Monday, July 27, 2009

Heart of the Hills 10K Race Report

Now I remember why I make a point of looking for races that say they have a flat course. I do not enjoy hills!

On Saturday, David and I ran the Heart of the Hills 10K. Let me start out by saying that my performance was abysmal. I think I came in 283 out of 306. Hills suck and I'm not good at them, which I'm sure means that I should do more hill work but let's never forget that I'm fundamentally lazy.

The start and finish were at a local high school. The race started at 8am so we showed up at 7 for packet pick-up. Nothing in the goody bag except our t-shirts (cotton) and a few advertising flyers. What, no lip balm? No key chains? No snacks? Well, it's a small race so it doesn't matter.

Running buddy Vicki was doing this one, too. Since we're in marathon training and needed longer than 10K today, we set out for a little warm-up run. Just did 15 minutes, nothing major. Normally I don't warm up at all so this was a change for me.

A few minutes before 8am we lined up at the start. We had D-tags but strangely there was no timing mat at the start. Oh well, guess they measure everyone's start time based on the gun time. Not a big deal considering it took all of five seconds to get across the start. Plus, as mentioned above I suck at hills so I don't think five seconds is really going to make or break my performance.

It was raining a little bit throughout the race but I didn't mind. Felt pretty good, actually. The heavy stuff didn't start coming down until after we were done.

I set out too fast for the first mile. Once we started hitting some hills I slowed right down. I realized this race was going to be a rough one for me so I told myself if I finished with an 11:30 pace I'd feel successful. So, by that measure it was a success, even though I've run a much faster pace for a half marathon.

Here are my times mile by mile:

Mile 1: 9:50
Mile 2: 11:33 (yep, hills!)
Mile 3: 11:16
Mile 4: 11:20
Mile 5: 10:28 (nice gentle decline right after we passed mile 4 so it made me feel like continuing even though earlier I felt like giving up)
Mile 6: 11:12
last 0.2: 9:44 (can you tell I was excited to be near the end of those fricking hills?)

Along the way, I was passed by an old man who was all hunched over and he pounded his feet more loudly than anyone I've ever heard. You would think that would have spurred me on to go faster, but I'm sorry to say that I couldn't catch him. I don't know how old he was. There was a 74 year old who finished ahead of me AND a 91 year old. Yeah, embarrassing. Hope I can still run when I'm their age.

During the final mile, a guy just in front of me asked a volunteer how much more there was to go. She wasn't sure so I gave him the distance from my Garmin and we started chatting a little bit. Turns out he has atrial fibrillation so he has to keep a close eye on his heart rate while he runs. If it goes above a certain point (140 something, I think) he has to take a walk break until his heart rate goes down. He was glad still to be able to run even though it took his pace way down from what it used to be in his younger days. He had to stop to walk then so I trudged on along to the finish.

I was so happy to hear the loudspeaker. The race finished on the high school track and I was relieved that they didn't make us run the whole way around. Would have seemed endless to me at that point. Then it was off to the concession stand where Whole Foods was supplying cookies and bananas. Waited a couple of minutes to see Vicki cross the finish line. David finished before me so I found him and we headed back to the car.

Lesson learned: Hills suck

But I bet I'll do this race again next year and maybe even train on some hills so I can at least beat the 70+ crowd. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Especially for Black Bear!

Sorry, Black Bear, I went to class today but we didn't do a track workout. We just ran loops around the shopping center where the running store is located.

And one of the coaches hassled me about not attending the Saturday morning long runs. Considering I'd have to get up at 4:45am to get there on time, I'm not too interested in attending those runs. I run long with a friend much closer to home at 7am on Saturdays and that works fine for me!

Next up is the Heart of the Hills 10K this Saturday. Hoping my favorite Black Bear has decided to run it, too. Hint hint HINT!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Been too long!

Wow, I've sadly neglected this blog. I don't feel like I have much to say. My marathon training schedule officially started on June 29th and I promptly skipped a couple of days of running that week. Whoops! Oh well, better to goof up the first week instead of the more important weeks later on.

I skipped the Wednesday running class a couple of weeks ago because I was swamped at work and also thunderstorms were going through the area. They did a track workout that day so I may have missed something interesting.

This past Wednesday's class was okay. The run itself was nothing special. They sent us out on the roads to run 4-6 miles. Once again, the coaches went with the fast runners and those of us who are slower were left on our own. The weather was good so it was an enjoyable run. I did only 4 miles since I'd already run 3 miles on Wednesday morning (just in case work was too busy for me to get away for the class).

After the class, we had a seminar on injury prevention. Not sure exactly what the credentials were of the speaker; I think he is some sort of physical therapist. In any case, it was really interesting and he talked a lot about improving one's posture and showed us a few exercises that will help us keep in alignment more easily. He'll come back for another session some time to talk about core strengthening.

One of the coaches gave me a marathon training schedule that he selected for me. Not sure how he selected it since he really hasn't seen me run, nor has he talked to me. The coaches do know our running distances and times because we have a website where we log all our runs so they can review it. The schedule the coach gave me is higher mileage than the schedule I'm using and I don't think I'll be following it. My current schedule may be a little light on mileage so I'll probably end up doing a compromise between the two. Since this is my first marathon and there are approximately a billion different training schedules out there, it's tough to know what's right.

This morning David and I met Vicki at the park for a 6-miler. I ended up doing 6 1/2 miles. It was hot for 7am (over 70 degrees) and really muggy. But it started raining part-way through the run and that kept us cool. The only other times I've run in the rain it's been a cold rain in winter or fall. Running in a warm summer rain was actually surprisingly pleasant.

Okay, done rambling for now.