Three Martini Lunch
This is a bit of a novel. Irrelevant side note: I don't like that RnR calls this race "USA." I liked the name of the race they took over, the "National" and would be ok with a place name like "Washington" or "DC" like all of their other races.
I had some trepidation about this race and how I would do. I came down with a cold last weekend that really knocked me on my back for a couple of days, and I was still feeling the lingering effects of it on Thursday. I still thought I had a PR in me, but I didn't know by how much. Going into the race, my A Goal was a 1:36, B Goal 1:38, and C Goal a PR.
I'm glad I wasn't trying to check anything; it looked like a cluster. The forecast rain held off for the entire race, which meant that the weather was perfect. I stretched out some more and hopped around to stay loose, and then ducked into my corral with about ten minutes before gun time.
Mile 1-4: 7:28, 7:16, 7:14, 7:18
Mile 5-6: 7:27, 7:22
These two miles are a gentle incline through Rock Creek Park, a deep valley that cuts northwest DC into two. I run this part of the route all the time as part of my long run route, but it is a pretty part of DC that most visitors don't see. I slowed down a bit through the park because I knew that the one major hill on the route was right after the Mile 6 marker. This part is also mostly devoid of spectators, so it is pretty quiet.
Mile 7 had the hill where we climbed out of the park and back onto the city streets. I have my watch set to display average lap pace; when I got to the top of the hill it was showing 9:00, which is still a lot faster than I've run it in training. It also took me longer to recover than I thought it would. But, as I was gasping up the next rolling hill, I realized that when I run that part of the race route in training I am not running as fast overall and usually have to wait a light cycle to cross a street at the top, allowing me to catch my breath. I usually am in a tunnel when racing and don't pay much attention to spectators, but the crowd of cheering spectators at the top of the hill was a godsend. Mile 8 and 9 had some rolling hills, but I'm back on pace. This is also the point where I feel that the cold I had earlier in the week is affecting me; I'm not getting my wind back as quickly as I normally do on the uphills and have a minor twinge of a side stitch. I choke down a Gu at the water stop just past the Mile 7 mark, and it doesn't sit well. The queasiness lasts for about half a mile, goes away for a bit as the course levels out, and then comes back as we head up another roller.
There is a water stop just past the Mile 9 mark, and that allows me to get some more water in, and that seems to dissolve the Gu lump sitting in my stomach -- or at least that is what it feels like. The impending stitch also goes away about this time, too. This is also a rolling downhill (the uphills are just where the street dips below grade to allow surface streets to pass over it), and begins the mental home stretch -- by this time the hard part is over. My race plan was to pick up the pace once I hit the downhill, but it really is all I can do to stay around 7:20s. As we turn east just past the Mile 10 mark, we turn into a headwind. It isn't much, but at this point I'm running out of gas, and I start to fade a bit. After I hit the 12 mile mark, I dig in to finish strong, and manage to pull out my fastest mile of the race.
Chip time ended up being 1:37:33, a 2:26 PR. 7:27 average pace. I feel I ran close to the edge of my fitness, but feel that I would have had a bit more were it not for the cold and diminished recovery on the uphills. But despite that, I think I executed my race plan well; I was hoping to have more in the tank for the last four to five miles to reduce my overall average pace, but just didn't have it today.
ETA: They posted official results while I was writing this. 759/19945 overall; 136/1495 in my AG.
Congratulations on a strong performance- especially on what sounds like a tough course.
PBs since age 60: 5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.
10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.
Congrats on the race and PR, Flinders, especially considering the tough course and your cold. My frienassailed the bag check was a cluster, so good call there!
You da' Man, Flinders! You da' Man.
PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42
Awesome race Flinders! I attribute 100% of your fitness improvement to the new Garmin!
PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)
Great job! Congrats on a great performance and on the PR.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: San Francisco Marathon
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Ball of Fury
Awesome race Flinders...you absolutely killed it!!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
(Evidently, I really think you killed it since I told you twice!)
What a great race. Super speedy! And 7:04 for the last mile! Wow. Congrats!
Sweet race, Flinders! I knew this was coming based on the paces of your recent "easy" runs.
Congrats! You killed it!
3/17 Shamrock Marathon
4/20 North Coast 24 Hour
7/27 Burning RIver 100M
8/24 Baker 50M
10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)
Brands I Heart:
Altra Zero Drop
BQ in 2013
Nice race Flinders. I don't care for USA either. I I always call it RnR DC anyway.
PR's - 5K - 20:15 (2013) | 10K - 45:14 (2011) | 13.1 - 1:34:40 (2013) | 26.2 - 3:47:47 (2012)
2013 Goals - 3000 miles (940m May'13) | sub20 5k | sub 43 10K | sub1:35 13.1 | sub 3:15 26.2
Saginaw 5k - 1/19/13 - 20:15 PR
Chambersburg Half Marathon - 3/9/13 - 1:36:22 PR
Frederick Half Marathon - 5/5/13 - 1:34:40 PR
Shippensburg Fair 5k - 7/27/13
RnR Philadelphia Half Marathon - 9/15/13
Philadelphia Marathon - 11/17/13