Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I was stoked to race this weekend at the Acura 10-miler; the CRS put on a great event and recruited a great field to foster some good competition. As far as my performance goes, however, the day turned out to be rather underwhelming. It wasn't an awful race by any means, but it also wasn't a great race. In short: Meh.
A few days before the race my IT began to act up and was sore and throbbing until Saturday night. I decided to race on it anyway, vowing to back off and take 3-4 non-running days afterwards if the race made it any worse. Miraculously, not only did it feel fine in the warm-up, but throughout the race and afterwards. I have clearly found the answer to IT band pain -just go out and HAMMER a 10 mile run. Obviously, not sure why I didn't think of that one before! Nicole has a bit of a different theory - that perhaps it was pre-race nerves. Interpretation: I am actually crazy and made up the throbbing pain in my head. Huh? Good to know she thinks I am a stable person. She admitted to having these sorts of pre-race pains when she was in her prime, but SHE is obviously a whacko! Sheesh, I am completely normal.
So anyway, on the morning of the race, my IT may have felt fine but the rest of my legs most certainly did NOT (and no, I did not make this up in my head either!). They felt heavy and lethargic and completely empty of any pizzazz. How was I supposed to race without any pizzazz? Naturally, I sought it elsewhere. I decked myself out in hot pink and painted my nails malibu barbie, convinced that it was all I needed to feel fresh. I headed out the door on my warm-up, only to be crushed by the heaviness of my glittering legs (ya, I pizzazzed them too). I slogged down to the Distillery and finished my warmup with some slow-mo strides that I'm pretty sure matched my race pace. My head was not in this! 'Oh well,' is all I thought 'I'm just going to run my own race and that's that.'
The gun went off and about a hundred people blew by me as I ran at what I thought was a full-out sprint but what was more like a turkey trot. I fell into stride with a tall lanky guy who proceeded to pepper me with questions and state that he was going to stick with me and aim to run around 60min. I was jealous of his energy and bouncy stride, but am sure that he thought I was a complete bitch as I gave him curt, one-worded answers and then just completely ignored him for the rest of the race (I apologize if he is out there reading this!). If only he knew that a 3:50 first km was me working at maximum capacity! Surprisingly, he did stay with me until about 13k and was actually good company during the long, lonely kilometers along the Leslie Spit.
Starting out slow. Good times.
Though I secretly wanted to dip under 60:00, I quickly threw any time goals out the window when I realized that I was working very hard for a relatively slow pace. I stopped looking at my watch and just ran by feel, trying to push a little harder with every passing kilometer. I began to feel better as the race went on and at halfway (30:35) I peeked at my watch and was convinced I would be able to negative-split by a minute and snag a sub-60 performance. Of course, when you think you can negative-split, you usually run even, and when you think you can run even, you usually slow down (and when you feel like death, you will usually die...HARD). So even though I pushed the intensity in the last 6k, I only marginally increased my pace and ran a mere 10s faster over the second half. I was happy to get under the minute mark (1:00:59.5!) but overall not thrilled with my time. After all, I split 58-something en route to a HM this past spring. It was a fast course, but I had also run 3:45-7s for almost the same distance within a 21k workout two weeks ago, on a more challenging course - so how did this make any sense?!) I do understand, however, that things can change a lot on a given day and under certain conditions, so I'm certainly not going to question my fitness based on this result. And despite my time I was pleased that I was passing peeps in the second half and ended up 5th overall behind Pidhoresky, Asefa, Njeri and Sexton. Going into the race I knew I could run well and be as far back as 7th, so I couldn't really complain about my final placing and a $200 cheque!
Heading into the finish!
A bunch of the Angels raced and we all sported our new spunky singlets courtesy of Zensah compression apparel. They were very comfortable and generally awesome because they are pink. I know. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. We had a number of great performances in the group, including our newbie Gusto placing 8th female in 1:05, and Val in a big PB of 1:09. Good work ladies!
Congrats Gusto, Val and Kap 'N K!
Of course we went out afterwards to celebrate race performances and Mihira's birthday and were all drunk before noon. I'm not sure Mihira was all too thrilled with the vodka shot we made him take minutes after finishing his first beer, but a few minutes later he seemed pretty happy.
Happy Birthday Mihira!
We were also happy to bring along our honorary Angel, Ms. Sexton, who finally admitted to us how much she wanted a pink Angel's racing singlet. I am pretty sure she has been desperate for one for quite some time. Unfortunately, Sexton, eating and drinking with us does not qualify as training, so although you are an honorary Angel, you are not a real one. Brutal, I know, but in order to wear angelic pink you must come to out our practices! Um, ya, so just let us know when you're coming out! ;)
Yeah, we're cool.