "come back"season, I did not expect to race as fast I was racing last year. That is a good thing, because I can't do it and it would stink to actually feel bad about this. Instead I want to enjoy to climb back to good shape, whatever that ends up being.
To decide what to do at Presidents Cup, I using my mile time to help me set a goal of 6:50 per mile. I ran a faster 5k on Mother's Day, but today I wanted to just practice self-control and see how things turn out. After all I ask a whole bunch of runners to control their paces each and every day. If I expect others to run specific paces, I better be able to do it myself when I decide to.
My plan was to run M1 6:50, M16:40 and then to see what I could do in the last 1.1. If I was lucky I would find a kick sleeping inside me somewhere…. but I knew the last mile was uphill.
The weather was in our favor. It rained a few hours earlier and it cooled everything down. This was a lovely gift from the years prior. It may have been humid, but to me it did not feel as humid as it has been lately.
The gun goes off. First I need to find some actually room to run without falling down. I am pretty sure Rich Timlen elbowed me for no reason at all… or maybe that was the other way around. ;) … It was a tight start.
As we start to reach the first decline, I look at my watch I was moving at 6:32. This was too fast so I settle down. I end run running with Jessica and I explain my plan. M1 6:49 (close enough).
I must say that running 6:50 pace for mile one when I felt I could run faster was a wonderful experience. It almost felt too easy and I was glad to have spent the first mile in complete control. This gave me hope that this 5k would go well for me today.
During the second mile, I picked it up. Jessica went with me. We could see Nikki up ahead and we discussed trying to catch up to her if it was possible. As Jessica and I ran a strong Mile 2, I still believed this we might be able to catch her. M2 6:37
Even as we started Mile 3 I was confident that I would have a great run. I knew the hill was coming and that it was going to be exhausting. I was working hard at this point. I never felt that my race got a way from me in any way. I knew I did not go out too hard.
But just about Mile 2.5, I distinctly felt a sense of hunger pangs… as if I needed sugar, or food, or maybe just to STOP running as fast as I could... I was running out of steam. My stomach felt odd, not nauseated, just empty. I cannot recall the last time I felt this way in a race except for Clinton 15k, when at 7 miles to go I suddenly felt overwhelmed with the need to eat meat. I am not sure what that is about but I can bet it is just related to me being less fit than I was in the past.
Fom 2.5 to 3.1, I simply fell apart. My body just wasn't used to that pace. It is clear I need to get back to the track and also increase my volume.
I push myself to finish strong and watch Jessica pull away over the last few tenths. We can see Nikki kicking hard in the distance. Both ran such a fantastic races! Clifton Women are looking good and this isn't a goal race! I faded a bit as we crested the hill, tried to find a kick M3. 6:50, with a faster Final .1 to finish.
(I have to update this later… I have a 5 miler to get ready for!)